How much does it cost to repair a retaining wall?
Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to repair a retaining wall?

Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to repair a retaining wall?

$100 – $1,500average cost to repair a retaining wall
$6,000 – $14,000average cost to remove and replace a retaining wall

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$100 – $1,500 average cost to repair a retaining wall

$6,000 – $14,000 average cost to remove and replace a retaining wall


Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
Are you a pro? Get new customers
Daniel Bal
Written by
Daniel Bal
Edited by
Kristen Cramer
Fact-checked by
Tom Grupa

Retaining wall repair costs

Retaining wall repairs cost $100 to $1,500, depending on the wall material, problem, and the type and extent of the repairs. Fixing small leaks or cracks typically costs less than repairing a leaning retaining wall. Removing and rebuilding a retaining wall costs $6,000 to $14,000.

Average retaining wall repair costs
Problem Average repair cost Description
Leaning or bowing $200 – $1,500 Excess pressure on one spot of the wall causes it to bulge.
Leaking or seeping $100 – $1,000 Water or soil seeps through cracks in the wall or around crumbling mortar.
Cracking or crumbling $150 – $1,000 Erosion or exposure to the elements causes the wall to crack and crumble.
Efflorescence $150 – $800 Water carrying salt evaporates in or on the wall and leaves behind a white residue.
Foundation $40 – $75 per linear foot Over time, the soil places pressure on the wall, shifting its foundation.

Cost to fix a retaining wall

Fixing a retaining wall costs $10 to $150 per square foot or $100 to $1,500 total, depending on the material and the repair method used.

Repair cost by material

Depending on the issue, parts of the wall might require replacement instead of repair. Replacing a section of the wall costs $10 to $150 per square foot, depending on the material. The most common materials include vinyl, wood, railroad ties, brick, concrete, cinder block, steel, and stone.

Retaining wall repair costs by material
Wall material Cost per square foot*
Wood / railroad ties $10 – $40
Stone $10 – $85
Block $15 – $55
Metal $15 – $150
Concrete / cinder block $20 – $45
Brick $30 – $60

*Including labor and materials

Repair cost by solution

The cost also depends on the method used to repair the wall:

Retaining wall repair costs by solution
Solution Average cost per square foot* Description Repairs
Adding drainage $50 – $80 The addition of drainage pipes or weep holes (small holes that provide drainage and ventilation).
  • Leaning or bowing
  • Leaking or seeping
  • Cracking
  • Efflorescence
  • Foundation
Anchor $60 – $80 Large rods are driven through the wall and attached to an anchor, which holds the wall in place so it no longer leans forward.
  • Leaning or bowing
  • Foundation
Reinforcing and straightening $50 – $80 Applying new mortar and concrete and thickening the base of the wall
  • Leaning or bowing
  • Leaking or seeping
  • Efflorescence
  • Cracking and crumbling
  • Foundation

*Including labor and materials

A retaining wall made from natural stone blocks with matching steps in a residential yard.
A retaining wall made from natural stone blocks with matching steps in a residential yard.

Additional costs when repairing a retaining wall

Other factors that may increase the total cost include the following:

  • Footings – Concrete footings cost $18 to$55 per linear foot installed and help strengthen the wall's foundation.

  • Reinforcement – Steel rebar costs $2.50 to $5.00+ per square foot and reinforces the wall's structural integrity.

  • Delivery – Delivery of materials such as blocks, stone, and brick costs $30 to $100 per truckload.

  • BackfillFill dirt costs $5 to $25 per cubic yard or $150 to $600 per truckload. Backfill dirt placed behind the wall helps to provide proper drainage.

  • Permits and inspections – Larger repair projects or total wall replacement may require a permit, with costs ranging from $50 to $450, depending on your location. An inspection costs $150 to $300 and should be performed every 3 to 5 years.

Labor cost to fix a retaining wall

Masons and landscape wall contractors charge $50 to $75 per hour for labor alone. The wall's length, height, and accessibility have the greatest impact on labor costs.

Structural engineers charge $100 to $220 per hour. Hire a structural engineer to plan or inspect the retaining wall to ensure its stability and integrity.

Cost to rebuild a retaining wall

Demolishing an old wall and building a new retaining wall costs $6,000 to $14,000 for an average 50-foot-long 4-foot-tall wall.

Demolition costs range from $10 to $20 per linear foot, while rebuilding the wall costs $40 to $300 per linear foot, depending on the material and height.

Cost to remove & replace a retaining wall
Factor Average cost*
Demolition and removal cost $2,000 – $4,000
New wall cost $4,000 – $10,000
Total $6,000 – $14,000

*Including labor and materials for a 50' long x 4' tall wall

Retaining wall repair FAQs

Can a retaining wall be repaired?

Yes, a retaining wall can be repaired. Repairs are much more cost-effective and practical than removing the wall and building a new one.

Have the wall inspected regularly for structural issues so repairs can be made promptly. Ignoring or overlooking a small problem can cause it to turn into a huge one, drastically increasing costs or leading to the need for a complete replacement.

Who can fix a retaining wall?

Masons and landscapers can fix or build a retaining wall. Before making repairs to a wall that is leaning or bowing, consider hiring a structural engineer to determine the underlying cause of the problem.

Can I repair a retaining wall myself?

Yes, it is possible to repair a retaining wall yourself, depending on the extent of the damage and your own experience.

Have an expert examine the wall to determine the issue before deciding if it is a problem you can fix yourself. Inadequate repairs can lead to more substantial problems, which will cost more in the long run.

Do I need a permit to repair a retaining wall?

No, you typically do not need a permit to repair a retaining wall. Most cities require a permit when building a new retaining wall over four feet; however, repairs do not necessarily warrant one. If the repairs drastically change the wall's footprint, height, or structure, you might need a permit.

Getting estimates for retaining wall repairs

Consider the following when choosing a contractor for retaining wall repairs:

  • Search for at least 3 to 4 in-person quotes.

  • Find installers who are certified by the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) or the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA).

  • Read reviews from reputable websites such as HomeGuide and Google.

  • Request a detailed estimate, contract, and warranty in writing.

  • Ask for multiple references and photographs of previous work.

  • Avoid hiring someone who has not made an on-site visit.

  • Be wary of contractors who ask to be paid in full before the work is done.

  • Beware of the lowest quote; lower quotes may reflect a lower quality of work.

Questions to ask

  • Are you certified by the MCAA or NCMA?

  • Do you have liability insurance?

  • What type of experience do you have with retaining walls?

  • Would it be better to repair or replace my retaining wall, and why?

  • Based on your experience, which materials should I use?

  • Can you provide references?

  • Can I see examples of your previous work?

  • What is the estimated cost of the work?

  • How likely is the estimated cost to increase by the end of the project?

  • How long will it take you to complete the work?

  • How long do you guarantee the wall will last?

  • What type of warranty do you offer? How long does it last?

  • Is there anything not covered in the warranty?