Cinder blocks are relatively lightweight and affordable wall options.
Costs of cinder block walls can range from $360 to over $3,600.
Cinder blocks are great for decorative walls or functional fences.
You’ll spend more to reinforce cinder blocks in load-bearing walls.
Cinder block walls can enclose a garden or add privacy to your backyard. It’s a popular material choice for building outdoor walls, because it is affordable but doesn’t sacrifice durability. A cinder block wall costs about $1,980 for an 8-by-15-foot wall, including the cost of the blocks, mortar, and professional installation. The same size wall can cost as low as $360 for just the materials, or it may cost up to $3,600 for more expensive blocks and professional installation.
|Minimum Cost||National Average Cost||Maximum Cost|
Cinder Block Walls Cost
A new cinderblock wall around your yard will cost an average of $1,980, although the prices depend on the price of the blocks you choose and whether you install the wall yourself or hire a professional.
Cinder Blocks vs. Concrete Blocks
The terms cinder block and concrete block are often used interchangeably, and both items are similarly made with cement, water, and aggregate content. The term cinder block today usually refers to blocks with hollow centers that are lighter in weight. Both options are similar in cost, around $1 to $3 per block.
|Cinder Block Considerations||Costs|
|Pallets||$115 – $225|
|Wall Customizations||$2.35 – $3 per block|
|Reinforcements||$1 – $5.25 per square foot|
|Delivery||$50 – $200|
|Old Wall Removal||$5 – $20 per linear foot|
|Finishing and Sealing||$1.50 – $10 per square foot|
|Permits||$50 – $500|
If you want to source your blocks in bulk to construct a wall, consider buying a pallet for about $115 to $225. Pallets hold about 80 cinder blocks each. There may be additional fees to buy a pallet, including delivery for $50 to $200, and a refundable deposit on the pallet for about $20.
Cinder blocks cost about $1 to $3 each, but if you want to customize the blocks, the cost could be higher. Capstones may cost an extra $0.95, while split-face blocks made to resemble natural stone may cost on the higher end of the average range at $2.30 to $3 per block.
Reinforcements for load-bearing cinder block walls cost $1 to $5.25 per square foot. Building a fence around your garden likely won’t require reinforcement, but walls that will bear any weight need to be reinforced. That means they’ll either need rebar or to be filled with concrete.
Whether you want to install the walls yourself or you plan to work with a mason, someone will need to deliver all those heavy cinder blocks to the project site. There may be additional charges if the site is difficult to access. Typically, delivering the blocks will cost $50 to $200.
Removal of Old Walls or Material
Don’t start knocking out old walls just yet. You may need to hire a structural engineer, especially if you are removing older load-bearing walls. For professional removal, budget $5 to $20 per linear foot.
Finishing and Sealing
Finishing cinder block walls costs about $1.50 to $10 per square foot. If you want your cinder block walls to stand up to cracking, weathering, and deterioration, you’ll want to seal them for better protection.
Permits for cinder block walls range from around $50 to $500. Building walls can be a big project, and your municipality will likely require permits especially for load-bearing walls.
Cider Block Walls by Type
You may be considering cinder blocks for their versatility. You’ve probably seen them used around garden beds or fire pits, but they can also work for various wall projects.
Retaining walls made from cinder blocks cost about $60 to $200 per linear foot. These walls need to be able to withstand the weight of soil they are retaining, and the higher cost accounts for excavation and reinforcements.
Garage or Shed
For garage or shed walls, you’ll spend about $8 to $40 per square foot. Costs will increase if you plan to add insulation, electricity, and heating to the garage or shed.
Foundation or Basement
Foundations and basement walls need to have strong reinforcements to support the weight of the house. Cinder block foundations or basement walls cost about $10 to $20 per square foot.
Cinder Block Fence Costs
A cinder block fence will cost about $10 to $30 per square foot, including the cost of professional installation.
How Much Does a Cinder Block Wall Cost per Square Foot?
Cinder block walls cost about $10 to $30 per square foot for the materials, like blocks and mortar, plus professional installation. The materials cost about $3 to $6 per square foot. A professionally installed 8-by-15-foot cinder block wall may cost $1,200 to $3,600, while a DIY wall may cost around $360 to $720.
Cinder Block Walls Cost Factors
To build a cinder block wall, you’ll need the blocks and mortar. If you plan to DIY, you’ll need the appropriate tools, like a bucket and mixer for mixing mortar. Otherwise, you should account for the cost of labor in your budget.
Cinder blocks cost about $1 to $3, and all materials for a cinder block wall, including the blocks and mortar, cost an average of $3 to $6. For tools, you will also need a bucket to mix the mortar in, a shovel, a trowel, line chalk, and rebars or other reinforcements if the wall will be load-bearing.
Hiring a mason to install a cinder block wall costs about $25 to $100 per hour, and some contractors may charge a minimum rate of $200 to $400 to cover the first two to three hours of work. Each mason will be able to lay upward of 90 to 120 blocks in a day’s work.
Cost to Build Cinder Block Walls Yourself
You can save up to $100 per hour to install cinder block walls yourself, and you’ll spend about $360 to $720 for materials. Depending on the size of the walls, you can expect to spend about five to seven days on this project.
DIY Cinder Block Walls vs. Hiring a Professional
Building cinder block walls is suitable for DIY projects, so long as the walls aren’t load-bearing. If you need the walls to hold any amount of weight you should hire a local masonry contractor to properly install rebar or other reinforcements. Make sure to ask the mason questions about the project, like cost estimates and material sourcing, as well as how they work.
How to Save Money on a Cinder Block Wall
For decorative or simple walls, the best way to save money is to build the cinder block wall yourself. Opt for basic cinder blocks if customization isn’t a top priority to save more money. If you do decide to DIY and you have a vehicle that can handle the weight of the blocks, consider picking up your cinder blocks or palettes rather than having them delivered.
Should I pour a concrete wall or use cinder blocks?
With proper installation and sealing, both poured concrete and cinder block walls can be durable options for your yard or home. Poured concrete walls do offer more durability and strength, but cinder block walls are less expensive. A concrete wall costs an average of $6,500.
What are some alternatives to cinder blocks?
Classic alternatives to cinder blocks include bricks, poured concrete, or rammed earth construction. But modern technology is making even more sustainable options, like polystyrene concrete blocks, which are made in part with recycled polystyrene to mimic the lightweightness of cinder blocks. Hempcrete, made from hemp waste generated when hemp is turned into fibers, or timbercrete, made partly with sawdust, are other sustainable options. Ferrock is a carbon-negative alternative to cinder blocks and is made from steel dust waste and ground silica glass.
What should I consider when buying cinder blocks for walls?
It’s important to consider the project at hand before selecting cinder blocks for the walls you want to build. While cinder blocks are lightweight and cost-effective, they may not be as durable as concrete blocks or poured concrete if you want a long-lasting wall or load-bearing wall.