How Much Does a Concrete Patio Cost to Build?
Concrete patio costs average between $1,657 and $4,304, with a national average of $2,942. Installing a new patio is a great way to add more outdoor living space and boost your property value.
- Typical Range: $1,657 to $4,304
- National Average: $2,942
Outdoor living spaces are essential for enjoying pleasant evenings and family barbecues. Building a concrete patio allows you to designate an attractive gathering area in your backyard. Concrete is a classic choice that has a lower up-front cost than other patio materials like paving stones. If the idea of a plain concrete pad isn’t appealing, have no fear. Contractors can create a stained patio or stamp unique designs into the concrete so your patio can become the yard’s centerpiece. On average, concrete patio costs range from $1,657 to $4,304 with $2,942 as a national average. This includes ground preparation, materials, and installation. The size and complexity of the patio are some of the biggest influences on concrete patio costs, so keep reading to learn how much you can expect to spend on your new patio.
Factors in Calculating Concrete Patio Cost
Concrete patio costs aren’t set in stone. Every contractor will have a different quote since labor, materials, and permits vary by region. The patio size, shape, and design also affect the cost since a complex design requires extra materials. Consider the following primary factors when planning your concrete patio budget.
The area you live in greatly affects the price you pay for construction projects. Urban areas tend to have higher costs of living and labor rates. Rural areas may charge extra for travel fees or hard-to-get materials. Always get quotes from multiple contractors in your area to find the best price for your backyard project. You can also get started on the budgeting process with a concrete patio cost calculator to get an initial cost estimate for your location.
Patio Size and Shape
The average cost of concrete patios is $3 to $6 per square foot if the patio is a plain square or rectangle shape. Basic shapes without colors or customization are the easiest to construct, so adding any other shapes or design elements will drive the price higher. Curved shapes will increase the price since forming and pouring concrete in round shapes is more complex than it would be within straight lines.
While most patios function just fine as a rectangular slab just off the backyard door, you may want to design a pergola or build a second-level deck above your patio. A contractor will need to make sure the patio is strong enough to withstand the extra weight in these cases. Extra materials and labor will cost more. If you’re building a patio around an inground pool, the contractor will need to work closely with the pool builder to ensure it meets the exact specifications so there aren’t any odd gaps or improperly leveled areas. Adding built-in concrete benches, fountains, or walls also increases the cost since laborers will need to construct forms to build the extra features. Each option is customized, so you’ll need to talk with your local contractor to get an accurate quote, but you can expect to pay at least $15 per square foot for these kinds of enhancements.
Labor and Permits
You can expect to pay $30 to $50 per hour on labor costs alone in most cases. This comes out to approximately $2 to $8 per square foot for most patios. Fortunately, those labor costs are well worth it since contractors have all the special tools needed to pour a durable concrete pad. While most concrete patios don’t require a permit, it’s still a good idea to check with your local municipality and your homeowners association, if applicable. If permits are required, the average cost is usually $150 to $300.
Constructing a small patio won’t require access to significant equipment since laborers can use small concrete mixers to access the site. For a patio measuring several hundred square feet, the contractor will need at least an 8-foot-wide gate access to bring a truck to the back. If that’s not possible, laborers will have to wheel concrete to the backyard in batches—a slower, more expensive process. Depending on the site, a concrete truck could pipe the concrete over the house, but this happens mostly with much larger projects, such as for an inground pool and patio. Piping concrete into the backyard would cost $25 per square foot on average.
Demolition, Grading, and Excavation
A terraced property that needs to be leveled for a patio will cost more due to the heavy equipment required to grade and smooth the ground. If it’s impossible to access the yard due to a narrow fence line, homeowners may have to consider removing sections of the fence to get the equipment in. For homes with a walk-out basement, that equipment will have to remove a significant amount of dirt, then grade the remaining property to meet drainage requirements. These kinds of jobs are best done during new construction since they can be challenging to complete after building.
Concrete is one of the cheapest patio materials available. For a simple 10-foot by 10-foot concrete patio, you could spend as little as $900. This is cheaper than most wooden decks, which is another popular outdoor living space option. Paver stones are another patio material that some homeowners choose, but they are much more expensive than concrete. If you like the look of a stone patio but not the price, you can ask your contractor about stamping the concrete instead.
Poured Concrete vs. Pavers
Pavers make for a unique patio that can enhance a home’s appearance by carrying sophisticated stonework into the backyard. You could choose from paving stones or bricks for this patio style. The average cost is $8 to $25 per square foot, depending on the kind of stone you choose. Since a concrete patio has an average cost of $3 to $6 per square foot, the concrete patio is the less expensive option that works with almost any budget.
Additional Costs and Considerations
Beyond the most common factors that affect the baseline cost of concrete patios, there are extra features that you might want to add to enhance your patio. These customizations can make your patio feel like the perfect outdoor space, so be sure to ask your contractor about the cost of these concrete patio upgrades.
As mentioned, most concrete patios are plain gray slabs of concrete that come at a low-cost option. But concrete can be brushed, painted, stenciled, engraved, or even pebbled with an aggregate finish for a unique, custom look. These finishes can cost between $0.40 to $10 extra per square foot. Homeowners also have the option to spruce up the patio by choosing a finish that mimics more expensive patio materials. Stamping designs into the concrete ($8 to $20 per square foot) or staining the concrete ($7 to $15 per square foot) are the two most popular finish options.
Enhancements and Additions
For authentic outdoor living, opt to build an outdoor living room or kitchen on your patio. These patios are usually at least 8 feet by 10 feet to accommodate a kitchen and dining area, but they’re even larger if you want more seating capacity and a firepit. Outdoor kitchens cost between $300 and $750 per linear foot for the structure, countertops, and patio surface. Other enhancements include fountains or hot tubs, which can vary in price depending on whether they’re custom-made or prefabricated.
Electrical and Plumbing
For a functional patio all year round, don’t forget to add electrical outlets and plumbing hookups. An outdoor patio isn’t complete without a string of patio lights to set the evening mood. If you live in a hotter climate, you may want to add fans to a pergola for an extra breeze. Plumbing lines will be essential if you choose to add a kitchen. Installing gas or water lines when you build the house is the cheapest way to do this, but it’s not impossible to do as a remodel.
Concrete Patio Cost: Types of Concrete Patios
Concrete patios all have the same base material, but you could choose from several finishes to customize the look and feel of your patio. Concrete patio costs remain relatively low with most of the finishes available.
Installing a stained concrete patio is a great option if you love colorful, earthy textures. Stained concrete patio cost options vary based on the amount of texturing and the number of colors used to create the custom finish. Expect to pay $7 to $15 per square foot for stained concrete. It’s the most popular option among homeowners who choose to upgrade their finish.
If you don’t mind the gray color but prefer a little more texture and style, then stamping the concrete might be the best choice. Concrete contractors have numerous designs you can choose from, from flagstone and brick to wooden planks. You get the appearance of the material you like, with the durability of concrete. Stamped concrete patio cost averages $8 to $20 per square foot.
The most budget-friendly option is a traditional concrete slab. Installing a standard concrete patio costs between $3 and $6 per square foot since the design isn’t complex and no extra finish is included. A concrete slab is just as durable and long lasting as any concrete patio with a specialized finish.
Painted concrete is another option to stylize your outdoor patio. For $2 to $6 per square foot, you can paint almost any color on your patio. Work with your contractor to pick a UV-resistant paint, and paint a border, fun designs, or the entire patio! The only drawback to painting concrete is that the paint may get scratched or peel off over time. Sealing the patio can help extend the life of a painted patio, but you may need to reapply the paint occasionally.
If you’ve ever washed off a concrete patio and nearly slipped on the surface, then you’ll know how important a little extra texture is. A smooth concrete surface provides little traction when wet, so if you’re putting in a patio near a pool or in a wet climate, you may prefer to have a broom finish. This technique uses a special broom to make small grooves in the concrete that make it more slip resistant. A broom finish costs $0.40 to $1.00 per square foot on average.
Decorative Stencil Masking
If you love the more artistic style of stenciled designs, then a decorative stencil finish should be an option to consider. Stenciling your preferred designs into your concrete patio means you have a truly unique masterpiece to enjoy. You can work with the contractor to determine the designs, colors, depths, and more for an average installation cost of $1 to $10 per square foot.
Engraving concrete is a solid choice for homeowners who have an existing concrete patio but wish it was a paver patio. A contractor can use a diamond blade cutting wheel to partially cut through the concrete in a predetermined design. In no time at all, you can go from a concrete slab to a faux flagstone patio—without the potential of weeds growing through the pavers. This kind of engraving or scoring costs $1 to $2 per linear foot.
An aggregate concrete patio is a unique option with a raw design that has plenty of traction against slipping. You get to choose your favorite kind of small pebbles to be added to the concrete mix. These pebbles will remain on the surface as the concrete cures, then get sealed over to make the surface durable and rugged. This style of finish only costs an additional $0.90 to $1.80 per square foot.
Concrete Patio Cost: Benefits of a New Concrete Patio
There are so many ways to spend your hard-earned money. You want to choose things that will improve your lifestyle and even bring a return on your investment. Fortunately, you can get all of that and more when you choose to install a new concrete patio.
High Level of Customization
Compared to other outdoor living spaces, one could argue that concrete patios have more customization choices than other options. A concrete slab can be dressed up to look like wood, stones, marble, and more. Concrete can also be formed into nearly any shape to create the look you want. You can build extra steps, ramps, built-in benches or planters; set the foundation for a pergola or deck; and much more. The options are nearly endless with concrete patios.
Concrete patio costs are almost second to none in terms of enduring value over time. A well-built concrete patio can last up to 50 years and only requires occasional upkeep or resealing to keep the surface in good shape. This is more than double the lifespan of a wooden deck.
While some outdoor patios or decks require significant yearly maintenance, you can keep your concrete patio in great shape with a simple power wash when needed. It’s a fast and easy way to keep the patio free of dirt and keep the finish looking great. Depending on any customization or special finishes you choose, your patio may need to be resealed every few years to keep the paint or texture protected.
Installing a concrete patio is an inexpensive way to improve your outdoor living space. You can even expand an existing concrete pad to a larger pad without too much hassle. Though a concrete patio won’t get as high of a return on your investment as other options, you can expect an ROI (return on investment) of 30 to 60 percent on concrete patio costs.
Increased Property Value
Outdoor living spaces are often used as a way to unwind from a stressful day. Homeowners can step into their backyard and enjoy an evening breeze while grilling burgers on the patio. Houses with outdoor concrete patios tend to sell at a higher price than houses without an outdoor space. Patios raise the property value of your home even if you intend to stay for years.
Concrete Patio Cost: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
When upgrading your outdoor living space, a concrete patio seems like a simple construction task. There are more complexities than you may realize, however, which is why it’s a task that’s best left to a pro. Making a mistake during a DIY patio installation can mean extra costs for future repairs or even total replacement. If the patio isn’t level when it’s poured, rainwater could collect near the foundation of your house and cause a much more serious problem down the road. A patio also needs to be built thick enough or strong enough to withstand any heavy objects it could hold, such as a stone kitchen or a second-level deck. These are structural elements that a concrete contractor can carefully plan and execute for you.
If you’re itching to do some work on your own, you can always remove any sod or landscaping to make space for the patio and save on labor costs in the long run. But in the end, the advantage of using a pro is that they’ll have all the special equipment needed to complete the job promptly. Their know-how will help them work through any challenges that could arise during the project. Concrete can be a demanding material, so if you’ve decided to have it stamped or stained, you can rest easier knowing the contractor can time the finished work perfectly to achieve the desired result.
How to Save Money on a Concrete Patio
The sliding scale of concrete patio costs can change as much or as little as you want it to. High-end customization will always increase costs, but there are still ways to save money on your concrete patio installation.
- Build to budget. Know ahead of time what your maximum budget is, then build to fit within that.
- Stay small. A patio doesn’t have to take up the whole backyard. Choose the size that meets your needs and budget.
Choose the location carefully. Any area that requires sloping, grading, or tree removal will cost more to prepare for installation.
- DIY site preparation. If you can complete site preparation tasks on your own, save on labor costs by doing them ahead of time. This includes removing fence paneling if large equipment needs to access the backyard.
- Choose the right finish. Decide on a finish that works within your budget yet still offers some customization.
- Preplan and execute. If you’re doing new-home construction, building a concrete patio and a concrete driveway simultaneously will save you time and money since the equipment is already there.
- Price shop. Always ask for quotes from more than one contractor to find the most reputable contractor who can do the job for a reasonable price.
Questions to Ask About Concrete Patio Cost
Make sure to ask the contractor to come to your property to evaluate the location you want to put the patio. This will help them understand any special considerations or make recommendations tailored to your needs. When discussing concrete patio costs with a contractor, ask them any of these questions to make sure they’re the right contractor for you.
- How much experience do you have with concrete patios?
- Do you have a portfolio of work I can look at?
- Are you licensed and insured?
- Do you complete the work on your own or subcontract out?
- Can I review a line item contract before proceeding?
- What challenges do you see for my project?
- Will we need heavy equipment to prepare the site? How much extra will that cost?
- How long will my project take?
- How much will it cost to add plumbing and electrical to do an outdoor kitchen?
- Are you experienced at stamping, staining, or engraving concrete patios?
- How long will the stain last on my patio?
- How soon can I use my concrete patio after it’s finished?
- What kind of maintenance will it require?
- Do you warranty or guarantee your work?
Hiring a qualified concrete patio contractor is a good investment to make sure your money is well spent. You’ll want to ask plenty of questions to make sure the contractor is capable of completing your project and to avoid miscommunication. The more information you have about concrete patio costs, the better prepared you’ll be. Here are a few of the more frequently asked questions and their answers.
Q. What size should I make my concrete patio?
The short answer is the size that works for your property, your entertaining needs, and your budget. A patio can be as small as 10 feet by 10 feet or as large as 30 feet by 30 feet. If you’re not sure about the best size for your backyard, consult with a pro. They can check your property to offer their suggestion about the average patio size for similar backyards as yours while considering any construction challenges.
Q. Can I pour my own concrete patio?
It is possible to pour your own concrete patio, but be advised that this is not an easy one-day task—nor is it recommended for a person to do it independently. If the ground isn’t properly prepared or the concrete isn’t thick enough, the concrete pad could buckle and crack, forcing an expensive replacement much sooner than expected. Concrete also needs to be mixed continuously and adequately; otherwise, it will begin to cure before you’re ready.
Q. How long will my concrete patio last?
A good concrete patio that’s kept clean and sealed should last up to 50 years.
Sources: HomeAdvisor, HomeGuide, Thumbtack