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How Much Does it Cost to Install a Retaining Wall?

Compare Retaining Wall Installation Price Quotes

If your home is on a sloped property, or you’re looking to control erosion or runoff, you might want to have a retaining wall built. Retaining walls are stabilizing structures that keep the earth in place, particularly where there are steep slopes.

There are varying types of retaining walls. Some are made from concrete, others with stone or timber. Some look like traditional walls, while others have gradual steps or tiers for a more attractive look and better erosion control. Often, retaining walls have small holes to allow water to escape, which protects the integrity of the structure.

Cost to Install a Retaining Wall

The price of a retaining wall depends on its size (length and height), configuration, materials used, local labor rates and features (decorative or not).

  • Wooden retaining walls are the least expensive, averaging about $15 to $25 per square foot, including labor.
  • Retaining walls made of poured concrete or interlocking blocks cost about $25 to $50 per square foot, including labor.
  • Natural stone retaining walls, the most expensive, cost about $30 to $60 per square foot installed.
Average Retaining Wall Installation Prices

Fancy or decorative features will increase the total cost. Budget extra if you want curved walls, lighting, steps or other upgrades. If you opt for several decorative features, you could be looking at an additional $20 per square foot or more.

Professional or DIY Installation?

Because retaining walls can be expensive, many people consider tackling the job themselves. The task is doable for the skilled handyman, but novice builders and landscapers should think twice. Improperly installed, a retaining wall is likely to crack, lean or fail entirely - potentially damaging your house and certainly damaging your yard. The job requires significant skill and know-how.

Even if you’re confident in your DIY skills, be sure to read tips and advice from experts before beginning the job. Check out this guide from the DIY Network or this one from The Family Handyman.

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