Cost of Retaining Wall Installations

Whether your project is large or small, retaining walls can add value to your property. They also provide stability to sloped areas. If you are considering a retaining wall, it is best to hire Stonecrete professional with extensive building experience.

Retaining Wall

Inspect your retaining wall regularly to identify and address minor issues before they become more significant problems. This includes thoroughly inspecting the footing to ensure it is embedded below the required frost depth.

Retaining walls are a smart investment that protect your home’s foundation by holding back soil and preventing erosion. They can also add value to your property by allowing you to create new landscape features that make the most of your yard’s space. However, the cost of retaining walls can vary depending on their size, materials, and complexity. Here are some things to keep in mind when comparing quotes from different contractors.

Start by figuring out the length and height of your retaining wall, along with the soil conditions where you live. This information will help you choose the best materials and estimate how much your project will cost. Also, ask your contractor about local requirements and building codes that might affect pricing.

The material you choose will have a big impact on your overall costs. Vinyl is one of the most affordable retaining wall options, while concrete blocks and poured concrete are more expensive. Precast concrete is even more costly than poured concrete.

You may want to consider the look of your retaining wall, as well as the cost of adding any accessories or finishes. For example, a retaining wall can be made more attractive with the addition of landscaping lighting or a mural.

Another factor that can increase your retaining wall price is the amount of dirt that must be moved to build it. This is especially important if you have a sloped property. It can cost $40 per linear foot to move and prepare the ground.

It’s also important to note that retaining walls built on steep slopes must be reinforced. This increases the cost of your project significantly because rebar must be used to support the weight of the earth behind the wall. A typical retaining wall can support up to 50 pounds of pressure per square foot at the base of the structure, so reinforcement is an essential component.

Waterproofing is an essential part of every retaining wall installation. It can prevent moisture from seeping through the wall joints, which causes serious structural damage. The cost of waterproofing will vary, but typically ranges from $2 to $10 per square foot.


Whether you want to add aesthetics or create structural strength, there are a number of different materials to choose from when building your retaining wall. Some of the most common choices include concrete blocks, poured concrete and treated timbers. Each of these materials has their own set of pros and cons. For example, concrete blocks are very durable and can stand up to extreme weather conditions. However, they are also a bit more expensive than other options.

Another consideration when choosing a retaining wall material is how much exposure to water it will have to endure. This could be waves crashing against the coast, frequent rain or snow, or even humidity in the air. In any case, a retaining wall that will be exposed to water needs to be designed with proper drainage in mind. Otherwise, it will start to rot or become damaged over time.

The type of drainage system used in a retaining wall will depend on the size and shape of the structure. If you are building a large retainer, it is recommended that you use a perforated pipe to help with the flow of water. This will keep water from pooling on the backfill side of the structure and prevent it from becoming saturated.

For smaller retainers, a simple gravel or crushed rock system is sufficient. Adding weep holes above the footing or foundation area is also recommended for this type of structure to cut down on the pressure from groundwater behind the retaining wall.

Once the base is laid and compacted, it’s time to begin laying out the retaining walls. The first course should be placed level front to back and side to side. This ensures the correct course bonding pattern is achieved. For most block styles, this is accomplished by lining up the female groove on the flange of the block with the male groove on the next course above it.

Using a staking tool, mark out the length and height of the retaining wall on your property. It is important to make sure there are no underground utility lines running through the site before starting any excavation. Call your local utility company to have them locate and mark any lines before you dig. After completing the wall, a cap can be added to protect the base and give your landscape a finished look.


Retaining walls are built to hold back soil that would otherwise shift along a natural slope or incline, potentially posing a safety risk. When the wall is constructed of a material such as concrete or masonry, it must be designed by an engineer in order to meet building codes and to ensure that the structure is stable. These designs are complex and consider the load conditions that will be applied to the wall, including lateral earth pressure and surcharge loads.

These loads are calculated by evaluating the geometry of the wall, material properties and internal actions, including shear and flexure. These calculations are performed using a structural software program and the results are checked to determine if the wall will be stable. If a retaining wall is not designed correctly, it can deteriorate quickly due to seasonal changes or lack of maintenance and may eventually fail.

Most retaining walls are designed to be constructed of modular block materials, such as concrete blocks that interlock with each other to form the wall. These block walls are very stable and can withstand high levels of pressure. However, they are not suitable for all applications. For larger retaining walls, it is necessary to use a site specific design that is prepared by a professional engineer.

The design of a retaining wall begins with careful site preparation prior to beginning construction. This will usually include excavation or digging a trench in which the retaining wall will be built. The trench will then be backfilled with gravel and compacted to allow for proper drainage of the retained soil.

For walls that are taller than 3 to 4 feet, the International Residential Code requires a design by a registered engineer. In most cases, the design will be prepared by the installing contractor, who is not a design professional. However, for walls that are taller than this, it is recommended that the engineering be done by a professional engineer who is familiar with segmental retaining wall design and installation.

In addition to the wall design, it is important to consider drainage issues. The draining of a retaining wall is critical to prevent water migration, fine erosion and hydrostatic pressure on the wall. Ideally, drainage should be provided above, below and behind the wall to reduce these problems. For this reason, it is often necessary to install drainage tile as well as a water management system on the project site.


Retaining walls make slopes more usable by stabilizing and directing soil and water. They can also be used for terracing and designing landscapes. They can be built from a variety of materials, including stone and interlocking concrete blocks. Some are easy to build yourself, while others may require the help of a professional. Regardless of the material used, all retaining walls need to be properly constructed to ensure that they are strong enough to support the pressure of the soil behind them.

The initial step of constructing any retaining wall is site preparation, which includes excavation or digging a trench. The ground underneath the trench is usually compacted and tamped, and a layer of gravel or sand may be added to help with drainage. It is important to understand the moisture conditions where you are building a retaining wall because groundwater can seep into the base of the structure and cause problems down the road.

A retaining wall requires a lot of concrete to construct, and it is important that the concrete is mixed and placed correctly. This helps prevent leaks and cracks down the road. It is also important to have a quality contractor, and it is always best to get multiple quotes.

Before starting to build a retaining wall, the contractor will dig a trench about 12” deep and 24” wide for the length of the wall. This soil needs to be thoroughly compacted before proceeding with the wall. A layer of landscape fabric is typically added to the excavated soil before filling it with a mixture of 1 1/2” processed gravel or 3/4” crusher run base material and tamping it down in 2-3” layers until the base is 6” thick.

Once the base is installed, the first course of block can be laid. A carpenter’s level should be used to ensure that the block lies evenly left-to-right and front-to-back. Once the first course is complete, a layer of topsoil should be added to the base of the wall.

Once the final course of block is laid, the retaining wall can be finished with a cap or coping to add an aesthetic touch. There are a variety of styles and finishes available to choose from, and these can be customized to match the style of your landscaping.