How Much Does a Retaining Wall Cost?

If you’re thinking about building a retaining wall in your garden, and you’re wondering “How much does it cost to build a retaining wall?”

Many homeowners need help to keep their yards and gardens attractive and useful.

This is also a common question for homeowners looking to make their property more attractive and useful.

Using these guidelines, we will determine the cost of retaining wall installation based on the size of the project, material selection, and location.

How much will it Cost to Build a Retaining Wall?

Retaining walls cost $20 to $50 per square foot and $40 to $300 per linear foot, while materials cost $5 to $20 per square foot, and labor $10 to $30 per square foot.

Cost of Retaining Wall Based on Project Size:

Small Retaining Wall:

Small concealment walls can cost between $400 and $9,000.

It can be used in small yards, driveways, and patios.

Walls will help prevent soil erosion and ensure that your site is level regardless of soil conditions.

They make a beautiful decoration for any room.

Large Retaining Wall:

Building the most enormous retaining wall is estimated to cost between $2,000 and $54,000.

Large walls are needed for areas with steep slopes, beaches, swimming pools, big yards, etc.

They are very durable and expensive owing to the requirement of better materials to ensure the project is built.

Cost To Build a Retaining Wall by Material Type:

Cost To Build a Retaining Wall by Material Type:

Steel, concrete, stone, and other components required to construct a wall are among the highest-priced to build a retaining wall.

The table below illustrates the amount per square foot for the most popular wall materials for retaining walls.

If you want to build a 2-foot-high wall, multiply the cost by two square feet to calculate costs per linear foot.

If you’re looking to build walls at a height of 4 or 6 feet, multiply the cost of building materials for each square foot.

To estimate the price per linear foot, follow the same procedure.

Vinyl Retaining Wall:

Vinyl walls cost between $10 and $15 per square foot.

It is functional with few aesthetic choices, but it’s light and tiny and an excellent choice for those on a tight budget.

It’s an ideal choice for small retaining walls that don’t have to bear much weight.

Railroad Tie Retaining Wall:

These retaining walls made of railroad tie cost around $25 to $30 per square foot.

Due to the harmful coal-tar creosote used to prevent rot, railroad tie retaining walls were more typical in older homes.

Your consultant will inform you when rail connections are available in your region.

Wood or Timber Retaining Wall:

These walls are wood retaining walls and cost $15-$30 for each square foot.

Wooden retaining walls are a practical and cost-effective way to maintain a yard’s overall sense of beauty from nature.

Your retaining wall might last up to 20 years If you take care of the wood with waterproofing.

Brick Retaining Wall:

Retaining walls with bricks cost between $20 and $25 per square foot.

The retaining wall can be built with bricks in various colors that are one brick thick (Wythe) and joined to a block or concrete exterior.

If you want to increase the curb appeal of your retaining wall, you can personalize the bricks by choosing a customized shade or texture.

Rammed Earth Retaining Wall:

Rammed earth walls are environmentally friendly and made by compacting earth with a binder-like cement.

These walls give concrete strength and cost 20 to 25 cents per square foot.

Gabion Retaining Wall:

Building a gabion wall costs between $10 and $40 per square foot.

Gabions are installed on lake shores and steep slopes to avoid soil erosion; they are rough wire boxes filled with rocks and stones.

These walls are cost-effective alternatives; however, they could be more visually appealing.

They require little maintenance, change the soil regularly, and do not require a strong foundation.

Natural Stone Retaining Wall:

The price per square foot for this retaining wall will range between $20 and $100.

Granite costs $20 to $45 per square foot, including labor, whereas limestone costs $50 to $100 per square foot.

Stacked masonry walls are the most common and durable, with choices for wet (using mortar) or dry (using gravity only).

Wet stacking is likely the most environmentally friendly method when holding tons of soil, but dry stacking is more accessible and less labour-intensive.

Stone veneer is another choice, which provides strength and decoration while reducing expenses by protecting the concrete base with a skinny stone coating.

Block Retaining Wall:

Block walls cost $10 to $50 per square foot to maintain.

Cinder blocks cost around $10–$15, while concrete blocks vary from $30-$50.

Segmental or interlocking walls can be either dry stone, stackable, or reinforced with concrete and cinder blocks.

Concrete offers many decorative options for your walls, making them extremely attractive.

Concrete blocks arise in a variety of sizes, colors, and textures, which can enable you to customize your wall.

Poured concrete is heavy; however, it is more expensive.

I Beam Retaining Wall:

I-beam walls range from $40 to $90 per square foot.

These retaining walls are often known as soldier piles, I-beams that are concreted into holes and sandwiched between precast concrete panels made of steel or wood slats.

These walls are popular among homeowners for designating property lines and preventing landscape erosion.

Steel or Metal Retaining Wall:

Steel retaining walls cost between $15 and $150 per square foot, while steel sheet piling retaining walls cost $15 to $60 per square foot.

These walls support deep excavations or hold back debris near a structure, a deep terrace, or a long drop.

If you choose Cor-ten Steel (often referred to as Weathering Steel or the brand name COR-TEN), the cost varies from $75 to $150 per square foot.

Since steel tends to rust, especially in coastal areas, homeowners like to invest in weathering steel that has a decades-long lifespan.

Some installers use a sheet of Cor-ten over a wood or concrete wall as a wallet-friendly alternative that offers extra protection.

Concrete Retaining Wall:

Concrete retaining walls cost $30 to $50 per square foot.

You can choose dry-stacked or reinforced blocks, verve with poured concrete, or add veneer to concrete walls to give them a little personality.

How much does a cement concrete retaining wall cost?

The construction of a concrete wall for retaining costs between $300 and $20,000, and the average homeowner will spend around $5,000.

How much does a poured concrete retaining wall cost?

The cost of poured concrete ranges between $300 to $20,000, and a homeowner constructed a concrete retaining wall at $5000.

Wall MaterialCost Range per Square Foot (All-in)Average Cost per Square Foot (All-in)
Vinyl$10 – $15$12.50
Railroad Ties (Wood)$25 – $30$27.50
Timber$15 – $30$22.50
Brick$20 – $25$22.50
Rammed Earth$20 – $25$22.50
Gabion$10 – $40$25
Stone$20 – $100$25
Block$10 to $50$30
I Beam$40 – $90$65
Steel$15 – $150$82.50
Concrete$30 – $50$40

Cost To Build a Retaining Wall by Type:

Cost To Build a Retaining Wall by Type

Gravity Retaining Wall:

Gravity retaining walls cost 10 to 30$ per square foot.

The wall constructed from a variety of materials, such as stacked stone, concrete, and railroad ties, is a gravity wall.

It relies on weight and mass to back up the soil; thus, it is ideal for building smaller walls.

If you want to get higher, then make it stronger.

Anchored Retaining Wall:

A standard anchoring retaining wall will cost between $10 and $30 per square foot.

It involves upholding up gravity walls.

Technically, it is a combination of two differing kinds: gravity and reinforced retaining wall.

Hybrid Retaining Wall:

The construction of a hybrid retaining wall can range from $10 to $30 per square foot.

It is an additional way of combining two types of walls: cantilevered and gravity walls.

It is a standard method used for the reinforcement of walls regarding their stability and strength.

Sheet Piling Retaining Wall:

Sheet piling retaining walls range in price from $10 to $50 per square foot.

It is an excellent choice for small spaces for a thin wall.

It is produced by pushing a thin wall made of vinyl, wood, or steel straight into the ground.

Above the earth, a thin part of the structure is also visible.

Counterfort Retaining Wall:

Counterfort retaining walls cost between $15 and $25 per square foot, composed of masonry or concrete reinforced with steel bars.

A cantilever wall with “wings” or sections rotating in different directions along the sides.

It is a good choice for pool areas or sections of landscaping.

MSE Retaining Wall:

Construction of mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) retaining walls costs approximately $15 to $30 per square foot.

These walls are made of soil and compacted backfill placed in layers.

The layers cause tension and friction when combined with gravity, improving the wall’s stability.

Then, they are fixed on the face of the wall, which is relatively thin. It stabilizes while being flexible.

Semi-Gravity Retaining Wall:

Semi-gravity retaining walls average cost around $15 to $30 per sq. ft.

This gravity wall uses less than an inch of steel reinforcement on the backside of the structure.

Small walls can be made use of at affordable costs, and they are only sometimes applied in the deep foundations.

Segmental Retaining Wall:

The segmental or modular retaining walls cost between $15 and $35 per square foot.

These walls can also serve for vertical grade changes, which may be designed as either reinforced soil walls or gravity retaining walls.

They are made with modular concrete blocks that interlock; they are best for slop supports and widening regions.

Hence, they are also referred to as interlocking retaining walls.

Cantilever Retaining Wall:

Cantilevered walls or reinforced walls may be higher than other types.

The construction costs approximately $25 per square foot.

It can be made of stone block or concrete masonry.

They are longer lasting as they include steel bars.

Rammed Earth Retaining Wall:

Rammed earth retaining walls cost $20-$25 per square foot.

The walls are minimally decorated with clay and a well-compacted soil mixture that holds the clay firm.

They do not apply other materials such as blocks, stone, or concrete.

Cost To Install a Retaining Wall by Location:

Install a Wall by Location

A combination of labor and location will determine how much it will cost to build a retaining wall in your area.

Expect higher prices if:

Your property is in an earthquake zone because more engineering and labor are required to provide a solid structural foundation.

Making a retaining wall earthquake-resistant costs an average of 5% to 10% extra.

The material you want to use is not widely available in your area.

Some materials like natural stone are more readily available in some areas of the country than others.

You will need to pay the transportation costs if your landscaping contractor has purchased from far away.

Your area needs a high cost of living.

The costs of labor and materials depend on local living conditions relatively severely.

How Much Does a Retaining Wall Cost Per Linear Foot:

How Much Does a Retaining Wall Cost Per Linear Foot

In the calculation of the average price for your wall, measure its height and length.

Retaining walls come in all different sizes. You should know the size of the build to find the right price.

Total cost is affected by building materials as well as a chosen site location.

How Much Does a 3-Foot Retaining Wall Cost?

A three-foot block retaining wall is priced according to materials used, wall design, and labor costs in your region.

Yet, it is important to emphasize what is generally expected in the market concerning such kind of construction.

Accordingly, you are likely to part with about $15-$50 per square foot for a 3-foot retaining wall.

A conventional three-foot retaining wall costs about $45 per square foot.

Here is a breakdown of the average cost of different types of retaining wall materials:

  • Concrete blocks: $15-$35 per square foot.
  • Natural stone: $35-$120 per square foot.
  • Lumber: $10-$55 per square foot.
  • Steel: $65-$150 per square foot.

How Much Does a 4-Foot Retaining Wall Cost?

A typical cost for a four-foot retaining wall is affected by the type of material used.

The cost of a 4-foot retaining will be around 20$ to 60$/sq. ft influence by design elements and labor rates around you.

You will spend around $40 for a basic four-foot-high retaining wall.

Here is a breakdown of the average cost of different types of retaining wall materials:

  • Concrete blocks: $20-$45 per square foot.
  • Natural stone: $45-$150 per square foot.
  • Lumber: $15-$65 per square foot.
  • Steel: $75-$175 per square foot.

How Much Does a 6-Foot Retaining Wall Cost?

The cost of a 6-foot retaining wall is determined by the material selected, the complexity of the construction, and local labor expenses.

A typical 6-foot wall costs around $ 50 per square foot.

Here is a breakdown of the typical cost of several types of retaining wall materials:

  • Concrete blocks: $30-$55 per square foot.
  • Natural stone: $55-$200 per square foot.
  • Lumber: $20-$75 per square foot.
  • Steel: $85-$225 per square foot.

How Much does a 40-foot retaining wall cost?

The cost of a 40-foot wall will also be determined by the materials used, the design selected, and labor costs.

A conventional 40-foot retaining wall costs between $ 1600 to $ 12,000.

The following is a breakdown of the average cost per linear foot of various retaining wall materials:

  • Concrete blocks: $40-$150 per linear foot.
  • Natural stone: $150-$500 per linear foot.
  • Steel: $200-$600 per linear foot.
  • Lumber: $50-$200 per linear foot.

How Much Does a 50-Foot Retaining Wall Cost?

The hiring of a fifty-foot retaining wall would depend on the types of material, design complexity, as well as local profits.

A 50-foot-long retaining wall would cost between $ 40 and $ 300 per linear foot.

Here is a breakdown of the average cost per linear foot of different types of retaining wall materials:

  • Concrete blocks: $40-$150 per linear foot.
  • Natural stone: $150-$500 per linear foot.
  • Steel: $200-$600 per linear foot.
  • Lumber: $50-$200 per linear foot.

DIY Retaining Wall Vs. Hiring A Pro:

The labor costs from $50 to $75 per hour depending on the type of the selected interlocking retaining wall blocks; building might take three days or even more.

However, this will enable you to save a substantial proportion, but only if it’s a short wall with lightweight materials.

You would need a structural engineer for walls taller than four feet, and even smaller walls can only succeed with proper drains.

It is advisable to hire a retaining wall installer.

Cost To Rebuild or Replace a Retaining Wall:

Replacing or rebuilding a retaining wall is costly.

The cost of the materials, location, and labor determine the size as well as the height of the wall.

Accordingly, it will cost you from $6,000 to $ 14,500 to renovate or substitute them.

The cost of repairing your retaining wall will also average $150-$1,500.

Additional costs could be related to the excavation of the site, the installation of drainage, backfill, permits, and inspection.

It can also be practical to engage with local contractors who know the actual cost of construction materials for building in an area.

Rebuild or Replace a Wall

Factors Influencing Labor Costs:

In any home improvement project, the total cost of building a retaining wall will depend on several factors, such as:

Size and Length:

The size of your retaining wall plays a significant role in determining its cost.

Depending on a particular 2m wall (length, breadth, height) with a retaining wall, the average cost falls between $40 and $345 / linear feet.

Wall Location:

The site location is vital in describing the design, construction cost, and specification.

They comprise grading/slope, site constraints, soil conditions, and wall construction certificates.

To make sure that this wall will be stable in performance and meet local legislative requirements.


Constructing a retaining wall relies on the topography of the land and the type of soil.

If the land has hills, and the labor cost rises more than fifty percent, constructing a retaining will become complicated.


The cost of installing a retaining wall is dependent on the material.

As an example, vinyl is cheaper and lightweight and costs $5 to $10 per linear foot, while expensive natural stone may cost up to $50 to $150 per linear foot.


The task of constructing a retaining wall could be very demanding.

As a result, labor costs can accumulate very fast.

The project’s grade of complexity, wall size, and the kind of material, the labor cost can be between

$15 to $40 per square foot.

However, the majority of the contractors charge an average of $50-75 for every hour.


Since an effective retaining wall prevents soil erosion and encourages drainage, an adequate drainage system would significantly enhance the lifespan of the wall.

Ensure that your contractor includes proper drainage during installation, whether he employs drainage pipe, gravel, deep holes, or crib block designs.

Expect to be charged anywhere from $80 to $120 for an excavation of your retaining wall if there are drainage problems in it.

Soil Type:

Another crucial consideration when undertaking a retaining wall estimate is the soil type on your land, as certain wall procedures work better in specific types of soils than others.

If your soil is more clayish, then it will not hold heavier retaining wall materials.

And if it is rocky terrain, it may involve excavating and leveling up some rocks on your property.

The more labor, the greater the cost of the retaining wall.

Additional Costs and Considerations:

The price of retaining walls is very much related to length and difficulty.

In essence, it implies that you must talk to more than one contractor to pick a better contractor.

However, here are some additional considerations when pricing a retaining wall installation:

Time of year:

Retaining walls can be installed irrespective of the season, but the cost will include extra construction and labor because digging works should be done beneath the frost level during winter time.

In spring or autumn, we should provide estimated work and quotes ahead of time to avoid it becoming freezing in a particular area.


Retaining wall waterproofing should be done because it is a delicate process.

Water may saturate wall joints, thereby leading to structural damage that may result in severe problems in the future.

The cost of waterproofing typically falls between two and ten dollars per square foot.

Geographical Location:

The most significant issue when predicting project costs is project area.

The cost varies with labor rate variance, variety in material availability, characteristics that conflict with the site, and different local building codes.


Make sure to confirm with your county regulations before you start erecting a retaining wall on your compound.

A permit is necessary for the wall if it is 3 or 4 feet tall in many areas.

Moreover, authorizations could be an additional amount ranging from 50 to 450 dollars.

Benefits of Installing a Retaining Wall

Benefits of Installing a Retaining Wall:

It is a beneficial venture in some situations.

They can help control erosion, prevent land sliding, stabilize hillsides, control flooding, provide additional areas in a garden, and increase the value of a house.

Yard Extension:

Scenes such as hilly or sloping ones are awe-inspiring.

However, it may be challenging to make and sustain a natural landscape.

Constructing a retaining wall or a series of retaining walls will transform your landscape into a level ground fitting for a garden or a patio.

Curb Appeal:

You should invest in a retaining wall in your yard.

Retaining walls are also functional structures that can increase the value of a home by 15%.

Stops Erosion:

Such grass cover can also play many roles, such as sustaining the fertility of sloping land.

It surrounds the septic tanks and acts as a visual barrier and soil erosion control.

Creates Water Barrier:

Using retaining walls is the standard feature you can see in your yard to help with water management.

Retaining walls serve as a supplementary measure against erosion, or a restraining of water might be appropriate for those who reside close to the shoreline or any other body of water.

Stormwater that collects at the edges of your home’s foundation is also captured by a retaining wall to level the height of your lawn.

How much does a Retaining Wall Cost

Tips to Save on the Cost of a Retaining Wall:

Maintenance of the walls throughout the planning takes a lot of labor.

It’s a challenging job with minimal financial requirements.

Here are some cost-saving ideas for individuals who are building retaining walls on a tight budget.

1. Keep it short: Make sure your wall is not more than four feet.

Thus, the cost of using a structural engineer and labor costs associated with the foundation

2. Mix Ingredients:

Depending on how your wall is designed, you can save money by combining components.

Usually, a steel retaining wall is used.

On the other hand, you can choose the less costly solution and utilize a wooden or steel-faced wall that will save costs by 25% to 50%.

3. Make use of recycled materials:

This can help you save money, especially if you possess a retaining wall that is in good condition.

You might be able to obtain recycled materials at a reduced cost from your contractor.

4. Do some heavy lifting:

While you can only build part of a retaining wall, you can still save costs by working on the project yourself.

For example, you may level out land, carry out some preparation work, or finish landscaping without a professional.

5. Combine Projects:

If you expect to perform a lot of yard work, incorporate your retaining wall in a larger landscape project.

Some of these contractors provide discounts when undertaking many projects.

6. Avoid Mid-Winter Construction:

It is almost impossible to build a wall when the ground is frozen during winter.

It can increase costs, so plan your project in spring or fall.

You can also build it during early winter when the ground is still yet to freeze up.

It is possible to save some money because contractors are usually not busy by this time.

Also read: How To Build a Retaining Wall on a Slope?

When to Install a Retaining Wall:

If you are developing an area like a patio, bridge, or sloping ground, you have to install a retaining wall.

Maintaining soil slopes greater than 35 degrees may become unsafe and unstable depending on the ground.

Any time of year and almost all-weather conditions allow for the construction of retaining walls.

It can make it hard to excavate below the frost line if the ground is frozen.

Also read: How To Build a Concrete Retaining Wall?

Estimated Labor Hours:

You should also determine the number of labor hours necessary for your retaining wall project to gauge labor costs properly.

Here’s a basic formula to help you get started:

Hours of labor = Wall Length / Work Rate + Additional Labor.

Wall Length: To find the distance, multiply the feet units of measurement.

Work Rate: It is the speed of construction by your preferred team for per one-foot length of wall.

Additional Labor: The extra hours worked as a result of complications and particular site issues.

Also read: How To Build a Railroad Tie Retaining Wall?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. What is the cost of a retaining wall in India?

RCC retaining walls are more expensive, which costs an average of Rs 33,115 and the price for the geo-grid type is Rs 21736 for a 6-meter height.

2. What is the least expensive type of retaining wall?

The most economical materials for retaining walls are concrete blocks or wood, followed by poured concrete, bricks and stone.

3. Can you build a retaining wall by yourself?

Building a low-level retaining wall is a simple do-it-yourself project that provides lots of advantages and landscaping opportunities.

4. Do you need planning permission for retaining wall?

In most cases, if walls are higher than a specific limit, you may need to get permission.
Therefore, it is essential to seek advice from local laws and get a legitimate permit to avoid legal problems.

5. What is the best way to drain a retaining wall?

Adequate drainage is important, hence choose an expert who will plan a drain so water cannot gather and harm your home.

6: Do retaining walls add value to my property?

If carefully designed, it can beautify your property at a glance.

7: What is the minimum thickness of retaining wall as per IS code?

The minimum thickness is not less than 300 mm.

Also read: How To Build a Retaining Wall Around a Tree on a Slope?


The cost of a retaining wall depends on the material, height, length, design and more.

A good contractor can provide you with a detailed estimate that should be referred to help in calculating all the necessary costs.

Remember that a decent retaining wall is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

So, when you ask, “How much does a retaining wall cost?” Think about it as a valuable contribution to the charm and integrity of your backyard.

Section Under: Retaining Walls

Hello and welcome to House Modify! I am Rahul and I am passionate about everything related to design, decoration and renovation. I am a serial renovator, currently working as a civil engineer. Take a look around, leave a comment and don't forget to subscribe to my emails so you don't miss out!

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