How Much Do Retaining Walls Cost To Build?

by | Nov 9, 2023

residential retaining wall

Retaining walls can transform your property by preventing soil erosion, managing drainage, and elevating your landscape’s aesthetic. However, building a properly functioning retaining wall is complicated. 

When done right, with the proper materials and engineering, costs add up. In this blog post, we’ll break down everything that goes into retaining wall costs so you can budget appropriately.


What Is a Retaining Wall? 

A retaining wall is a partial wall that creates a barrier where you would otherwise have a slope, essentially holding back soil and preventing erosion. Retaining walls serve several important functions: 

  • They prevent soil erosion by securing the landscape. 
  • They help manage drainage by controlling water flow. 
  • Retaining walls can create flat, usable areas where previously the yard sloped. 
  • They can elevate landscape designs by allowing for terracing and unique shapes.

Properly building a retaining wall requires expertise, as any improper hardscape installation can lead to failure over time. The right materials, design, and construction techniques are vital to creating sturdy, long-lasting retaining walls and avoiding headaches down the road. Working with qualified professionals ensures your retaining wall will stand the test of time by avoiding common retaining walls do’s and don’ts.


Average Retaining Wall Cost 

What can you expect to pay for a retaining wall? The average cost ranges from $6,000 to $10,000 nationally. However, your specific project cost depends on several factors. 

Smaller, shorter, basic retaining walls can cost less than $6,000. Large retaining walls, tiered designs, and complex installations with added features often exceed $10,000.

Understanding the variables that impact pricing allows you to budget realistically. The main factors that influence retaining wall costs include:

  • Wall size — length, height, and depth
  • Materials used — concrete, stone, wood, etc.
  • Site conditions — slope, soil, access
  • Special engineering needs
  • Decorative finishes and features

We’ll explore these cost factors in more detail throughout this guide. Keeping your unique project parameters in mind will help you estimate pricing accurately.


Factors That Affect Retaining Wall Cost 

When budgeting for a retaining wall, it’s important to understand what factors affect the final price. This allows you to plan and estimate costs accurately.


The cost of retaining walls is typically calculated per linear foot, meaning the longer and taller the wall, the more it will cost.

 A wall that is 100 feet long and 6 feet tall will need far more materials and labor than one that is 20 feet long and 3 feet tall. The sheer size of large retaining walls drives up costs exponentially.


The location of the retaining wall significantly influences the complexity of the design and construction process. 

Important site factors like slope, soil conditions, accessibility, and permitting requirements all impact the difficulty level. 

For example, building on an uneven or steep slope requires more complex engineering and extra labor for stabilization.


Retaining wall materials range widely in cost per linear foot, with cheaper options like vinyl and wood versus premium materials like natural stone and steel. 

While higher quality materials come at a price, they also last longer and require less maintenance. Investing in durability often pays dividends over time.


The amount of labor needed depends largely on the project’s complexity. Simple, straightforward installations require less time, while walls built on difficult sites or to exact specifications necessitate more hours. 

Paying for experienced contractors ensures your retaining wall is engineered and assembled correctly so it will function as intended for decades. 

While professional labor adds to the upfront cost, it’s an investment that pays off through effectiveness and longevity.


Retaining Wall Services from the Experts at Procare Landscape 

When it comes to retaining walls, it pays to hire a professional you can trust. 

Procare Landscape has spent over 30 years establishing itself as a leading expert in retaining walls and landscape designer in West Michigan. Our team brings an unparalleled blend of technical expertise, creative vision, and customer service to every commercial and residential project.

We understand that each retaining wall requires a custom solution tailored to your unique property, lifestyle, and vision. 

Our consultative approach considers the contours of your landscape, intended functionality, and aesthetic goals to design walls that solve problems beautifully. Procare oversees the entire process from concept to completion, delivering functional retaining walls crafted to stand the test of time.

Discover why we’re continually trusted for residential and commercial landscape and hardscape needs. Contact us today and let’s start a conversation about your retaining wall or other landscaping needs.