Interested in hiring someone to build a concrete patio? Costs typically start at $6 per square foot for a basic patio and range up to $15 or more per sq. ft. for a complex design.
To break it down, the cost to build a concrete patio depends on the following needs and requests:
- size and thickness (4" thick is the norm)
- desired shape
- amount of reinforcement
- spacing of control joints
- special effects such as stain, integral color, decorative aggregate, surface designs, or borders
- grade or slope of your yard
- whether steps are required
About Concrete Patios
Concrete has become the most popular material for patio construction, according to the the National Association of Home Builders. Not surprising! Affordable and quick to install, concrete has the advantages of being durable, and much lower maintenance than wood -- it just needs a coat of sealant every few years. Besides, it resists damage from rain, snow, or fire, making a concrete patio ideal for harsh climates and the perfect spot for your fire pit. Concrete can be made to look like brick, natural stone, tile, or even wood at a fraction of the cost.
Building a concrete patio is definitely not a DIY project, though. You'll need a concrete contractor with professional equipment for pouring and stamping your patio.
- Materials -- The cost will include the concrete and reinforcement materials (fiber, wire, or rebar).
- Labor -- Your contractor will prepare the patio site by clearing it, compacting the earth, and installing a gravel base for drainage. Next he will pour the concrete, add control joints, and apply decorative finishes if desired. If you have an existing patio that needs to be removed, this will increase the cost.
- Permit -- A permit may be required by your local building authority, as well as a concrete pouring permit.
- Estimate -- The initial estimate, which may include onsite inspection and measurement, is often free.
Get the Most for Your Money
Plan your concrete patio carefully so you'll get the most out of it. Consider exactly what you want to use it for -- table and chairs (for how many people?), fire pit or gas barbecue, kiddie pool, etc. -- and base the size and layout on this information.
Save on your concrete patio cost -- use less-expensive plain concrete for the main area (the "field") but add a pop of interest with a decorative concrete border.
Make sure that your contractor cuts control joints so that the inevitable concrete cracking will not spoil the look of your new patio.