Ashburn, VA

How much does a cinder block wall cost?

$1 – $5 Per block (materials only)
$15 – $30 Per square foot (installed)
$60 – $240 Per linear foot (installed)
$1,500 – $6,000 Average cost to build a 25'-long wall

Building a cinder block wall costs $60 to $240 per linear foot for a fence, retaining wall, house, garage, or shed. A 25'-long cinder block wall costs $1,500 to $6,000 or $15 to $30 per square foot. Cinder blocks cost $1 to $5 per block, plus the labor cost to lay CMU blocks adds $5 to $10 per block.

Get free estimates from masonry contractors near you or view our block wall cost calculator below.

Reviewed and approved on April 19, 2021, by Tom Grupa and 7 expert masonry companies on HomeGuide.

Cinder block wall cost

Building a cinder block wall costs $60 to $240 per linear foot or $15 to $30 per square foot. An 8'x15' cinder block fence costs $1,800 to $3,600 to install. Cinder block prices are $1 to $5 per block or $115 to $225 per pallet (70-90 blocks). The labor cost to lay CMU blocks adds $5 to $10 per block.

Cinder block wall cost - chart
Cinder block wall cost - chart

Cinder block wall cost
Linear feet 4’ tall 6’ tall 8’ tall
10’ $600 – $1,200 $900 – $1,800 $1,200 – $2,400
15’ $900 – $1,800 $1,350 – $2,700 $1,800 – $3,600
25’ $1,500 – $3,000 $2,250 – $4,500 $3,000 – $6,000
50’ $3,000 – $6,000 $4,500 – $9,000 $6,000 – $12,000
100’ $6,000 – $12,000 $9,000 – $18,000 $12,000 – $24,000
150’ $9,000 – $18,000 $13,500 – $27,000 $18,000 – $36,000
200’ $12,000 – $24,000 $18,000 – $36,000 $24,000 – $48,000

*Total cost to install. Includes foundation, concrete reinforcement, and rebar.

Cinder block fence installed in residential backyard
Cinder block fence installed in residential backyard

Block wall cost calculator

Enter the length and height (in feet) of the block wall to estimate the cost and materials needed.

Cinder block wall cost calculator
Linear feet
Width of the area in feet
Height in feet
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The following table shows the average cost to build a 10' to 50' block wall.

Average block wall cost - chart
Average block wall cost - chart

Average block wall cost
National average cost $3,000
Minimum cost $600
Maximum cost $12,000
Average range $1,500 to $6,000

*Based on 143 project costs reported by HomeGuide members.

How much is a block wall per square foot?

A freestanding concrete block wall costs $15 to $30 per square foot installed on average, depending on the project type, foundation, reinforcements, and whether the wall is load- or non-load bearing. Block retaining walls cost up to 20% more.

Block wall cost per square foot (materials and labor) - chart
Block wall cost per square foot (materials and labor) - chart

Concrete block wall cost per square foot
Construction factor Average cost per square foot
Materials $5 – $13
Labor $10 – $17
Total cost installed $15 – $30

*Includes foundation, concrete reinforcement, and rebar.

Block wall cost per linear foot

Installing a concrete block wall costs $60 to $240 per linear foot, depending on the height and wall thickness. Most local building codes specify block wall fence-height limits of 4’ for the front yard and 6’ to 8’ for the backyard.

Block wall cost per linear foot (by height) - chart
Block wall cost per linear foot (by height) - chart

Block wall cost per linear foot
Wall height (feet) Average cost per linear foot
4’ $60 – $120
6’ $90 – $180
8’ $120 – $240

*Total installed cost with 8”x8”x16” blocks, including the footing.

Labor cost to lay a concrete block wall

Labor costs $10 to $17 per square foot for concrete block wall installation. The cost to lay blocks is $5 to $10 per block for labor, supplies, and equipment only, without the concrete blocks. The going rate for block work labor is $35 to $100 per hour.

Labor cost to lay concrete blocks
Block laying rates Average cost
Per block $5 – $10
Per square foot $10 – $17
Hourly $35 – $100

Masonry contractor laying concrete block wall
Masonry contractor laying concrete block wall

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Cost to install a cinder block wall by type

Cinder block wall installation costs $8 to $40 per square foot, depending on if it's a fence, retaining wall, garage or house wall, shed wall, or foundation. Building codes require grout filling, rebar, and a gravel or concrete foundation according to the wall type and location.

Cost to install cinder block wall by type - chart
Cost to install cinder block wall by type - chart

Concrete block wall installation costs by type
Block wall type Average cost per square foot
Block fence $15 – $30
Block retaining wall $20 – $35
Block garage wall $10 – $35
Block shed wall $8 – $16
Block house wall $10 – $40
Block foundation $12 – $18

*Total installed cost for the walls and footers. Walls shorter than 70 ft. long cost more.

Cinder block fence cost

A cinder block fence costs $60 to $240 per linear foot or $15 to $30 per square foot, depending on the height, filling, and base foundation. A 50’-long block wall fence costs $3,000 to $9,000 on average. Additional finishing costs apply to seal both sides of the concrete block fence.

Cinder block fence cost - chart
Cinder block fence cost - chart

Cinder block fence cost
Linear feet Average cost
10' $600 – $2,000
30' $1,800 – $6,000
50' $3,000 – $9,000
100' $6,000 – $18,000
  • Block wall fences 4’ to 8’ tall need a 1’ to 3’+ concrete footing and grout-filling reinforcement with rebar.

Building a tall cinder block fence
Building a tall cinder block fence

Cinder block retaining wall cost

A cinder block retaining wall costs $60 to $210 per linear foot for walls 3’ to 6’ high, or $20 to $35 per square foot, including gravel backfill and a poured concrete or gravel foundation. Total costs depend on the wall size, foundation type, and reinforcements required by building codes.

Cinder block retaining wall installation
Cinder block retaining wall installation

  • Footings often need to be 1 to 2 feet deep.
  • Concrete grout filling and rebar are essential to stop retaining walls from cracking.
  • Excavation costs vary depending on the soil type, depth, and whether workers must dig by hand or with power-trenching tools.

Cinder block garage cost

A 2-car cinder block garage costs $19,600 to $28,200 on average or $35 to $60 per square foot. The cost to build cinder block garage walls alone is $10 to $35 per square foot. Attached garages with insulation and electricity cost the most.

Cost of building a concrete block shed

Building a cinder block shed costs $3,000 to $4,400 on average, or $30 to $44 per square foot. A shed’s block walls alone cost $8 to $16 per square foot. Prices vary according to foundation and roof types, shed size, and finishes.

Cinder block shed cost
Size Average cost
8’x10’ (80 square feet) $2,400 – $3,520
10’x10’ (100 square feet) $3,000 – $4,400
10’x20’ (200 square feet) $6,000 – $8,800

*Includes concrete slab foundation 4” thick with various levels of finishing & roof types.

Concrete block sheds are cheaper than garages because they are smaller, have a shallow foundation, and often require no interior insulation and minimal reinforcements.

Cinder block house cost

A complete cinder block house costs $190 to $400 per square foot, including the foundation, exterior walls, and building framing. Concrete house block walls only cost $10 to $40 per square foot. Cinder block housing is made of concrete masonry unit (CMU) reinforced cinder blocks.

Exposed cinder block house construction
Exposed cinder block house construction

  • Concrete cinder block homes are fire-resistant.
  • In comparison, the average cost to build a house with lumber is $100 to $155 per square foot. Cinder block construction materials cost more and are more labor-intensive than stick-built homes.

Concrete block foundation or basement cost

A concrete block foundation costs $8,000 to $41,500 on average or $12 to $18 per square foot. Cinder block foundation types include basements, stem walls, piers, and crawl spaces. All blocks have concrete or cement grout with rebar reinforcements.

Parged concrete block foundation under construction
Parged concrete block foundation under construction

Cinderblock foundation costs vary according to:

  • Structure size
  • Permit and inspection costs
  • Excavation and site-leveling fees
  • Waterproofing and sealing charges for finishing basement walls

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Cinder block prices

Cinder blocks cost $1 to $3 per block for CMU blocks, hollow concrete blocks, half-blocks, rounded blocks, and slump blocks. Solid concrete blocks, split-faced blocks, and breeze blocks cost $2 to $5 per block. Cement cinder block prices depend on the size, type, and finish.

Cinder block prices (per block by type) - chart
Cinder block prices (per block by type) - chart

Cinder block prices
Block type Price per block Description
Standard CMU cinder blocks $1.25 – $2.50
  • 8”x8”x16”
  • Hollow
Half-blocks $1.10 – $2.00

  • 8”x8”x8”
  • Hollow
  • Used for wall endings
Standard solid blocks $3.30 – $5.00
  • 8”x8”x16”
  • Solid block
Thin solid blocks $1.65 – $2.50
  • 4”x8”x16”
  • Solid block
Split-faced blocks $2.00 – $4.50
  • 8”x8”x16”
  • Split after curing
  • Natural stone appearance
Rounded blocks $2.65 – $3.00
  • Also called “Bullnose”
  • One or multiple rounded corners
Breeze blocks $2.70 – $4.00

  • 4”x12”x12”
  • Open decorative design
  • Wind blows through
  • Other sizes available
Slump blocks $2.00 – $2.75
  • 6”x6”x16” most common size
  • Slumped appearance
  • Removed from the mold before fully set

*Material prices only.

Types of cinder blocks and CMU blocks
Types of cinder blocks and CMU blocks

Pallet of cinder blocks price

One pallet of cinder blocks costs $115 to $225 on average. A pallet of cinder blocks weighs 2,500 to 3,250 pounds. A standard pallet holds 70 to 90 cinder blocks. Each 8”x8”x16” cinder block weighs 28 to 36 pounds on average.

  • Bulk cinder block delivery costs $60 to $200+, depending on the quantity and location.
  • Refundable pallet deposits are $15 to $20 per pallet.
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Decorative cinder blocks prices

Decorative cinder blocks come as breeze blocks, split-faced blocks, or custom-ordered concrete blocks for specific sizes and designs.

Decorative cinder block prices
Block type Cost per block Description
Split-faced blocks $2.00 – $4.50 Split-faced blocks have a rough and natural-looking texture because masons cut them after curing to expose their interior aggregate.
Breeze blocks cost $2.70 – $4.00 Also called concrete screen blocks, the cut-out designs let wind and light through them. Square concrete breeze blocks are best for garden partitions and not for structural applications.
Concrete slump blocks $2.00 – $2.75 Block makers remove the blocks from the mold before setting to add a slumped appearance to the block.

*Material prices only.

Specialty cinder block prices

Different wall designs may require custom-shaped concrete blocks or capstones. Jamb joist blocks have slots to accept window and door frames, and sash blocks have an opening for casement windows. Other common types include:

Specialty cinder block prices
Block type Cost per block Description
Capstones $1.00 – $1.50
  • Sealing top part of the wall
  • Typical size: 8”x2”x16”
Header blocks $2.00 – $2.20
  • Open slots for roof frames
L-corner block $2.20 – $3.30
  • 4”x8”x16” to 12”x8”x16”
  • Squaring corners
Bond beam $1.30 – $3.00
  • Horizontal reinforcing

*Material prices only.

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Concrete (CMU) blocks prices

Building and construction concrete block prices are $1 to $4 per block, depending on the size. Standard 8”x8”x16” concrete block prices are $1.25 to $2.50 each. The biggest 12”x8”16” CMU blocks cost $2 to $4 per block.

Concrete (CMU) block prices by size - chart
Concrete (CMU) block prices by size - chart

CMU Concrete block prices per block
Block width (inches) Average cost per block
4” $1.00 – $2.00
6” $1.00 – $2.50
8” $1.25 – $2.50
10” $1.60 – $3.00
12” $2.00 – $4.00

*Based on standard concrete block sizes of 8” high and 16” long with open cells.

Contractors refer to concrete blocks as concrete masonry units (CMU), cinder blocks, masonry blocks, and “Haydock blocks” in some places.

Alternatives to standard concrete blocks

Alternatives to standard concrete blocks include:

  • Cylinder block prices are $2.75 to $2.80 per block for 12” high and 6” diameter solid concrete blocks. Cylinder blocks make attractive garden bed borders, and builders also use them for foundation supports.
  • Ecology blocks cost $35 to $65 per block and are 2’x2’x6’ in size, weighing 3,600 to 3,850 lbs. each. Ecology blocks contain recycled concrete and are easily stackable with a tongue-and-groove design to make permanent or temporary structures.
  • Insulated concrete forms (ICF) cost $4 to $6 per square foot. These lightweight polystyrene (EPS) concrete forms are stackable and easy to install. Insulation typically comes in either Styrofoam or Nexcem brand cement-bonded wood fiber that fills voids inside concrete cinder blocks.

*Material prices only. Installation costs depend on the size, location, and project type.

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Blockwork construction price factors

The following factors affect the total cinder block wall construction cost:

  • Building permits – A permit costs $50 to $450 on average, depending on the wall type, length, and location. Walls 3’ to 4’ tall or larger typically require permits, and contractors should pull permits.
  • Foundation – Large or load-bearing walls cost more for deeper footings.
  • Complexity – Wall designs with curves and multiple corners take more time.
  • Openings for gates, windows, & doors – Framing openings and adding supportive beams costs extra for additional reinforcements, mortar joints, and labor.
  • Difficult terrain or climate – Installations on sloped or rugged terrain increase labor time because of more digging and foundation work.
  • Site access – Extra charges for traveling apply according to the distance from building material suppliers to the project site.
  • Removing an old concrete fence or block wall – Demolishing concrete walls costs $5 to $16 per linear foot, depending on the size and reinforcements inside.
  • Reinforcements – Filling the wall with cement and rebar costs $1.00 to $5.25+ per square foot. Building codes state reinforcements are necessary for almost all block walls, except for non-loadbearing walls shorter than 2’ tall in some cities.
  • Insulation – Filling the concrete blocks with core-filling injection foam costs $1.50 to $2.50 per square foot.
  • Excavation – Trenching costs $10 to $20+ per square foot or more for rocky soil. Block wall foundations need to be 1’ to 3’ deep on average, or deeper for tall fences.
  • Drainage – Installing a French drain costs $10 to $30 per linear foot to prevent flooding around the wall.
  • Equipment allowance – Cutting and grinding blocks onsite is labor-intensive work with various fees depending on the wall design and project size.
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Standard cinder block size dimensions

Standard cement cinder block dimensions are 8”x8”x16”. However, actual block measurements are smaller to allow for a mortar layer 3/8” thick between the block joints. Other common cinder block sizes range from 4” to 12” in depth and are typically 8” tall.

Cinder-block wall finishing cost

Most cinder-block wall finishing options cost $1.50 to $10.00 per square foot. Sealing cinder-block walls is vital since they absorb water easily. Unsealed concrete-block walls suffer damages like cracking, deteriorating mortar, wall and insulation rot, mold, and structural failures.

Concrete block wall finishing cost
Finishing type Average cost per square foot
Painting $1.65 – $1.90
Waterproofing sealant $2.00 – $10.00
Plastering / Stucco $3.00 – $4.00
Vinyl siding $3.30 – $6.70
Concrete finish $1.50 – $3.50
Stone veneer $13.00 – $30.00

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Frequently asked questions

Is a poured concrete wall or a block wall cheaper?

A concrete block wall is cheaper at a total cost of $15 to $30 per square foot on average, and a poured concrete wall costs $25 to $70 per square foot installed.

  • Cinder blocks require skilled labor for effective installation. Concrete block walls are better for remote and hard-to-access locations.
  • Poured concrete is stronger and easier to waterproof, but it requires more site preparation and formwork. Concrete prices depend on the type, load size, and delivery distance.

What’s the difference between concrete and cinder blocks?

Today, there is no difference between concrete blocks and cinder blocks. All concrete cinder blocks contain varying proportions of cement, sand, gravel, and a range of other recycled construction materials like ash or coal cinders. Concrete blocks have different weight-bearing ratings depending on their content.

How much weight can a cinder block support?

A concrete cinder block supports 1,900 to 3,000 pounds of weight per square inch (PSI), as per the ASTM International 2018 standards. Cinder block walls reinforced with concrete and steel provide a higher load-bearing capacity. Total weight supported depends on the block size, shape, content, and structure type.

Cinder block weight bearing capacity
Block building application Minimum required weight rating (lbs. PSI)
Non-load-bearing partitions 500 – 1,700+
Load-bearing concrete block walls 1,900+
Building construction 2,000 – 2,500+
Exterior wall of a building 3,000

Where to buy cinder blocks?

Buying cinder blocks costs $1 to $5 per block. Cinder blocks are available to buy from home improvement stores, building material suppliers, and landscaping companies. Home Depot has the smallest selection, while Lowe’s and Menards have the largest choice of block sizes, shapes, and hollow or solid types.

Cinder block cost by store
Store Price per block Selection
Home Depot $1.10 – $1.65
  • Standard 8”x8”x16”, half, & thin sizes
  • Hollow & solid
  • Top caps
Lowe’s $1.10 – $5.20
  • Standard 8”x8”x16”, half, & thin sizes
  • Hollow & solid
  • Top caps
  • Standard, header, & cap-cored
  • Split-faced
  • Decorative
Menards $1.20 – $5.00
  • Standard 8”x8”x16”, half, & thin sizes
  • Hollow & solid
  • Split-faced
  • Corner blocks
  • Bullnose (rounded)
  • Bond beams
  • Top caps
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DIY cement block wall cost

Equipment to build a DIY cement cinder block wall costs $100 to $300+. Materials cost $15 to $45 per linear foot of wall for the concrete blocks, cement mix, and binders. Recommended safety gear includes a dust mask, goggles, gloves, and safety boots. Other tools and materials needed are:

DIY cinder block wall tools and materials needed
Tools Materials
  • Shovel
  • Tamper
  • Line chalk
  • Garden hoe for mixing
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Block chisel / masonry chisel
  • Tape measure
  • Mason’s hammer
  • 4’ long level
  • Brick tongs
  • Trowel
  • Jointing tool / steel brick jointer
  • Mason’s line / string
  • Plastic mixing tub / mud or mortar pan
  • Mortarboard / drywall hawk
  • Crushed / compactable gravel
  • Concrete mix
  • Sand
  • Mortar
  • Concrete blocks
  • Concrete adhesive

Homeowners with construction experience can build a concrete-block garden wall on an existing concrete or compacted gravel foundation. However, professional masons should install load-bearing walls for fences and buildings.

Always check local building codes for requirements on wall reinforcements, height allowances, and wall footings before making a cement block wall.
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How many cinder blocks do I need?

To calculate how many concrete cinder blocks are necessary to build a wall:

  1. Multiply the width and height of the surface area to get the total square footage.
  2. Subtract the square footage for door and window openings.
  3. Divide the total square footage by 0.9 to get the number of blocks needed.
  4. Add 5% to 10% more blocks per project to account for broken blocks and wastage from cutting blocks at the sides.
Cinder or concrete blocks needed for a wall
Wall size (square feet) Blocks needed Average cost
100 110 $135 – $275
250 275 $345 – $685
500 555 $695 – $1,385

*Based on standard 8”x8”x16” concrete blocks covering 0.9 square feet of surface area, including mortar allowance.

How much concrete is needed to fill a cinder block?

You need 0.01 cubic yards or 0.25 cubic feet of concrete to fill one 8”x8”x16” cinder block. Reinforcing cinder blocks with concrete filling strengthens them and prevents minor cracks.

Concrete block fill calculator
Number of blocks Concrete (cubic feet) Concrete (cubic yard)
50 12.5 0.5
100 25 1
200 50 2
400 100 4

*Based on standard 8”x8”x16” concrete blocks.

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Hiring a block wall contractor

Before hiring a bricklayer or mason:

  • Compare at least three estimates from various masons.
  • Look for installers certified by the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA), the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA), or other masonry organizations.
  • Beware of the cheapest quotes that often mean low-quality work.
  • Check their reviews on HomeGuide, Google, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Pick certified, insured, and bonded contractors with years of masonry experience.
  • Never pay in full upfront. Follow a payment schedule at job milestones.
  • Collect an itemized bid that details all costs involved.

Questions to ask masonry contractors

  • What materials will you make the wall from?
  • What are my choices for the wall finish?
  • Can I see photos of your past projects?
  • How long have you been building block walls?
  • Can you show me a scaled landscape design of the wall before construction?
  • What types of walls do you have the most experience in building?
  • How do you build the wall foundation?
  • Can you match the mortar finish to my existing home?
  • Do you have insurance, licenses, and bond guarantees?
  • How will you manage unexpected project delays?
  • Will you pull the required building permits and be here for site inspections?
  • What should I do to prepare space for the crew?
  • Are all materials and labor fees listed in this estimate? What extra charges can I expect?
  • Does your crew clean up after the job is complete, and does that cost extra?
  • How should I contact the project supervisor?
  • Do you hire subcontractors, and if so, are there extra charges to manage them?
  • What do you include in your warranty?
  • How long will this wall construction take?
  • What’s your payment schedule?
  • Will you give me a copy of the contract before work begins?

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