How much does a retaining wall cost?

Have you been thinking of installing a retaining wall in your yard?  The ability to level out and create usable areas and garden beds is so tempting but how much will it cost?  There are so many types and materials to construct retaining walls from so it can become very confusing to determine how much it will cost.

When looking at all the products available, it’s hard to look past a natural rock wall in terms of strength, longevity and of course, price.  Keep on reading below to discover the difference in pricing between timber, concrete, stone and natural rock retaining walls.

Types of retaining walls

The main materials retaining walls can be constructed from are:

  • Traditional stone wall – $450
  • Concrete sleepers – $400
  • Rendered blockwork – $400
  • Timber sleepers – $300
  • Stack blocks – $300
  • Rock walls – $220

Prices above are approximate, per square metre and calculated on a 1m tall wall.

That list is written in order from highest price to lowest with a traditional stone wall costing ~$450/sqm for walls under 1m tall to $750/sqm when the walls up to 2m tall.  That can add up quickly for a tall and wide wall!

Compare that with one of our natural rock walls which are $220/sqm for walls under 1m tall and only $250/sqm for walls up to 2m tall. 

That’s 1/3 of the price!

Whilst not strictly a retaining wall, we also offer erosion control solutions which are positioned at the natural repose of the land.  These can start as low as $190/sqm and remain that price no matter how tall they are.  

Council approval and regulations

Any retaining wall over 1 metre will require a permit. This includes our engineered boulder walls however our erosion control solution is typically permit free to any height.

As a general rule of thumb, if your intended retaining wall is to be built on a boundary, pose any potential danger or have a negative impact on surrounding area/properties, then you should get in contact with your local council before building.

Most states in Australia require retaining wall builders to be licensed – which is exactly why Rock Walls Melbourne is a Registered Building Practitioner here in Victoria.

Other considerations that can affect costs are excavation and drainage requirements for your site but a reputable retaining wall contractor will be able to advise you of any costs prior to construction.

We hope that helps you decide between the type of retaining wall you would like to proceed with at your property.  If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to us and we’ll be glad to help.