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Retaining Wall Cost

Updated on February 4, 2013

Garden Retaining Wall

Block Retaining Walls

The popularity of block retaining walls has grown exponentially in the past few decades. Their practical design and durability are an easy and economical method to increase property values and beautify your home or business. From the perpective of the novice building one may appear a daunting task. Do not fear there are many resources and tips to build yours this spring.

Height of Wall - Over or under three feet.

The first big question is the height of the retaining wall. Planning a retaining wall that is more than knee-high, will result in higher costs. There are many factors that have to be considered when building a wall that is more than a few courses, stones, or bricks tall. A professional is needed to engineer the stability of the wall. To compensate for the wall’s instability a foundation must be set that is the proper depth and width. Then you have to construct the wall so that the pull of gravity actually makes it sturdier over time – rather than making it weaker. With regards to this article we will focus on under three feet.

Wall Blocks

Marking Supplies

May you be a homeowner or contractor the same supplies will apply. First you will need steaks, nylon masons string, marking paint, and a tape measure. These tools are used for marking the location of your project. The instructions of your wall will show how to mark the proper outline.

EP Henry Price List

Block Pricing

Wall blocks come on pallets. There are a variety of different shapes and sizes. Do not get overwhelmed by all the options available. The three main factors are size, shape, and texture. Browse for the look that you like. Shopping for a wall is not like buying milk at the grocery store. The lowest price should not be the deciding factor. Find three styles that meet your needs than see which has the best price performance.

Stone and Sand

A clean base stone called 2B is needed for your wall. You must tamp this down and then add a layer of sand. These supplies can be delivered by bag, bucket, or bulk. If you choose to get bulk remember to buy a tarp to ensure the sand does not erode during rain storms.

99 Cent Wall Block

99 cent Walls
99 cent Walls | Source

Mix and Match Wall Blocks

Keep in mind deals that there are deals out there. Many yards have wall blocks from a style that was discontinued the year before. To lower my retaining wall cost I mixed and matched new blocks with old blocks. This gave me a unique style and lowered the total cost. Once again do not mix and match for walls over 3 feet tall as this wall.


Remember all these supplies need to be delivered. Even if you own a pickup truck, the weight of most block pallets will be over your 2 ton limit. Schedule to have a professional boom truck bring the supplies to your job site.

Measure, Plan, Build

Each job is different. There is no one set price for retaining walls. But as they say in the marines a failure to plan is a plan to fail. Make a binder and gather all the info. Add up all the supply costs first then go and find block prices. Even if you choose in the end to have a contractor install your wall this planis pivotal to stay on the same page as them.


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    • SolveMyMaze profile image


      8 months ago

      Another excellent hub. I agree with your thoughts on mixing and matching the old and new blocks. It makes for a more interesting look than just having it all uniform. I’ve seen more than my fair share of people take on building jobs (nor just for retaining walls) without even measuring the area out first! You’re spot on about planning it out in its entirety.


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