The national average cost for concrete removal is $775, which includes hauling away and disposing of old concrete. The total cost for concrete removal will depend on the number of square feet you want removed and any special features the project has.
Concrete is sturdy as heck — making it terrific for driveways, walkways, and patios, and also extremely hard to remove without professional help. Concrete contractors are equipped with the right tools, trucks, and equipment to remove concrete quickly and safely. Reasons for removing concrete can include demolition, replacing a damaged driveway or walkway, remodeling a patio, repairing a home’s foundation, updating outdoor hardscaping, and other home improvement projects. If you’re ready for old concrete to be gone, here are project costs to consider.
What’s in This Cost Guide?
- What Affects the Cost of Concrete Removal?
- Concrete Removal Cost
- How to Hire a Concrete Removal Pro
- Benefits of Concrete Removal
- How to Save Money When Removing Concrete
What Affects the Cost of Concrete Removal?
Concrete removal costs are based on the number of square feet of concrete you want removed, accessibility of the job site, and whether heavy machinery, like a skidsteer, can be used or if the concrete must be removed by hand. Regional dumping fees and local labor costs also affect project costs; that’s why ZIP code matters and pricing can vary depending on whether you’re in Denver or Dallas. The price per square foot will typically be higher the smaller the project size, as a company has to meet its business overhead. Here is a deeper dive into the factors that affect the cost of concrete removal.
Concrete Removal Cost
Nationally, the average cost for concrete removal projects is $775, as quoted above, but your unique project cost will vary. This is why pros provide you free estimates — to help you understand what it will cost and why. Here’s a breakdown of what goes into different cost estimates for concrete removal projects.
Concrete driveways can last up to 50 years under proper conditions, but they can fail or show signs of wear and tear, including frost heave, excessive pitting, cracking from extreme weight, or sinking slabs. Here’s an example of driveway removal costs from 4Sons Concrete:
- 600-square-foot driveway: $2.50 per square foot = ~ $1,500
- In this example, the driveway allowed easy access for the demolition machines, and there was no steel reinforcement slowing progress.
- Overall cost included three to four hours of work for a two-person crew using machinery.
- If there had been rebar in the concrete, the price per square foot would have been 75 cents higher and the dump fee would have increased too.
Some concrete removal specialists charge a minimum fee for smaller projects, such as removing walkways and sidewalks and to cover transportation costs, tools, labor, and other business overhead. Other companies may only agree to remove a sidewalk if the company is hired to pour concrete at the same time. 4Sons Concrete charges $1,250 to remove and re-pour one yard of walkway.
Patio removal by hand
Taking care of a concrete removal job by hand can take more than twice as long as using a machine. Here’s an example of patio removal costs from 4Sons Concrete:
300-square-foot patio: $4 per square foot = $1,200 The two-person crew used sledgehammers and jackhammers to break up the patio and wheelbarrows to haul it out because there was no truck access to the backyard. Overall cost included one and a half days of work for a two-person crew with no heavy machinery.
Concrete Removal Cost per Square Foot
The total number of square feet of concrete to be removed is the biggest project cost factor. The larger the area, the more labor and tools are required to complete the job. In addition, the more concrete removed, the higher the dumping fee. The heavier the dump load, the higher the transportation costs — for gas. Dumps can charge up to $100 per ton (2,000 pounds) for concrete. So if a patio being removed contains 6,000 tons of concrete, the project cost will include several hundred dollars in dumping fees alone. Many concrete removal specialists reduce the price per square foot for removal once a project hits a certain size. Although overall project costs are still higher with a larger project, the price per square foot is lower. 4Sons Concrete in Portland, Oregon, charges the following:
|Standard concrete removal||Less than 800 sq. ft.||$3 – $4.50 per sq. ft.|
|Standard concrete removal||More than 800 sq. ft.||$2.25 – $3.75 per sq. ft.|
Accessibility and hand demolition
The location of the removal and the type of concrete play a key role in labor costs, says Henry Fuapau of 4Sons Concrete. When a concrete removal crew is not able to use its hydraulic and machine-operated equipment to quickly break up the concrete, the contractors have to do it by hand using sledgehammers, pry bars, and other handheld tools. This process takes more time, costs more in labor, and is much more work.
Another factor that raises labor costs is the presence of rebar (or reinforcing steel), which must be cut by hand. Concrete containing rebar also costs more to deposit at the dump, which increases the overall project cost. 4Sons Concrete charges 50 cents – 75 cents per square foot to remove the rebar, depending on accessibility. Unreinforced concrete is much quicker, and therefore much less expensive, to remove.
How to Hire a Concrete Removal Pro
From Minneapolis to Miami, you can follow the same guidelines to find a pro concrete removal company.
- Read online reviews. Peer reviews give insight into what your customer experience will be like.
- Measure your sq. ft. Preparing the pro with the approximate number of square feet you need removed will help them give you a ballpark estimate over the phone.
- Look for a licensed contractor. If you’re having the same pro pour new concrete once the demo is done, look online to make sure they have an up-to-date contractors license that is in good standing.
- Multiple estimates. For large removal projects covering thousands of feet, be sure to get at least 2-3 free estimates to understand your pricing options.
- Clearly written contract. Make sure you get a signed agreement outlining scope of work, hauling and dumping details, and cleanup costs.
Benefits of Concrete Removal
There are major benefits to hiring concrete removal pros, such as proper handling of materials, injury prevention, and avoiding property damage or problems when installing new concrete. Concrete is a sturdy material composed of portland cement, gravel, and sand. After the dry mix is combined with water and has hardened, it creates a durable material — concrete — that can withstand great weight and impact. For this reason, a concrete slab is difficult to break apart, hard to manage, and heavy to haul away. Homeowners attempting to DIY will need tools such as jackhammers, concrete saws, and serious muscle power. For large projects, hiring a professional means they handle pulling any necessary demolition permits on your behalf. Pros also safely navigate underground utility lines when hired for concrete removal. Removing damaged or sunken concrete can prevent falls or injuries on walkways, can stop water damage from hurting your home’s foundation, and more.
How to Save Money When Removing Concrete
If you want to DIY concrete removal as a way to save money, always be sure to contact the utility companies and city before taking any action. If you bust through utility lines with your rented heavy machinery, the cost of repairs will fall on you. If you want to pour new concrete, hiring the same company to do demolition and installation will be a way to save on both projects. If the local cost of dumping concrete is particularly high, driving your total cost up, you can offer the concrete chunks for free online to any local DIYers who may want it for a personal project. Finally, ZIP codes that have access to concrete recycling sites will pay less in fees, as typically recycling centers have lower rates than dump fees.