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Ashburn, VA 20149

Concrete Specialists on Thumbtack cost$2000 - $15000

National average fixed price

  • Lowest price:$0
  • Most common low price:$2000
  • Most common high price:$15000
  • Highest price:$0

How much does a retaining wall cost?

By Nicki Escudero

The national average cost of building a retaining wall that's 60 feet long is $6,826-$10,353, including labor and materials. The national average low-end cost is $6,014-$9,108, and the average high-end cost is $9,525-$15,679.

Retaining wall cost:

National average cost range


Average low-end cost range


Average high-end cost range


Figures above represent equipment, material and labor costs (including labor minimum charges) for 60-feet long, 4 to 8-feet tall retaining walls made out of concrete and cinder blocks. 

A retaining wall is a popular hardscape feature for homeowners who have slopes in their yards. It's a smart way to avoid soil erosion while providing more visual interest to your yard. However, installing a retaining wall can get pricey.

The cost of building a retaining wall in your yard depends on several factors. For example, the size of the wall and the materials used also affect the cost. Keep reading to learn more about the total costs involved, and get price quotes from top-rated retaining wall builders near you.

Retaining wall cost per foot.

National average cost range


Average low-end cost range


Average high-end cost range


Figures above represent equipment, material and labor costs for 60-feet long, 4 to 8-feet tall retaining walls made out of concrete and cinder blocks.

concrete retaining wall in front yard of houseThe national average cost range for a retaining wall typically runs $114-$173 per linear foot. The average low-end cost range for installing a retaining wall is $100-$152 per linear foot, while the high-end cost range is $159-$261 per linear foot.

Related: How much does landscaping cost?

Cost of retaining wall materials and labor.


Cinder block (4-ft high)

Concrete (4-ft high)

Cinder block
(8-ft high)

(8-ft high)

Labor (min. charge)




















All figures above represent national average costs for 60-feet long, 4 to 8-feet tall retaining walls made out of concrete and cinder blocks.

Depending on the height and whether you choose concrete or cinder blocks, the national average cost range for retaining wall equipment is $80-$1,385. Materials average between $2,360-$3,965, and labor runs between $3,431-$5,836 in the U.S. Some professionals also have minimum labor costs. These charges can range from $61-$122, on average, in the U.S.

Get a free estimate from a great concrete specialist near you.

Cinder block vs. concrete retaining wall costs.

Cinder block


8" thick, 4' high



8" thick, 8' high



All figures above represent national average costs for 60-feet long, 4 to 8-feet tall retaining walls made out of concrete and cinder blocks.

Retaining wall costs can vary depending on the material. Some of the most common materials include poured concrete and cinder blocks. Cinder blocks are made from coal cinders and cement, and they tend to have a lower density compared to concrete.

However, cinder blocks and concrete blocks are still very similar. According to the National Concrete Masonry Association, "These masonry units are essentially the same product produced with the same three basic constituent materials: water, cement, and aggregate."

Talk to professionals near you to see what your options are regarding materials. For example, instead of concrete or cinder blocks, you may want to build a stone retaining wall made out of flagstone. Or, you can even use wood and timber for your wall.

Railroad tie retaining wall cost.

National average cost 


Average low-end cost 


Average high-end cost 


All figures above represent national average costs for 30-feet long, 4-feet tall retaining walls made out of railroad ties.

railroad tie retaining wallThe national average cost for a railroad tie retaining wall is $1,993. However, low-to-high national average prices range from $1,706-$2,651.

If you want your wall to have a more rustic aesthetic, consider railroad tie retaining walls. Railroad tie retaining walls contain treated wood reclaimed from railroad tracks. They tend to cost less than cinder blocks and concrete retaining walls.

However, railroad ties aren't as strong as concrete or cinder blocks. And even though it's treated, the wood may rot over time. Some professional builders may not even offer railroad ties for your retaining wall because the wood is treated with creosote.

Creosote "poses cancer and non-cancer health risks of concern to workers in wood treatment facilities," according to the Environmental Protection Agency. However, the EPA "did not find health risks of concern for the general public, nor for workers who handle creosote-treated wood after application."

Talk to your builder if you're interested in a railroad tie retaining wall. Find out if they recommend it for your landscape design.

Retaining wall cost factors.

As you consider equipment, material and labor expenses, keep in mind these additional factors that may affect the cost of a retaining wall project:

  • Demolition required. If you need to remove an existing wall or clear out shrubs or trees, that will add to labor costs.
  • Wall location. Hard-to-access job sites will typically cost more due to the additional labor or equipment needed. If your wall is built on uneven terrain, that can also increase labor costs.
  • Design needs. A complex design that includes stairs, curves, seating, textures, color, openings, etc., will likely be more expensive.
  • Height. You may need a permit if your retaining wall is very high (usually more than 3-4 feet, depending on where you live). Permits often come with fees.
  • Additional details that require a permit. You may also need to get a permit depending on various factors (if there's an attached solid fence, there's a sloping backfill, etc.)

You'll also want to consider long-term maintenance and repair costs. At some point, you may need to:

  • Fix any cracks, settling or bulging
  • Reinforce your retaining wall
  • Remove weeds

Ask your contractor how to properly maintain your wall and how much it typically costs to have a professional perform repairs.

How can I reduce the cost of a retaining wall?

You may be able to lower your retaining wall costs by selecting less expensive types of natural stone and other materials. Chat with your contractor to see how much they charge for different materials.

You can also try the following tactics:

  • Do some of the work yourself (like preparing the area or site).
  • Find out if you can recycle existing concrete from another project, like a driveway demolition.
  • Bundle concrete projects or hire a landscape professional to tackle multiple projects at once. You may be able to get a better deal using a single contractor instead of multiple.
  • Consult with several retaining wall specialists to compare prices.
Compare prices from concrete specialists near you.

What is the cheapest retaining wall to build?

The cheapest retaining wall will be one that’s lower to the ground, shorter in length and uses less expensive materials (like railroad ties) and labor methods to install.

Are retaining walls worth it?

A retaining wall may be worth the cost. Retaining walls can improve your yard's appearance and functionality. This may help you improve your home's resale value if you plan to sell.

A retaining wall also helps manage flooding and run-off water and can prevent erosion by keeping soil in place. This can lower your overall yard maintenance costs and prevent expensive problems in the future.

When you’re evaluating the potential impact of a retaining wall landscaping project, consider:

  • What type of impression the retaining wall will make on your home’s curb appeal.
  • How a retaining wall will impact the surrounding area. For example, perhaps it makes the garden above it more functional or improves how backyard space can be used.
  • How you’ll ensure the retaining wall is safe.
  • How much maintenance you’re willing to do on the retaining wall to maintain its quality and condition.

Get free quotes from retaining wall builders near you.

If you’re new to landscape design or retaining wall installation, it makes sense to hire a professional for your retaining wall project. Download Thumbtack to find nearby retaining wall professionals, and ask for free cost estimates.

*The project cost estimates provided in this article were provided by Xactware’s pricing data (unless otherwise noted). For more information, visit Xactware’s pricing methodology page.

How do we know these prices?

Millions of people ask Thumbtack for help with their projects every year. We track the estimates they get from local professionals, conduct our own research and then we share those prices with you. The prices reflected in the article above are for informational purposes only and are subject to change at any time. Contact a professional near you to receive a personalized cost estimate for your project.


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