Estimating Concrete Patio Cost

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Aug 08, 2013 | Chaya Kurtz

The buzz is that installing a concrete patio is less expensive than building a deck. That is mostly true, but you need to do your concrete homework first. The thing is, concrete patio cost is based on multiple factors. Let's have a look at the things that comprise a concrete patio cost. Building a wood deck averages $15 per square foot. Depending on the size of your concrete patio and the layout of your yard, as well as the features you add to the concrete patio, the cost could be similar.

These are the costs that go into a concrete patio cost: The cost of labor, the cost of the actual concrete, the cost of grading, the cost of the subbase and footings, the cost of concrete forms and finishing, and the cost of concrete reinforcement.

Is there old concrete that needs to be removed? Cost to remove and haul old concrete approximately $1/sq. foot. Is the area difficult to reach? A pump truck can add $500 to $1200 to the job if the area is hard to reach. Are you building concrete walls around the patio? Are you considering green options like pervious concrete? If so, you'll have to add that cost.

Here are a few average costs to get you started on your estimate. As you know, none of these is the sum total of a concrete patio cost.

+The average cost of stamped concrete is $9-$13 per square foot.

+The average cost of installing a concrete slab is $6 - $10 per square foot.

+A concrete pad is roughly $10 per square foot.

Here are a few more guidelines for getting the most out of the cost of a concrete patio:

+Don't go with the low bidder. Unless you are absolutely sure that he will do the most excellent job possible, hire someone who is asking for more money. If your concrete contractor cuts corners, especially in prepping the site for the concrete patio, costs can show up down the road when the concrete cracks or otherwise fails. If someone is asking for radically less money to build a concrete patio for you, it's likely that he's cutting some costs on his end.

Remember to consider the cost of concrete finishing. Staining and polishing concrete add to the cost of a concrete patio.

If you are estimating a concrete patio cost, what you need to keep in mind is that there is no one average cost. The cost is very site and job specific. While concrete itself is less costly than high quality lumber, the process of pouring a concrete patio can be complicated. Remember that you'll also need to pull permits to build a concrete patio, which also adds to the cost.  

Photo: tab1962/istockphoto.com

Chaya Kurtz writes for Networx.com.

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