Cost to Build a Retaining Wall

Cost to Build a Retaining Wall

What does it cost to build a retaining wall? A landscape contractor charges $1,219 to build a retaining wall or do it yourself for $501 and save 58 percent. To adjust the cost, enter your ZIP Code.

National Average Improvement and Repair Cost
Diy Logo Hours Pro 12.3 DIY 14.0
Money Pro $1219 DIY $501
Per Square Foot Cost
Per SF Cost $40.63 Total Cost

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

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 2020

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