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Concrete Block Wall Cost Per Square Metre

Concrete block walls are incredibly versatile and are used throughout buildings as foundation walls, cavity walls, partitions or exterior walls. The concrete block wall cost per square metre will usually be around £40 to £55 per m2 for 100 mm thick blocks plus labour charges of about £160 per day per person.

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Interior concrete block walls with insulation, cavity walling, wall ties, damp proofing and labour can come to around £100 per square metre. However, this depends heavily on the size of the wall, thickness, and insulation required.

There are also different concrete block uses, so a retaining wall with thicker blocks will cost much more than a partition wall built to a thinner specification. Let's explore some of the primary considerations when working out the cost to lower ceiling panels.

What Impacts a Concrete Block Wall Cost Per Square Metre?

The main costs in building a concrete block wall are materials and labour. 

Solid concrete blocks are not to be confused with breezeblocks or cinder blocks and are a solid, heavy construction material. The heavier the load of the wall, the thicker the blocks will need to be, and the higher the price. 

The smallest blocks start at around 100 mm thick and go up to 300 mm for most residential construction projects.

If you are buying the building materials solely, your prices will be much lower. Still, it's strongly advisable to use a professional to ensure the job is completed correctly, complies with building regulations, and has suitable finishes.

Quotes for a concrete block wall will also include waste removal, skip hire, scaffolding if required, and VAT (charged at 20% by all registered contractors). 

Where you need an existing wall demolished, this will add to the price, with an average charge of around £45 per square metre for a small 100 mm thick wall, up to £75 per square metre for a larger 230 mm wall.

Block walls will usually require a concrete foundation to ensure they are laid on a stable, level surface. Any existing foundations that are not fit for purpose must be dug up and transported as waste - that can cost around £120 per cubic metre.

Excavating the ground to pour a new concrete foundation costs around £185 per cubic metre and will be necessary if your concrete block wall is part of a new construction or used as a load-bearing wall.

Solid concrete is a relatively cheap material, although the size of the wall and the extent of preparation work will dictate the labour cost:

  • Concrete block material-only price per square metre is around £40 to £55.
  • Brick costs between £50 and £300, stone £60 - £125 and sandstone £70 - £130.

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Other Cost Factors in Building a Concrete Block Wall

To work out a reasonably accurate budget, you will need to consider what the wall is being used for. For example, an external retaining wall to contain soil will need to be sturdy and may require a solid foundation.

External walls will require insulation, cladding, and foundation works, and so the cost will be dependent on the accessory work in addition to the concrete blocks and labour time alone.

You might also need to consider:

  • Drain Lining Costs when constructing a concrete block wall for a new-build property, or where existing drainage systems need to be moved to make way for the construction
  • A CCTV Drain Survey for building works with pipes or cables under the ground, where these need to be reinforced or relocated. 
  • Drain Repair works if the concrete wall construction has caused any damage.

It's essential to check what excavation works are required, too, since this could be very costly if the ground hasn't been surveyed and works damage underground pipes. 

Understanding a Quote for a Concrete Block Wall Per Square Metre

If your concrete block wall cost per square metre is broken down into materials and labour costs, you'll have a much better idea about what the different pricing elements include.

As we've discovered, a concrete block wall cost very much relies on what the wall is being used for, as it will usually be part of a broader construction project unless it is a load-bearing wall used for soil retention.

Contractors can break down quotes into materials, which will include elements such as:

  • Cement and sand.
  • Concrete blocks.
  • Labour.
  • Any bricks if your wall is being single or double-skinned.
  • Insulation if required.

Remember that if anything isn't clear, it's best to ask your contractor for a breakdown before the work begins.

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Is a Concrete Block Wall Right for My Project?

The concrete block wall cost per square metre will vary depending on how thick the blocks need to be and the wall's size. 

There are multiple building materials out there, and concrete blocks are usually used in preference to breezeblocks where a very heavy, solid wall is required.

Benefits include:

  • Natural fire-resistant properties.
  • Resistant to extreme weather conditions.
  • Treated blocks will be water-resistant.
  • Not damaged by high heat.

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FAQs - Concrete Block Walls

Let's run through some of the most popular questions about building concrete block walls!

How Many Concrete Blocks Can a Bricklayer Lay Per Day?

On average, a bricklayer can lay around 450 bricks, or perhaps 300 concrete blocks - a lot will depend on the width and size of the blockwork being used and your bricklayer's skill and experience.

Most residential builds will be charged per square metre or an inclusive price for the wall construction, so it would be unusual to be quoted on a 'per block' basis.

Can a Contractor Lay Multiple Courses of Concrete Blocks At the Same Time?

Concrete blocks are heavy, so it's essential to build block walls in stages. Impact on a new layer of blocks can cause the blocks underneath to shift if they haven't yet set, and so it's a reasonably delicate job.

Most tradespeople will lay up to five courses of concrete blocks per day as a maximum.

Is a Concrete Block Wall the Same as Cinder Block?

No, these are two different types of construction material. Cinder blocks are hollow, whereas concrete blocks are solid.

A concrete block is made of cement, steel and wood, making them highly robust and very heavy. Cinder locks are lighter weight and produced with a mixture of concrete and cinders - from coal or ash in most cases.

Does a Concrete Block Wall Need to be Sealed?

Tradespeople will seal most concrete block walls with a moisture-resistant sealant. This ensures that the porous concrete surface isn't susceptible to water and will remain solid and stable.

What is a Brick and Block Wall?

A brick and block wall isn't the same as a solid concrete block wall since it is built with lightweight inner blocks and a skin of standard bricks.

The wall is then insulated, either inside the cavity or as an external layer.

See more information from Planning Portal on planning permission for gates and garden walls along with general government guidance on planning permission.