If you’re wondering about cinder block wall costs for a foundation, fence, retaining wall, or bearing wall, the national average is $565, based on an estimate of $9 to $12 per square foot. Most projects range from $475 to $655, including materials and labor.
If you don’t like the look of a concrete block wall, you can install decorative fencing to help it blend in better for $100 to $200.
|What you can expect|
|Range per square foot:||$9.52||$12.19|
|Range for this type of project:||$2,856||$3,657|
Block Wall Cost
Cost of concrete masonry unit blocks for wall installation. Rate is inclusive of local delivery, as well as standard excess for perfect installation and occasional repairs.
Block Wall Labor, Basic
Labor cost, under typical conditions, for complete installation. Preparation will begin with excavation up to 1' below grade, then concrete foundation will be leveled and set. Courses up to 6' height will be laid in mortar joints. Fee is inclusive of all staffing needs: thorough planning, acquisition of equipment and material, preparation and protection of installation site, and meticulous cleanup. (Top filling not included.)
Block Wall Job Supplies
Requisite supplies for the job, including cutting and grinding materials, mortar, and reinforcement.
Block Wall Equipment Allowance
Daily rental of specialty equipment that maximizes the quality and efficiency of the work. These include a 115V wet masonry saw, 5-cubic-foot mortar box, and small plate compactor. Consumable equipment elements not included.
|cost to install a concrete block wall|
|National Avg. Materials Cost per square foot||$2.49|
|National Avg. Cost (labor and materials) for 300 square foot||$3,204.08|
|National Cost Range (labor and materials) for 300 square foot||$2,809.93 - $3,598.23|
How much do cinder blocks cost? It depends on the size of the block and the area you’re in, but most will fall between $1 and $3 each. The cost of a block wall per linear foot is generally not used. Most walls will require more than one row of blocks, so measuring them by square foot is easier. A cinder block wall costs between $9 and $12 per square foot, including labor.
To determine the cost of a cinder block wall, you’ll need to know the surface area the wall will need to cover. Next, divide the square footage by the surface area of one block, giving you the number of blocks you’ll need. Finally, multiply the number of blocks you need by the cost of one block, and you’ll have your cinder block wall cost.
You can expect to pay between $3 and $3.50 for cinder block wall materials, including structural reinforcements, mortar, and the blocks themselves. The cost of materials can fluctuate based on your location and current demands.
Extra features, such as a split-face rock that more closely resembles natural stone, are more expensive, averaging $2.30 for a 8 x 8 x 16-inch block. A very high wall or a retaining wall will also increase costs since more structural reinforcements are needed for safety.
|Square Feet||Average Cost||Lowest Cost||Highest Cost|
The cost of concrete blocks is quite close to that of cinder blocks, and many manufacturers will use the terms interchangeably. The biggest difference is the material used to make concrete blocks - sand or fine-crushed stone - is stronger and heavier than cinder block material.
You may hear concrete blocks referred to as CMUs, or concrete masonry units. How much is a concrete block? Average prices depend on how large the blocks are. Four to six-inch blocks cost about $1.35 each, and an 8-inch block costs around $1.50. On average, ten-inch concrete blocks cost $1.85 each, and 12-inch blocks are normally around $2.05 each. If the blocks you’re looking at seem slightly smaller than the listed dimensions, it’s because the size is calculated to include a ⅜-inch mortar, so the actual dimensions are smaller.
|Block Size||Average Cost|
When working out the cinder and concrete block wall costs, consider that labor and material rates will vary based on your location. Many areas have short seasons for this type of work, meaning you may pay more because of higher demand.
On average, contractors will charge between $30 and $50 per hour to install a cinder or concrete block wall. This rate includes excavating, laying out the pattern, creating a foundation, and laying blocks and mortar, but may not include top filling. Most contractors will build in planning, equipment, materials, and cleanup as a part of your quote, but make sure to read each quote carefully to see what’s included.
A few types of concrete blocks, or CMUs, come in at varying price points. The project will dictate the type of material depending on its strength and structural qualities. There are also some more expensive decorative options for concrete blocks. Below is a list of the most common types of blocks and their average costs:
Most cinder blocks are consistent when it comes to price, and typically cost around $1.30 each.
A split-faced block has a more decorative look than a standard cinder block, but it's still affordable, ranging between $2.50 and $3.50 per block.
This block is used as a veneer to add a decorative face to a concrete block wall. Plan to pay between $3 and $7 per block or more, depending on the style and look you want.
If you need a retaining wall, this project requires a special type of block that runs between $6 and $11 per block.
|Block Type||Average Cost||Lowest Cost||Highest Cost|
Once you've determined what type of wall you need, there are a few more things to consider when you get estimates for a concrete block wall cost, including:
If your concrete or cinder block wall is a retaining or bearing wall, you’ll likely need a permit in most places. Contractors can handle this for you and add the cost to your quote. Most permits are between $75 to $200, depending on your location.
If the surface your wall needs to be installed on is uneven, this will likely increase your overall cost to install a concrete block wall. Rugged terrain requires a pro with experience installing block walls on that type of surface.
Some concrete block walls will require reinforced steel, or rebar, for the footings. This costs about $3.85 per square foot for #4 rebar.
Some contractors will deal with the removal of your old wall or fence and some may require it to be removed in order for them to begin. Check with them at the outset to see about the cost of removal and disposal.
If you want to make your concrete block wall more attractive, stucco or plaster are great options to bring a more aesthetic finish to your wall. There will be an additional cost for this, but it’s a great way to make your wall functional and visually appealing.
Your concrete block wall could require a foundation or drainage in certain circumstances. You can expect an extra cost for these in both labor and materials.
A natural stone wall is significantly more expensive than a concrete or cinder block wall, with average project costs between $7,712 and $10,377.
A decorative concrete block wall to edge a garden bed can be done as a DIY project, but for the most part, concrete or cinder block walls require specialized knowledge and masonry skills and are best left to the pros.
There are many considerations to consider for the safety and longevity of your wall, like foundation, drainage, structural reinforcements, and grading. Experienced contractors will have the knowledge and expertise to ensure that your final product is sturdy, safe, and will stand the test of time.
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🏋️♂️ I need a load-bearing wall. How much weight can a standard cinder block support?
🔨 What is the process involved to build a cinder block or concrete block wall?