Concrete patio pricing question.

Messages
208
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
I want to put a 20X15 concrete patio and have no idea of how much per square foot is fair. This is going to be a plain Jane broom finished rectangle of a patio using standard 3500 psi standard ready-mix. There is no existing concrete there, so no demo and haul out to consider for the contractor. I looked online at those sites you enter your zipcode in and they vary so widely I have no idea, i.e., Homewyse, etc. Best I could come up with is 5-6 dollars a square foot. Thoughts? ETA: $107 per cubic yard is the going price for ready mix in my area.
 
Last edited:

JTK

Messages
13,525
Location
Buffalo, NY
Back in May 2012 I had an outfit I found on CraigsList tear out an old wooden deck and replace it with a 12'x16' concrete patio, including poured stairs, walk-ways and a pad in front of a sliding glass door around the corner for just under $3000. This included a whole lot of crushed stone. He claimed he used 4000psi concrete. Wire mesh was used on top of the stone. I had to deal with the scrapped deck wood.
 
Messages
5,532
Location
Canada
Funny, I,m in the process of pouring just such a pad under our sun deck for Firewood storage. I have poured it in 5x10 sections with a cement mixer I bought on CL Cost is about $55 per section, Not counting my labour.
 
Messages
1,036
Location
Virginia
Your estimate of $5-6 is probably in the ballpark. I paid right at $4/square foot (5" thick) for my garage last year. It was a two day job for the crew so I'm sure the size of the project brought the price per square foot down some.
 

CT8

Messages
15,392
Location
Idaho
Get quotes and references. Concrete lasts a long time so the quality of work is more important then the price. Look into having hair put onto the concrete. I am not sure what is really is[fiberglass or plastic?] but it minimizes cracking. I have it in my 30x70 shop and the neighbors have it in their driveways and there is no cracking. Ask the ready mix company for a tube to send out to have the concrete tested.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
46,295
Location
New Jersey
I dont recall exactly what we paid when we installed pavers for a big patio, but in my design, I wantd to be able to drive a car over a portion of it. So we dug it deeper in that area... Which meant more labor, more materials, etc. So I suspect that the depth you go down has a big part in it...
 

Vibe_2007

Thread starter
Messages
208
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
Great replies everyone; I really appreciate it. I would like to be right around 1000-1400 dollars as that is what I have saved up to do this. Looks like a straightforward job on this property.
 

Vibe_2007

Thread starter
Messages
208
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
Originally Posted By: cpayne5
Your estimate of $5-6 is probably in the ballpark. I paid right at $4/square foot (5" thick) for my garage last year. It was a two day job for the crew so I'm sure the size of the project brought the price per square foot down some.
4 dollars/sq ft. at 5" is a GREAT deal. I have two contractors working the bid and hope I can come in at no more than 4-6 per.
 

Vibe_2007

Thread starter
Messages
208
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
Originally Posted By: CT8
Get quotes and references. Concrete lasts a long time so the quality of work is more important then the price. Look into having hair put onto the concrete. I am not sure what is really is[fiberglass or plastic?] but it minimizes cracking. I have it in my 30x70 shop and the neighbors have it in their driveways and there is no cracking. Ask the ready mix company for a tube to send out to have the concrete tested.
One contractor said they were going to add something to it so it wouldn't crack with the cold weather coming. Limestone, I think he said?
 
Messages
385
Location
PA
Make sure you are apples to apples with excavation, formwork, all materials, stone base, etc. 4" = 4 cy ordered so $450ish taxed misc formwork = $100ish 4" stone about $200ish taxed A couple of buds and myself do it on weekends for kicks. Concrete usually costs a couple of extra dollars for Saturday delivery. 20x15 would be $600 for pour labor if redimix truck accessible, not alot of wheelbarrowing, and if homeowner exc, stoned, formed, and stripped. Add about $400 labor for stone, form, and strip. If demo or alot of digging involved, we just walk away from it as they usually require excavator, haul trucks, etc. that's for guys who do it for a living and can tend to it daily. We only do it for kicks and for a little practice so we are not out to kill ourselves.
 

Vibe_2007

Thread starter
Messages
208
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
Originally Posted By: tstep
Make sure you are apples to apples with excavation, formwork, all materials, stone base, etc. 4" = 4 cy ordered so $450ish taxed misc formwork = $100ish 4" stone about $200ish taxed A couple of buds and myself do it on weekends for kicks. Concrete usually costs a couple of extra dollars for Saturday delivery. 20x15 would be $600 for pour labor if redimix truck accessible, not alot of wheelbarrowing, and if homeowner exc, stoned, formed, and stripped. Add about $400 labor for stone, form, and strip. If demo or alot of digging involved, we just walk away from it as they usually require excavator, haul trucks, etc. that's for guys who do it for a living and can tend to it daily. We only do it for kicks and for a little practice so we are not out to kill ourselves.
Great post with lots of information. Thanks! Got the bid back today. 1100 for the 20.5x14 pad. Couple of guys trying to start their own business and have been doing it for about 12 years. Got another quote for 1500 as well. I am responsible for removing a section of fence and a gate before they start though.
 
Messages
385
Location
PA
Both $1100 and $1500 are fair prices. Ask to see 2-3 reference's pours to make sure their work isn't sloppy. Things to look for are straight formlines, expansion against immovable surfaces, no puddles, pay attention under foot as you walk around it for high/low spots, the fineness and consistency of the broom finish (if its coarse it's hard to broom clean and rough under barefoot. to get it fine means the guys hang around another hour longer and let it setup a bit and then broom. fine broom provides plenty of traction), and the quality and consistency of the highlighting around the edges. 20x15 also needs a sawcut to halve the 20' direction. This helps control cracking. Make sure it included. Also don't get hung up on 3000 psi vs 4000 psi concrete. It just doesn't matter in this application. 4000 psi is technically stronger and more impervious, the greater cement content required for strength also makes in more likely to shrink and therefore crack. It's all a tradeoff. This biggest thing is the finishers do NOT use water in finishing. This additional water makes the surface very weak and will scale off over time. Fibermesh additive helps control cracking, but costs more and doesn't finish quite as nice but very acceptable.
 

Vibe_2007

Thread starter
Messages
208
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
Originally Posted By: tstep
Both $1100 and $1500 are fair prices. Ask to see 2-3 reference's pours to make sure their work isn't sloppy. Things to look for are straight formlines, expansion against immovable surfaces, no puddles, pay attention under foot as you walk around it for high/low spots, the fineness and consistency of the broom finish (if its coarse it's hard to broom clean and rough under barefoot. to get it fine means the guys hang around another hour longer and let it setup a bit and then broom. fine broom provides plenty of traction), and the quality and consistency of the highlighting around the edges. 20x15 also needs a sawcut to halve the 20' direction. This helps control cracking. Make sure it included. Also don't get hung up on 3000 psi vs 4000 psi concrete. It just doesn't matter in this application. 4000 psi is technically stronger and more impervious, the greater cement content required for strength also makes in more likely to shrink and therefore crack. It's all a tradeoff. This biggest thing is the finishers do NOT use water in finishing. This additional water makes the surface very weak and will scale off over time. Fibermesh additive helps control cracking, but costs more and doesn't finish quite as nice but very acceptable.
You bring up some items that I didn't consider. I will definitely bring these up with the contractor. One section of the concrete will be right up next to the foundation of the house. Expansion/contraction is something to consider there. A quick question: After they are finished, would it be best to get some plastic sheeting and cover it completely after dousing it with water. Is this something I want to keep wet for a few days for a real slow drying process for strength and crack reduction?
 
Messages
385
Location
PA
Technically yes, it's best to keep it cool and wet. Day one, about 12 hours after the pour sets up, lightly mist the pour then cover with plastic. Keep covered and mist daily. The plastic should hold the moisture. Slow and cool cure minimize initial shrinkage and therefore cracking. However it will usually be a more gray color. If you are pouring the patio this time of year in SD, you problem will be nighttime freezing. If it freezes, it will seriously decrease durability. We wont take on anymore work this year in PA. Too cold over the 5-7 or so days is that need to be above 50 for a good cure.
 
Messages
8,115
Location
MI
Lots of good advice. Concrete projects can really go wrong, as evidenced by lots of projects that crack and/or spall. Proper site preparation is important, especially on heavier (clay) or unstable soils. All topsoil that might contain any organic matter should be removed and replaced by a layer of sand (this is the Michigan method), being careful to not disturb the soil deeper (possible later settlement). This is especially important in wet and frost prone areas. Also of extreme importance is that the ready mix does not sit/mix in the truck for an extended time because it can ruin the "slump" quality, which results in weak concrete. You might want to request a slump test.
 

Vibe_2007

Thread starter
Messages
208
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
Thanks for the reply. Checking the forecast on November 8th, the day of the pour, looking like 58 during the day and 28 at night. Next day is 52/34. Think I might be getting lucky this year. We are calling for mid to upper 50's for the next two weeks around here. Night time lows range from 28 to 41F. Thinking if only 28F that night, I could use something to cover it up over the plastic sheeting/water mist to insulate it a bit. Thoughts?
 
Last edited:

Vibe_2007

Thread starter
Messages
208
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
Originally Posted By: doitmyself
Lots of good advice. Concrete projects can really go wrong, as evidenced by lots of projects that crack and/or spall. Proper site preparation is important, especially on heavier (clay) or unstable soils. All topsoil that might contain any organic matter should be removed and replaced by a layer of sand (this is the Michigan method), being careful to not disturb the soil deeper (possible later settlement). This is especially important in wet and frost prone areas. Also of extreme importance is that the ready mix does not sit/mix in the truck for an extended time because it can ruin the "slump" quality, which results in weak concrete. You might want to request a slump test.
How deep should I go to at a maximum. I'd like to rake the area out before they get here and have some sand on hand. What kind of sand? Just normal sand at a hardware store? The soil seems to have a clayey consistency, but does grow grass and shrubs and has lots of worms in it. So I think it might not be 100% clay.
 
Last edited:
Top