Planning to build a retaining wall? You will have to consider the load-bearing capacity, the intended use, and materials required. These factors, along with the cost of labor involved, influences the total cost of building a retaining wall.
It is a known fact, that retaining walls are built to prevent landslides, soil erosion, and land mass disintegration. The basic function of such walls is to hold soil in place, and preserve the natural shape of land. They are commonplace in mountains and winding roads, as they hold up the shape of hill, prevent soil erosion, and refrain the downward movement of large landmasses. From the point of view of physics, they restrict the effect of gravity on mountainous structures, and also prevent them from getting eroded. Building a really good, long-lasting, and sturdy wall is important in such cases, as a slight mistake may turn into a disaster.
While estimating the cost of a retaining wall, you must thoroughly consider and analyze certain factors:
- Strength of the wall
- Material of construction
- Climatic conditions
- Size and surface area of the land mass that is to be withheld
These are some primary factors, but the entire design is quite complex. Due to this, you need to consult a civil and structural engineer to get perfect dimensions and specifications. Do not hesitate to do this, as this is generally done free of charge. After all, the thing that matters is that the wall should stand firm, and be able to withstand any weather conditions.
How Much Does a Retaining Wall Cost?
Depending upon its load-bearing capacity and size, the material of construction of the wall varies. In some places, it is safe to construct a simple wall with lumber or even boulders. However, in others you will definitely require a wall that is made up of enforced concrete and solid, metallic foundations.
Here’s an overview of the different options that will help you in cost computation.
- Retaining walls with low strength were conventionally built with the help of timber. However, due to the recent reduction in forest cover, engineers have come up with an ingenious idea of making pre-cast block walls. Made with the help of enforced concrete, these blocks are designed in such a manner, that they interlock with each other, thereby forming the entire wall. The cost of building such a wall would be about $15-30 per square feet. In addition to that, you may also have to consider labor and foundation cost.
- As mentioned above, wooden or timber walls are going out of practice. However, if your local government permits a plain, timber wall, then it might cost you about $20-30 per square feet.
- The structure of the wall is something that you should view quite seriously. A wall with metal foundations and enforced concrete is the most expensive one. The cost, in such a case, will be as high as $50 per square feet. There are, however, some variants that you might want to consider. A concrete wall with simple foundation might come at a lower price of around $35 per square feet. However, more complex the design gets, more is its price rate.
- A stone wall is not a very bad option. In such a scenario, you may build a simple wall, with stones held together by a high tension mesh. The second option is that you may enforce it with concrete. In such a case the cost may vary from $30-40.
It must be noted that the above costs are mere estimates, calculated upon building material costs. However, other building costs are also involved, such as labor cost, that vary according to the location. Building a retaining wall is not at all a simple task, and you will need to do a lot of groundwork before you actually set off to build one.