Timber is the cheapest type of retaining wall available today. Timber retaining walls can be constructed out of treated pine or hardwood. It provides homeowners with an organic and natural appeal, making them ideal for gardens.

This article will discuss the cost of installing retaining walls, what to expect, and the alternatives you can get nowadays.

Why Should You Use Timber for Your Retaining Wall?

A big reason why some people use timber for their retaining walls is because of its cost-effectiveness. It’s a relatively cheaper alternative to concrete sleeper retaining walls and easy to install.

Unfortunately, timber retaining walls have a limited lifespan and can quickly degrade in just a few years.

Is a Concrete Retaining Wall Cheaper Than Block Retaining Wall?

Yes, a concrete sleeper retaining wall is cheaper than a block retaining wall. Block retaining walls are more costly to install due to labour and material costs.

Also, a block retaining wall requires a strip footing for its foundation that is equivalent to the entire wall length. This means that block retaining walls need a considerably higher amount of concrete than concrete sleepers, which only require concrete at the base of each upright H beam. These are more common types of retaining walls for construction.

How Much Does it Cost to Install a Concrete Sleeper Retaining Wall?

You can expect to pay around $450 to $700 per square metre to install a concrete sleeper retaining wall. This price is quoted based on the labour and materials involved during installation. Be aware, the actual price will be different depending on site preparation and waste removal. 

What Affects the Price of a Retaining Wall?

The following are the main factors that affect the price of installing a concrete sleeper retaining wall:


The height of a concrete sleeper retaining wall is essential to consider as it ties directly to its cost. Retaining walls more than 1 metre in height will need council approval as well as a geotechnical report and engineering from a licensed engineer, both of which add to the overall expense.


The length of a concrete sleeper retaining post is another factor to consider. Long concrete sleeper retaining walls will require much more materials including concrete, concrete sleepers, H beams and agg pipe.

How Much Does it Cost to Install a Timber Retaining Wall?

The cost to install timber retaining walls is around $260 to $350 per square metre for treated pine and $290 to $460 per square metre for treated hardwood sleepers. Your total expense will highly depend on the size and length of your retaining wall.

Besides that, you should also consider the cost of hiring a professional builder, particularly when your timber retaining wall will be over 1 metre in height.