Poured concrete is one of the most common ways of paving driveways, patios, or walkways. Concrete is poured as wet concrete mixes onsite and left to cure as a single or multiple slabs.
Paving with concrete became very popular with homeowners especially for its low price. But is it really worth it? In reality, how much is it to pour concrete? Is it really a cost-effective solution?
How much is it to pour concrete?
The average cost of a poured concrete patio is between $3 to $20 per square foot total (including labor depending on your location, property condition, materials, and design). Depending on the finish you choose, the cost can go up to $20 price per square foot.
The size of the area you pretend to pour concrete is the most significant cost factor to consider when you’re estimating the price. For obvious reasons, larger spaces are more expensive than smaller areas.
To have an idea of how much your project is gonna cost, measure all the area you wish to pave and determine a square footage estimate. This will help you determine the total cost for your specific case.
Now you have a clear picture of how much is it to pour concrete, but how does this price compare to other options such as pavers?
Poured concrete vs. Pavers
The first thing you need to know is that each option can provide different advantages depending on your needs and budget. Poured concrete and pavers are the most common paving materials and deciding between the two can be difficult.
Usually, poured concrete slabs are used for outdoor areas due to their cost of materials and labor, and ease of installation.
Pavers are individual units made from various materials like bricks, natural stones, or concrete bricks. Many of these pieces interlock, which makes them a flexible system that is extremely durable and low maintenance.
We broke down every aspect of the two, so you can compare both of the materials to help you decide which one is the best option for you:
Poured concrete installation is very easy and fast, but the material takes a little bit of time to dry and cure, which means that the area cannot be used until the process is totally complete. The installation includes excavation, grading, foundation work, setting forms, and finally, pouring the concrete.
Pavers require a lot more preparation, which means a lot more labor and time to install. But, since there is no curing time with paving stones, right after the installation is finished they are ready to use. The installation of pavers includes a lot more steps, such as excavation, grading, sub-base compaction, base preparation, base compaction, sand preparation, placing the pavers, cutting the borders if necessary, preparing the bond beam, and compacting the pavers.
Before we talk more about the maintenance of the two, it’s important to say that no paving material is completely maintenance-free.
A concrete surface needs a lot to maintain, staining and cracking will often occur and become an eyesore as the slab ages.
When it comes to pavers, they also require care, and hiring professional cleaning and sealing services from time to time is an affordable way to protect and preserve your pavers.
Durability and repairs
Poured concrete slabs are not very durable since they are affected by the movement of the earth making them prone to splitting and cracking. Additionally, temperature changes also can make the concrete surface crack and if the area becomes severely damaged, you have to do the entire process of installation again since the entire slab must be removed.
Pavers are stronger than concrete, they can handle a lot more weight on their surface before they would crack. And with pavers, water rarely settles on the surface because of the numerous joints in between each piece. With a proper installation, drainage issues rarely occur.
Not only cracks in pavers are harder to occur, but if one or more pavers become damaged they are much easier to repair since you will only need to remove the damaged piece (or pieces) and replace them.
Should I get poured concrete or pavers?
The answer depends but as you could see in this article, the long-term cost of poured concrete is a lot higher when compared with the long-term cost of pavers. If your initial budget allows you, pavers might be a better option than concrete. Another pro of choosing pavers is that they boost the value and curb appeal of your property.
And if you have no idea about the cost and are worried about the price of the project, you can get a free estimate!
S&S Pavers has over 10 years of experience serving the counties of Manatee and Sarasota. If you live in Sarasota, Manatee, or any of our surrounding counties contact us, we will be glad to assist you!