Costs soar when concrete is poured in sections like this because additional materials and labor are required to form each pad.

The overall cost of having concrete installed depends on multiple factors. Some of these are square footage, location, decorative finish, demolition, grading and more. The best way to find out what your concrete project will cost is to call two or three contractors and get quotes. This way you can compare and make sure you’re getting a fair price.

National Price Ranges for Concrete

  • Plain Concrete - $2-5 per square foot
  • Stamped Concrete - $5-10 per square foot (find out what factors affect stamped concrete cost)
  • Colored Concrete - $5-10 per square foot

In comparison to other paving materials, concrete falls in the middle of the road price wise. It is more expensive than loose paving materials like gravel or decomposed granite, while it is more affordable than natural stone or pavers. Mike Gonzalez, of Quality Living Landscapes in San Marcos, CA, says, “Most of my clients choose concrete because it is five dollars a square foot cheaper than other popular materials.” Furthermore, concrete can be finished in ways that replicate these pricier materials.

A general rule of thumb is that the more detail you add to your concrete, the more it will cost. For example one color will be much more affordable than three or four. This is because applying multiple colors takes extra work and time on the part of the contractor. The same rule applies for stamp patterns or detailed sawcut designs. Another way costs can rise is if you want hand detail work. This may include staining small sections of your concrete to look like individual stones or cutting in intricate patterns with a concrete saw. Micah Helkenberg, owner of DC West Construction in Carlsbad, CA, points out that the popular poured-in-place concrete pavers with grass or gravel in between are quite expensive to install. This is because each individual pad of concrete needs its own formwork, which requires additional materials and labor.

However, there are also affordable ways to get beautiful concrete. Mike Gonzalez, of Quality Living Landscapes, has found that many homeowners are opting for integrally colored concrete with a basic diamond pattern. This is a way to get a customized look, but at a fraction of the cost. You can also opt for an exposed aggregate, sand wash or rock salt finish that will give you great color and texture. These finishes typically fall on the low end of concrete’s price range. Check out more ideas for affordable concrete upgrades.

There can be some hidden costs behind having new concrete poured that you may not think of initially. Often, these costs include demolition and grading. If you have an old patio, walkway or driveway which must be removed, expect to pay by the hour for demolition and possibly for dumping fees. If you do not have existing paved surfaces, but the area which you plan to have the concrete poured is not flat, then grading will be necessary. This too will cost you depending on how much correction is required. If you factor these costs into your price for square foot amount from the beginning you won’t be surprised by overages at project completion. Some concrete contractors also offer these services, while others will bring in a subcontractor.

Landscaping Network

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