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I am getting quotes for covering approx. 850 sq. ft. of my backyard in concrete or pavers. This is simple stuff -- broom finish concrete or basic pavers, in a slightly wavy pattern extending from an existing patio. The quotes I am getting are all between $14 and $16 per sq. ft. This puts the total in the $12K and higher range. I just can't believe this -- $12,000 for a patio?? Is it possible to get concrete installed for $7-8 per sq. ft.? Probably too big for a DIY job. I am in the SF bay area, east bay.

Thanks for any clues...
 

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Back yards can be very expensive because of access and time to get materials in. Also, a back yard patio will be looked at and clean-up csn br critical

You have some heavy materials to get handle and get to the yard. Also, there will be some preparation (leveling and adding soil for a good base).

The raw cost of the concrete itself is only about $1500 or so delivered in a truck, but getting it to where it is needed takes labor. You can expect some damage to the driveway or front yard that someone will have to repair.

If you want a lower price per sf, build it bigger to bring the average down.

Dick
 

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Being in one of the most expensive metropolitan areas in teh world might be your first clue.

What's the breakdown of cost vs materials? Maybe you can buy materials yourself and save some money?
 

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Yeah it is an expensive area so I could see 20-30% higher quotes than the national average. But $14 per sq. ft. for concrete? I would try DIY and pavers, but how does one get started... I have hard clay soil and weeds there right now. Is it straightforward to do a nice paver job DIY? Sod cutter first? Thanks for the answers so far...
 

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I have hard clay soil...
Most of the east bay clays are expansive clay, so the subgrade prep could be driving up the cost.

Subgrade prep would also be critical for pavers, if you expect them to last.
 

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Nice pavers which include a colorant and textured finish are going to cost at least $5 per square foot just for the paver. Add to that site preparation, sand bed, installation, cleanup, you are in SAN FRANCISCO, most expensive city in the US, and $15 per square foot does not seem unreasonable. Your contractor needs to make a profit, cost of insurance, permits, parking tickets alone are probably $3 per square foot. Of course you could DIY it, but this is a large area, do not underestimate the difficulty, time and effort of doing this project correctly yourself.
 

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love that argument. "why does it cost more here?" "because you can afford it".

some would argue it should be cheaper, due to the readily available materials in the area.
 

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you are in SAN FRANCISCO, most expensive city in the US
Daniel, he said: " I am in the SF bay area, east bay."

Depending on who defines it, that could put him as far out as Brentwood, Livermore, etc. In other words up to 45-55 miles from the city, but definitely not in SF.
 

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In my area it's about $125 per cubic yard for a 4000 lb exterior mix with fiber mesh with a six yard min or short load charge plus an hourly rate if you keep the driver there for too long. That's just the crete. Now you need excavation and soil prep, form building, a good crew to place and finish the crete. Re-bar, wire, doweling if needed, cut joints, seal...............................and so on.
 

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Jury......

Everyone is correct in that there are many other factors to consider of which we may very well be unaware of....

but, I would shop it...... SF East Bay or not... 800 foot patio slab....seems high to me.... and my daughter lives in Tiburon and my son in Dana Point... so I'm somewhat accustomed to Cali pricing....
 

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Did you get bids or were these phone quotes ?
Were you very clear on the brushed concrete or is there a possibility that they believed you wanted a paver look and may have quoted you a stamped concrete price instead ?
Are you dealing with concrete contractors or landscape contractors?

If these were phone quotes, ask someone to come out and bid it.
 

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Yeah it is an expensive area so I could see 20-30% higher quotes than the national average. But $14 per sq. ft. for concrete?
When I've looked at the "national average prices" on the web, I have no idea how they calculate them. To be honest, the cost of living isn't very high in my area, but there's no way I'd be able to charge what the web says the "average" is for my zip code and stay in business. It just wouldn't be worth it financially, I'd be better off as an employee somewhere. So, I wouldn't get too hung-up on "average" pricing you recieve from the web, it's probably not realistic in the first place.

As for the pricing in your case, it seems high for MY region, but it could be that most concrete contractors are extremely busy this year, as they are here, and they're all throwing high prices at it. You may be better off waiting for another time of year to price it out.........
 

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Yep....As Jomama points out......... Timeing can have a lot to do with it.

After a bunch of hail in our area, you can't find a roofer to do a repair... let alone a reasonable price.... ($475 minimum to show up)....they are all backed up doing new roofs under ins claims......

Don't know the OP's circumstances, but when I have a sub out that is not time dependent, I'll ask for a quote done at their convenience..... where they can fill in between jobs at their choosing, or when it's slow.....

I'm the same way.... something done at my convenience is a lot less expensive......

Good luck....
 

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jomama has a good point.

The national "averages" are generally based on information from surveys of contractors and the information they provide. Unfortunately the contractors that do smaller jobs are not the ones that bother to provide information. Because of this they reflect larger projects and the reason price per square foot is meaningless, or at best misleading for samll work. - The national geographic comparison does provide general cost comparisons for broad areas.

For concrete materials, the major factor is the distance from good aggregates. Cement prices are just a part of the number. Cement prices are quite uniform for concrete producers and have little effect because the competitors pay about the same price. Concrete has been defined by people with aggregate supplies that are also in the ready-mix business as the "most expensive way to sell aggregate". Where else do you have a skilled driving having a $150,000 to $175,000 truck is sent out unsupervised with a low profit load that is only $1500(at most) and is actually working for the contractor to get it unloaded, cleaned out and back to the plant soon enough to not hurt the next contractor.

Aggregate is mainly the cost of processing (screening, washing or crushing) and the freight to the ready-mix plant. Some people are blessed with being on a good aggregate deposit that is permitted in the area. Most aggregate sources require extensive permits for crushing and screening/washing and the restrictions are tighter than other areas or rural locations.

Time of the year is a psychological/mental effect and material cost do not vary much and the larger, loyal contractors usuallt have an annual price with excavation clauses for bidding long term jobs. A shopper is at the mercy of the day-to-day demand and hopes for no shortages, since regular customers are protected or taken care of first.

Dick
 

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The costs to produce concrete are absolutely mind boggling. At the plant I worked at, which was decent sized but nowhere near capacity when I left, just the cost to get rid of waste water was $500,000 per year. Then all our $175K trucks burning $4/gallon diesel fuel at the rate of 2.8mpg all day (I had a mpg gauge in my truck, that's an average over its lifetime), all the other environmental, safety, maintenance, logistic, management, and driver costs, its a wonder anyone can get even one yard for $1500, let alone an entire full truckload.
 

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The costs to produce concrete are absolutely mind boggling. At the plant I worked at, which was decent sized but nowhere near capacity when I left, just the cost to get rid of waste water was $500,000 per year. Then all our $175K trucks burning $4/gallon diesel fuel at the rate of 2.8mpg all day (I had a mpg gauge in my truck, that's an average over its lifetime), all the other environmental, safety, maintenance, logistic, management, and driver costs, its a wonder anyone can get even one yard for $1500, let alone an entire full truckload.
Mort.... Your point is well taken.... concrete at a buck and a half is probably a good value, considering the costs involved.

However, material cost at his quoted material costs for 5 (or even 7 at his second calculation) yards is still south of 1K.

However, JURY's quote at 12K for a simple slab patio seems rediculous to me..... given/granted I do not know if pumpers are involved or his grading issues.

I'm not a sloch, but assuming undisturbed soil, for a simple patio, I'd scrape/level a little if warranted/required.... stake down some forms.... throw in some rebar/remesh, and pour it.... finish it.

I can't see anywhere near 11K for a patio prep/pour from the info given.

Best
 

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Keep getting quotes…you will find someone who will do it for a reasonable price…or pay someone to prep for you and takeover so you can DIY pavers.
 
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