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