How Much Does It Cost To Install A Concrete Wall?
Whether used as a structural support, decoration or boundary around a piece of property, a concrete wall is a common element in many home builds and additions. Also, because of their extreme strength and versatility, concrete walls are popular in areas of the country that experience extreme weather. Like any major project, adding a concrete wall to your home or property can be a significant expense in terms of both labor costs and material concerns. This guide outlines the average costs homeowners can expect to pay for a concrete wall.
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National Install Poured Concrete Wall Costs
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Table of Contents
- Concrete Wall Installation Cost
- Concrete Walls Cost Factors
- Uses of Concrete Walls
- Advantages of Concrete Walls
- Disadvantages of Concrete Walls
- Concrete Calculator
- DIY or Hire A Pro
- Find A Pro
Concrete Wall Installation Cost
Installing a concrete wall is a significant expense, regardless of where it is or what it’s for. This is because working with concrete is highly specialized, requiring specific tools and coordination among contractors and suppliers that goes beyond a simple cost per foot or bag of concrete. Furthermore, labor costs alone can more than double the total expense of installing a concrete wall in your home, whether a skilled mason or a specialized concrete contractor does it. On average, however, you can expect to pay about $31/ft of concrete wall and $34 per hour of labor for several contractors installing a concrete block wall. In total, the average cost of installing a concrete wall is about $4,459, but that can vary significantly from project to project with reported costs ranging from $2,352 to $6,763 on average.
Concrete Walls Cost Factors
A number of factors can affect the final cost of installing a concrete wall, not limited to the size and thickness of the wall along with its location above or under the ground and the presence of add-ons such as stucco and paint. Installing a block concrete wall compared to a poured concrete wall is also a factor because the latter requires specialized equipment and molds as well as a full construction crew to complete. Here are the basic factors homeowners should consider when trying to estimate the cost of installing a concrete wall:
- Height of the wall: Anything over 4’ needs to be poured in batches.
- Length and thickness of the concrete: this impacts material costs as well as labor hours.
- Orientation of the wall: straight walls are less expensive than curved walls.
- Land: The foundation for any wall must be sturdy and level, and drainage may need to be added.
- Finish and add-ons: stucco, paint, stamping, etching and more all add to the time spent and material costs.
Uses of Concrete Walls
In residential construction, concrete walls are generally found in one of two places: the foundation or the yard, either as a decoration or a barrier. In each of these instances, concrete is used as an alternative to other less-expensive wall products, namely wood.
Concrete Foundation Walls
Used as load-bearing walls attached to a slab or sunken foundation, concrete walls provide superior strength and resilience. They’re especially valuable in areas with extreme weather events such as hurricanes or tornadoes due to their durability.
Concrete Retaining Walls
Concrete retaining walls are used for a variety of aesthetic and practical reasons around a home and yard. This may include building a block concrete wall as a barrier surrounding property or building smaller, decorative walls to enclose a garden or provide landscaping interest and seating.
Advantages of Concrete Walls
There’s a variety of reasons to choose a concrete wall over other materials such as wood. Their durability and strength make them a superior choice even over reinforced wood or steel framing in vulnerable areas prone to extreme weather. These same traits also make concrete a longer-lasting solution in other applications such as retaining walls. Concrete walls are typically less expensive than some other decorative wall options, such as brick, and are easy to enhance with add-ons like stucco, paint and stamping. Finally, concrete is both pest and fire resistant, making it a more economical choice for building in areas prone to termites or wildfires, for example.
Disadvantages of Concrete Walls
There are, of course, disadvantages to choosing concrete walls as either foundation or retaining walls. The most often-cited disadvantage is the aesthetics of concrete, which can look cold and industrial without any enhancement. In addition, concrete may splinter or crack over time, requiring costly wall repair. Finally, when using concrete walls as load-bearing walls as part of a home's framing, they stand out much more prominently than load-bearing wood-framed walls layered with drywall. This, in effect, sets the floor plan of a home in a more definite sense, although the concrete can become a design element if desired.
The materials used to pour and set a concrete wall, whether it’s a block wall or a poured wall, are major factors in the price. Concrete is sold both in individual bags for small projects and by the barrel for larger ones. Calculating the amount of concrete your project requires takes skill and may require the experience and knowledge of an expert. However, for small projects and basic quotes, use our concrete calculator.
DIY or Hire A Pro
Concrete foundations and load-bearing walls aren’t DIY projects. They not only require large amounts of poured concrete and specialized tools, but dealing with these materials is also incredibly risky and best left to professionals with training and experience.
Building a block concrete retaining wall, however, may be within the purview of advanced DIYers with masonry experience. It’s still incredibly difficult and time-consuming, but the tools and skills needed are much more manageable. Building your own concrete block wall involves:
- Establishing a strong, solid, level and well-drained foundation
- Measuring the wall for the number of blocks you intend to place
- Properly placing the corner brick first
- Leveling the wall and placing each brick with mortar
- Working up in an alternating pattern to reinforce the wall's strength
- Scoring the mortar to achieve a clean, finished look
For more information, take a look at this video presented by Sakrete that takes homeowners step-by-step through the building process.
Find A Pro
Ultimately, the easiest and quickest way to put up a concrete wall is to leave the project to the professionals. Get in contact with a local masonry expert today using our free lead generator to learn more about the costs and possibilities for your home's project.
Last updated on Aug 4, 2016
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