Concrete Patio Cost Guide
A concrete patio is a great addition for any home. Though some homeowners opt for poured concrete, others like the look of stamped concrete or concrete pavers. With so many options to choose from, picking the right option for a home often takes some thought. Homeowners need to think about the look they want, the size of the patio that they need and a variety of other factors. The type of concrete used in the patio, the overall design and the size of the finished patio all play a key role in how much a homeowner will pay for a new concrete patio.
Table of Contents
- Cost of Concrete Patio
- Concrete Patio Cost Factors
- Types of Concrete Patios
- Concrete Uses
- Price of Concrete Patios
- Advantages of A Concrete Patio
- Disadvantages of A Concrete Patio
- Concrete Delivery
- Tips for Patio Installation
- How to Save Money On A Concrete Patio
- Find A Pro
Cost of Concrete Patio
- Basic Concrete Patio Costs: $6 - $10/Sf
- Custom Concrete Patio Costs: $10 - $15/sf
- Advanced Or Complex Designs: $15/sf or more
- Average Patio Costs: $2,800 - $4,000
See our concrete calculator here.
Concrete Patio Cost Factors
Besides material, there are other factors that can affect your total concrete patio price. Those factors include:
- Patio Size
- Patio Shape
- Patio Color
- Multiple Levels
Needless to say, the farther the concrete has to travel, the most expensive it will be. In fact, according to our concrete delivery cost guide, the national average is $3,800. Furthermore, the larger or more complex your patio design is, the more expensive it will be. Finally, any added color will increase your total patio price. Staining or using stamped concrete is more expensive than the traditional gray.
Types of Concrete Patios
The various types of concrete available for patios include:
- Poured Concrete
- Stamped Concrete
- Concrete Pavers
Poured concrete and stamped concrete are similar options that begin with a foundation built on the ground. Using the design chosen by the homeowners, the contractor will build a wood frame that determines the layout of the finished patio. This wood frame will hold the concrete until it dries and cures. The contractor pours wet concrete into the frame and lets the concrete cure before removing the frame.
Stamped concrete uses the same frame, but the contractor adds a finished design to the top while the concrete is still wet. Homeowners can choose a design that resembles natural stone or any other pattern they like. The contractor will place a pattern mold on top of the concrete, which presses the design into the wet mixture. Some homeowners also like the look of colored concrete. Contractors can add color to the concrete when it is still wet or apply a colored mixture to the surface before the concrete dries.
Concrete pavers are another valid option. Pavers are small pieces of concrete that come in different colors and designs, and many pavers resemble other types of materials, including natural stone or wood. Contractors need to dig out a trench and sprinkle sand or another aggregate material on the ground to keep the pavers from slipping. A second layer of aggregate material, applied after installing the pavers, will fill in any gaps between the pieces.
In addition to patios, concrete has a number of other uses. Homeowners can use the concrete to connect two outdoor entertaining areas, including a patio placed around a swimming pool or a patio attached to a house. Concrete walkways are a popular option in various places across the country, and homeowners will find that they can use pavers to create a walkway that runs across their yards or from a patio in the backyard to the front of the house. Many homeowners add a walkway when adding a patio.
Price of Concrete Patios
As you saw above, prices usually start around $6/sf up to $10/sf for a basic design without any colors or special designs. Adding colors or a pattern to the design can increase the price to $15/sf. Those opting for hand coloring, unique angles or a special design will see the price rise to more than $15/sf. The average price that homeowners pay for a concrete patio is around $2,800 to just over $4,000, but some homeowners report spending as little as $1,000 or as much as $6,500.
A custom design, as noted above, typically costs more because those projects involve more work. More complex designs, like curved edges, open spaces for plants and trees or a stair-step design increase the cost of the patio.
Advantages of A Concrete Patio
Concrete patios bring a wide range of advantages, especially compared to composite or wood deck. Some of those benefits include:
- Environmentally friendly
- Requires less maintenance than other types of patios
- Stronger and more durable
Concrete is a durable material that can hold up well to environmental dangers, making it a good choice for areas that receive a lot of rain or snow. The excess moisture that builds up on the ground won't affect stamped or poured concrete. Contractors can add a sealant to the top of the concrete that prevents moisture from seeping inside. Sealant can also form a barrier between the concrete and any chemicals used in a swimming pool or on a lawn.
Many people choose concrete because it is more affordable than wood and other materials. It can cost up to half as much as a similar patio made from wood. Those interested in going green will find that concrete is a better alternative. Some manufacturers create concrete from leftover and recycled materials. Homeowners will also find that concrete comes in a wide range of options to fit their needs.
Disadvantages of A Concrete Patio
Though concrete is a good choice for patios, it does come with a few problems. Concrete is durable, but it can develop cracks and chips after prolonged use. Repairing stamped concrete, colored concrete or a patio with a unique design is often expensive because the contractor must match the repair to the original design or color. With concrete pavers, some homeowners need to apply a weed killer or pesticide to prevent weeds from sprouting up between the pavers. Concrete pavers can also chip or crack more easily than poured concrete.
Caring for concrete is generally easy, but homeowners will need to apply more sealant to the surface of the patio every few years. Certain chemicals, including those used to melt snow and ice quickly, can eat through the sealant and damage the concrete beneath. Those willing to take care of the concrete will have a patio that they can use for years to come.
Chances are, most homeowners will not mix the concrete themselves. Likewise, some concrete companies have the concrete delivered themselves. Luckily, there are few different ways to deliver concrete:
- Mixer Truck
- Special Trailers
- Electric Concrete Mixer
- Ready-Mix Dry
For bigger jobs, most companies will call in a mixer truck. These trucks carry up to 10 cubic yards of concrete but will still usually deliver just a yard or two. Special trailers and electric concrete mixers are used for smaller jobs, but still require professional assistance or DIY experience. Finally, for really small jobs, homeowners can purchase sacks of ready-mix dry concrete, which you mix with water in a wheelbarrow.
Tips for Patio Installation
Once you have determined concrete as your patio material of choice, you must jump into the design phase of your patio. Planning and preparation are both key for any patio installation. If you need help with design, there are landscape designers who specialize in patios.
Next, if this is a new patio, you must check if permits are required. They most likely are, so before you buy anything, contact your local building department. Then, decide if you’re going to hire a pro to install your concrete patio. While this will certainly increase the overall price of your patio, it will ensure efficiency and quality.
Once the project starts, it should be completed within a few days. This assumes no color is being added.
For a detail list of the entire process, please see “Pouring A Slab” at DIY Tips for How to Build a Patio.
How to Save Money on A Concrete Patio
While materials do play the largest role in your overall patio investment, there are other ways to save on your patio installation.
First off, if you plan to hire a pro, shop around and get multiple quotes. For any home remodeling project, you should always get multiple quotes. While the cheapest option may be tempting, you’re better off going with the middle price. The low-ball price will most likely not adhere to the quality you’re looking for. Furthermore, try to hire a pro during their downtime, which is winter or late fall.
Another way to lower your concrete patio cost is by limiting extra accessories or expensive materials. While built-in benches, complex designs, covers or stamped concrete all look terrific, they all bring higher price tags.
Finally, help out when you can. Whether its lugging concrete, applying for permits, leveling the surface or any patio installation step, lend a helping hand. Your wallet will thank you later on.
Find A Pro
Concrete patios cost $8/sf, but with the information above, you should have more than a few tricks up your sleeve to lower that price and still install a terrific looking patio.
As always, if you need help, you can always use ImproveNet to connect with a concrete pro.
Last updated on May 23, 2016
Top Articles on Concrete Patio
5 Common Chimney Problems & How To Fix Them
From chimney cleaning to repair, you can quickly find a solution to any issues and go back to relaxing by the fire. See a few common chimney problems.Read More →
How To Build A Wheelchair Ramp
Easy access to our homes and other homes is a privilege not everyone has. The easy way to make sure your home is easily accessibly by everyone is by installing or building a wheelchair ramp.Read More →
How To Paint A Brick Fireplace
Are you tired of staring at a drab, outdated fireplace? If you have time and love to DIY, see how you can create your brick fireplace makeover.Read More →