How Much Does a Retaining Wall Cost?

If you are thinking of adding a reinforced area to your property, you are probably curious about your retaining wall cost. Of course, one major thing to consider is if you intend to tackle the task yourself or hire a professional landscaper or contractor to get the job done. One important thing to keep in mind is that a reinforcement wall of over two feet could be something better suited for a professional.

etaining Wall Cost

Also, you must first check about codes in your area to find out what is required to build this on your property. Finally, make sure you keep in mind that you must be sure your wall does not cause water or drainage runoff to head in the direction of your home, especially the foundation. This can cause major problems that come with a big price tag.

About Your Wall

There are many reasons someone might choose to add a retaining wall to their property. Most commonly this is for reinforcement, to help prevent soil erosion or simply to add to the look of a yard. For many homeowners a wall like this is the only way to have certain areas of their sloped yard that could hold a flower or other style of garden.

Here is what you should know about finding an estimate for your retaining wall cost:

  • Excavation and materials are generally your highest costs unless you are hiring someone to do the job and labor could be one of the biggest expenses as well. The amount of excavation required depends on the job you need done. For some jobs, it could be as simple as shoveling this yourself. Other jobs require the use of excavator, backhoe or grader as well.
  • Keep in mind when it comes to materials there is more involved than just what the wall is made of. For example, you will also need the backfill materials and other little details. You have some choices about the materials but some of the most common choices for building a retainer wall include concrete, stone and brick. For ornamental walls as opposed to large walls needed to truly reinforce you can also use more decorative materials like patio stones.
  • Your best bet is to get some estimates about getting the job done. Get feedback from these professionals and find out if it would even be realistic to get this job done on your own. Also, find out what each of these estimates includes. Will there be additional charges for renting equipment or is that included? Is the work guaranteed or will you be looking at more expenses if the wall starts to have problems after completion?

Some Estimates for Numbers

Much of an estimate depends on the slope of your yard, the size of the wall and the materials you use. Not to mention even where you live could impact the fees. A busy Miami Florida landscaper may cause more than the small town suburbs of somewhere in Iowa. Taking all of this into consideration, here is the rough estimate:

  • For a 25 foot square wall done by a professional would probably average around $950 dollars. This is an estimate also based on using concrete for your materials. To complete this project yourself the cost comes out to around or just under $400. Of course, the thing to take into consideration is also that you may save money but only if you get the job done correctly and do not run into any expensive surprises.
  • As mentioned earlier, if you are doing this project and it will be above a certain height or the degree of slope is severe you should consider hiring an expert and licensed professional. Also, if either soil erosion or ensuring the drainage does not run towards the house is a concern, you should also only move forward with the project by hiring a professional.
  • The steps for smaller retaining walls are not that complicated though. The process involves marking the area, digging your trench and building up your wall based on the materials you use. Keep in mind if you build it yourself to make it a point to build at a slight angle towards the area being reinforced. This way, over time the pressure will cause the wall to shift into a straight line instead of from straight to angled away from the area. Your back fill is also important as it helps fill in this space. Also, make sure you allow for drainage. Gravel at the base is a great way to ensure this. Also, creating tunnels about as big as your screwdriver helps with this. Fill these holes with gravel for support and for the water to still be able to move through easily.

Hiring a Professional

So you have decided to bring in an expert to get the job done. Even if the price is slightly higher you can rest assured to job will be done correctly. If not, make sure you also hire someone who guarantees their work in case there are mistakes to be fixed. For that reason, it is also important that whoever you hire is insured. When it comes to hiring a pro, keep this in mind too:

  • It is important to only work with a licensed and insured professional for whatever home repairs or improvements you want done. It is also a good idea to verify or even get copies for your own records. It is not about being paranoid but it is about protecting yourself in the case of an incident.
  • Ask people you know for recommendations. Being able to see the work first hand is one of the most important aspects to hiring a professional. If you are trying to decide between different pros you should also ask to see samples of their finished work.
  • Get estimates in writing. Also, if any changes are made make sure these are noted and initialed.

If your yard could use some renovation, a retaining wall could be the ideal fixer-upper approach.