How Much Does it Cost to Build a Retaining Wall?

Gone are the days when retaining walls only serve to stop soil from eroding and flowing down to other parts of a property. Nowadays, it can perform additional functions like creating an elevated flower bed or building large landscaping designs. Some property owners put up retaining walls to improve drainage, simplify maintenance for sloping areas, and even provide better accessibility for disabled people.

If you’re planning to build one too for your home or commercial space, you might be wondering how much it would cost you. What are the steps involved in the project? And do you need a professional to take on the job, or is it possible to take the DIY path?

Let’s learn about these and more as we tackle the cost of building a retaining wall in New Zealand.

Average Cost of Building a Retaining Wall in NZ

To compute the average cost of putting up a retaining wall in NZ, you will need to look at certain factors. One example of that would be the type of retaining wall you want to install. Are you aiming to use a stone-clad wall? Are you considering other options like a timber, concrete, or gabion retaining wall?

Here’s a quick overview of the average cost for each type of retaining wall:

  • Stone-cladding wall – Roughly $1950 for every metre
  • Timber wall – Starts at $510 per metre
  • Gabion wall – About $160 per basket
  • Concrete wall – About $299 per metre

Not sure which among the four types of retaining walls will best suit your property? Let’s take a closer look and learn more about the pros and cons of using them.

Stone-cladding wall


Stone-cladding retaining walls are expensive for a couple of reasons. For starters, putting one up can be labour-intensive. That’s because it would require you to build a brick, timber, or block wall to hold the soil in place. Then, after completing the wall, you can start attaching the stone-clad sheets.

Another reason why this type of wall costs more than the others its aesthetic appeal. The unique cut of each stone adds a unique charm to the wall. It also complements other exterior structures better, especially if you pick a contrasting texture.

Concrete wall

If you’re looking for an option that’s durable and cost-effective, the concrete type of retaining wall may be a suitable choice. You can either install one on your own or enlist the help of a professional contractor. Its upfront cost is more expensive than the timber type, but it doesn’t require heavy maintenance.

Gabion wall

A gabion wall is another well-known favourite amongst hobbyists, weekend warriors, and DIY craftsmen. That’s because it’s simple to install, provided you have the necessary tools and materials needed. It also works quite well for areas comprised of clay or hard soil.

Timber wall

Timber wall is quite popular amongst folks who want to save a bit of cash. While they’re not as durable as concrete or gabion, a well-built timber retaining wall can survive for at most a decade. You can call in a tradie to help you cut and pile up timber. Alternatively, you can include this in one of your lists of DIY projects.

Other Factors that Influence Cost of a Retaining Wall in NZ

Aside from looking at the type of retaining wall you would want to have, we also suggest checking other essential factors like the length, height, and width. It’s also crucial to compare the cost estimates of available contractors and the suppliers of the materials you need.

Try comparing the quotes provided and check which one offers you the best deal. It would be best to choose one located near you to save money on transportation costs. It will also help you minimise delays and other unwanted situations that could stretch out your budget.

Do you need to apply for building consent for your retaining wall?

Other than the labour and materials costing, many people planning to erect a retaining wall also wonder if they have to apply for building consent. However, if the retaining wall you wish to construct or alter goes beyond 1.5 metres deep or supports an additional load, you may need to apply for building consent. To know how much you would need to settle for the application, you can check out your council’s deposit calculator.

Talk to a Professional Retaining Wall Contractor Today!

Are you excited to start building your retaining wall for your property? Indeed, retaining walls make a fine addition to any property. Whether you need it for aesthetic appeal, drainage improvement or other purposes,  our team of tradies and craftsmen are at your disposal.

Kindly reach out to our team today and find out more about retaining walls and get a cost estimate for your project. We would love to lend you a hand!