four things to consider before establishing your retaining wall build

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Natasha Maerz

Owner/Office Manager

Like most construction or landscaping projects, having a retaining wall installed in your yard can add huge value to your home.

It can also be a big investment if you don’t know how to realistically budget for your project.

For some of our customers at back40landscping budget is an afterthought, while for a lot it’s a huge factor.

Before making a huge purchase like a retaining wall, its important that you understand everything about retaining walls, and create a plan to help you pick the best retaining wall option for your home and landscape.

To get you started, here are four factors to consider when figuring out your retaining wall budget!


Upfront costs

The initial cost of having a retaining wall installed is anywhere between $10,000-$100,000, but can climb above this range depending on customizations, the size of the wall, and access to the space.

The type of retaining wall you choose to install can significantly impact the upfront expense of the wall.

As an example, if you like the look of an intricate wall, it may cost more than a plainer looking block that is grey.

In addition, hidden costs can pop up when you think about remediating your lawn, or adding materials in between tiers of the wall.

To ensure that you stay within your budget and avoid any surprise costs, confirm exactly what you are getting with your wall and understand why the wall is priced the way it is. This way you will be able to determine whether or not a retaining wall is feasible to buy right now, or to wait until you have more finances set aside

Ongoing maintenance

The cost of a retaining wall is not just what you will be spending on it up front. When figuring out your budget for your wall, take into account what maintenance you will need to do each for upkeep.

While upkeep for retaining walls is minimal there are still some things that will need to be done to keep the wall looking good.

Things like pressure washing the wall, replacing the mulch or gravel in between tiers or gluing and caps that have come loose back on are all things that can be done to keep your retaining wall looking fresh, and cost little to no money.


Budget limits

Once you have determined the initial and ongoing expenses of having a retaining wall installed, calculate how much you are actually able to spend on the project.

You probably wont have cash readily available for a project this size ( most people don’t), but don’t worry there are several options that can help.

Most homeowners will take out a loan, use a line of credit, or remortgage their house for construction projects like these.


Retaining wall add ons

Adding on to your retaining wall is the fun part of a retaining wall build and can make a huge impact on what your wall looks like.

Things like:

  • Lights
  • Stairs
  • Curves
  • Plants
  • Seating area
  • Sidewalks

Are all add ons that can drastically change the look of your walls. If you have quite a bit of add ons on your list you might want to consider making a list of features you are dead set on, and ones that you can live without.

Make sure that you are able to afford the basic wall, and go from there. The nice thing about a retaining wall is you can have the wall built first and then add on lights or plants later ( however, things like curves and stairs need to be done during the first stage of construction depending on where they are located).

Remember, you can make small changes to your project to cut down on costs.

As you have found out, retaining walls are no small investment. If you anticipate spending a significant amount of money on your project, plan ahead and think about what you truly want for your retaining wall build.