Retaining Walls Part II: Costs of Concrete vs. Stone

Stacking Retaining Wall Stone Against Concrete

As with anything, when you’re taking on a project like the installation of a retaining wall, you must consider the pros and cons of the materials…not the least of which is their cost. In comparing the two most commonly used materials for retaining walls – concrete and natural stone – there are certain factors that come into play aside from simply looking straight at the numbers in black and white.

Naturally, the cost of material is an important consideration. Secondly, the labor costs also play a great role. Lastly, you should look at your investment with a long-term view, rather than from the short-term perspective of the cheapest option.

Costing-Out Concrete Retaining Walls

So truly, what are the costs involves in retaining walls made from concrete? Concrete generally has the upside of being less expensive, material-wise. They’re also generally simple to install, which equates to lower labor costs. And while they’re extremely versatile because of their availability in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes, they do have an expense that may be easily overlooked in the after-glow of their inexpensive charms: maintenance costs and their tendency to crack, which requires more frequent repair.

Budget-Worthiness of Natural Stone Retaining Walls

Natural stone, while the more expensive material option than concrete, does have reason for that cost. Being the natural product that it is, it comes with a certain amount of sourcing and processing that manufactured concrete blocks do not require. But the natural beauty offsets the cost. And concrete block cannot replicate that. Also, this also provides a more one-of-a-kind, unique look for a retaining wall. Unfortunately, the expense of straight materials of natural stone is also compounded by the fact that it is more difficult to install correctly. Because it takes more precision than concrete, a stone wall will incur a higher labor cost than one made of concrete blocks. That factor can add up to a number that may be out of your price range.

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Before you take natural stone off the stack, however, it’s crucial to know that they can last longer than concrete. The stones are harder, sturdier and denser, which means that a retaining wall built from natural stone may have a longer life than one made from a manufactured concrete stone. In terms of cost, that fact alone may allay some of your wariness and put stone back in the running.

Time to Decide

Costs vary from area to area as well as individually from contractor to contractor, so it’s important to get the advice of a professional and consult with more that one contractor to get bids before you decide on one. You’ll also need to think about the look you want to achieve, the size of your project and the function your wall will be serving – whether that function is purely to add visual appeal or to keep your landscape safe from erosion.

Give the team of experts at Executive Landscaping, Inc., a call today to learn more about the cost of retaining walls and how we can create an Executive Masterpiece for you!