Costs of Building a Garden Wall

Last updated 21st May 2020

Trying to find out how much it costs to build a garden wall? In this article we look at prices for different materials as well as how the costs vary with size and thickness. This makes it easy for anyone to calculate how much a bespoke garden wall will cost them.

garden wall

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How Much Does It Cost to Build a Garden Wall?

The average cost of building a brick garden wall can range from £800-£1,200. The price depends on the materials, height, length, thickness and labouring of the wall. The typical height of a garden wall is between 1 - 2 metres and the price increases if a longer fence is required with single or double skin thickness. A brick garden single skin wall which is 1m high by 4m long will approximately cost around £650, whereas a 1m high and 12m long wall will cost around £1,400.

Garden Wall Prices

Find below the average cost of a bricklayer to build a garden wall:

Size of wall Thickness Avg. Cost Duration
1m high by 4m long Single skin £650 1.5 day
1m high by 8m long Single skin £1100 2 day
1m high by 12m long Single skin £1400 2.5 day
1m high by 4m long Double skin £750 2 day
1m high by 8m long Double skin £1200 2.5 day
1m high by 12m long Double skin £1500 3 day


Brick is one of the cheapest materials to build a wall with, but the price can often double when using stronger or thicker materials. If you get a landscaper to build a garden wall which is 1m high by 4m long, prices can range from £750 for coping, £1000 for flint and £1200 for slate.

Supply Only Costs

The cost of materials adds up to around £160 for a 1m x 4m double-skinned brick wall. The materials needed for supply only include cement, sand, bricks, and plasticiser.

  • Sand - £22.50 for 9 25kg bags
  • Cement - £12 for 3 25kg bags
  • Plasticiser - £5-£10
  • Bricks - £120 for 236 engineering bricks

Brick is the most popular option, but there are so many varieties of brick, including reclaimed bricks which can demand very high prices. Although brick is the most popular option, there are many different materials available to use to build garden walls. They all have different benefits, including aesthetics, endurance, strength and stability. Below we show the average cost of different materials based on the average cost of materials per square metre:

Materials Avg. Cost per Square Metre
Bricks £50-£300
Natural stone £60-£125
Concrete £40-£55
Facing bricks £55-£75
Flint £100-£120
Sandstone £70-£130
Slate £100-£150
Coping £15-£80 Per Metre


Additional Costs

When building a new garden wall, it may be worth considering what other areas of your garden need renovating. To fit a pair of the wooden garden gates onto a new wall, it’ll cost around £750. This allows for privacy and a secure entrance or exit to your house. The average cost to supply, prepare and lay new garden turf is typically around £650-£750 for a 50 square metre garden. To maintain your garden, it’ll cost near to £150 to hire a gardener for a day in a 6x4 metre garden. For extra security, it’ll cost £125-£150 to install one outside 30-watt security light.

Cost Breakdown Calculator

Individual costs for 1m x 4m Double-Skinned Garden Wall - Total Cost: £750

30%

Materials
£225

60%

Tradesman
£450

10%

Waste Removal
£75

Labour Costs and Time Frames

Time frames for the job are usually between 1 - 4 days for a standard UK garden size of 15m. Different things can increase the labour costs of a job such as, if the wall is beyond a typical average height, accessibility to the project, pre-removal of any gate or fence panels and waste removal or skip hire. It’s typical for two workers to take on the job, including one labourer and one skilled bricklayer. They will usually charge around £250 per day for both of them. This price often includes the cost of cement and sand, but not the cost for bricks or the removal of waste afterwards.

The length of time will extend depending on the scale of the project. An average single skin brick wall size of 1m high by 4m long can take around a day and a half, whereas a double skin wall of the same length can take two days.

What Does Building a Garden Wall Entail?

There are a number of ways to build a garden wall, but generally, the job will entail the removal of existing fence panels, preparation of groundwork including foundations, supply of all bricks, sand/cement/mortar mix and any posts/copings, laying of footings and the bricks, plus removal and disposal of all waste and clean up after the wall. This sounds like a lot of hard work, and it is! Which is why most will hire a bricklayer to do the work for them rather than take on the task themselves. A tradesperson can take 2-3 days working on a wall, depending on the size and skin choices.

Day One

The first day will consist of planning the site area, removing any old fences and posts, digging out the trench and laying the concrete footings.

Day Two

The second day is when the majority of bricklaying happens. Workers will mix the mortar, lay the bricks and build up from there. This task is quite simple but can take a while to complete depending on the length and thickness of the wall.

Day Three

A third day is usually needed for any bigger projects or if the wall is double skinned. This day is a continuation of the day before of bricklaying and waste removal when finished.

Remember, take into consideration that each project is completely different and can differ depending on the number of workers, materials needed and size of the wall and garden.

Cost Affecting Factors of Building a Garden Wall

Building a garden wall is a fairly big undertaking and could come with additional costs depending on your individual circumstance. If you have a lot of earth that needs excavating or an old wall or fence to be removed, then you’ll need to pay extra for waste disposal or skip hire which amounts to an average of £200-£400. You can opt for DIY removal. However, it is a demanding task and will take up a significant amount of time, so you are best sticking with a professional who can do it in half the time. You should also factor in the exact material or decorative materials that you’d like to use as this can increase the cost significantly.

If your wall is a retaining wall, then it will need deeper and wider foundations. It can often be that the base of the wall will also be wider, and there will be more piers/pillars. This means more brickwork for the bricklayer, which will extend the duration of the project. A retaining wall can also benefit from some type of waterproofing membrane to help minimise the build-up of hydrostatic pressure which is typically an average cost of £70 to cover 10m2.

build garden wall

Walls to the rear of a property will often be more expensive due to the fact that bricks and other building material will usually have to be carried into the rear garden adding labour time to the job. This is even worse if the property has major access problems and all the building materials have to be carted through the house!.

The different types of brick material will also affect the cost:

Engineering bricks

Engineering bricks are tough, strong, resilient and resistant to water and icy weather. This makes them perfect for sewers, groundworks, and retaining walls. Some options of these bricks can be quite expensive, and prices can range from £50-£75 per m2.

Reclaimed bricks

Reclaimed bricks are recovered from old brickworks and structures, and have mortar cleaned away from them. Cleaning and sorting through reclaimed bricks is extremely labour-intensive and can often cost twice as much as a normal brick. Price range from £100-£300 per m2 depending on the type of reclaimed brick.

Common concrete bricks

The common concrete bricks are one of the cheapest options, are extremely durable and actually gain strength with age. They aren't the most appealing option and prices can range from £40-£55 per m2.

Facing bricks

Facing bricks are typically used for external use above ground level. These are high quality and durable bricks which look nice and neat and cost between £55-£75 per m2.

Wirecut bricks

Wirecut bricks are cut into individual bricks by using a wire, and there are lots of different colours and textures to choose from. They’re fairly cheap and typically cost around £55-£80 per m2.

Hand-made bricks

Handmade bricks are made in moulds on a bench and often have the most intricate and costly facings. They’re used on a lot of prestige building projects and cost between £90-£140 per m2.

How Big Can My Garden Wall Be?

Normally there will be no permission required as long as the wall is one metre or less in height. If you are demolishing an existing wall greater than one metre tall, you can also replace the wall up to the previous height without any planning. It’s advised that any wall higher than 1.2m should always be designed by a structural engineer.

Even if your wall is less than 1m tall, it is still wise to check your boundary and listings around your property rather than going straight for it. If you’re every thinking of undertaking a big task in your garden, always consult a pro to avoid any additional costs or damages.

Brickwork Bonding Options

Brick bonding is the pattern of bricks in a structure. Bricks can be laid in different bonds to create various aesthetics, strength and stabilise a wall or column structure.

English bond

An English bond is extremely strong and requires facing bricks. The stretchers are centred to the headers in the course below.

Stretcher bond

A stretcher bond is a very common type of bonding and has low strength. The pattern is made with stretchers, and the joins on every course are centred above and below with half a brick.

stretcher bond garden wall
Header bond

A header bond is similar to a stretcher bond in shape and size but is used with headers instead of stretchers.

Flemish bond

A Flemish bond is a strong bond formed by laying alternate headers and stretchers through each course. The headers are centred to the stretchers below it.

Things To Consider Before Hiring a Bricklayer

Before hiring a bricklayer, there are a few things to take into consideration. It is a good idea to ensure the area around the boundary/wall is clear; this includes cutting grass and pruning any trees or bushes, which can be an obstacle. Large bushes or trees near the boundary may also cause problems with laying the foundation and might need to be removed beforehand. You should consider having your bricklayer, or a professional take care of any other hard landscaping jobs at the same time to reduce disruption and costs.

If the wall is straight, then it’s a simple job for any competent brickie or DIY person. But if the wall is curved or has an unusual shape, then this will cost more, and a higher level of skill level will be required. Make sure to consider liability for accidents when hiring a bricklayer. If the wall falls and causes damage or injury on-site, you could file a public liability claim. However, they may have insurance to cover their backs, so make sure to ask all these questions, so both parties are protected and on the same page.

You want to make sure your garden wall stays sturdy and protected during all climates so some materials may not suit certain weather conditions. Always check with your bricklayer beforehand on what the best material will be to suit your garden climate.

If you're building a wall that's public-facing you need to be extra cautious as if it falls and hurts anyone or causes any damage you may be liable.

DIY Garden Wall

Building brick walls dates back to around 7000 BC and is fairly straightforward to do yourself if you’re a regular DIYer. If you are competent and confident enough, it may be worth learning how you can build your own brick garden wall. The steps involved are similar to what a labourer or bricklayer would do and can save you the labour costs of hiring someone. However, there are many intricate things to consider when building a wall, so if you’re unsure, it’s always best to seek help from a professional rather than do it yourself.

Step 1 - Planning and Preparation

Planning and prepping is key to any DIY task. Figuring out the type of wall you want to build will hone down your options when it comes to the different materials and brick types. Make sure to calculate the correct measurements for length and height so that the project will go as smoothly as possible. Then, clear the site of all bushes, weeds and obstructions.

Step 2 - Laying Foundations

Use two lines and pegs to mark your bearings before beginning to dig the trench. This should be the same length as the wall, with a depth of around 35cm for walls 1 metre high and below. Pour in your concrete, making it at least 15cm thick. Make sure to let the air out from the concrete by working through it with your shovel.

garden wall foundations

Step 3 - Mix the Mortar

Mortar can be made by using one-part cement to five parts soft sand with a plasticiser. You can mix mortar either by hand or with a cement mixer on a level surface, and it should be used within two hours of making it. It’s important to be safe by wearing safety goggles and a mask with any form of equipment.

Step 4 - Lay the Bricks

To begin laying bricks, spread a thin layer of mortar and used the string line as a guide to place the block into position and tap down. The mortar should slightly release from between the joints, and any excess should be cut off with the trowel.

Step 5 - Build Up

Begin building your garden wall by layering each brick. Build up from the corners, and then fill in the rest of the wall, constantly checking and altering as you go. Finish the wall by using either a special coping or layer of capping bricks. This is good for preventing any frost damage from shedding rainwater.

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Benefits of a Garden Wall

Garden walls have plenty of underrated benefits that can enhance your garden area or the surrounding areas of a house.

  • They’re great for manufacturing a solid barrier if you live next to a busy road or footpath, this can reduce disruptions.
  • Walls are also perfect for dividing up a garden into different sections, allowing for areas like a BBQ section or a pond installation.
  • They’re visually appealing and can hide any areas of your house that may need some extra work.
  • They can aid wind control, and a strong wall can block wind from your garden.
  • Acts as a soundproofing barrier.
  • Increases real estate value.

Cost of Building a Retaining Garden Wall

A retaining wall in your garden holds back soil if your garden is on a slope. This makes a level planting area in your garden space, getting rid of poor soil and drainage. These walls can be difficult to build as they need to be strong enough to resist horizontal soil pressure from varying ground levels. A retaining wall is significantly more expensive and averages between £4,000 to £6,000 dependent on sizing, thickness and materials. Brick, concrete blocks, natural stone, and reconstituted stone are all appropriate materials for a retaining wall. If you ignore the need for a retaining wall, you may deal with downhill soil loss, injury from heavy elements and arguments over property lines.

Before opting to build your retaining wall there are some factors you need to consider. Including:

Strengthening

A retaining wall has a big job to fulfil, not only does it hold the pushing from soil and grass, but it also faces the weight of gravity, moisture and the slope. Heavy material such as big retaining wall blocks, timbers or poured concrete is needed to stop any collapsing and counteract the pressure. If your wall needs to be extra strong and secure, you can place reinforcing rods or bars in the footing concrete.

retaining garden wall

Restrictions

Badly built retaining walls can lean, crack, or bulge and become a big inconvenience and also not very nice to look at. They also come with risks as they have the potential to be hazardous by falling over. Because of this, local councils may require formal approval before a retaining wall is built if you’re near any roads or pathways. If building close to a boundary line, be sure to talk to your neighbours.

Waterproofing

Retaining walls are faced with all kinds of wear and tear from the outdoor environment, meaning it’s key to assure they’re drained and waterproofed. Water can add weight and pressure to the structure of the wall, creating cracks and bugling, which you definitely don’t want. You can assure proper drainage by gravel backfilling, providing weep holes, installing perforated pipes with drainage cloth, and finishing off by applying a waterproofing membrane.

Party Wall Agreement

A Party Wall Agreement is covered by the Party Wall Act. It covers the decisions between shared neighbouring walls between flats, semi-detached or terraced houses. You’re required to tell your neighbours if you wish to carry out building work nearby on the shared property boundary in England and Wales. Most party wall surveyors charge between £150-£250 for party wall matters at an hourly rate.

Boundary Walls / Party Walls

Boundary walls are used to separate two pieces of land and tend to be one of the biggest problems you’re faced when building or repairing a garden wall. If you and your neighbour are disagreeing on where the boundary is, you can buy property documents from the Land Registry to double-check. If this plan shows the boundary to be a party wall, this means that legally there is a joint responsibility for the maintenance of the wall, and you’ll have to give written notice or come to an agreement with your neighbour. If ignored, your neighbour may take legal action.

Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings

If your house is in the curtilage of a listed building or in a conservation area, you’ll need planning permission for an alteration, including demolition of an existing wall or erecting a new one. Boundary structures can sometimes be older than the house itself meaning walls and railings have historical and architectural value and are listed in their own right. The current penalty on conviction in a Magistrates Court is a fine of up to £20,000 or imprisonment for a maximum of six months. The punishments can apply to the owner, the builder and the architect or surveyor involved.

Can My Garden Wall Be Repaired?

Water disturbance and leaking are common issues for garden walls, and repairs can be a costly addition that you need to consider. Walls can be affected by scrapes, weather conditions, holes, and structural issues. All repairs range to different prices and can fall anywhere between £250-£1200.

Common issues with garden walls include:

Cracking

Cracking can happen in walls when brickwork is aggravated and strained and can be repaired for between £70-100 depending on the scale. This occurs after various stress and movement, such as an increase in moisture content within the brickwork or footing and temperature changing. Small cracks can be filled in with hydraulic cement. However, if the damage is 15mm wide or deep, you may have to hire a professional to come and check if the wall can be repaired.

Leaning

Walls can sometimes slant, which is inconvenient, dangerous and an eyesore. Causes for this can range from poor rooting, trees/bushes, bad drainage, or unstable footing. If your wall is leaning, it’s most likely that it will have to be removed and rebuilt. Pricing for this ranges from £800-£1,200.

garden wall leaning

Sagging

Sagging can be caused by loads of issues such as structure problems, water disturbance, and faults in the design. The cost to fix it depends on the size, material and the method of repair and comes out around £90 per hour. However, if a leak or foundation issues have caused the sagging, that should be addressed by a pro first, or sagging will reappear.

Efflorescence

Efflorescence is a white flaky crust than can be seen on bricks not too long after construction. This is caused by water-soluble salts and moisture and can be removed by a pro. However, it might come back if the moisture and salinity aren’t addressed. To stop this from happening again, moisture flow should be cut off. A cleaning service will charge around £100 to fix this issue.

Alternatives to a Garden Wall

If the purpose of your wall is for privacy, there are options such as hedges and trees, which can make a secure boundary around your house. Fences are a good alternative for keeping people away from your dwelling.

  • The average cost to install a garden hedge for a whole property is typically around £600 to £700 for a landscaper to plant a 15m hedge.
  • The average cost to plant a small tree is between £50-£70.
  • The average cost to hire a tradesperson to supply and install fencing is typically around £700 to £1,000 for 8 fence panels, with the typical size being 2 metres long in the UK.

Walls vs Fences

Choosing between installing a garden fence or a building a brick wall is difficult; both options can be a great choice for providing security and privacy, a quality fence will certainly help ensure that your property is secured. However, there is no denying that a brick wall is a pretty strong structure when built correctly too. However, this comes at a cost; in general, a wall will be much more expensive than a fence. Though on the plus side, you would expect a wall to last much longer, so in the long term, a brick wall is a cost-effective option.

garden fence

That being said you can buy gravel boards to protect the bottom of your fence from ground moisture and stop the wood from rotting, plus there are plenty of timber preservatives and treatments available to keep your fencing protected from the weather long term, plus wooden fencing can be much more environmentally friendly. Ultimately, if the proposed structure is just to mark/enclose the property boundary and is not load-bearing at all, then it really comes down to personal preference in most cases.

Removing a Garden Wall

There are plenty of reasons why a garden wall could need removing or rebuilding. Alongside the standard wear and tear and deterioration over the years, walls can be affected by bad weather conditions such as wind, snow and rainstorms. They can also be affected when nearby trees fall, or new ones get planted, causing obstruction and damage.

The cost of getting a landscaper to remove a 5-metre wall with a gate is around £900 - £1,200. This price typically includes the removal of the foundations and all of the waste removal/skip hire. However, if you need an existing wall removed and remodelled, you may be able to re-use the bricks for around double the price. Wall removal entails hammer drilling the mortar, removing the bricks one by one, removing the foundation with a jackhammer and disposing of the waste.

FAQ's

Cheaper alternatives include fences, hedges, gates and trees. If you’re comfortable with all the facts listed above, you can avoid labour costs by DIY-ing the wall yourself.
Building a retaining garden wall is a very complex job, and it’s best to be done by an experienced DIYer or with professional help. Typically, the steps involved start similar to building a garden wall and include planning the layout, digging the trench, tamping, adding gravel, laying the bricks and backfilling.
For a single skin brick wall, multiply the length of the wall by the height to get the number of bricks needed, and add 10% for any wastage during the build.

Half-brick wall: 9m2 (surface area) x 60 (Bricks PSQM) = 540 bricks
Wastage: 10% = 54 bricks
Total number of bricks needed: 594 bricks needed
It is definitely recommended to install some kind of drainage system behind any wall structure. Draining lets the water to flow away from the wall, lessening pressure and allowing the wall to stay strong. Draining system options include simple ditches, herringbone drainage or perforated pipes.
Garden wall rendering is a process which gives a wall the look of solid cement and covers up the existing wall material. You can make a mixture of wet cement and sand, and apply to the wall with a trowel.
Cutting bricks is key for any kind of DIY brick wall, but it is a hard task to master and may be best left to professionals. It’s typically done by measuring the brick with a ruler, marking the cutting line all around, tapping a bolster with a club hammer all the way around the brick, lay it 'frog' side down on a soft surface, and hit the bolster firmly to cut right through it.

How to Find & Hire a Bricklayer to Build a Garden Wall

In most instances, it’s probably the safest bet to hire a bricklayer to build your garden wall rather than DIYing it. This way, the job gets done quicker, smoother and safer, but now the question is, how do I hire the best one for me?

You can use our ‘Get a Quote’ service to find the best person for the job. Ensure that the quote includes materials, labour, and waste removal. But remember, sometimes cheaper isn’t always better. Choose the bricklayer that you are confident will offer a high-quality job and at a reasonable price.

Before hiring anyone, make sure to:

  • Get the quote in writing.
  • Make sure to ask for references or examples of their work.
  • Look to see if the tradesman is a member of any trade associations.
  • Make sure they have public liability insurance.

Sources

https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land
http://www.pavingexpert.com/featur03.htm#basic
https://www.diy.com/ideas-advice/how-to-plan-a-garden-wall/CC_npci_100134.art
https://brickhunter.com/blog/how-to-calculate-the-number-of-bricks-you-need
https://todayshomeowner.com/how-to-build-a-stackable-block-retaining-wall/2/
https://www.braintree.gov.uk/info/200581/conservation_areas_and_listed_buildings/644/when_is_listed_building_consent_required/2

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