Retaining Wall Cost Per Square Foot
As with other building materials such as pavers or roofing, square footage is a convenient way to compare the cost of different types of retaining wall materials. The length of the retaining wall multiplied by its height helps you calculate its total square footage.
The height of the retaining wall is a major factor in determining the total cost of the retaining wall. Higher retaining walls become exponentially more costly, especially after they surpass permit and inspection limits.
For example, a retaining wall that is 50 feet long and two feet high is vastly different from another retaining wall that is 20 feet long but five feet high. Though both walls are 100 square feet, the first wall is so low that nearly any type of material can be used, even ordinary pressure-treated lumber. The second wall requires more robust materials such as large retaining wall blocks and may even require design plans reviewed by a structural engineer.
Tire Retaining Wall Ideas
Good for the environment because they are made of recyclable materials, tire retaining walls are strong, durable, and a viable option for controlling soil erosion. A tire design is very DIY and budget friendly.
A wall of old tires is built by laying tires side by side on flat, cleared ground. The base row of tires is filled with rocks, dirt, sand, or a combination and tamped down more filler material is added as its compacted. Rows are added until the desired height has been reached. Tire walls have known to be as high as 25 feet.
Nitterhouse Masonrys Retaining Wall Products
The material you choose can make or break the appearance of a retaining wall, which is why Nitterhouse Masonry offers a wide range of beautiful and functional retaining wall products, many of which are Allan Block products. Allan Block uses segmental and mortarless blocks with built-in engineering for straightforward construction without the need for footers. This trusted, cost-saving brand has a variety of blocks available and comes in many gorgeous finishes. Other products we carry include anchoring systems and reinforcement fabric, also from reliable manufacturers.
Whichever type of product you choose, know that youre getting the benefit of Nitterhouse Masonrys extensive expertise and customer service.
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Large Concrete Retaining Wall Blocks Cost
Commercial or large concrete retaining wall blocks cost $60 to $270 per linear foot for 3 to 6 tall walls or $20 to $45 per square foot installed. Large concrete retaining wall block prices are $25 to $100 per block, depending on the size.
- Block sizes are from 2x2x2 to 6x2x2 each.
- These larges blocks create a gravity wall, where the mass and weight of the blocks are self-supporting. Each block weighs 1,000 to 3,500 lbs.
- Large blocks are more difficult to transport but quicker to install with heavy machinery.
How To Build A Concrete Wall Figure A: Cross
A cinder block retaining wall is only as straight and solid as the base it’s built on. For a 4-ft. tall wall, excavate a trench deep enough to accommodate 4 to 6 in. of compacted base, 1 in. of leveling sand and half the height of the first course of blocks. Step succeeding courses back 3/4 in., overlap vertical joints at least 4 in. and secure one row to the next with pins. Backfill with crushed rock, except for the top, where you should install a 6-in. cap of native soil to help keep surface water from entering the rock-filled trench. Use concrete adhesive to secure the cap blocks.
Every manufacturer and consultant we contacted stressed the absolute necessity of starting with a solid, level and well-compacted base. Failure to do this will result in a weak, wavy wall. Bear in mind: If your wall is higher than 4 ft., most concrete block manufacturers require extra engineering and installation steps not shown here. These steps range from using special reinforcement fabric to installing a series of terraces rather than one tall wall. Most manufacturers provide good printed installation guidelines. If you purchase your concrete retaining wall blocks from a specialty landscape center, there may be an onsite designer or engineer to help you.
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Brick Retaining Wall Ideas
A brick retaining wall has a classic appearance and timeless appeal. Brick walls can be used to emphasize a certain landscaped area, showcase a herbal garden, or provide added security to your home. Well-constructed and using quality materials, they are strong and long-lasting. Because they need to be well-drained and placed on a rebar-reinforced concrete footing several feet below the surface, most types of brick retaining walls need a mason to install them properly.
A traditional brick retaining wall complements this residential home in Philadelphia. Because of the unevenness of the backyard, the installation of the brick wall turns the sloping landscape into a usable space for the homeowners. Note the weep holes at the bottom of the wall these small openings allow for water within the structure of the wall to drain away. Image source
Water is not a brick walls friend. When cracks appear, they should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent more moisture from getting in. Small cracks in a brick wall are relatively easy to fix large cracks are typically a sign of structural issues.
A long, low retaining wall is constructed of bricks and finished with a row of single wide bricks as a wall topper. Posts divide the retaining for structural support. As a focal point, the wall is made attractive and suits its setting a residential front yard next to a sidewalk with light posts and stairs.
Poured Concrete Retaining Wall Ideas
Poured concrete is the strongest and most durable retaining wall material there is. Extremely adaptable, poured concrete can be made to look like brick or stone using processes such as stamping, staining, veneering, or carving. A poured concrete design must include a concrete footing and weep holes.
The plain gray retaining wall seat is formed from pure cast concrete. But the simple wall is given distinction by the planting of colorful flowers and metal fencing with black ropes. I wonder how did they achieve such a perfect circular shape.
The cement retaining wall is made from individual containers joined together. It gives this garden strength and style, a perfect idea for yards with limited space for a lawn.
This beautiful large wall with its architectural elements makes a stunning focal point. While concrete walls can dominate the landscape, this living wall idea is a vertical garden both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
A modern retaining wall is made of smooth concrete cylinders. Forming a palisade parallel to the sidewalk, the sheer size and solidity are impressive.
Not just a retaining wall with integrated steps, for this modern design the wall is the built-in staircase. The use of simple shapes and the combination of grass and cement make this wall low-maintenance. This design can also be considered multi-level seating.
Simple landscaping solutions are the best this concrete retaining wall encloses the lawn and a pathway of concrete hexagon tiles.
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What Does A Retaining Wall Do
A retaining wall has a crucial role to play. It can have a strictly functional capacity to keep soil in place or a more aesthetic one, shaping and adding visual interest to a yard. These walls stabilize the steep grades in a landscape by holding the soil in place. Retaining walls often fulfill the purpose of keeping erosion at bay, but many people choose to create terraced yards and planting beds, shaping beautiful landscapes with more usable areas.
The side of a retaining wall facing a hill gets completely covered with soil to the top of the wall. On the other side, the ground is level with the walls base. You can learn more about the different types of retaining walls and the basics of how they work in our tips and advice section.
There is also a critical distinction to make between engineered retaining walls and non-engineered walls. While they may seem simple, retaining walls are intricate structures that have to stand up to the effects of gravity at all times. To prevent wall failure and any potential damages or injuries that could occur, always have a retaining wall engineered and installed by a licensed contractor. In some instances, such as walls higher than four feet or walls around parking lots, youll need a licensed engineer, too.
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Faux Stone Block Retaining Wall
Heres a retaining wall made by out of concrete blocks that look like stone. Retaining walls help create more usable flat space in a sloped yard, and concrete materials ensure its built to last. Building a block wall yourself isnt exactly easy, but the steps are straightforward. Just be ready for some heavy lifting.
Ideas And Inspirational Images
Retaining walls are designed to hold back soil and prevent damage from runoff on sloped or elevated properties. Reasons for building a retaining wall include protecting the foundation of a home, diverting runoff away from exterior walls, and increasing the functionality of your yard. Our comprehensive collection of 70 designs includes low cost, inexpensive ideas and also more expensive decorative and creative ideas.
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Whats The Cheapest Type Of Retaining Wall
Wood and masonry retaining wall block are the two cheapest materials to use for building retaining walls.
With wood, 100 square feet of rail ties or six-by-six pressure-treated wood can cost as little as $1,000 to $1,200 on a do-it-yourself basis, up to $2,200 to $4,600 for a higher wall professionally installed.
You can install 100 square feet of small concrete block by yourself for $1,000 to $2,300. Larger decorative blocks professionally installed will cost $2,200 to $4,000.
Reinforced Structural Retaining Walls
For taller walls, 3′ to 50′, retaining wall blocks are combined with soil reinforcement products such as geo-grids, earth anchors, or galvanized steel grid reinforcing. These additional reinforcement products help to create larger composite reinforced soil structures. With a properly designed and engineered combination of products, the reinforced soil mass can support greater earth pressure and surcharge loads.
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Concrete Bag Retaining Wall Cost
Building a 25×3 concrete bag retaining wall costs $360 to $600in materials. A 60- to 80 lb.-bag of concrete mix costs $3 to $5 per bag. Concrete-bag retaining walls are an easy DIY project built by stacking bags up to 2 to 3 tall max.
*For 3 to 6 tall walls.
Many local conditions, including the weather, soil type, and site location all have an impact on the cost to build a concrete retaining wall:
Retaining Wall Labor Cost
Along with the cost of materials, the second half of the pricing equationand sometimes the most important halfis the cost of labor to build the retaining wall.
Generally, contractors will provide you with a quote that includes labor. Labor to build a retaining wall costs from $50 to $75 per hour. If the project requires consultation with a structural engineer, hourly charges range from $100 to $200 per hour.
Labor costs for building retaining walls vary according to the type of wall, season and the current demand for labor.
Masonry retaining block and wood retaining walls can employ some unskilled and semi-skilled workers for hauling gravel, digging out footers and carrying blocks. Wood retaining wall projects, too, are often driven by skilled workers who can oversee less skilled, inexpensive laborers.
Setting rockery walls that are safe and aesthetically pleasing is an art form as much as it is a trade, and this is best left in the hands of skilled, higher-paid workers.
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How To Build A Concrete Wall Prep Work: Materials Tools And Site
The wall we built was a weekend-long project and an exhausting one at that. It took a day to rip out the old, collapsing retaining wall, to dig farther into the hill to provide room for the backfill gravel and to help unload materials. It took another day to install the base, blocks and backfill.
Before launching into this concrete retaining wall project, contact your local building code official. Depending on the height and location of your wall, there may be structural, drainage and setback considerations. A permit may be required.
Unless you own a heavy-duty truck , have your blocks, compactable base gravel, sand and backfill gravel delivered. Blocks may cost slightly more at specialty landscaping stores than at home centers, but landscaping stores are often better equipped to deliver the small batches of base, sand and gravel that youll need for installing the concrete retaining wall blocks. rolling yard.
The Versa-Lok brand retaining wall system we installed uses nylon pins to align and secure horizontal rows of 80-lb. blocks. Other block systems use lips, gravity and filled cores to connect rows and increase strength. Your system may differ, but most of the preparation and installation steps remain the same.
Innovative Concrete Retaining Wall Solutions
MagnumStone is a wet-cast interlocking concrete retaining wall block system that was developed with both the engineer and contractor in mind. MagnumStones hollow core design offers many benefits and superior drainage while the 4,000-PSI concrete provides high strength, low absorption, and great freeze-thaw durability. The lightweight 1,400 lbs large concrete blocks mean installers are able to use smaller equipment and ship retaining blocks to the job site more cost-effectively. Learn more about all of the advantages that MagnumStone concrete wall blocks can offer you.
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Wood Retaining Wall Ideas
Timber is a versatile material because it comes in a wide variety of grains, colors, and textures like smooth planks or logs. Wood retaining walls must be straight it cant be shaped into curves like stone or brick. Even though the wood is treated to prevent rotting, it will eventually need replacing.
A landscape timber retaining wall is ideal for a backyard or garden. Walls with weathered wood finishes give landscaping a rustic appearance while lighter stained wood walls have a modern, contemporary feel. Different wood types can be used. Be creative install lengths of wood horizontally or vertically for maximum visual impact.
Retaining wall ideas for a rustic landscape include distressed timber and knots in the boards. Using timber that has been weathered to varying degrees lends hints of color to the wall.
Using standard sized treated pine, this retaining wall encloses the corner of the property. It gets its strength from the posts, constructed in such a way to prevent settling.
Strong and sturdy, a pressure treated wood retaining wall is shared by two yards. When the wall straddles both property lines, both homeowners will typically share the costs of building and/or maintaining the wall. However, if it sits squarely on only one property, it is generally the responsibility of that owner.
Excavate And Level The Base
Excavate and level the area where you’ll be installing the wall. Use a transit or a 4-ft. level taped to a straight 2×4 to establish a common stake height, indicating the top of your sand leveling bed . Create a flat area at least 4 to 6 in. deep and 24 to 28 in. wide for installing the compactable base material. Provide a clear area of at least 12 in. behind the wall for installing the crushed rock.
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Inexpensive Retaining Wall Ideas
Retaining walls are certainly costly. But with a bit of planning and various options for your materials, you can surely save a great deal of cash and surprisingly still have an appealing retaining wall with inexpensive retaining wall ideas.
Indeed, concrete is one of the most tough and durable materials for a retaining wall. However, it is additionally one of the most costly retaining wall ideas. In particular, poured concrete is the most costly choice, and it can cost around $30 to $40 per square foot. In the event that you want the vibe of concrete, you can save money by picking interlocking concrete blocks, which can cost you around $15 per square foot. Although the wall will be similarly as solid and as strong, you can save almost half on the materials. On the other hand, interlocking concrete is additionally the best alternative for toughness. Meanwhile, the interlocking bricks can move slightly during heavy downpours or earthquake, offering some flexibility that can avoid damage.
Stone is also a well-known natural material option for making a retaining wall. Be that as it may, you should strengthen the stone with a steel mesh or mortar to give some extra support. While stone can be more costly than interlocking concrete blocks, it is more affordable than poured concrete. Also, one approach to get a good deal on stone is to look for recycled materials. You can look through a local surplus or reuse store for your cheap retaining wall ideas.
Attractive And Durable Retaining Walls And Landscaping Blocks
A.J. Foss precast concrete retaining wall landscaping blocks are an economical way to create strong and attractive retaining walls that complement any landscape.
Crafted with our high-strength 5,000 psi, Type III cement, our precast concrete retaining wall landscaping blocks feature an attractive finished side that looks like split-faced granite.
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