Building a Garden Wall— Costs and Other Considerations

When it comes to brick garden wall, the costs can range between £800 and £1200. The price will largely depend on your preferred materials, thickness, length, height, as well as the wall’s labouring. Typically, garden walls are about a metre or a couple of metres in height. The price will also increase the longer the fence is. Brick garden wall that is 1 meter high and 4 metres long with single skin walls can cost approximately £650 Meanwhile, a brick garden that is 1 metre high and 12 metres long will likely cost around £14000.

Prices for Garden Walls

Brick is generally the cheapest in terms of garden wall materials. However, you can expect to pay double the price if you’re going for thicker and stronger materials. You can have the garden built by a landscaper and for a 1-metre by 4-metre long wall, expect the prices to be around £750 when using coping, £1000 when using flint, and £1200 if you’re going for slate. 

Costs for Supply

Material costs can easily add up to £160 for a wall with double skin with a 1-metre by 4-metre dimension. You will only need sand, cement, plasticiser and bricks for the materials.

  • Cement – £12 for 3 bags weighing 25 kgs each
  • Sand – £22.50 for 9 bags weighing 25 kgs each
  • Bricks – £120 for 236 pieces of engineering bricks
  • Plasticiser – £5 to £10

Brick has always been the most preferred option. However, there are several varieties out there which can make them vary price-wise. There are also a host of other materials that your hardened walls can be built from. Each has its own benefits in terms of endurance, aesthetics, stability and strength. 

Additional Costs to Cover

When getting a garden wall installed, always consider other parts of the garden that might benefit from some renovation too. If you wish to add wooden gates onto your new wall, the costs could be approximately £750. Gates are great since they ensure privacy whilst also keeping your exits or entrances duly secured. Costs for the supplies, preparing and then laying the new turf will be around £650 to £750 for a garden of 50 square metres size. Maintaining the garden will also require an extra £150 if you are to hire the services of gardeners for an entire day to work on a 6-metre by 4-metre garden. You can add a security light with a 30-watt capacity too for an additional cost of £125 to £150. 

Cost Breakdown

For installing garden walls with double skin at dimensions of 1 metre by 4 metres, the total cost would be £750. Of that, £225 covers for the materials, £450 pays for the tradesmen and £75 will be spent on waste removal. 

Time Frames and Labour Costs

The job could usually take up to 4 days for standard-sized gardens measuring 15 metres. There are many factors that can lend to the overall labour costs including the wall height, the project location’s accessibility, pre-removal of existing fence panels or gates, and if there is a need to hire skip for waste removal. Two workers will typically be required to do the job— one being skilled in bricklaying and the other will be the labourer. Their daily rate will usually be at £250. The figure already covers the cost of the sand and cement but not the brick cost or of the waste removal. 

How long it would take to complete the job depends on how big or small the project is. Single skin brick walls at 1 metre by 34 meters can be completed within one day and a half. It could take up to two days for the double skin wall to get added. 

Understanding the Work involved with Garden Wall Installation

Garden walls can be built in various ways. Generally, the job requires getting any existing panels of fence removed, getting the groundwork prepared along with the foundations, get the bricks supplied, mix the mortar, cement, sand along with any copings or post, lay the bricks and the footings, removal of the waste ad getting them duly disposed, as well as getting the area cleaned up once the project has been completed. All in all, this may sound like a ton of work. It actually is. This is also why most people would rather tap the services of a bricklayer instead of going the DIY route. It could take a tradesperson about 3 days to work on the wall, although this would largely depend on the skin choice and the wall size. 

Day One

Planning where the project is going to take place will be done on the first day. If there are old posts and fences on the post, they will need to be removed. The trenches will also need to be dug out and the concrete footings will then be laid out afterwards. 

Day Two

On the second day, expect the bricklaying to take place. Mortar will be mixed and the bricks will then be laid and built up. The task is simple although tedious. Do, depending on how long or thick the wall is, it could take quite some time to complete. 

Day Three

For bigger projects, a third day may be necessary. This is also expected for walls that have double skin. The third day continues where the second day has left off in terms of bricklaying as well as waste removal once the job is finished. 

Costs Affecting Garden Wall Installation

Garden walls are a major undertaking and may incur additional costs based on what your circumstances are.  Gardens with too much earth will usually require some excavation. If there is an old fence or wall along the area, it has to be removed too. This means having to pay for the disposal. The same is true if you will hire a skip which could bring an additional cost of £200 to £400. 

DIY removal is always an option you can consider. However, the task is quite demanding and can really take up much of your time. Most people find that it’s best to just stick with getting the services of the experts who can definitely get the waste removal done at less time.

 If you want a retaining wall, make sure that the foundations are wider and deeper. Usually, the wall base is generally wider in appearance and there will usually be more pillars and piers in place too. This could mean more work for the bricklayer to do and this can lead to the extension of the project’s duration. Retaining walls can do with a membrane for waterproofing which should help ensure that hydrostatic pressure is minimised along the base of the wall. This can bring the costs up by £70 for every square metre. 

 Walls built along the back of your property are going to cost more since it would take effort and time to carry the building materials to your rear garden. If your property happens to have access issues, the cost could even go higher. 

The type of brick material you choose can also have an impact on the costs:

Engineering Bricks

Tough, resilient, strong, and water-resistant, they are also made to withstand icy weather. They are ideal when used for groundworks, retaining walls and sewers. Some of these brick types can be quite pricey with a per metre price of £50 to £75. 

Reclaimed Bricks

Recovered from old structures and brickwork, they are cleaned of mortar first before they are re-used. Due to the labour-intensive process involved in getting these bricks cleaned and sorted out, they can cost even double as any normal brick. Depending on what type of reclaimed brick you’re going for, the price per square metre can range from £100 to £300. 

Common Concrete Bricks

Perhaps one of the choices available out there for you, they are highly durable and can gain considerable strength over time. They may not top the list in terms of appeal but for those on a budget, they’d more than do. Prices can usually range between £40 and £55 for every square metre. 

Facing Bricks

These types of bricks are generally used above ground thanks to their durability and high quality. They look neat and nice too and can cost £55 to £75 per square metre. 

Wirecut Bricks

These types of bricks are cut into single bricks by a wire. You’ll love how there are a number of textures and colours to select from. They are considerably cheap too at £550 to £80 for every square metre. 

Hand-made Bricks

These bricks are made using moulds positioned on a bench. They usually feature some very intricate facings hence, why they can be quite costly. Often, these bricks are utilized in prestigious building projects and the per square metre cost could amount to £90 to £140. 

Sizes of Garden Walls

When your garden wall is a metre or shorter in height, there will usually be no need for you to secure permission. If you’re getting an old wall demolished that is taller than a metre, you can have it replaced with another wall of the same height and permission will also not be rewired. It’s best that walls that are taller than 1.2 metres should have a structural engineer design it. Even when the wall you’re building is only going to be no more than 1 metre height-wise, it wouldn’t hurt to check the listing and boundaries of the property before taking the plunge. When you’re about to undertake something major in your garden, asking the pro first for advice is always the most prudent thing to do.  

Bonding Options for Brickwork

Brick bonding has to do with the way bricks are patterned in structures. Bricks may be laid in various bonds to produce varied aesthetics and strength, it is also done to stabilise a structure or column. 

English bond

A bond that uses facing bricks, it is known for being quite strong. The headers are where the stretches are centred to in this particular bond. 

Stretcher bond

Quite a common bonding type, it doesn’t have that much strength in it. Stretchers are used for this particular bond and every course’s joins are centred both below and above using half bricks. 

Header bond

Quite similar to stretcher bonds not only in size but also in shape, the only difference is that instead of stretchers, headers are used this time. 

Flemish bond

This is a particularly strong bond that is formed through laying stretchers and headers alternately through every course. The headers are also centred towards the stretchers underneath. 

Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Bricklayer

Before tapping the professional services of a bricklayer, it is important to ponder a number of things first. Make sure first that the areas along the wall and the boundary are cleared. There may be a need for you to prune the trees and bushes or cut the grass along this spot. Large trees and bushes can possibly cause problems when getting the foundation laid so they may have to get removed ahead of time as well. To make the most of the costs involved, it would make sense to have the bricklayers take care of other landscaping tasks you need to get done. 

If you’re getting a straight wall built, the job should be simple enough for the bricklayer to do, it can be even DIY-ed. However, if you are going for a curved wall or one with a rather unusual shape, the costs will likely be higher since it will require bricklayers with higher skill levels to do the job. Consider accident liability when seeking out the services of bricklayers too. If the wall ever falls, causing injury and damages on site, you can always file a claim for public liability. When bricklayers are insured, then their backs are covered as it matters that you raise all these questions before getting them on board. Make sure that both you and the tradesperson are protected at all costs. 

See to it too that the wall is going to sturdy and is duly protected against the elements. If some materials may not be appropriate for the different weather conditions where you are, you can always check with the bricklayer to determine which materials will work best for you and your garden. 

When building a wall that faces the public, always be extra cautious because if it falls and hurts somebody in the process or causes any damage, liability will be on you.

DIY Options

Brick garden wall building has been traced as far back as 7000 BC. This makes it a straightforward process which any DIY enthusiast can actually pull off. If you’re skilled and competent enough, it wouldn’t hurt to learn how to build a brick wall on your own. The work involved is similar to what any bricklayer or labourer would do and this would be a great opportunity for you to save on costs. Still, there are several intricate details involved in the building process. If this isn’t something you’re confident that you could pull off, asking the experts for help doesn’t hurt. 

Step 1 – Prepping and planning

Laying out the plans and preparation is key if you are to succeed in your DIY endeavour. It doesn’t hurt to decide ahead of time the specific type of wall you want to build and to make sure that you consider the price and availability of the brick types and materials that you’ll be using. See to it that the appropriate measurements are calculated too for both the height and length of the wall you’re building. Clear the area of weeds, trees, bushes and other obstructions as well. 

Step 2 – Foundation laying

Use pegs and two lines to help with your bearings before digging out your trench, which should be similar to the length of your wall. For a 1-metre wall, the depth should be 35 centimetres. Add the concrete next until it reaches 15 centimetres in thickness. Use your shovel to release the air from the concrete. 

Step 3 – Mixing the mortar

You can mix soft sand and cement to make a mortar at a 5:1 ratio with a plasticiser. The mortar can be mixed by hand or you can also use a cement mixer, just make sure that you’re doing this at a level surface. Note that you only have a two-hour window to use the mixture. Make sure to don some mask and goggle when using the equipment. 

Step 4 – Laying the bricks

When laying the bricks, start by spreading a layer of mortar first and use your string lines to make sure that the blocks are placed in the right position. Tap them down afterwards. Make sure that the mortar is positioned in a manner where they release slightly from the brick joints. Use a trowel to get the excess cut off. 

Step 5 – Building up

Layer the bricks and start from the corners building your way up. Make sure to get the rest of the wall filled in, taking the time to check that everything is level and making the necessary alterations as you go. Use a special coping to finish the wall. You may also lay capping bricks for this purpose. This ensures that frost damage will be prevented. 

Garden Wall Benefits

There are a ton of underrated benefits you can get out of building garden walls.

  • The wall is essential at creating a solid barrier which is ideal if you happen to reside near a busy footpath or road. This will help lessen disruptions.
  • The way is a great means for dividing your garden into a variety of sections, so you can have such areas as a pond installation or a pot for barbecues.
  • A wall is aesthetically appealing and can help parts of your home that may still require some extra work.
  • They’re great for controlling the wind as a sturdy wall can prevent strong winds from devastating your garden.
  • Effective as a barrier for soundproofing.
  • It can increase your property’s value. 

Retaining Garden Wall Building Costs

Retaining garden walls act as a barrier to hold the garden soil back especially if it is located on a slope. This helps create a planting area with a level surface while also getting rid of drainage and poor soil in the process. These walls are usually a little tricky to build since they need to be solid and sturdy enough to successfully resist the horizontal pressure from the soil in the different ground levels. Retaining walls are also going to cost more with average at £4000-£6000, depending on its dimensions, materials use, as well as its overall thickness. 

You can choose between reconstituted stone, brick, natural stone, and concrete blocks as materials.  Ignoring the need for retaining walls will usually mean you’ll have to deal with constant soil loss, heavy element injuries, and even possible arguments over the property lines. 

Consider a number of factors first before proceeding with a retaining wall project. 

Strengthening

Retaining walls are expected to fulfil a rather big job. Aside from holding the constant push from both the grass and soil, it also has to contend with gravitational weight, the slope, as well as moisture. You’ll need such heavy materials as timber, big wall blocks, as well as poured concrete if you are to successfully get the pressure counteracted as well as to prevent the wall from collapsing. If the wall really has to be extra secure and strong, you can reinforce the footing concrete with bars or rods. 

Restrictions

When retaining walls are built with less quality, they can crack, bulge or lean. This could make them a massive inconvenience whilst also making them less than aesthetically appealing to the eyes.  They also come with the potential risk of becoming a hazard if they fall over. As a result, you may need to secure formal approval from the local council before you’ll be allowed to build it in areas near pathways and roads. If you expect to get it built near a property boundary, it helps to talk with the neighbours ahead of time. 

Waterproofing

Wearing and tearing due to exposure to the outside elements are just a few of the things that retaining walls have to contend with. This is why it matters considerably that the walls can be successfully waterproofed and drained as water can only add to the pressure and weight on the structure and cause it to bulge and crack. Make sure that the gravels are backfilled too, to ensure proper drainage. Add weep holes as well as perforated pipes that have drainage cloth attached to them. Finish things off with a waterproofing membrane. 

Party Wall Agreement

A Party Wall Agreement covers the decisions made between shared walls in semi-detached or terraced houses as well as flats. You are expected to inform your neighbours about your plans to carry out some building project especially in the shared boundary of both your properties. Party wall issues are usually charged an hourly rate of £150 to £250. 

Party Walls/ Boundary Walls

Boundary walls are useful for separating two properties but can be a massive problem if you’re repairing or building garden walls. When there’s a disagreement between you and the neighbours about the specific location of the boundary, you may double-check things by securing property documents at the Land Registry. If the property turns out to be a party wall, it means that the wall’s maintenance will be a joint responsibility. You’ll need to come to an agreement with your neighbour or provide them with a written notice. It’s up to the neighbour whether to consent or pursue some legal actions. 

Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

If the house happens to be part of a conservation area or a listed building, planning permission is required before you can perform any alteration. This includes erecting a new garden wall or getting an existing one demolished. This is because some boundary walls can even be older than houses so they might actually hold more architectural value and historical relevance. Violation of this regulation can lead to conviction penalty of up to £20000 or getting imprisoned for 6 months, the punishment is going to cover not only the property owner but also the surveyor, architect and builder involved. 

Can I Repair My Garden Wall?

Leaking and water disturbance are common problems with garden walls. Repairs are usually very expensive extra costs that you’ll need to take into account. Walls may be susceptible to the effects of the weather conditions, scrapes, structural issues, holes and other similar problems. Repair costs can differ significantly but can usually average between 250 and £1200.   

Below are some of the most common issues you’ll have to deal with when having garden walls: 

Cracking

Cracking occurs when there are aggravation and strain in the brickwork, repairs can usually cost £70 to £100, depending on how extensive it is. This usually happens after various movements and stress including increased levels of moisture content in the footing or the brickwork as well as fluctuations in the temperature. Hydraulic cement can be used for filling in small cracks. However, for damages that are 15mm wide or deep, a professional may be necessary to come, so the wall is checked to see if repairs are still possible. 

Leaning

Walls do end up slating sometimes. It is inconvenient but what you should be more concerned with is the fact that they are dangerous and not to mention, a massive eyesore. There are a number of reasons why this occurs but it could boil down to bushes and trees, unstable footing, bad drainage or poor rooting. For leaning walls, the remedy is to completely remove and rebuild it. Costs can range from £800 to £1200. 

Sagging

There are a number of factors that can cause sagging to your wall. This includes water disturbance, structure problems, as well as design faults. Costs for fixing these issues will be generally dependent on how severe the problem is, the material involved, and the repair method needed but will usually come up to about £90 for an hour. However, if there are foundation issues or a leak that’s causing the sagging, make sure that a professional will address the issue first to ensure that it will not reappear. 

Efflorescence

That white crust with a flaky texture that can usually be seen soon after bricks are constructed is called efflorescence. This is due to moisture and water-soluble salts and can be effectively removed by the professionals. However, it is bound to appear again unless the salinity and the moisture get duly addressed. So, to stop it from ever becoming a problem again, the moisture flow needs to be stopped. Most cleaning services will charge about £100 for fixing the issue. 

Garden Wall Alternatives

If you’re building your wall for privacy purposes, trees and hedges are alternatives you can consider. They can, after all, be made to secure your property’s borders. Fences are another alternative too if you wish to keep unwanted people off of your dwelling.

  • Installing garden hedges around your property can usually cost £600-£700 if you’ll hire landscapers to get a 15-metre hedge planted.
  • Costs for getting a small tree planted are usually at £50 to £70.
  • Hiring a tradesperson for supplying and installing fencing can be around £700-£1000 for an 8-panel fence, with the usual UK length of 2 metres. 

Fences vs Walls

Deciding whether a brick wall or a garden fence is the better idea can be a tough choice, especially since both can both be ideal for providing privacy and security. A top-quality fence can help secure your property. However, when built right, brick walls can be quite sturdy too. Of course, it does come with some downsides as a brick wall will be pricier. The upside though is that walls can have a longer life-span so whilst the initial costs are higher for brick walls, they are the more cost-effective alternative in the long run. 

You can get gravel boards to get the fence bottom protected against ground moisture. This also helps prevent rotting on the wood. You may also choose from a wide variety of timber treatments and preservatives so the fencing will remain protected against the elements in the long term. Also, wooden fencing is an environmentally-friendly choice. Also, if the structure is only meant to enclose or mark the boundary of your property and isn’t going to bear any load at all, personal preference will usually be the biggest factor in your decision. 

Removing the Garden Wall

Garden walls may be removed or rebuilt for a number of reasons. Wear and tear is one, as the walls can be expected to deteriorate over time. They can also be susceptible to bad weather including rainstorms, snow and winds. They may be affected by a nearby tree that has fallen and can also get affected by new ones. Trees can often cause damage and obstruction to garden walls. Having landscapers take care of removing a wall 5 metres in height with a gate attached to it can typically cost about £900 to £1200. The price covers foundation removal as well as the costs for removing the waste and hiring a skip. 

If there is an existing wall that you want removed and then remodelled, you have the choice to reuse the brick but they would be usually double the amount as sorting and cleaning them is going to be highly tedious. Removing the walls will require the mortar getting hammer-drilled, the bricks getting removed individually, using a jackhammer to get the foundation removed as well as getting the waste disposed of.