Which retaining wall material is the most affordable?

Prices for retaining wall materials range from very affordable to extremely expensive. Treated pine is the most affordable option at $250 per square metres, but it also has its limitations.

Garden renovations can be costly and not everyone has the budget. You might be looking for ways to save some money by learning about the best retaining wall materials.

This article will help you make informed decisions. It does not just focus on the most economical option, but also other factors you need to consider when selecting a retaining wall material.

Which retaining wall material is the most affordable?

Prices for retaining wall materials range from very affordable to extremely expensive. Treated pine is the most affordable option at $250 per square metre, but it also has its limitations.

These are some cost-saving ideas for retaining walls made from different materials.

  • Treated pine is the most affordable material. It won’t last as well as other materials. Galvanized posts between treated pine will prolong the life of the wall.
  • Hardwood is generally more expensive than treated pine. It is important to ensure that it has been treated with a treatment that will allow it to resist dirt and water.
  • Railway sleepers, which are slightly more costly, are an alternative and can withstand water and ground contact.
  • Concrete sleepers can be more costly. Concrete sleepers can be coloured or grey and have a longer lifespan. Concrete retaining walls can be more expensive if you use galvanized steel or concrete posts. This will affect their durability and appearance.
  • Besser blocks can be expensive to install, but they have a long life span.
  • There are many prices for interlocking concrete blocks. These blocks are very versatile in appearance. There are curved and straight blocks and corner blocks and capping. These blocks are ready for DIY installation. Retaining wall builders can quickly construct a wall if the wall exceeds the height allowed for DIY construction.
  • To make it more manageable, sandstone can be ground into a form that looks like natural sandstone. You can make it look like natural sandstone by remaking it in molds. However, it will have a more consistent shape because it is made from molds.
  • Natural stone can be very expensive or relatively cheap. The most expensive option is the one that has been cut.
  • Concrete interconnected blocks can look like natural stone, but they have a more consistent appearance. Natural stone can look more mixed and larger than concrete, even though it is cut.

Remember that the most expensive retaining wall material might end up costing you more long-term. Treated pine, hardwood and natural stone won’t last the same time as concrete or other natural stones.

Wood retaining walls can be replaced in as little as 20 years. Stone walls will last for many decades. It should be rated HR5, which is highly resistant to pest and water damage. This will ensure that you get a durable, long-lasting pine retaining wall. Any lower than HR5 will not last and may require replacement.

Here are some facts about retaining walls

Retaining walls must hold back tons and hold back heavy dirt. A structural engineer must design retaining walls that exceed a certain height.

  • Retaining walls that exceed 600mm in height are subject to council approval in NSW.
  • Retaining walls that exceed one metre high are not permitted in Victoria and Queensland.
  • In certain areas, the maximum height allowed before council permission is required, 800mm.
  • In some states, retaining walls must be at least 60 cm from adjoining properties and at least 1.5m in others.
  • Retaining walls should be at least 50m from any natural water body.

You may also be subject to other restrictions. Check with your local council for details. You will need to hire a structural engineering engineer to design your project if approval from the council is required. Although it can take time to get approval for retaining wall designs, it is worth the effort.

You should not build a retaining wall unless your local council meets the required height. It would help if you still thought twice about building a retaining wall. Even a 600mm tall wall could collapse and cause damage to your yard. Your retaining wall will stand the test of time if you hire a professional.

Different types of retaining walls

Instead of making price the primary consideration, take a look at your garden and decide what type of retaining walls would be most appropriate.

What materials are suitable for retaining walls?

  • Timber retaining walls are made of treated pine, treated hardwood, or railway sleepers.
  • Concrete blocks are strong, durable retaining walls.
  • You can make a DIY retaining wall with interlocking concrete blocks in many styles and colors. They are about the same price as treated pine.
  • Brick retaining walls make beautiful retaining walls.
  • Another perennial favorite is natural stone. Natural boulders are about the same price as concrete blocks or treated pine. The cost of cut stone is often higher.

Consider the height of your retaining walls and whether you require a heavy-duty wall. Rendering can make concrete blocks walls look more attractive. While rendering will be more expensive, it can give you a stunning finish.

Ideas for cheap retaining walls

You should choose the right material if you are on a tight budget.

Treated pine and treated hardwood are cheaper options than other retaining wall materials. It is also possible to save money on timber retaining walls by purchasing second-hand materials.

The size of your retaining walls will determine how much you will pay. It’s worth looking into whether you can afford a shorter or lower wall. This can be done using diagonal lines instead of following the natural corner.

It is possible to work in stages on your garden. You can also choose the most important areas to work on first. After completing the work, you can start saving money to complete the rest of your garden.

You can save money by doing the majority of the work yourself. Labor is an expensive component of any garden makeover. Any parts you can do yourself safely will reduce your costs.

Advice for DIY retaining walls

Before starting a DIY retaining walls project, make sure to check the local height restrictions. It is illegal to construct a retaining wall higher than the set height by the council or state. If you don’t have the right tools, it is dangerous to build one yourself.

Which is the most affordable or best?

If you build it correctly, your retaining wall will last long. Are you looking for the best retaining wall material? Or would you prefer something more costly?

Professionally installed retaining walls can cost as much as $ per square meter

  • Treat pine or hardwood timbers from $250 to $450
  • Sandstone blocks from $300 to $500
  • For reinforced concrete blocks, prices range from $400 to $680
  • Concrete Besser Blocks: $550 to $750

Price variations will vary depending on the job’s complexity. The installation cost will be lower if the surface is flat and no removal is required. The cost of installing a stone wall will go up if the surface is uneven or requires the removal of blocks of stones.

Before you decide on retaining wall materials, think carefully. Do you think a more costly retaining wall will pay off in the end? If you sell your home, a beautiful retaining wall will increase the property’s value.