Concrete Slab Cost & Prices
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Concrete Slab Cost & Prices
Whether you're looking to construct a relaxing back patio area, want a smooth paved driveway, or need a solid ground to put a shed or storage area on, a concrete slab makes for a fantastic foundation. This versatile material is found all around us and can be used for small DIY projects and big undertakings alike. It's relatively cheap, durable, and can easily blend into a variety of decor aesthetics, making a great option for your next project.
How much does concrete cost?
To determine the cost of a concrete slab, you must consider the area of the concrete that you are pouring, as well as the type of material that you'll be using.
Typical sizes for concrete slabs are 12x12, 20x30, 30x50 and 40x60, but may differ according to your project's specific needs. On average, the material alone costs anywhere between $5.38 to $6.19 per square foot. To calculate the amount of concrete needed, you'll need to consider the thickness in addition to the length and width of the slab.
If the concrete is going to see light use and won't need to withstand heavy objects such as cars or machinery, a 3-inch slab might do the trick. If your foundation needs to be a little more heavy-duty, you'll want to opt for 4, 5, or even 6 inches.
And if you want to make your life a little easier, check out ImproveNet's Concrete Cost Calculator.
Unless you plan on hiring a professional, you'll want to factor in the costs of supplies like wood and rebar, which can add up to $3.75 per square foot. Should you decide to hire a professional, expect to pay around $65.50 per hour on average.
Concrete vs. Asphalt
Asphalt (which is also referred to as tarmac) is another popular choice, especially when it comes to driveways. Let's take a look at how concrete and asphalt compare.
- Cost: Asphalt typically costs less than concrete, averaging around $2-$5 per square foot of the driveway. The cost of a concrete slab and driveway installation is around $3 per square foot but can cost upwards of $10/sqft for different colors and styles.
- Maintenance and upkeep: Asphalt requires more maintenance than concrete; however, the maintenance is typically easier. Holes and cracks in an asphalt driveway can be filled and resealed. Concrete is generally more durable and requires less maintenance; but when it does, it's typically harder to repair.
- Longevity: Concrete lasts up to 30 years, whereas asphalt usually lasts around 20 years. Both asphalt driveways and concrete can be resurfaced, which may be costly but costs less than installing a new driveway.
Other Driveway Surfaces
You might have decided that concrete is right for you when compared to asphalt, but how does concrete stack up against other driveway materials?
A gravel driveway is the cheapest option. It isn't as solid or smooth as a concrete or asphalt driveway and takes a little more to maintain since the gravel can wash away and typically allows plant growth.
Driveway pavers are a beautiful option, but it's also one of the more expensive options. Pavers, which can be installed over concrete, cost anywhere between $5-$50 per square foot. The longevity of pavers is similar to that of asphalt— around 20 years with moderate maintenance needs.
This option is a natural sandstone that serves as an attractive choice for patios, driveways, and walkways. However, flagstone is one of the most expensive options on the market with both material and labor typically costing more.
Flooring on Concrete
Concrete isn't just for driveways— it is also found in homes and other buildings. While polished concrete floors fit in with many home styles, some people wish to install flooring on top of the concrete base. Many types of flooring are suitable options for a concrete substrate, including laminate, wood, rubber tile, carpet, ceramic tile, and vinyl tile.
Types and Grades of Concrete
Do you still think concrete is the perfect choice for your project? Overall concrete prices and installation costs will also depend on the type and grade concrete you use. Not all concrete is created equal, so it's important that you select the right type for the job. Inadequate materials may be cheaper upfront but can lead to costly problems down the line.
There are three different grades that indicate the strength of concrete:
- High-strength concrete: This is used when the concrete is laid to support heavy structures such as buildings.
- Commercial grade concrete: This is what most concrete slabs out there are made of. They are sturdy enough to take on some heavy use but don't need to hold any large structures.
- Basic concrete: This is the lowest grade of concrete. This isn't to say that it isn't strong, however, and is still used to make concrete slabs. This type would be more suitable for walkways or patios that won't see heavy objects or extreme wear and tear conditions.
Within each grade, certain cement, water, and aggregate ratios can provide varying strengths that are able to withstand specified pounds per square inch (PSI).
There are also many different types of concrete. These are created by using different types of aggregates in the mixture, as well as varying ratios of cement, water, and aggregate. They each come with their own unique sets of advantages and disadvantages, so you'll want to look into the type before making your selection.
Some common types of concrete include:
- Regular concrete
- Decorative concrete
- Stamped concrete
- Roll compacted concrete
- Reinforced concrete
- Self-consolidating concrete
- Pervious concrete
- Glass concrete
- Polymer concrete
- Asphalt concrete
- Geopolymer concrete
- High performance concrete
- Micro-reinforced ultra performance concrete
- Rapid-set concrete
If you are having trouble deciding which type of concrete would be best for your project, a skilled mason should be able to help you make the right choice.
Concrete slabs are a great foundation for any home project. If you're ready to get started and pour a slab today, find a local contractor in your area that can get the job done right!
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Last updated on Dec 10, 2019