Cinder blocks are a type of retaining wall block that is made from concrete and coal ash. They are commonly used to construct walls, foundations, and other structures, including retaining walls. Some of the advantages of cinder blocks is that they are inexpensive, they can be reinforced with steel rebar, and they’re very strong and durable.
Cinder blocks can also be easy to work with. They are generally stacked and sealed with mortar, which makes them a popular choice for masonry projects. Cinder blocks are typically less expensive than other construction materials such as bricks or stones. As a result, they are often used in budget-conscious construction projects.
While cinder blocks have many benefits, it is important to note that they are not suitable for all applications. For example, they are not typically used in load-bearing walls because they are relatively lightweight.
In addition, cinder blocks can be susceptible to water damage if they are not properly sealed or protected from the elements. As a result, they may not be the best choice for projects in wet or humid climates, or where there are significant drainage issues. Despite these limitations, cinder blocks remain popular for retaining walls and other construction projects due to their affordability and durability.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Retaining Wall?
The average cost of creating a retaining wall is $20 to $50 per square foot, which can total as much as $2000 to $5000. However, if you want a larger and more elaborate design, the cost can be as high as $10,000 to $15,000. To get a more accurate estimate of the cost of your project, it’s best to discuss this with your contractor.
How Deep Should a Block Retaining Wall Be?
A block retaining wall’s depth should normally be about one-eighth of the height of the wall. This ensures that the wall is stable and can withstand the lateral pressure from the soil or debris behind it. You will likely need to use a stronger material such as concrete for taller walls, or you may be able to use landscape retaining wall blocks for modest sized projects.
For retaining walls more than 4 feet in height you will need an engineer to design the wall. Your design will specify details such as required depth of the wall and backfill details. A design by a certified engineer is typically required by local building codes for walls exceeding 4 feet in height.
Do I Need a Concrete Footing for a Retaining Wall?
No, you do not necessarily need a concrete footing for a retaining wall, depending on the type of wall chosen and the specific design. The footing is not a structural component but acts as a leveling pad for the wall, preventing it from sinking into the soil. It’s important to ensure that the footing is level, so that the wall will be stable and long-lasting. You can use a spirit level or string line to check that the footing is level.
Professional Engineering Retaining Wall Design – Fast and Affordable
Whichever material you choose for your retaining wall, keep in mind that most local building codes require an engineering design for any retaining wall of 4 feet or more in height. And even for shorter walls, a design from a trained structural engineer is highly recommended to insure the security and longevity of your wall.
We can provide a certified engineer design for you within 24 hours (M-F) for just $350. Submit your Design Request here, or contact us if you have any questions or unique requirements.