Are Concrete Retaining Walls Overly Expensive?

Concrete and cinder blocks can be used to build a segmented or interlocking wall that can be dry stacked or reinforced. This type of wall can be very appealing, with a wide range of decorative material choices – concrete blocks come in a variety of colors, textures, and shapes, allowing you to customize your wall. This material is also a good choice for tiered walls and walls that are more than four feet tall.

Poured Concrete

Poured concrete, like cinder blocks, is long-lasting and resistant to corrosion. Installation and materials for a poured concrete wall range from $20 to $25 per square foot. The pouring process produces a solid piece of concrete that is stronger than cinder block but costs far more. The method yielded a sleek, contemporary style.

This isn’t a popular option for residential construction. It is often selected because it is in line with the home’s aesthetic. Otherwise, homeowners discover that installation costs are high and that the poured material is unstable in extreme weather. A single crack could jeopardize the entire system, necessitating its removal and replacement. Also keep in mind that the footings of these retaining walls are very wide, which can affect the planting conditions near the wall.

Upside of Concrete Retaining Walls

  • Strong
  • Concrete walls that are well-designed
  • Adequately drained
  • Backfilled rarely fail

Downside of Concrete Retaining Walls

Concrete that isn’t painted isn’t especially appealing. It can be veneered with masonry or decorative designs can be inserted in the finished wall using special types. Patching can not be feasible if a wall collapses, and replacement is expensive. If you’ve done vertical pours before, walls over a few feet high should be shaped and poured by a professional.

Things To Remember about Concrete Retaining Walls

Follow all landscape fabric, irrigation, and backfill guidelines. The footing should be below the frost line or on well-drained gravel that exceeds that depth. Shape the wall with 3/4-inch ply and 2-by-4 bracing. For added power, use #4 rebar wired in 12-inch grids. For a smooth finished face, use mechanical vibration or a rubber mallet every 6 inches when the concrete is wet.

Do I need a concrete footing for a retaining wall?

Some retaining wall types, but not all, include a concrete footing. Discuss the requirements with your builder.

How much does it cost to pour a concrete retaining wall?

Depending on the design, height, and number of curves, it costs between $40 and $50 per square foot. The price of a concrete retaining wall is determined by many factors:

  • your wall’s dimensions
  • whether you’re building it yourself or using a licensed builder
  • How many concrete blocks you need
  • whether you need to hire a structural engineer

There are additional costs to remember if you’re constructing a larger retaining wall:

  • You may need to seek approval from the council.
  • It is possible that you will need to hire a structural engineer.
  • You might need to invest in a more expensive reinforced system.
  • You may need to consider technical details such as drainage.

Are You Looking for a Company to Build Concrete Retaining Walls for Your Home? 

Spaulding Concrete has been the SF Bay Area’s top Concrete Retaining Wall Builder for over 30 years.  We’re here to build your home’s retaining walls that will last a lifetime, no matter where they need to be placed. We have the specialized equipment, services and professional experience that you need to make permanent improvements to your landscaping. To get you started on the right foot, we would be happy to give you a free quote for your retaining walls. When you reach out by phone or email we will have one of our experts answer any questions you have and explain how we can restore integrity and structural stability to your home or landscape permanently. The qualified concrete experts at Spaulding Concrete will be on schedule, on budget and meet or exceed standards by careful planning, professional execution, and strict quality control. To schedule your free quote, contact us today! We are proud to serve Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Concord, Martinez, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood and the surrounding areas.