Estimating Concrete Patio Cost

A concrete patio.

Installing a concrete patio is a great way to add functionality to an area that currently has little or none. However, depending on the materials, size, and quality of your patio, the cost can vary greatly. By properly estimating the cost of a concrete patio, you can save time and money on your project. Here's are some factors and tips on how to estimate the cost.

Different Concrete Patio Styles

Before committing to poured concrete, stamped concrete, or concrete pavers, you will want to determine the cost and decide which would be the most aesthetically pleasing for your purpose. Some issues to consider include long term maintenance and wear and tear. While poured concrete and stamped concrete may be less expensive to install, there is more maintenance required in the long run, which may end up costing more over time. This should be factored into your decision and concrete patio cost.

Determining Supplies Needed

Roughly determine the amount of concrete or concrete pavers you will need for this project. To do this, you'll need to know the square footage of the area you would like to pave. Multiply the length of the area by the width; the resulting number is the square footage.

Figure out the depth you require. Usually 4 inches is used for this sort of project unless you need something thicker for heavy-duty use. Once you know the square footage and the depth you can figure out how much concrete you’ll need. Take your total square footage and multiply that number by the thickness of your concrete patio (4 inches).

Concrete is generally fabricated and sold in cubic yards, which equals out to 27 square feet. Use the number calculated for square footage and depth combined and divide it by 27 to get the amount of concrete you will need in cubic yards. For concrete pavers, just having the square footage of the patio area should be adequate.

Shopping Around for Concrete and Concrete Pavers

Call around to different concrete makers or home improvement stores, asking how much it will cost to purchase the amount of concrete or concrete pavers you need. It is wise to add about 10% on top of what is needed in case any is lost or damaged during transportation. If you're planning on stamped concrete, consider if you plan on adding color or stain to it, as that will add on to the stamped concrete patio cost.

Factor in the cost of excavating the site before pouring the concrete or installing the pavers. This either requires a professional or for you to rent an excavator. You will need to purchase the same amount of gravel (or sand for concrete pavers) as you have of concrete so that your patio is rested firmly on a solid foundation. Be sure to include this price in your estimate. The cost of having cement or concrete pavers and gravel delivered will need to be included in your calculations as well.

Consider the price of buying or renting any tools necessary for the job that you don’t currently own.

Figuring out the costs before deciding on a project will help to give you a better idea of what the whole process will actually cost. After you have compiled all of this information, you can add it all up for a pretty accurate idea of how much it will cost you to install a concrete patio in your yard.