How Much Do Cinder Block Walls Cost?

Typical Range:

$475 - $655

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated June 21, 2022

Reviewed by Robert Tschudi, Expert Home Building and Remodeling Contributor.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

While some capstones can cost as little as $0.95 apiece, the average cost of a cinder block is $1 to $5 each. The total cost to build a cinder block wall, including installation, ranges from $15 to $30 per square foot or $60 to $240 per linear foot. Therefore, you can expect to pay between $1,500 and $6,000 for a 25-foot cinder block wall, depending on the wall’s height and thickness.

2022 Notice: Material Prices Are Surging

Demand for siding and other building materials has grown over the past year. And as a result, manufacturers are increasing materials prices. Prices have gone up 5% to 10% this year, and many parts of the country are experiencing long delivery times. If you're planning a building project, we recommend starting as early as possible in the season, preparing for potential price fluctuations, and allowing extra time to order materials.

Cinder Block Wall Costs per Square Foot

The material cost to install a cinder block wall is typically between $5 and $13 per square foot, which includes the cost of the blocks themselves, as well as mortar and structural reinforcement. Material prices vary based on the type and quality of cinder block. Professional block wall contractor labor costs range from $10 to $17 per square foot. That’s why installing a cinder block wall typically costs $15 to $30 per square foot

Per Linear Foot

If you’re building a tall, thin cinder block wall, such as a fence, then it’s helpful to know the prices per linear foot rather than square foot. Cinder block walls typically cost $60 to $240 per linear foot, depending on the wall’s height.

Cinder Block Wall HeightCost per Linear Foot
4 feet$60 – $120
6 feet$90 – $180
8 feet$120 – $240

Cinder Block Wall Installation Labor Costs

Installing a cinder block wall requires a lot of hard work and heavy-lifting, which is why labor costs account for a significant percentage of the total project cost. Cinder block wall installation usually costs $10 to $17 per square foot in labor or $34 to $100 per hour

However, labor costs vary based on your location. If you live in an area with a high cost of living, such as New York City, you can expect to pay more per hour than someone living in an area with a lower cost of living.

Cinder Block Wall Costs by Type

The type of cinder block wall you choose can affect the cost. For instance, retaining walls typically cost more than fences since they require additional reinforcements. 


Cinder block fences typically cost $10 to $30 per square foot, depending on the fence's height, finishings, filling, and foundation. The cost is greater for a fence because it’s a freestanding structure, unlike a wall that’s supported by the adjoining walls.

Retaining Wall

Retaining walls require additional reinforcements compared to a fence, so they cost a bit more,  usually between $20 and $35 per square foot. These costs include the foundation and gravel backfill. Retaining walls generally keep earth from moving down a slope, so they must support a load.

House Wall

Building a cinder block wall for a house requires elements that fences and retaining walls don't typically need, such as plumbing, insulation, and electrical. For that reason, they're among the more expensive cinder block walls you can build, costing between $10 and $40 per square foot.

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Cinder Block Wall Cost Factors

Certain factors and features can increase the costs of a cinder block wall. For instance, adding decorative veneers or waterproofing sealant can drive up costs. 


You can dress up your cinder block wall with finishings, like paint, plaster, vinyl siding, or stone veneers. Each of these finishing options comes with added costs.

Finishing TypeCost per Square Foot
Stone Veneer$13 – $30
Plaster$3 – $4
Paint$0.65 – $0.80
Vinyl siding$3.30 – $6.70
Concrete$1.50 – $3.50


Many cinder block wall installers recommended adding a waterproof sealant to a cinder block wall to prevent damage that can occur from water absorption. Waterproofing sealant usually ranges from $2 to $10 per square foot

Cinder Block Prices

Standard cinder blocks cost an average of $1 to $5 per block. This price range includes hollow concrete blocks, rounded blocks, half blocks, slump blocks, and concrete masonry units (CMUs).

Decorative Cinder Block Prices

Decorative cinder blocks, such as split-face blocks, typically cost more than basic cinder blocks, usually ranging from $2 to $5 per block

CMU Block Prices

CMU blocks are standard-size concrete blocks used in a variety of home construction projects. Standard blocks typically cost between $1.25 and $2.50 per block, and larger CMU blocks cost $2 to $4 per block.

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DIY Blockwork vs. Hire a Pro

Building walls with cinder blocks requires careful planning and masonry techniques, regardless of the load on the wall. However, you’re more likely to need a contractor for walls with greater structural requirements. The specific type of local block wall installer to hire depends on the wall’s purpose. You’ll need to hire a professional bricklayer or mason near you to install load-bearing walls, whereas professional landscapers can often build a decorative wall, like a garden wall or low fence.

A decorative wall doesn't have structural requirements since its only purpose is to visually separate a space. A wall that’s part of a building requires the greatest skill to construct because it has to support a roof.

Additional factors that indicate you should hire a local mason include walls that require reinforcement, drainage, or back filling. Building a wall on a slope or one that’s unusually tall also requires a retaining wall contractor in your area. In general, a contractor should build any wall that requires a building permit.


What’s the difference between concrete and cinder blocks?

The difference between concrete and cinder blocks is the composition of the aggregate material. Both block types contain 25% to 40% Portland cement with aggregate materials comprising the other 60% to 75%. The aggregate material includes fine-grained rock and sand for cement blocks, and ash and coal cinders for cinder blocks.

What materials do you need to build a block wall?

The primary construction materials you need to build a block wall include the blocks themselves, reinforcement rods (steel rebar), and mortar. Mixing the mortar requires the mortar mix and water. The most important tools include trowels and a mortar container, along with shovels, hammers, chisels, and personal protective equipment. You'll also need tools for cutting blocks.

How much does a pallet of cinder blocks weigh?

A typical 8 x 8 x 16-inch cinder block weighs at least 28 pounds, depending on the aggregate. A pallet holds 108 blocks, so a pallet of cinder blocks weighs around 3,000 pounds.

How much concrete do you need to fill a cinder block?

The total volume of the holes in a cinder block depends primarily on the length of the block. A standard 8 x 8 x 16-inch cinder block requires about 0.01 cubic yards of concrete to fill.

How much weight can a cinder block support?

ASTM International, a global standards organization, requires cinder blocks to support at least 1,700 pounds per square inch. Many cinder blocks can support much more weight, depending on the aggregate and size of the holes.

Is a poured concrete wall or block wall cheaper?

A poured concrete wall is generally cheaper due to the higher labor cost of laying the blocks.

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