By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Today there are a variety of choices when it comes to choosing a retaining wall to hold back runoff in a terraced area. Those made of concrete are particularly popular because they are easy to use and come in a nice selection of natural shades and a variety of shapes and textures that enhance a landscape. Stacking concrete blocks with an interlocking lip or tongue-and-groove systems are a good choice especially if this is your first landscaping project. But it's tough work that takes time and involves laying out the design, digging a trench for the blocks and hauling all the materials, including the blocks, soil or pea gravel used for backfill.
For a 30-foot square concrete block retaining wall, a landscaper will charge $1,219 which includes labor and material. You can buy the materials for $501 and do it yourself and save 58 percent. If more than one level and terracing are needed, and if soil erosion is an issue, consider hiring a landscape architect to design the project. Specify you want to use materials designed for a do-it-yourselfer, and get recommendations for the type of plantings to use. Large garden and lawn centers often offer this service if you buy the materials there for a nominal fee.
To help you estimate the materials for a wall project use the calculator at www.versa-lok.com.
Not sure you want to tackle this job? To find a landscape contractor who has the skills and tools to do it right, click
Home Advisor, a free referral service that connects homeowners with local prescreened contractors.
The materials to build a retaining wall system can be heavy and bulky to transport. Unless you have a pick up truck it’s a good idea to have the supplier deliver and unload them near the job site in your yard.
The average price to build a retaining wall noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself. Tweak the data by adding your ZIP Code to find a local cost.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2019
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.