Concrete is used in the construction of driveways, patios, or even indoor flooring because it is more affordable than wood, brick or stone. These slabs can also be designed in a way that turns something rather boring into a stylish and beautiful area.
It’s possible to avoid the expense of hiring a company to do the concrete stamping if you have a group of handy friends or men willing to help you out. It is hard to do this project on your own, although it is possible.
The Difference between Stamped Concrete and Decorative Concrete
Stamped concrete uses a different method but it is still considered decorative. For a do-it-yourself stamped concrete plan, there are manual stamps you can buy that will work on several feet of concrete at the same, and you need to have freshly poured cement in order for the stamp to work. With decorative concrete, you only need to put a thin overlay on an area that needs refurbishing or better finishing.
Comparing the cost of the decorative and the stamped concrete cost, it is cheaper to do the decorative concrete because you don’t have to excavate the area first.
The Stamped Concrete Cost
Stamped concrete cost per square foot for a DIY project is far more reasonable than you would imagine. A local company in your area would probably quote a minimum of $8 for every square foot. The maximum price could go up to $12 or $15 depending on where you live. As you are aware, living in a highly urbanized upper class area would command a higher quote because contractors have higher overhead expenses and will assume you can afford to pay the higher price. It would be considerably lower in rural areas or places where the median income is low to middle class.
The stamped concrete cost can increase if you decide to include some special effects on the finish or an unusual color that would have to be customized. Thus the price per square foot could jump to $18 or $20, which depending on your budget may or may not be reasonable.
With a DIY project, you can just call in someone to do the heavy excavating work and prepare the area for pouring the cement. You can handle the cement pouring and stamping which could bring down your cost by half, maybe more.
Other factors that have to be considered when you are working the stamped concrete cost would be:
- Upkeep - concrete can and will crack over time
- Longevity - the color can fade and the stamp could be outdated after several years
- Resale value - in case you decide you want to put the property on the market
What is Paving and How Does it Differ From Stamped Concrete?
You could come across some who would recommend paving rather than stamped concrete. Paving is using individual units like stones or bricks to create a finished look. These are more expensive materials to work with and so stamped concrete cost versus paving cost is a battle of wits and wallets, so to speak. For a long-term, more permanent kind of approach, paving is better because it does not have the same tendency to crack. Most paving materials, especially stones, have a lifetime warranty attached to them so you have this added security. However, the expense of paving makes many hesitate. It’s just not practical these days unless you have the excess funds to play around with.
Potential Problems with Stamped Concrete Professionals
Like most contracted jobs, there are a plethora of problems just waiting to happen. Take for instance the case of Donna Fish from Charleston. Last July she contracted a company to have her patio, porch, and driveway fixed and stamped concrete as the finishing. She agreed to the cost of $15,050. After she inspected the finished work, she saw substandard workmanship and areas where the concrete had begun to crumble. The other problems were uneven texture, wrong shade, and a stamped concrete design that was crooked. Lastly, the contractors destroyed her property by tracking wet cement in different parts of her property. The case is now in court.
These are problems you can encounter if you don’t take the time to inspect the work in progress. It is also one of the prevailing reasons why many property owners decide to do the stamped concrete patios or driveways on their own. Not only do they save a lot of money, they also experience less stress and have the added boasting privileges once the project is completed.
The Benefits of a DIY Stamped Concrete Patio
- Aside from having something unique to brag about, you could have a choice of several aesthetically pleasing stamped concrete patterns. You could even create your own pattern.
- No matter what the size or shape your patio is, cement will work. It’s easily poured into any surface and as long as there are side barriers to stop the cement from flowing out, you shouldn’t have a problem
- It’s possible to create a 3D effect with special tools like sawcuts
- Even if you end up expanding your project, you can use the same stamp design and save on costs
- Your property increases in value since stamped concrete is a modern look with high appeal
The same benefits will apply to any other project you may want to try, such as fixing up your driveway or creating new space and interior for your porch. It’s even possible to do stamped concrete projects in your children’s play area, garage, walkways, backyard, pool side, and barbeque area. Turn an ordinary path into a stunningly designed walkway that could turn your open area picture perfect and always ready for any get-together or event.
There are some cost-savings tricks you could try to cut back on the stamped concrete overlay costs such as:
- Try mixing plain concrete with stamped concrete so it would be like one square foot would have no design but the next square foot would have the stamp
- Try not to tackle the project all at once and on a massive scale but if you do have a grand plan, buy in bulk so you could ask for a volume discount
These are just some suggestions you may want to consider. Create the space you want with your personal stamp of approval and be happy with your finished product. So long as you know the budgetary demands of your project, you can easily find the right costs to make this a dream project, not a nightmare.