What Does It Cost to Get a Redi-Rock Wall?
The final price of a retaining wall is influenced by an array of variables, so there's usually not a clear-cut, cost-per-square-area dollar figure readily available. Let us try to help you understand the factors that could impact what it will cost you to get a Redi-Rock retaining wall.
Think About the Lifetime Value of Your Wall
Retaining walls, and even freestanding walls, can be expensive. It's not a cost you'd want to incur more than once if your "cheaper" solution fails. So, we always encourage consumers looking for a wall solution to examine the "lifetime value" of their choice.
Redi-Rock blocks are manufactured from structural-grade concrete mixes in accordance with ASTM C94 or ASTM C685 to produce finished units with excellent resistance to freeze-thaw, de-icing chemical exposure, and submerged conditions in both fresh and salt water applications. Or, in layman's terms, the blocks are made from wetcast concrete, which gives them an awesome appearance, superior durability, and a really long lifespan.
In typical conditions, a well-designed and constructed Redi-Rock wall can have a service life of 75 to 100 years or more. So we encourage you think about the lifetime value of the wall when looking at the price tag. And, when evaluating Redi-Rock against other types of wall solutions, make sure you're comparing apples to apples.
With that said, these are a few of the factors that will impact the cost of obtaining a Redi-Rock wall:
This seems like one of the most obvious variables that will impact your overall project costs. The size and scope of the project will impact the amount of materials you need, as well as the kind of materials. Installation costs will also adjust accordingly to the wall's overall size.
The specifics demands of your site will impact the cost of your wall. The following items can influence the design and installation of your wall, ultimately impacting price:
- permitting agencies
- soil type(s)
- seismic activity
- grade at the top and bottom of wall
- cut wall vs fill wall
- water conditions
- load conditions
Gravity vs. Reinforced
The aspects of your specific site will likely be determining factors in whether you can build a gravity wall or if you will need a reinforced wall – or a hybrid combination of the two! There are advantages and disadvantages of the various wall types that your local contact and your retaining wall engineer will be able to walk you through.
Local Redi-Rock Supplier
Each Redi-Rock manufacturer is an independent business – not a franchise – so they set their own pricing to reflect their costs. The cost of manufacturing inputs like cement and aggregate vary greatly by region, so what it costs to produce a block in your neighborhood will be vastly different than a Redi-Rock manufacturer on a different continent.
When we talk about geotechnical conditions, it's really just the official way to talk about the type of soil you have. If you live somewhere with shallow bedrock, your wall will be designed differently than somewhere with silty, clay soils.
When the threat of earthquakes are involved, the design parameters for a retaining wall shift to calculate for these natural phenomenon. Someone who lives in a region without any seismic activity might be able to utilize a 12-foot (3.7-meter) gravity wall with standard batter, while your wall factoring in seismic conditions might require geogrid or a larger setback to achieve proper safety factors.
Civil or Site Engineering
Many larger civil projects will require the coordination of a site or civil engineer to keep all of the moving pieces of the project in alignment. Depending on the scale and scope of your wall, this group might sub-contract the work to others or take on the project themselves.
Geotechnical Engineering & Testing
When it comes to retaining walls, accurate information about the types of soils onsite are paramount to a wall that will stand the test of time. Soil samples and other testing may be required to ensure the design suits the conditions onsite.
Wall Design Engineering
It is highly recommended to bring a specialized retaining wall design engineer into the fold of your project to do the actual designing and analyzing of your wall. Their expertise will not only help you meet code requirements and check against all modes of failure, but it can also greatly improve your trust that your wall will stand the test of time.
Oftentimes, people will use the block unit cost to analyze the price of a wall, when in actuality it is just one piece of the puzzle. The cost of materials certainly factor into the lifetime value of a wall; however, as this page outlines, it is not the only variable worth considering.
Blocks and Geogrid
With Redi-Rock, the blocks utilized on a project will vary greatly based upon the geographic and site specific demands. For example, one 9-foot (2.7-meter) tall gravity wall might require two courses of 60in (1720mm) solid blocks used for the base of the wall, while another can meet the site parameters using solely 41in (1030mm) and 28in (710mm) solid blocks. Whether a wall needs geogrid reinforcement will also play into material costs.
Freight and Shipping
One of the reasons that Redi-Rock International works with over 130 manufacturers around the world is that concrete is heavy, and shipping it is expensive. The shorter the distance, the more ideal for the customer. So, depending upon your project location in relation to the manufacturer, this is one of the variables that can differ from wall to wall.
Other Project Materials
When it comes to a retaining wall, it's not just the blocks and grid that create the end result. Your wall design will specify the placement of drain pipes, appropriate backfill materials, geotextile fabrics and more. These materials all contribute to the longevity of a wall, and those costs can vary from project to project.
Just like other aspects of retaining walls, your cost to install Redi-Rock will be dependent on a host of other variables. The good news, though, is installing Redi-Rock is like playing with giant Lego blocks. A small crew with properly-rated machinery can install your wall in a very efficient manner.
The easier it is for the installer's crew to access your site, the more likely the cost of their work will decrease. However, for example, if they need to rent specialized equipment to install the wall from the top because they can't access the bottom of the wall or if they need to dewater a site prior to installation, this extra effort will be reflected in the final price.
Excavation and Site Prep
The type of preparation required before the first blocks can be set will influence your project's timeline and costs. A good contractor will be able to walk you through the steps necessary to not only install your wall, but also explain any hurdles or additional costs you might need to overcome prior to installation. One of the huge benefits of a large block wall system like Redi-Rock is that it minimizes the amount of excavation required in many scenarios.
Last, but not least, the time it will take for a crew to install your wall will be factored in to the overall cost. Because Redi-Rock is machine set and only requires a small crew, oftentimes it's a faster, more efficient installation process than other types of walls.