How Much Does Stamped Concrete Cost?
Breaking down some of the factors that contribute to the price of having stamped concrete poured by a professional.
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Are you considering enhancing your outdoor space with some beautiful new stamped concrete? It's a fantastic choice that combines unparalleled durability, aesthetics, and relatively low maintenance. However, understanding the full scope of costs associated with your project is crucial for planning and budgeting effectively. In this post, we’ll break down many of the expenses that contribute to having a stamped concrete patio installed. These prices reflect the current costs in South East Pennsylvania, prices vary by region.

Materials

Concrete: The cost of concrete varies depending on the quality and admixtures as well as the types of aggregate and mix design. Concrete strength is measured in PSI with higher PSI mixes costing more. Besides the price of the concrete itself there are also charges for transporting the mix to the site and fuel charges, even charges for washing the truck out that the contractor will have to pay for. With all of these costs combined the price of concrete in our area is about $264/ yard currently.
Coloring Agents: To achieve that stunning stamped look, coloring agents are essential. These can be integral colors mixed into the concrete or surface-applied color hardeners and release agents/ antiquing agents. Each bucket of color hardener costs about $50 and many designs have 3 or more colors. Integral color costs about $40 per yard. Each bucket of release agent costs between $90-$100. Antiquing color wash costs $40/ bucket.
Stamps: These are the molds used to create the patterned surface. Renting these for the day costs about $250. Purchasing a set of stamps as a contractor costs between $2,000-$6,000 depending on the set of stamps.
Sealant: To protect your patio from the elements and enhance its appearance, a high-quality sealant is necessary. A 5-gallon bucket of sealer costs $250 and covers 300-400 square feet depending on the texture and porosity of the surface. Gripping agent is also required with most sealants and costs $30 for every bucket of sealer required.
Forms/ lumber/ and plywood: While these are generally reusable for a few jobs, they begin to warp and deteriorate.  No one wants wavy walkways when they are supposed to be straight! After tax each 2x4 costs about $4.00, 2x6 = $5.60, 2x8 = $10.60, 2x10 = $16.40, 2x12 = $21.17. If you want curved or radius shapes a piece of 12' pvc trim board costs $36.50. The radius forms I currently use because they are more durable and easier to set up cost $55 for each 12' piece. Each piece of plywood used to protect your yard costs between $20-$30 depending on the thickness.
Pins: Pins are used to hold the forms to the correct heights and shapes required to keep the concrete in place while it hardens. Different soils and grade heights require an appropriate length pin to be able to support the weight and force of the concrete pressing against them (concrete weighs 4,000 lbs. per yard!) Many jobs can require over 100x pins to keep the forms from moving. a 2' concrete pin costs $7.40, a 3' concrete pin costs $10.58. While they are reusable, they will eventually bend and need to be replaced.
Expansion Jointing: Expansion is used between existing objects like foundations, walls, or existing concrete and the new concrete being poured to give it room to expand and contract without breaking. Expansion material costs about $1/ per linear foot.
Plastic Sheeting/ Tape: Plastic gets used to cover your home and various items on your property from concrete splatter. 1 roll of plastic sheeting costs $116.58, the tape that holds it in place costs about $11
Rebar: Used as reinforcement and generally set up in a grid pattern, each piece of 10' rebar costs $7.19
Screws: Different length and purpose screws are required to hold forms together as well as secure forms to pins or secure lumber to foundations etc. Some common screws used on almost every concrete job are 2.5", 3", 4" and 6" wood screws, tapcons, and self tapping screws. They are reusable for a few jobs but very commonly get stripped and bent or snap. Each screw costs between $0.05 and $0.30 a screw and hundreds can get used on each job. Its safe to estimate at least $40 in screws get used per job.
Stone Base: Stone base is placed between the forms and compacted to allow for proper drainage and an even foundation for the concrete to be poured on. It also helps prevent elemental erosion and frost heave during the winters. The price of stone varies greatly but is generally between $40-$100 per ton delivered.
Miscellaneous: While these are the basics required for pouring stamped concrete, many other features and factors will require their own special materials to get the job done. For example, adding or connecting drainage, conduit, lighting, steps, water features, footings, piers, etc. will all have extra material costs associated.

Site Access

An often overlooked cost of a stamped concrete project is the access to the site. A concrete truck weighs 27,000lbs empty and 66,000lbs when its loaded. It is approximately 12ft high, 9ft wide, and 30-35ft long. If the concrete truck can pull right up to the area and pour directly into the forms, this is the cheapest and most preferred scenario. The further that the truck is away from the area where the concrete needs to be poured, the more expensive the project will be. Tight spaces without much room to maneuver machinery or vehicles will add to the cost. Any fences that need to be removed for machinery and then reinstalled after the project will add to the cost. Running equipment back and forth to remove and move materials around can potentially damage the yard so plywood may be needed to be laid down which adds to the cost. If the area is too tight for conventional methods a pump truck may be required to get concrete in which will also add to the cost.

Equipment, Tools,  Rentals, & Disposal Fees

Many jobs require a lot of materials and weight to be moved and manipulated in order to properly prepare for and place concrete. Thousands of pounds of soil, stone, and concrete need to get from point A to B quickly and the only practical way to do this is with the use of machinery. Many of the machines and vehicles used can cost thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase, so renting them is the only choice for many smaller contractors. Besides the cost to rent the equipment for a day, there is usually a security deposit required of $400-$500 that can take days or weeks to be returned to the contractor. Trailers must also be owned or rented to transport the equipment to and from job sites which adds additional costs. For example a job might require demolition, excavation and soil grading which requires the rental of a small track loader ($334), a trailer ($104), a jackhammer ($125), and a security deposit ($500). The materials being removed need to go somewhere, so the contractor can rent a dumpster ($450) or remove and transport them to proper disposal sites with a dump trailer ($186.56) and pay a disposal fee ($) depending on the weight and type of material. An alternate option is to sub contract these steps to a company who owns the equipment which can cost thousands of dollars ($$$). After the area has been fully prepared for the new concrete there still is the dilemma of getting the concrete into the forms for the new patio. Concrete is a time sensitive material and the reaction starts to take place as soon as they fill the truck at the plant so getting it placed and finished quickly is paramount to a successful job. In most circumstances a wheel barrow is not a fast or efficient way to do this unless you have many workers and wheel barrows moving constantly but this also adds fatigue to the workers who you are trusting to leave you with a beautiful finish. It is much more practical to use a buggy or pump truck. A buggy rental costs ($265) plus trailer ($104) plus security deposit again ($500) or a pump truck can be contracted for the day ($700-$800) which requires a different concrete mixture with smaller aggregate and higher cement content which adds to the cost of concrete.

Labor

Installing a stamped concrete patio is a labor intensive process that requires years of expertise and practice, careful planning, and skilled execution. There are many steps that can make or break a job, and be the difference between a beautiful new patio and an expensive disaster. Many of the materials and processes are extremely time sensitive and need to be torn out or replaced if not done correctly. A few screws in the wrong place or taking too long on a particular step of the process can cost thousands of dollars or leave you with a hideous patio. Many of the materials weigh hundreds, if not thousands of pounds and need to be handled and manipulated by a professional. Grades and slopes need to be calculated and formed correctly to keep water away from your home. Relief cuts and joints must be spaced correctly and positioned strategically to control where the concrete cracks. Concrete mixtures and admixtures must be ordered specific to the climate and each jobs specifications. Understanding the timing of concrete and how environmental factors will contribute to the finishing and stamping process is extremely important for high quality results. Choosing the right tools and materials for every facet of the operation will ensure a long lasting and beautiful job. Hiring a professional company that specializes in stamped concrete like Aurora Custom Concrete can be the difference between an expensive eyesore and a beautiful work of art.

Business related expenses

We are fully licensed and insured to operate as a contractor in the state of Pennsylvania which costs us monthly fees. The website you are reading this on has a purchased domain and costs monthly fees to stay active. Showing up on google search, running google ads, and facebook ads, or any other social media/ online ads cost us monthly. The design software we use costs $103/ month. Thousands of miles put on vehicles monthly and the gas involved with commuting to jobs and doing estimates costs money. Being able to accept credit cards and offer financing, paying the phone bill to be able to answer calls and messages, etc. costs money. Not saying this to complain!! But there are many fees associated with pouring concrete as a legitimate business and keeping it running smoothly and legally that contribute to the cost of a stamped concrete project.

Conclusion

While it may seem daunting after reading this list, Stamped Concrete is still a much more affordable and durable option than traditional materials like pavers or natural stone. (sometimes half the price!) In an effort to provide our customers with the best possible prices, we do not use a standard "per square foot" pricing model and instead calculate the factors listed above to provide a quote for your project. This is why quoting a job over the phone or an email is not always possible or beneficial to the customer until we see the scope of work involved. If you have any questions or concerns about the pricing of a new stamped concrete project, shoot us a message and we will explain it to you as best as possible. Thank you for reading and we hope to work with you soon!

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Take the first step towards transforming your space into something amazing. Contact us at auroracustomconcrete@gmail.com to get a personalized quote for your dream build!
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