The national average cost of concrete installation ranges between roughly $3 and $10 per square foot or $109 and $159 per cubic yard. Multiple factors go into concrete prices, including the size of the area you want to cover and the concrete thickness. Where you live can also impact the final installation cost.
Whether you plan to install, repair or remodel a driveway, patio, retaining wall or any other type of concrete structure or surface, keep reading to learn more about prices — and how to get cost estimates from local pros near you.
What’s in this cost guide?
While concrete is typically measured in cubic yards, installing it costs between $3 and $10 per square foot. Here’s the average total cost of pouring concrete, depending on the total square footage of the area:
|0-500 square foot.||$2,417|
|500-1,000 square foot||$5,318|
|1,000-1,500 square foot||$5,747|
|1,500-2,000 square foot||$6,487|
|2,000-2,500 square foot||$10,022|
|2,500-3,000 square foot||$12,240|
|3,000-15,000 square foot||$15,046|
Assuming you’re paying an average of $6.50 per square foot for a concrete slab, here are approximate costs for installation:
|Size (in feet)||Total square footage||Estimated cost|
|8 x 8||64||$416|
|10 x 10||100||$650|
|12 x 12||144||$936|
|20 x 20||400||$2,600|
|24 x 24||576||$3,744|
|30 x 40||1,200||$7,800|
|40 x 50||2,000||$13,000|
The average cost to install ready-mix concrete that's being delivered by truck ranges from $109 and $159 per cubic yard (assuming delivery up to 20 miles).
When concrete is poured to create a slab, depth is also a factor, in addition to the square footage. To calculate the cost in cubic yards, you’ll have to:
- First, multiply the length by the width (the total square footage) by the depth in feet.
- Then, divide that number by 27, the total number of cubic feet in a cubic yard.
- Add about 5% to 10% to the cubic yard in case of spilling and waste.
Concrete has a variety of uses in home improvement projects and additions, including patios, driveways and garage floors. To help you get a better understanding of prices for your project, here are the average costs of installing concrete patios, concrete driveways, foundations and more:
$3-$10 per square foot
$100-$300 per hour (typically less than $500)
Multiple factors go into calculating the cost of installing concrete. From size and thickness to stamping and reinforcement, here are some factors to consider when planning your project:
Concrete delivery cost
If you’re ordering concrete to be delivered to your home, ask about delivery fees and what can impact those fees. Will accessibility drive fees up or down?
If the ground is not level for your concrete, you may need to add in or remove a significant amount of soil to ensure the slab is level when it’s complete. Grading could require additional labor, equipment and fees for digging and hauling material.
Some projects will require a base of gravel or crushed stone layered below the slab to strengthen it and add reinforcement against cracking. Laying a base could add additional fees for material, labor and delivery.
While the standard thickness of a concrete slab is 4 inches, your project might require greater depth for a stronger slab, like for a building foundation. A greater thickness will likely raise the cost.
If you’re planning on a specialized finish, like stamped concrete, this will likely cost you extra as more hand-applied work will be required to finish the surface.
For example, let's say you're thinking about stamping the concrete patio you plan to install in your yard. According to some experts, this could actually double your patio installation costs. But the costs may be worth the benefits if you desire a patio that looks like brick, stone, wood or even tile. Also, if you're thinking about installing a stamped concrete driveway, be prepared for prices to increase by $12 to $18 per square foot.
Additives (or admixtures) can help strengthen the concrete, maintain its quality, reduce moisture and reduce production costs, according to the Portland Cement Association.
Some type of reinforcement — like steel reinforcing bars (rebar) or wire mesh — is sometimes recommended because it can strengthen a concrete slab and prevent cracking. It could also add to the final cost of your project. Chat with your contractor to determine if your project requires reinforcement.
Precast vs. cast in place
Many residential and commercial projects — buildings, parking garages, roof tiles, concrete pavers, fire pits and more — utilize precast concrete and cast-in-place (CIP) concrete. Precast concrete is cast into a specific mold or shape and then sent to the job site, whereas CIP concrete is poured and molded at the job site.
The cost to install CIP concrete is typically less than precast concrete, but the National Precast Concrete Association states that the total cost of ownership is actually lower for precast concrete.
Concrete removal cost
Are you replacing a concrete driveway, patio or other structures? If so, you might need to calculate the price of removing and hauling away the old slabs (if they're no longer usable for your new project). On average, customers pay $500 to $1,800 in removal costs.
Here are a few steps you should take before hiring a contractor:
Go online to find contractors in your area, and look for their customer reviews and testimonials. Read what other customers had to say about the contractor’s services. Were the prices fair? Was the work done correctly and on time? Keep track of which pros have consistently favorable reviews.
When you’re analyzing and comparing concrete contractors, write a list of questions to ask each one, such as:
- Ask about their experience
- Find out the estimated time frame and what hours they can work.
- Inquire if there are any additional costs, like delivery fees.
- If you’re looking for custom work, like stamped concrete, find out if that's a service they provide.
You should also find out if there are ways you can save money on your project. For example, ask about the materials the contractor recommends to save money without sacrificing quality.
Be prepared to tell the contractor the dimensions of the area you want to cover and details about the project. A concrete sidewalk is a very different job than a pool deck, so the more information you give, the more accurate your initial estimate.
Check licenses and credentials
Before hiring anyone, research the licensing requirements in your state. In some states, you’ll want to make sure the pro has a concrete contracting license.
Get free estimates
When you reach out to a pro, ask if they will provide a free estimate. It can be helpful to get estimates from two or three contractors before you choose one. That way, you’ll be able to compare the project cost and ensure you’re getting the best price.
Every concrete project is different depending on the amount of labor you need, the state of your soil and your design choices — there is no one-size-fits-all price. If you need help planning your project and estimating prices, reach out to several local concrete contractors on Thumbtack today.
Is it cheaper to mix your own concrete?
You might be able to save money by mixing it yourself — but you have to know what you’re doing. Mixing concrete in big batches requires heavy equipment, specialized tools (like concrete forms) and significant experience. However, there are small repair projects a seasoned DIYer should be able to manage using ready-mix concrete. These projects might include patching or resurfacing a worn or pitted slab.
Can you pour concrete directly on dirt?
Yes, it can be poured directly over soil. However, it’s vital to ensure that the installation area is level and prepped to avoid ending up with shifting or cracks in the concrete slabs.
Do I need gravel under concrete?
While concrete can be poured directly over dirt, adding a layer of gravel underneath can help stabilize your base to provide even support. Without this extra step, you may end up with a concrete slab that shifts or sinks over time.
What is the best base for concrete?
It depends on the soil in your area. If you have a good solid, undisturbed ground underneath, you may not need anything more. If your soil is unstable or does not drain well, a pro can use gravel or crushed stone to create a base. Crushed stone provides drainage for moisture that accumulates and prevents cracks by alleviating tension caused by the concrete’s expansion and contraction over time. You can also ask your contractor about installing a vapor barrier below the concrete slab if you’re concerned about moisture.
What is the difference between a concrete slab and a cement slab?
The two terms are often used interchangeably, making things a little confusing, but cement is actually an ingredient in concrete. Concrete is a mixture of sand, gravel or crushed stone, water and cement.
In reality, there’s no such thing as a "cement mixer" or a "cement sidewalk." Instead, the correct terms are "concrete mixer" and "concrete sidewalk," according to the Portland Cement Association.
How thick should a concrete slab be?
A concrete slab's ideal thickness will depend on how it is being utilized. The standard thickness in the U.S. ranges from 4 inches (which is often recommended for driveways) to 6 inches. The thicker the slab, the stronger it will be. Talk to a concrete contractor to determine how thick your concrete slabs should be.
Additional sources: 2020 National Repair and Remodeling Estimator.