Durable and reliable. These qualities make concrete the material of choice in building structures. From high-rise skyscrapers to even the walls that surround our properties, properly installed concrete can stand the test of time and the elements.
If you’re planning to make a sturdy wall for your home, concrete is the best bet.
Let’s find out how much concrete walls cost.
Poured Concrete Wall Average Cost
As a material, concrete is usually divided into concrete blocks and poured concrete walls.
Several factors determine the cost of a poured concrete wall such as the dimensions of the wall (the thickness, its height, and its length), the number of reinforcements present, and the quality and type of concrete used.
There are various types and kinds of cement. Ready-mix cement can be sold as low as $108 per cubic yard.
Paragon Ready Mix Inc. offers three types of cement for you to choose from:
- Cement rated at 3,000 psi for $126.50 per cubic yard.
- Cement rated at 3,500 psi for $129.50 per cubic yard.
- Cement rated at 4,000 psi for $132.50 per cubic yard.
Frederick Landscaping quotes the concrete wall cost per linear foot at $30 to $40 as a ballpark estimate and the price would depend on several factors such the size of the project, location, design, etc.
A homeowner shared at dcurbanmom.com forum receiving a quote from a contractor in 2017 for 13’ wide x 4’ long retaining wall for $7,000 excluding permits and plans.
Another homeowner from Illinois shared at allischarlmers.com forum that a 2,000 sq. ft. house with a 2-car garage attached and 9 feet basement costs $31,250.
For the price that you pay for the contractor doing the entire job, you’ll get a sturdy and durable poured concrete wall installed in your home. Here are what comprises the poured concrete walls price:
- Delivery – ready-mix concrete is delivered through cement mixer trucks and should reach the project site at the soonest possible time before the cement starts to set in.
- Reinforcement – this includes steels/rebars which are necessary for the wall to be sturdy and to be able to withstand the pressure from the soil and even water.
- Labor – this comprises of the rate of the hired hands to help you get the project done.
Other Costs to Consider
- The use of equipment and excavation of ground require the approval of the local government before proceeding.
- Structural engineer. Structural engineers are needed to ensure that the wall is strong enough to withstand outside forces, especially if it’s a retaining wall. There are lots of structural engineers available for hire online.
- Land grading / Excavation. You may also have to think about this if your land isn’t flat. You need to hire excavators to flatten the landscape and make it easier to install the wall. Titan Machinery offers both mini-excavators and full excavators at a daily rate ranging from $194 to $2,744.
- You may be required to have a proper drainage below the location of the concrete if you don’t have one yet.
- Supervision fee. Contractors usually charge around 14% to 17% to oversee the project for you if you don’t plan to meddle with the project.
- If you want to have specific finishes (such as a smooth wall), contractors can arrange for these at additional costs. The factors affecting this cost include the complexity of the finish and the dimensions of the wall.
If you have plans of installing a poured concrete wall, it’s best if you first let an engineer check the location. This way, you can discuss the needed thickness and height of the wall, as well as how to minimize the expense without sacrificing durability.
As always, obtain price quotes from at least three contractors before pushing with the construction.
Poured Concrete Wall Cost Factors
There are the factors that matter:
- Wall Dimensions. This is one of the most important and deciding factors that should be taken into account. The wall’s length, height, and thickness can all increase or decrease the total cost. This is because a longer, taller, and thicker wall will use up more materials and thereby is more expensive.
- Cement Type. Ready-mix cement is the most common material used for poured concrete wall. There are varying kinds of this kind of cement with equally varying properties. Some cement types are stronger and more resistant than others.
- Poured concrete wall also need reinforcements such as steel to further strengthen it. Concrete walls without reinforcements are more likely to buckle (especially if it’s a retainer wall) and cost more in terms of repairs. Choose the type of reinforcement you wish and how often these will be placed inside the concrete wall.
- Different contractors charge varying rates. Some include other add-ons for free and have other varying services to cater to different clients. Make sure to review contractors and to compare price quotes they provide before settling for a decision.
- Aside from farther locations, locations with sloping or hilly landscapes are also charged more. This is because these locations need to be flattened before installation of walls can proceed.
- For walls with larger dimensions and longer timeframes, more labor force is required to attend to the needs of the project. Labor is charged per hour and can easily make the installation costlier.
What Else You Need to Know
The three types of concrete differ on their psi ratings (pounds per square inch). The psi rating denotes how much force the material can hold before it breaks. The greater the psi rating, the more resistant the material is and the harder it is to break.
Greater psi ratings are useful for retainer walls as they need to hold back the immense weight of soil.
Poured concrete walls are also listed in differing units, depending on the contractor. Concrete wall cost per linear foot, per square foot, and per cubic yard are the most common units that contractors use. Make sure to notice and know the differences among these three.