As a house flipper, you will need to be able to inspect concrete driveways, sidewalks, and patio conditions and determine whether they need to be repaired or completely replaced. You will also need to be able to accurately quantify the # of square feet of pavement and estimate an approximate budget. Concrete flatwork work is an expensive rehab item, so being able to inspect and diagnose the pavement condition and estimate the replacement costs is critical in creating accurate budgets for your rehab projects.
Basics Of Estimating Concrete Flatwork Costs
Concrete pavement is measured and estimated based on the square foot.
To measure the square footage of concrete pavement needed on your property multiply the length and width of the concrete pavement.
Once you have calculated the square footage of the pavement, multiply the quantity by the unit pricing to calculate a rough budget for the pavement.
- Demolition of existing concrete ($1 - $3 per square feet)
- Concrete driveway, L+M ($4 - $8 per square feet)
- Concrete sidewalk, L+M ($4 - $8 per square feet)
- Concrete patio, L+M ($4 - $8 per square feet)
- Gravel subbase for new concrete, L+M ($1.0 - $2.0 per square feet)
A concrete crew can typically tear out and re-install a new concrete driveway in 1 to 3 days. The first two days are used to tear out the existing concrete pavement and set formwork for the new pavement. Once the formwork is completed the concrete crew can generally pour and finish the concrete with a half day's worth of work.
#1 Pavement Finish/Patterns
The pattern and type of finish you will be applying to the concrete will affect the pricing. Standard concrete pavement with a broom finish ($4 to $8 per sf) is much cheaper than stamped and dyed concrete ($15+ per sf).
#2 Amount of Pavement
In construction, there is a term called economies-of-scale. The larger the project, the more efficient the contractor can be in installing the concrete pavement.
#3 Pavement Shape
If your driveway, sidewalk, or patio has odd shapes, curves, or angles it will require more time and labor to lay the formwork.
#4 Concrete Demolition & Removal
If your property has existing pavement, the Contractor will have to saw cut, break, demolish, and haul away the existing Concrete ($1 to $3/sf)
#5 Repairs to Adjacent Areas
Concrete pavement removal and construction can cause damage to grass and landscaping adjacent to the work, so keep in mind you may need to re-seed or repair damage from pavement work.
Concrete flatwork installed on the front of the house is easily accessible from the street, whereas concrete patios in the backyard may need wheelbarrows or pump equipment to haul materials to the backyard, requiring more labor and equipment costs.
The location where you are installing the concrete will have a significant impact. If you are installing the concrete in downtown San Francisco the concrete will obviously cost much more than the same pavement being installed in Suburbia.
Spring and Summer is peak concrete pavement season and Concrete Contractors are generally swamped with work, so if you are getting pavement installed during this time you will likely pay a premium.
Writing A Scope Of Work & Getting Bids
Concrete contractors will generally provide an all-inclusive bid to 'furnish and install' all labor and concrete materials on the project.
Here is an example of how to write a Scope of Work that ensures your Concrete Contractor provides an all-inclusive bid.
Example Scope Of Work
All Concrete/Flatwork work is to be Contractor Purchased, Contractor Installed.
- Furnish and install new concrete pavement with new 4" base rock to replace existing.
- Demolish and remove existing pavement to accommodate new pavement.
- Provide concrete PSI strength that meets or exceeds local building codes.
- Provide re-inforcing bar/mesh material if required by local building codes.
- Provide necessary expansion joints and tooled construction joints and edges with a brushed finish.
- Fine grade, prep & re-seed disturbed areas.