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How Much Does a Concrete Block Wall Cost?
Concrete block walls typically cost $15 to $20 per square foot to install, with the average 8′ by 15′ wall costing around $2,000 on average. Consider getting several professional estimates for your wall or foundation project to get an accurate price. Use our concrete block calculator to estimate the number of blocks and material needed for your project.
Several factors may affect the cost of a block wall project and should be considered when estimating the approximate price.
Installing a concrete block wall is a labor-intensive project, and thus labor is one of the most significant factors in the price of installation.
Labor variances in different locales can drive the price up or down depending on your area. Typical labor costs can range from $5 to $13 per square foot for installation and equipment.
Some walls need large footings, which should be considered when estimating the cost. If your wall is load-bearing, then a poured concrete footing may be necessary, which can increase total costs.
Always consult your local building codes to find the foundation requirements for your project, and if unsure, speak to a professional or hire a structural engineer. Learn more about the cost of concrete footings.
Veneers such as stucco or plaster add a decorative look to an otherwise plain material, but they can also add significant labor and material cost to your project. Expect stucco or plaster costs to run about $6 to $9 per square foot additional.
Paint is another alternative to improve a wall’s appearance, but consider that concrete is a very porous material and will likely take quite a bit of material. Paint costs will run about $2 to $3 per square foot additional for the total cost of the wall.
Waterproofing coatings such as tar or sealing paint are an important addition for foundation walls, and should also be considered when planning the project.
If you choose to use these materials, expect to add $2 to $3 to the total costs per square foot.
Additional Costs for a Foundation
Foundation and structural walls may also need to be reinforced with rebar and concrete. Foundations need more strength than a non-bearing wall to support additional weight and prevent cracking or bowing under the stress of soil and earth.
While filling a cinder block wall is not always necessary, adding either sand or poured concrete to the voids adds strength and stability to the wall. Filling a wall with rebar and concrete adds an additional $2 to $8 per square foot to the project.
Don’t forget drain piping and other drainage solutions if you’re installing a foundation. Adding a French drain can add an additional $0.50 to $2 per square foot to the total cost of the project.
Types of Concrete Blocks
There are many different types of concrete masonry units, and they vary in price, with some decorative products costing more than the typical 8″ x 16″ unit.
Standard cinder blocks are the most common block used. These often run around $1 to $3 per block.
Split-faced blocks are another common option and are widely favored for their decorative face and low cost. These usually run $2.50 to $3.50 per block.
Thinner 4″ blocks are typically used for veneers to provide a decorative face to a wall. They can cost anywhere from $3 to $7 per block or more.
Blocks used for retaining walls are usually $6 – $11 per block. Refer to our retaining wall cost guide for more details.
Get estimates from professional masonry contractors to find the exact cost of your project and any other project specifics that might influence the final price.
All pricing information on this page is based on average industry costs, and is subject to variance for project-specific materials, labor rates, and requirements.
- International Masonry Institute, Concrete Masonry Units, https://www.imiweb.org/new-concrete-masonry-construction/
- Tim Carter , How to determine if a poured concrete or block foundation is best for your new home, The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/where-we-live/wp/2016/11/15/how-to-determine-if-a-poured-concrete-or-block-foundation-is-best-for-your-new-home/
- Nick Gromicko and Ben Gromicko, Structural Design of Foundations for the Home Inspector, International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, https://www.nachi.org/structural-design-foundations-home-inspector.htm