For many Los Angeles homeowners, especially those living in hillside homes, the dangers of mudslides and water runoff from rain are ever-present.  In the past few years, we have seen again and again how homes in our own neighborhoods are damaged and even destroyed during inclement weather.  Thankfully, there are ways to prevent mud, soil, debris, and water runoff from sliding into our homes!  One of the best ways is constructing a retaining wall, which can literally hold back water and soil that can damage a home!  While a retaining wall can protect every home in Los Angeles (which we fondly call “earthquake country”), it is especially important for LA’s hillside homes, or those built at the bottom of a hill!

What Is The Cheapest Retaining Wall To Build?

There are quite a few cost-effective methods of building a retaining wall.  For example, you can build a retaining wall out of inexpensive wood such as pine or pressure-treated wood, which is wood that has been processed with preservatives that protect the wood from rot, decay, or attack by wood-eating insects.  You can also build a retaining wall from old wood railroad ties, which can typically be bought inexpensively.  Another method of building a retaining wall is by erecting gabion baskets filled with decorative stones.

But the most affordable material to use in building retaining walls is poured concrete or concrete blocks.  Concrete is very strong and durable, its building blocks can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes to meet every design, and it can be erected pretty quickly, if done so by a knowledgeable and experienced retaining wall contractor such as Weinstein Construction!

Are Retaining Walls Expensive?

Retaining walls can be expensive depending on the condition of slope or hillside that they are built on.  What also increases the cost is the design, engineering, and permitting that goes into building walls if they are four foot or higher.  What also may increase the costs is inappropriate design, or unskilled construction, that can tie up a project and cause it to be more expensive than it should be!  That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced retaining wall contractor such as Weinstein Construction, who have built many thousands of square feet of retaining walls for homeowners just like you, and in your neighborhood!

At the end of the day, the costs for a retaining wall are fairly simple to understand.  These costs include:

  1. The cost of building materials (e.g., treated wood, concrete, masonry blocks, decorative stone, etc.).
  2. The labor involved in preparing the wall area (e.g., excavating earth, clearing vegetation, building appropriate drainage channels, etc.) and in constructing the retaining wall itself (of course, larger, longer, or more complex walls will require more labor).
  3. The work involved in designing and engineering the wall (e.g., retaining walls need to be designed and engineered so that they can support the weight of the earth behind them, and this requires the expert work of specialty engineers).
  4. The costs of meeting regulatory requirements (e.g., depending on the size and location of the wall, we may need to obtain permit from the local city building department).

What Determines The Cost Of A Retaining Wall?

There are a variety of factors that should be taken into consideration when estimating the cost of constructing a retaining wall.  One factor is a per square foot cost basis, which differs depending upon the construction materials used on the project.

  • For example, the cost of building a retaining wall using pressure-treated wood can typically start at about $35 per square foot.
  • The cost of building a retaining wall made out of decorative stone can typically start at about $45 per square foot.
  • Similarly, the cost of building a retaining wall from poured concrete can typically start at about $50 per square foot, as would building a wall from interlocked concrete blocks.

Note that there may also be additional costs involved in your retaining wall project, for example, the labor and materials for installing filter membranes, undertaking waterproofing, and digging constructing drains. 

It is also important to note that for some retaining walls, for example those that are over four feet in height, a soil engineer’s soil report is required, and such a report may cost $7,000 to $9,000.  For building such walls, you will also need a topographical plan, which can cost $2,000 to $4,000, as well as a property survey, which typically costs about $2,500.  Such higher walls must also be designed by a structural engineer, and such services can cost $6,000 to $9,000.  Finally, constructing such walls will also require a city permit and plan check fee, and these services can cost $2,000 to $4,000.

Whatever your needs and budgetary constraints may be, the retaining wall professionals at Weinstein Construction are experienced in all forms of retaining wall construction and will always work with you to find the most cost-effective way to build your retaining wall the way you want it, and within your budget!

Does A Retaining Wall Increase Home Value?

Absolutely!  Building a retaining wall is not just an excellent way to protect your home from the devastating effects of mudslides and water runoff, it’s also an excellent way to raise the value of your property!  Don’t just take it from us – ask your local real-estate agents about it – we know they will tell you that construction a properly-designed retaining wall can be one of your home’s best investments!  Not only will a retaining wall protect your home, it can also add an exceptional decorative aspect to your home, as well as increase its “curb appeal”! 

The retaining wall professionals at Weinstein Construction have helped many homeowners to protect their homes with retaining walls!  We have the tools and technology to construct a retaining wall to fit your home’s needs and your individual budget!  Call us today at 877-958-8741 to schedule a free retaining wall consultation – get help in protecting your home against the effects of the next catastrophic weather event!