Retaining Wall Pricing

Looking to replace an ugly old wall or just exploring options to add usability to your yard space? Retaining walls look good as well as have function. Atkinson has been constructing retaining walls in Surrey and Langley for nearly 10 years.

A new retaining wall can boost curb appeal to a front yard or help expand backyard living space -great for entertaining guests or having your own private courtyard. So how much does an Allan Block wall cost? How does the cost Allan Block compare to a wood retaining wall? Let's see how some of the key differences stack up and how these factor into the price of these two types of retaining walls.

Continue reading for more information on Allan Block walls and pricing, or click this link to jump ahead for our look at wood retaining walls

Allan Block Retaining Wall along a gravel stepping stone walkway

Allan Block Retaining Wall

Allan Block retaining walls give your yard a bold and attractive look. Over the years Allan Block has been expanding their catalogue by offering stunning new colour blends and adding more shapes and sizes to create interesting new designs. Allan Block walls lend themselves to a more customizable construction and so appeal to their customers for more than simply retaining walls. Allan Block's aesthetics and versatility make it the perfect choice for those who don't mind spending a little more to have the perfect blend of form and function. 

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Front year gravel parking lot bordered by an allan block wall

Allan Block Retaining Wall Pricing

Walls installed by Atkinson are usually under 4 feet in height. So how much does the average Allan Block wall cost? Let's look a some of the factors that determine the price. 

Typically Allan Block walls have costed around $40 – $100 per square foot of wall. Although that price range has seen some increase in the past few years due to several factors, what hasn't changed though is the powerful appearance and built to last promise these walls embody. So while an Allan Block wall isn't cheap, it is an excellent investment in any property. 

Square foot of wall is measured as length x height. For example, if the wall is 2 feet tall and 40 feet long there would be 80 square feet (2’x40’).  An Allan Block wall this size would cost between $4,000 - $8,000. As you can see the cost can be quite variable. There are a few reasons for that variability in cost but as a general rule it all comes down to labour (for the most part). Some of the specific factors that determine the cost are as follow:

Grade Changes (Slope) – If the wall is running along a sloped area, the wall may need “step ups” to follow the height change. These “Step ups” add to both labour and materials.

Amount of Backfilling Required – If you are raising up the ground to create a terrace area, this will impact the cost. 

Base Course – The Base Course (bottom row) of the wall is the timeliest to install as it needs to be perfectly level to build on. If the base course is long in comparison to the height of the wall, this can increase the price/sqft of wall.

Pre Existing Condition – A lot of preparation work goes into creating the area where the wall will be constructed. Cost many reflect the amount of excavation and disposal needed and in many cases the demolition and removal of the previous wall that is being replaced. Removal and disposal of existing material can be a cost driver.

Access – Retaining walls require a 4-6-inch base of crushed gravel plus the wall blocks. Poor access will increase the labour time moving the materials in for the project.

Allan Block Wall Pricing Case Studies

Back Yard Wall Replacement

This Allan Block wall was built to replace and old rotting wood tie wall. Swipe the photo to see how it looked before. Factors that contributed to the price of this project include the demolition and disposal of the old wood wall. You can see this is a backyard project as well. While the access was good, there was still a considerable amount of time needed to transport all materials to and from. The project also included Allan Block steps to allow for easy access to the upper terrace.

PRICE: $12,880 (only wall ≈ $92/sqft)

Front Yard Wall Construction

This Allan Block wall was built from scratch off the ground level. There was very little excavation/disposal required and you can see it is in the front yard so our material pallets could be staged directly next to the work area. These two factors made work very easy for our team on site, as well as there was no need for any steps. So you can see that even though this front yard wall is about the same length using roughly the same amount of blocks, its budget was much lower due to its simplicity.

PRICE: $10,159 (only wall≈ $48/sqft)

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Wood Retaining Walls

Wood retaining walls offer a different kind of look. While wood walls area a little less customizable they can be just as strong and last a very long time. Atkinson builds wood retaining walls with pressure treated lumber so your wall will be protected against the elements. Common choices are either 4x4 or 4x6, and provide a more natural look to a retaining wall but still serve the same purpose. 

Wood retaining wall pricing is cheaper than Allan Block retaining walls. This is mainly due to wood walls being more easily installed, not because they are any less quality. You can stain your new wood wall with a variety of great looking finishing stains and can even paint a wood retaining wall any color you like.

Wood Retaining Wall Pricing

Many of the same factors discussed above regarding Allan Block walls have a similar effect on the price of wood retaining walls. Mainly it all boils down to increases in labour cost. The wood itself is cheaper than Allan Block as well as it is more easily transported and moved around. So while the price factors are the same, they tend to have less of an effect when if comes to wood retaining walls. 

Wood Wall Pricing Case Studies

Backyard Wood Wall Construction With Challenging Access

This was a large backyard project building a wood retaining wall from scratch. Extensive excavation was needed to prepare the site and some areas were quite tight for working conditions. The access into the backyard was not great which made moving material in and out time consuming. Bold wooden steps were included to aid access from the upper area down to the newly developed gravel space.

PRICE: $7,297 (wall and steps)

Easy Access Wall Replacement

Here is a slightly longer and higher wall that replaced a preexisting old wood wall. This job included the removal and disposal of the old wall. There was not much excavation involved since this was a simple wall replacement. This job site had excellent access. The 4x4s and backfill material could be easily brought in and in the case of the 4x4, could even be staged directly next to where the wall was being constructed. A project like this demonstrates the effect access may have on how much a retaining wall costs.

PRICE: $5,740 (wall replacement)

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