Concrete Patio Cost & Consumer Guide

A concrete patio provides an ideal space for lounging purposes as well as entertaining guests. With that in mind, more homeowners are making it a priority to have this pleasant and welcoming outdoor space in their homes.

Some of you might be wondering, what makes concrete an ideal choice? Well, concrete material has long been a crowd-favorite for many patio projects.

Concrete is famous for its durability and resistance against harsh weather conditions. Not to mention, this cost-effective patio material is highly customizable to fit the available space and your design preferences.

If you have wondered about "how much does a concrete patio cost" at some point– lucky for you, we got you covered. Let's find out why many consider a concrete patio to be a significant, cost-efficient home improvement project.

Concrete Patio Cost Overview


The average cost of a concrete patio ranges from $2,238 to $5,976. It applies to standard-sized patios that measure 288 sq ft. Keep in mind that this general estimate may increase or decrease, depending on several factors, such as your property location, design, and scope of the project. You may shell out somewhere between $4 and $38 for the materials and labor. It includes concrete mix, gravel, lumber, and screws.

Get at least three quotes from different concrete patio contractors in your area if you want to make the most bang out of your buck. Use the price points to calculate the local average cost of concrete patio.

Cost Per Scale


The total costs of your home concrete patio project will heavily depend on your desired patio size. Three of the most common patio sizes are small (12x12 ft), medium (10x20 ft), and large (20x20 ft). It will cost you somewhere between $1,730 and $3,650.

Refer to the table below for a quick overview of patio project costs per scale:

Concrete Patio Size

Dimensions (ft)

Average Costs

Small

12 x 12

$2,335

Medium

10 x 20

$2,902

Large

20 x 20

$4,927

Another primary variable in determining the total expenses of a concrete patio installation will be its design. There are several finishes you can choose from at different price points.

Patio Design Type

Average Costs (per square foot)

Plain Design (No decorative finishes or colors)

$4 - $8

Simple Design (Includes one coloring method)

$8 - $14

Custom Design (2-3 colors)

$14 - $20

Elaborate Design

$20+

Cost Per Square Foot


Plain, standard concrete patios will cost you around $6 per square foot. More intricate designs, finishes, or patterns may range up to more than $20 per square foot.

This cost-efficient patio material is known for its durability and anti-heat absorption properties. Hence, it suits properties located in warm regions well. With proper maintenance, your concrete patio can last up to fifty years without the need for resurfacing or resealing.

Factors Affecting Concrete Patio Cost


Here are some of the defining variables that influence the total costs of a concrete patio project at home:

Size of Patio


First, you will need to determine the size of the space you want to install a concrete patio on. It will influence the total costs of the home improvement project. For small patios, take note that local contractors may charge you a minimum total instead of the standard per sq/ft rate.

Here's a quick rundown of the standard patio sizes in the home and their average total costs:

Patio Size in ft.

Average Price

10 x 10

$1,215 - $3,510

12 x 12

$1,620 - $4,050

12 x 14

$1,890 - $5,400

15 x 15

$2,430 - $7,500

16 x 18

$3,105 - $9,720

20 x 20

$4,000 - $13,500

The starting prices are for entry-level concrete patios, whereas the price at the higher end of the scale typically features elaborate color, stamps, and textures.

After determining the location of the slab, take the perimeter measurement to get an estimate of the square footage. Doing so will help you form a budget for the material and labor costs. Adding a patio to your home will instantly make the place appear more spacious. Depending on your intended size to fit your home patio needs, you can count on this space to serve as a relaxation spot.

Shape of Patio


If you think plain square or rectangular patio shapes are pretty bland choices, you can take your space to the next level by opting for unique, custom patio shapes instead. However, customization will likely increase the total installation costs further. On average, the hourly rate for concrete labor is $60. Personalized designs will cost more than that.

The total price depends on the complexity of the curves and design and the extended duration of forming the patio shape itself. Consult your contractor about your creative vision to know if it's possible and fits within the budget.

Ease of Access


The ease of access to the installation site also affects the total price of your patio project. For instance, if your chosen space can be easily reached by the equipment or truck for concrete pouring– there won’t be any additional charges. If the site is located in the far back of the house that’s quite difficult to reach, your contractor will typically charge you more as the task is more challenging than usual.

Difficult installations may add an extra hundreds or thousands into your patio installation costs. It’s best to consult at least three patio service providers in your location to find out the lowest fees possible for your situation.

Property Condition


The current condition of your property may influence the budget you need for this project.

In particular, homes that require demolition, land excavation, grading, or other relevant on-site work may need to pay their local contractor more for the additional work.

New Patio Installation vs. Patio Resurfacing


You can set up a concrete patio at home in two ways:

  • New installation (which ranges from $4 to $20 per sq ft or more)
  • Patio resurfacing

In some cases, resurfacing your existing patio is enough to make it look brand new. It’ll cost you less than a total replacement, ranging from $4 and $13 per square foot.

Design


Here are some of the most popular design options for concrete patio projects.

  • Stamped concrete patios - This decorative pavement is colorful and can imitate the look of natural stone or wood without paying a premium price. A stamped concrete patio cost runs from $11 to $38 per square foot. Although it is more expensive than a standard concrete patio, you can bring your creative vision to life with the use of colors or concrete staining. Doing so will give you a finished space with a strong visual appeal.
  • Stained concrete patios - If you're looking for a budget-friendly way to upgrade the look of your new (or old) concrete patios, you can opt to have them creatively stained for design purposes. It ranges from $9 to $20 per square foot, although customized designs may cost you as much as $33 per sq/ft. You can add subtle accents and colors, with the stain penetrating the concrete surface deeply. The result will be fade and peel resistant.
  • Broom Finished Concrete Patio - Simply put, this design is achieved by brooming the concrete surface finish before it completely dries up. It is a quick and easy way to design your concrete patio, with the added benefit of slip resistance. Visible brushstrokes will be visible on the result, making it quite difficult to slip on. Expect to spend around $0.50 to $1.35 per square foot for this design. For its upkeep, gentle pressure washing and frequent resealing are required at least once in a few years.
  • Decorative Stencil Masking - Another decorative option is using stencil masks, which will cost you $1.5 to $14 per square foot, depending on design intricacies. Layers and colors will both be used, featuring an old craftsman signature look. It will give your patio a unique appearance.
  • Engraved Concrete Patio - Are you a big fan of decorative flagstone? Engraved concrete patio mimics realistic brick design with the use of intricate hand carving. Some professionals even use a blade cutting wheel to create a unique pattern. The scored grout lines give off the impression of actual brick, tile, or stone. Afterward, the engraving may be applied to the existing concrete. It will cost you an extra $2.5 per linear foot.
  • Aggregate Concrete Patio - Adding aggregate mix or pebbles on the concrete also adds a distinct style to the patio, including improved durability. You can count on this decorative patio to last a long time despite heavy usage. It will add $2.43 per square foot to the total expenses. The surface of small pebbles will give an acupressure-like experience as you walk on it. Enjoy a durable surface featuring a timeless style to compliment your outdoor design preference.

Concrete Patio Replacement


If you plan to replace your old, worn-out concrete patios– your contractor may charge you extra in removing existing concrete. Expect this service to range from $742 to $2,126.

The total of concrete removal will depend on the total size and thickness of the slab and any disposal fees.

Permits


Before you begin your concrete patio project, it's best to determine all the necessary local government or homeowner's association (HOA) permits involved. These permits range from $202 to $405 on average. You won't need a building permit in some cases, but your contractor may need to secure an excavation permit for the patio installation work.

The project involves changing the amount of surrounding permeable ground in your property, which may affect water runoff and affect the people around you in the process.

Warranty


Some concrete installation companies offer warranties for patio projects at an additional cost, depending on your location, the warranty duration, and the extent of the damage covered. We typically don’t recommend choosing additional warranties as most companies (all of them in our opinion) write the warranty to exclude most things that could practically happen.  For example one warranty we found covers cracks over 0.25”. That’s a big crack and it would be extremely unlikely.

Keep in mind all concrete will crack. Rather than the warranty, focus on the companies’ specified compaction method.

Thickness


In any patio installation project, the thickness of the slab is one defining variable in the total project costs. Refer to the table below for a quick pricing overview on specific patio thickness:

Patio Thickness

Average Cost (Per square foot)

4 inches

$7.2

5 inches

$7.8

6 inches

$8.3

Ideally, the minimum thickness of your new concrete patio should be around 4 inches, which will cost you $7.2 per square foot on average.

You may also opt to have it up to 6 inches in thickness, running at $8.3 per square foot. The thicker your concrete slab, the more durable it will be for frequent, daily use. Technically, you will pay a higher rate per square foot for thicker patio projects as it requires more materials and more prolonged labor.

Forms


Concrete pours for your new patio will need forms. Depending on your desired thickness and the local price of lumber, the cost to pour concrete patio is between $54 and $81 on 1×4 sized planks to build a standard twelve-foot form. This estimate includes the additional stakes and string you also need.

For spaces that need strong reinforcements, you will need to factor in the extra cost of rebar or wire mesh. Hiring professionals for this service starts at an hourly rate of $34, accumulating to $135 for typical half-day work.

Purpose


Your intended patio purpose will influence its total project costs. Simple backyard space for intimate social gatherings can be in the form of a regular slab, with structures and concrete as the only defining expenses. Suppose you want your concrete patio to impress your visitors– such as potential customers. In that case, you might want to invest in a more high-end concrete patio installation with brick or flagstone.

If you might want to build a sunroom, pergola, or other outdoor structure on the patio structure, it is best to have footers added to the concrete patio.  One of the biggest regrets homeowners have regarding their patio, according to Corey Philip of Gulf Coast Aluminum, a sunroom contractor in Florida, is that they “did not know” they would need footers for a sunroom and now must spend thousands extra to after concrete cut and footers added after the fact.

Grade of Concrete or Concrete Mix Quality


The grade defines the quality of your concrete material. Specific ingredient ratio will determine its overall durability as a mixture of cement, loose aggregates, sand, and water. On average, ideal grades range from $135 to $202. Remember that an uncovered patio is constantly exposed to extreme heat, heavy rains, and brutal cold in winter. Ensure to choose a top-quality concrete mix that is durable enough to stand through wear and tear as well as harsh weather conditions.

Determining the concrete grade helps professional installers determine an ideal mix for specific projects. It is measured in newtons after 28 days of setting the patio. Given that the quality of concrete varies with every mixture, expect higher-quality concrete grades to be more expensive than the standard grade ones.

Reinforcements


You will need reinforcements in your concrete mixture to improve its innate durability and strength. It includes a wire mesh, rebar, styrofoam, or a vapor barrier. Reinforced concrete is expected to last in its prime condition over a long time. These improved features will cost you more than a standard concrete slab with no reinforcements– ranging between $9.29 to $10.04 per square foot.

Take note that the cost estimate does not include additional custom patio finishes or designs. These are only for basic, rectangular poured concrete slabs.

Why Use Concrete instead of other Patio Material?


You might be wondering, what makes concrete a more desirable option versus other materials? Would you benefit more from a concrete patio than a brick, stone, or tile patio? For one, this is a cost-effective option for many homeowners. If you're working with a limited budget, you'll benefit from concrete material as it is pretty cheap and easier to install.

There's also a wide range of available colors and patterns in concrete material. Stamped concrete patio cost, which is a considerably decorative slab, is one-third less than you would pay for other decorative patio material. (Related: Cost Guide: Concrete For Patio And Driveway) If you're still unconvinced if the concrete is the best material for your patio needs, here are some of its main draws:

  • Outdoor entertaining zone: Besides creating a space for relaxing and entertaining guests, concrete patios blend seamlessly in the home's interior and exterior spaces. They make for an excellent flooring surface material in outdoor living rooms or kitchens.
  • Highly Customizable: Concrete patios have a wide variety of design choices. From colored stains to detailed patterns, your new concrete patio can easily match your home's existing landscape. If you want cost-efficient choices, you can opt to have it mimic the patterns of premium paving materials such as flagstone, tiles, and slate.
  • Cost-effective material: Compared to brick or natural stone patios, concrete is cheaper to work with as they have an easy installation process. You won't have to sacrifice style, either. The range of colors and patterns make for an excellent and economical choice. Form concrete material in any shape you desire for your backyard.
  • Durable and low-maintenance: You can count on your new concrete patio project to complement the visual appeal of your backyard landscape for long years, all with little required maintenance. Concrete material is famous for its low maintenance properties and its durability even in harsh weather conditions. The solid surface saves you from annual required staining and resealing, invulnerable to splintering, wood rot, and termite infestation. It also doesn't have joints (similar to paving stones) that may encourage unwanted growth of greenery and weeds. Therefore, expect your concrete patio maintenance to be a breeze. If you live in cold climate areas, local concrete contractors will follow strict protocols to ensure the extended durability of the concrete patio.
  • Versatility: With a wide range of design possibilities, there's a chance you'll end up with a concrete patio that's unique to your property. Thanks to the advancement in color technologies and stamp techniques, concrete patios are now more versatile than other materials. If you want to achieve a particular hue or pattern, match your home's facade, or blend with the colors of your backyard landscape, you are free to do so with concrete patios!
  • Environment Friendly: Compared to wooden material, a concrete patio spares the need for lumber. It also does not require frequent maintenance using solvent-based wood stains, chemicals, and sealers.
  • Increased Property Value: Undoubtedly, the visual impact and the many benefits of a residential concrete patio project will improve your property value. More potential buyers will likely give you outstanding bids if you plan to sell your home in the long run.

Concrete Patio Project Process


For your reference, let's discuss the concrete patio process in detail:

Removal


Generally, the first step in a concrete patio installation involves the removal of an existing patio. It also includes site preparation and the removal of debris. The crushed, old concrete can be repurposed as different things: base for a simple pavement, aggregate material, or a granular refill. Local disposal fees start at $135 per ton, including transportation.

Sub Base & Grading


The next step in the process is sub grading. It is preparing the soil area located below the patio slab. Professionals can help you ensure the concrete will not crack upon settling– given their expertise and experience in the matter. Typically, they excavate the area and remove any rocks in the area. Surrounding saturated rocks and soft soils are also taken away. Instead, professionals either work with suitable soil in the area or bring in alternative options such as uniform, crushed stones, or gravel.

The soil base is compacted to a minimum of 6 inches in height, making it ready for poured concrete. Afterward, the soil is poured with a layer of sand or compact gravel. According to Corey Philip, contractor of Gulf Coast Aluminum in southwest Florida “most issues with cracked or settling concrete occur due poor or lack of compaction”.  “On a concrete patio, ensure that you see a power tamper brought out and used to compact the area before concrete is poured” he adds.

It is essential to have subgrade soil to give your patio a firm, sufficient base. Doing so enables the slab to carry the weight of its surface area. And if you stumble across drainage issues, it's best to solve these problems at once. You wouldn't want water to pool around the concrete slab and erode the subgrade beneath it. Local regulations for home patio construction vary depending on your location. Regardless, it generally requires compact testing to measure its strength.

If you live in a region where the soil freezes for most of the winter, the patio subgrade foundation must ideally be below the frost line. It ensures stability when the snow and ground finally thaw out. For locations with a deeper frost line requirement, expect the total costs to be more expensive (at an additional $2.5 per square foot). You will need to spend more if you want your subgrade to be as sturdy as possible.

Forming


With the base ready form boards will be set place that will hold the concrete once it is poured until it finishes drying (hardens).  It is critical that the form boards are level, or sloped in the planned direction for drainage.  If this is not done correctly, the only solution is often removal of the concrete. 

Pouring


When the day comes to actually pour the concrete into place, the contractor may either do it by ‘hand’ mixing bags of concrete on site, or utilizing a concrete ‘mud’ order which will come in a big cylinder truck.  If the concrete comes by truck, typically a pump will also be independently contracted to get the mud from the truck parked on the road, to the back of the home. 

Once the concrete is in place it will be leveled and spread evenly until it hardens.

Concrete Patio Sealer


Finally, you will need to seal your concrete patio at this stage in the process– especially if you foresee a lot of mealtime get-togethers in the area. Concrete does not typically need sealing but doing so helps you avoid stains. Unwanted marks are challenging to erase, given a concrete's porous nature.

In particular, you can opt for an acrylic spray-on cure and seal, which runs at $0.7 per square foot. Unlike epoxies, acrylic sealers do not fade to yellow even with constant sunlight exposure. Since two should have double applications, ideally a non-metallic color and concrete hardener, this will cost around $3.2 per square foot.

Landscape Ideas for a Concrete Patio


Are you looking for creative ideas to blend your existing backyard landscape with your new concrete patio? Well, below are some landscape tips to strike a beautiful balance: If you’re planning to include shade in your patio, you may need to have shade covers. Several fabric sail shades are readily accessible in the market, including aluminum or wood covering for decks. Relying on trees and your garden greenery alone for natural shade won’t suffice– most take long years to mature and give you the consistent shade you need.

For great plant ideas: grow pergolas. You may use the growing vines to create a denser shade in your patio.  You may also use the existing greenery in your backyard garden to create a balance with the new hardscape. Use grass lines as well as groundcovers to give pathway breaks in between patios. It avoids the impression of over-decorating your new concrete patio.

There’s also the option of putting flower beds between the home or walls and the patio area. For instance, narrow 24-inch plant beds can effectively soften the patio edges. It will also make your yard cozier and more inviting to your neighbors, especially with the garden appeal.

Checklist in Hiring a Professional


A professional concrete patio installation will approximately cost you $2.7 to $10.8 per square foot. If you’re thinking of doing a DIY project, be cautious as an improper or poor patio installation will lead to concrete surface cracking. That’s the last thing you’d want to happen.

So, if you don’t have extensive experience in mixing concrete and pouring into slabs, hiring local concrete patio contractors proves to be the better choice. Here are some pro tips to keep in mind in choosing a professional patio service provider:

  • Ideally, shop around and gather quotes from at least three to five professional patio companies. It helps you define your expected concrete patio costs. Don't worry. Most residential estimates are free of charge unless you sign up for an actual repair.
  • With various overhead and operation costs, most concrete patio services have fluctuating prices from one local company to another. It's best to get discounted prices during the late fall or early winter season since most contractors' down season.
  • If your budget permits, prepare an additional 10 to 15% of your contractor's total concrete patio service quote. You may bump into unwarranted issues, configurations, and the like during the installation- so it's better to be prepared beforehand.
  • Do a quick online background check on your preferred choices as you search for patio installation companies near me. It will help you select a reputable company with sufficient qualifications to ensure a successful and cost-effective patio project.
  • Perform some research online or talk to previous customers. That ensures you hire a concrete contractor with a good reputation who is qualified to complete your project. Browse through their portfolio and check their Better Business Bureau rating.
  • Ensure that your patio installer is bonded and insured. You will save more money in the long run if the company offers a generous warranty on concrete material and labor work.

Concrete Patio: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Is poured concrete cheaper than pavers?

Yes, poured concrete is the cheapest material available per square foot, costing between $5 to $8. Meanwhile, pavers might be more expensive ranging from $5 to $27, but it also offers more durability and various designs and colors to choose from. Despite the cheaper concrete patio cost vs pavers, adding customizations such as stamping makes the expenses comparable.

Do concrete pavers turn slippery when wet?

Not all pavers are slippery. A textured surface provides stability and traction when installed in driveways, walkways, and pool decks. Contrary to what people thought, concrete pavers are recommended because they are not slippery when wet.

How do I determine the ideal size of concrete patio for my needs?

You can effectively estimate an ideal patio depending on your budget and its use. For instance, a common bistro space can only be as little as 100 square feet, while a large dining area consisting of grill and lounge furniture can be larger than 400 feet.

What can I do to make my concrete patio look better?

Here is the list of customizations and add-ons you can apply to upgrade the aesthetics of your concrete patio.

  • Curved borders
  • Customized stencils
  • Saw cuts to create a faux tile appearance
  • Multi-storied levels
  • Stairs
  • Texturing to create a faux-stone appearance

Final Thoughts


Undoubtedly, installing a home concrete patio provides a relaxing outdoor space for personal lounging or social gatherings. Not to mention, it also improves your home's visual appeal as well as its value on the market.

Make the most out of your new concrete patio installation by leaving the work in the hands of experts. They can guarantee a flawless patio project with generous warranties in some cases. Contact a local patio professional near you today!

Kenneth Wilson
September 25, 2021
Concrete, Cost Guides, Yard & Garden

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done.