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What Does it Cost to Build a Retaining Wall?

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Are you a homeowner dreaming of enhancing your property’s landscape? Perhaps you envision creating a beautiful garden on a slope or adding some depth and texture to your yard. Well, building a retaining wall might be the solution for you. However, as with any home improvement project, one of the biggest questions on your mind is most likely: “What will this cost me?” In this blog post, we will break down the various factors that determine the cost of building a retaining wall and help you make an informed decision about this addition to your outdoor space.

What is a Retaining Wall?

A retaining wall is a structure that plays a vital role in grading and erosion control. One side of a retaining wall has a visible vertical face resembling any other wall. However, retaining walls differ from free-standing walls in that the back side of a retaining wall will be embedded in a slope.

Setting a wall into a slope helps to hold back the immense weight of the hill. It also allows you to lessen the degree of the slope above and below the wall while providing other benefits. The following section will expand on some of those significant benefits and how they can help improve your property.

Retaining walls come in many different styles – most of which are defined by the materials that make up the wall.

Benefits of Building a Retaining Wall

Those who own sloped lots know that several issues can arise due to the unlevel nature of the ground outside. Not only are sloped sites more prone to erosion, but they also tend to have less usable space. As the list below shows, retaining walls resolve those issues and much more:

  • Erosion control: Since retaining walls lessen the steepness of slopes, they also help to reduce the rate at which those slopes erode.
  • Improved drainage: Well-built retaining walls also feature comprehensive drainage systems. When the water reaches your retaining wall, the drainage structures will capture it and convey it away from the slope.
  • More usable space: Retaining walls allow you to create level spaces, which you can use for outdoor living. Some short retaining walls can even be used as seating.
  • Aesthetic improvements: Along with the functional benefits, retaining walls have the potential to be quite beautiful as well. Some materials, like natural stone, allow your retaining wall to improve the overall visual appeal of your property.

After reading that list, it is clear that a retaining wall has plenty of benefits. However, without understanding the cost, you cannot know if a retaining wall is right for you.

A retaining wall is a structure constructed to hold soil back. Retaining walls are commonly used to prevent soil erosion, for landscaping, and to create a level space on a sloping property.

Average Cost of Building a Retaining Wall

When undertaking a significant project such as building a retaining wall, it is crucial to evaluate the overall cost. When constructing a retaining wall, the total price can vary based on several factors. For instance, the size of the wall, the wall materials, and the construction crew you hire can all influence pricing fluctuations. We can provide an average cost to help you understand whether a retaining wall is in your budget.

Pricing for retaining walls typically depends on the wall’s square footage. You’ll arrive at this square footage figure by multiplying the total length of the proposed wall by the height. After that, you can reproduce the square footage by the average cost per square foot, which is $23 nationally.

Again, it is crucial to understand that the materials used to cover that square footage play a massive role in the price. However, while it may be tempting to seek a cheaper option, choosing a reliable and attractive material will give you a lasting wall that looks great and functions well for years.

How Long Do Retaining Walls Last?

Learn about the average cost of building a retaining wall and how hiring a professional foundation repair contractor can save you time, money, and headaches.

Another essential factor to consider when deciding whether a retaining wall is right for you is the overall longevity of these structures. After all, no one wants to spend large amounts of money on a structure that will need repairs or replacements in the near future.

Fortunately, when a retaining wall is built correctly, it can have an impressive lifespan. Retaining walls made of natural stone, masonry, or concrete and have excellent drainage can last indefinitely. As such, if you build a retaining wall, ensure you hire a team that knows how to get the job done right.

Retaining Wall Alternatives

Although retaining walls are effective, they are out of the price range of some homeowners. If you find that is the case for you and would still like to address the slope-related issues on your property, you should know that you can use some more affordable alternatives.

At times, a steep slope can be fixed by regrading. If you have horizontal space in your yard, you can reshape your slope so it is less steep and less prone to erosion. However, regrading is not always viable if you lack the necessary space to make a less severe slope.

Another alternative is to embed large boulders into the slope. These boulders will add stability to the hill and are considerably less expensive than building an entire retaining wall.

Regardless of how you choose to help add stability to your slopes, adding plants is usually a good idea. Some plants are effective for stabilizing slopes thanks to the strength of their root systems. As the plants develop, their roots will spread and hold more soil.

Have Your Wall Built By a Pro

Deciding whether your property needs a retaining wall is challenging to do on your own. Since that is the case, consulting an expert for advice can be helpful. By seeking the guidance of a professional construction team, you can make a more informed decision about whether a retaining wall is the best approach for your yard.

Additionally, if you have an existing retaining wall, it may require repairs. If so, you’ll also want to find a trustworthy construction team to provide those repairs.

Dalinghaus Construction provides retaining wall repair and a wide range of other services to those in Southern California, Nevada, and Arizona. Contact us today if you want to learn more about what we can offer.


Brian Dalinghaus

Brian is one of the Co-Founders of Dalinghaus Construction. He has been in the foundation repair industry since 2005. During his career, he has been associated with helping over 4,000 homes and structures throughout California and Arizona.

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