Cost to Install a Concrete Block Wall in 2020

Concrete blocks, otherwise known as cinder blocks or concrete masonry units[1], are commonly used for construction, including foundations, bearing walls, fire walls, retaining walls, screening walls and fences.

Block walls are usually installed by masons or other masonry contractors and is assembled using mortar and may be filled with rebar and concrete. We'll go into detail on the cost to install a wall below.

2020 Concrete Block Wall Costs

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Typical Price Range (per 100 sq ft) $1,000 - $1,500
Typical Price Range (per sq ft) $10 - $15


How Much Does a Concrete Block Wall Cost?

Concrete block walls typically cost $10 to $15 per square foot to install. 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.

concrete block foundation wall being constructed by a mason

Several factors may affect the cost of a block wall project and should be considered when estimating the approximate price.

Labor Cost

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.[2] Labor variances in different locales can drive the price up or down depending on your area.

Footings

Some walls need large footings, which should be considered when estimating the cost. When used Always consult your local building codes to find the foundation requirements for your project.

Learn more about the cost of concrete footings.

Decorative Veneers

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. 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.

Waterproofing Costs

Waterproofing coatings such as tar or sealing paint are an important addition for foundation walls, and should also be considered when planning the project.

Additional Costs for a Foundation

Foundation and structural walls may also need to be reinforced with rebar and concrete.[3] 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.

Don’t forget drain piping and other drainage solutions if your installing a foundation.

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 $1.30 per block.[4]

Split-faced block 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.

References

  1. International Masonry Institute, Concrete Masonry Units, http://imiweb.org/concrete-masonry-units/
  2. 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/
  3. 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
  4. G.D. Palmer, What Is the Rough Cost of Concrete Building Block?, Hunker, https://www.hunker.com/13401180/what-is-the-rough-cost-of-concrete-building-block