Retaining walls are a great addition to any landscape, creating levels within the area. They offer spaces of gardens and extra pathways. There are many options for the materials that can be used to build a retaining wall. So, what’s the cheapest material you can use to build a retaining wall?
The cheapest retaining walls to build are made of pressure-treated wood and concrete blocks. Wooden retaining walls do require more regular maintenance but are a good option to build the wall on a budget. Using a professional contractor is also recommended to have a quality, yet cheap, retaining wall.
The cheapest retaining wall material
The cheapest option for your retaining wall is pressure-treated wood. However, being a cheaper material, it does have a few more cons than other materials. The longevity of this retaining wall can be a lot less compared to others, and it is more difficult to transport. But, you hopefully only have to transport it to one place so it isn’t an ongoing hassle.
To help this wooden retaining wall last longer, you do have to perform more regular maintenance and consider placing galvanized posts between the wood.
Material like stone and concrete blocks have better longevity than pressure-treated wood, but they do come with a higher price tag.
In saying this, the second cheapest option for your retaining wall is concrete cinder blocks, also known as landscaping blocks. This material is a very popular option because of how easy it is to transport and use, while still being very durable. It also comes in a wide range of designs and colours, so there is more of an aesthetic appeal to buyers.
The average cost of materials
Building a retaining wall often comes with labour costs alongside material costs. But your choice of material will be the main factor that impacts the cost.
If you plan on building the retaining wall yourself, you won’t have labour fees. But it is highly recommended that you hire a professional who has a history of building these types of walls. It can cost around €300 to hire a professional duo for a day, but at least you can rest assured that the wall is made properly.
The cost of the materials can vary a lot. Retaining walls made from wood can cost €117 per square metre. A more expensive option like concrete costs €234 per square metre. Stone can cost €351 per square metre, and the labour costs will vary depending on these materials and the process of building. The total cost of building your wall can range from €535 to €951 following base rates.
There are many other factors that will impact the cost of building your retaining wall. It’s a good idea to get a quote for your retaining wall before you start anything because you might need a variety of extra supports and tweaks to the wall. The height and length of the wall will also affect the cost.
Another cost factor will be the tools needed for this project. The last thing you want to do is start building this wall only to find you don’t have the right or best tools. That’s why it’s a good idea to invest in a heavy-duty square tray wheelbarrow to properly transport your materials. A quality multi-purpose diamond saw blade is the best option to cut your wall to the shape you both need and want. It’s good to factor these costs into your budget because you want to plan for the best retaining wall possible.
The strongest type of retaining wall
The strongest type of retaining wall is a segmented retaining block wall. A segmented retaining wall is made of high-quality concrete blocks that are intertwined with each other. This type of wall is especially good for terrains that have high slopes. These walls are very versatile, which is one main reason why they are the popular choice among landscape and hardscape contractors. Segmented retaining block walls are also one of the most long-lasting retaining walls.
As mentioned before, each type of retaining wall has its own unique cons. For segmented retaining block walls, the cons are that they don’t have a lot of colour choices.
Also, if the wall is installed without an experienced contractor, it is less likely to properly maintain itself causing you more hassle than necessary. You should hire a professional contractor with previous experience building this specific wall because they are harder to build correctly. Just like the lifespan of a house, your segmented retaining wall’s longevity will be impacted by the initial build, so consult a professional for the best results.
Can you build a good retaining wall on a budget?
You can absolutely build a good retaining wall on a budget. You do need to consider your property landscape, the desired lifespan of the wall and the maintenance you are willing to conduct. All these aspects will help determine the materials you will use, which is the main factor for the wall cost.
But, if you are happy to regularly do simple maintenance on a wood retaining wall, you can go with the cheapest option easily. You can make your retaining wall your special property piece that you look after.
You should definitely consider the cost of hiring a professional and add that to your initial planning. This is because if you get a professional to build the wall initially, you will save yourself many future costs and therefore the wall will cost less in the long run.
Ultimately the cost comes down to your choice of material for your retaining wall, but it shouldn’t be the determining factor for your wall. Weigh up the pros and cons of different materials before deciding which fits best for your budget and your needs.
With that being said, it is definitely possible for you to build and have a good retaining wall on a budget.
Maybe you have considered using brick for your retaining wall, but need a professional to help you out. Not sure if you know any bricklayers? Is it because there might be a bricklayer shortage in Ireland? Whilst you’re renovating outdoors, have you considered a firepit? We know the best bricks to use for a firepit. Paragon Tools offers quality bricklaying and masonry tools for your renovation needs!