How Much Does It Cost To Install A Retaining Wall?


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Retaining Wall Costs

Outdoor Cost Guides      Retaining Walls      Retaining Wall Costs

Retaining walls are often essential for the stability and safety of sloped properties. They can be advantageous to those with stepped or sloped landscaping and are fantastic for supporting water drainage and control. They are designed in many different ways and are part of many new builds as well as home renovations.

In general, it is the length and height of any retaining wall that determines the overall cost. Then it comes down to the materials, and the workforce needed to complete the project. Opting for curved walls may increase the price, and including such things as landscaping, stepped terraces, stairs, and new soil (if the existing soil is part of the drainage problem), boosts pricing, as well.

Site prep and other excavation-style tasks will also play a role in the total cost of the project, and this may mean digging into the ground to place drainage trenches, leveling soil, layering materials, and even pouring concrete footings. Thus, it is always best to hire experts in the construction and design of retaining walls and drainage systems to do such work.

Retaining wall: 25’x4’.

Item Cost
Labor $50-$500 per hour
Materials $10 to $30 per square foot
Site prep $2 per square foot
Drainage $0.50 to $70 per linear foot
Total Cost $2,000-$10,750

Other considerations and costs

  • Incorporating decorative elements can be a challenge both in terms of engineering and design, as well as the installation and expense. However, having functional stairs and decorative details like topper stones along the wall’s upper edge can significantly enhance the appearance of even the most functional retaining walls. They will come at premium pricing, however, with stairways increasing project costs by $500 or more.
  • Permits are essential when installing retaining walls.
  • It is necessary to have utility professionals inspect the land for lines and pipes before any work is done.
  • Get multiple bids and examine actual job sites before choosing a contractor.

Check out our guide if you need a loan for your home improvement project.

DIY considerations

  • Building a retaining wall is not a DIY project, and though you may be able to construct something that re-directs water flow, it is best to work with engineers to keep your property and even your home safe.


  • Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2019.
  • Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
  • Literature review of DIY Web sites.
How much does it cost to install a retaining wall in your city?
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Cost by city

  • New York, NY$10,120
  • Bronx, NY$8,316
  • Brooklyn, NY$6,931
  • Philadelphia, PA$8,647
  • Washington, DC$7,503
  • Atlanta, GA$6,788
  • Miami, FL$6,174
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL$6,467
  • Minneapolis, MN$7,587
  • Chicago, IL$8,840
  • Houston, TX$9,118
  • San Antonio, TX$6,120
  • Austin, TX$6,930
  • Denver, CO$5,855
  • Phoenix, AZ$6,178
  • Las Vegas, NV$6,780
  • Los Angeles, CA$7,640
  • San Diego, CA$6,933
  • San Jose, CA$8,374
  • Seattle, WA$6,131

Local costs have been calculated by accounting for labor and material cost differences across different cities. To get accurate cost estimates, indicate yours: