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stamped concrete patio cost

Average Cost of Stamped Concrete Patio Installation

A long list of factors are determined by a concrete contractor when writing up price estimates for a stamped concrete patio – site conditions, amount of excavation, size of the patio and others. They are all explained below to allow you to more closely budget for this popular outdoor project.

The wide price range reflects the many options for patio size, stamping and treatments available including inlaid stone or tiles, coloring the concrete or an acid-stained finish to give the surface the look of genuine stone.

If you want to save a $5 to $10 per square foot, consider a smoothly finished concrete pad that isn’t stamped. But read on if you want to create a custom patio in your landscape and have the budget space to make it happen.

Average Do It Yourself cost

$6.00 – $9.00 per Square Foot

Average Contractor Installed Cost

$10.00 – $22.00 per Square Foot

Typical Cost Average

$14.00 – $18.00 per Square Foot

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Overview of Stamped Concrete Patios

Installing a stamped concrete patio is an attractive and useful feature that sharpens up your outdoor living area and adds value to your home. The return on investment is higher than that for using individual pavers, though the finished concrete might look very much the same. The ROI advantage comes about because the overall cost of the project is usually lower – it’s a better value for the money spent.

The project includes removing topsoil down to stable soil such as clay, sand or gravel. Then a layer of sand or gravel are installed, if necessary. Forms are constructed from 2x4s or flexible steel, and the concrete is poured. As it begins to set up, the stamp you choose is used to give it the look you want.

There are many possibilities when it comes to building a stamped concrete patio including stamps to create the look of bricks or pavers, field stone, slate and more. Choose nearly any color you want – or an acid stain that your guest might easily mistake for granite. Check out a few options at local home improvement stores or online.

And that’s just the concrete! Install a gas fire pit to upgrade the comfort on cool evenings and the ambience all year around. Cover the space with an enclosed patio structure and get more use – a common choice in cooler, rainier climates.

This page of cost estimates, what we call Business Finance News, is about stamped concrete, your design options and their prices. Cost factors are designed to help you narrow costs along with an “ala carte” menu of treatments – colorants, acid staining, tiles, etc. We’ve sprinkled in stamped concrete patio cost estimates from other reliable sites to give you the chance to compare. DIY suggestions and a place to add your project cost for the benefit of other readers wraps up our stamped concrete price guide.

Product and Installation Supplies Cost Details

Stamped Concrete Patio Cost Factors

How much does a stamped concrete patio cost? These factors will shape the estimates you receive – unless you DIY.

  • Who Installs the Stamped Concrete Patio – If you decide to do this project, then a substantial amount of money will be saved because the majority of the cost is labor.  However, this is not a simple project that is simple if you want a pro-quality appearance.
  • Size of the Stamped Concrete Patio – Bigger patios cost more, of course, but cost per square foot drops as the size increases due to economies of scale.
  • Site Access and Conditions – When the location is easy to access with few obstacles to remove, such as bushes or disintegrated patio pavers, cost is cheaper than for difficult work.
  • Excavation and Fill – It is important to remove all topsoil, because it shifts, and that will ultimately cause low spots and cracking of the concrete. The topsoil is replaced with sand, gravel, pea stone or similar – unless that’s what you already have – because it drains well and is more stable. The more digging and filler materials, the higher the cost.
  • Patio Design – The complexity of concrete patios are often classified as basic, intermediate, and complex, with cost rising with complexity. See a cost breakdown below for each tier.
  • Enhancements – Adding colorant, treating the surface with acid staining/etching, embedding other materials to enhance the look or using exposed aggregate are various options, all with their own cost.
  • Where you Live – The price of concrete and labor varies throughout the United States based on the general cost of living. This can influence the cost of a stamped concrete patio by as much as 35%.

Retail Stamped Concrete Patio Costs

Here are prices for the materials and tools needed for the job.

  • $100 – $400 each | Concrete Stamps
  • $2 – $4 per Square Foot | Concrete cost by the  bag or, for large patios, a truck
  • $10 – $75 | Colorant/Concrete Dye depending on the size of container. Cost is about $1 per 10 square feet of concrete 4” deep.
  • $15 – 30 | Concrete Trowel
  • $25 – $50 | Concrete Float
  • About a $1 per Linear Foot | Lumber to frame the perimeter of the patio for pouring the concrete – lumber prices remain volatile, so this is subject to change.
  • $12 – $15 per Box | Duplex nails used to fasten the framing together.
  • $15 – $25 per Cubic Yard | You’ll want about 4 inches of it, unless you’ve had to dig out more topsoil. One yard of gravel covers about 80 square feet 4 inches deep.
  • $.25 – $.33 (25 to 33 cents) per square foot | Steel or Fiberglass concrete reinforcement.
  • $35 – $40 per Gallon or $170-$200 for a 5-gallon Pail | Concrete Sealer with 200 square foot per gallon coverage. $300 – $500+ for purchase; $50 – $100 per day Rental | Concrete Saw with Diamond Blade (If expansion joints are needed)

Basic, Intermediate and Complex Options

Let’s narrow your price range based on the options available for a stamped concrete patio.

  • Basic – Includes one color and a common design like brick pavers: $10 – $15 per Square Foot
  • Intermediate – Includes patio sections in two or more colors, a couple different stamp shapes and possibly a tile or stone border: $12-$16 per Square Foot
  • Complex – Patios that are considered complex may have multiple colors or be acid stained to take on the appearance of genuine stone. These finished concrete patios often have inlaid stone or tile to enhance their appearance. They aren’t cheap, at a cost of $15 – $20 per square foot. Home Advisor puts a top cost at $28/square foot, and that is possible when considering the highest-priced options and the most complex design and installation difficulty.

Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time

Permits and Inspection Cost

  • $0 – $100 | Whether you need a permit could depend on the size of the patio. In some areas, a permit is needed for any improvement over about 150 square feet. Unfortunately, in the case of patios, safety isn’t the concern. Instead, your local officials might want to know you’re improving your home – so they can raise your appraised value and taxes.

Pro Tip on HOAs: If your neighborhood has a homeowners association, check its rules and regulations for patio installation. Some are quite detailed, and installing a patio that doesn’t comply can lead to extra expense for you.

Related Costs and Installation Time

Excavation costs can mount up when bushes, sloped ground and other problems need to be removed and smoothed out since a concrete patio requires flat, level ground.

Extensive excavation will raise the price 30% to 45% on many jobs.

The amount of time it takes to build a concrete patio is around 25-30 hours, depending on site conditions.  This is due to the need to have to mix multiple colors with the concrete, pour the concrete, stamp it and then let the concrete harden.

  • Up to 1 Day | Prep for the patio by removing the topsoil, adding sand/gravel/stone fill and framing the patio.
  • Half-day to Full Day | Mixing the concrete, pouring it and finishing it.
  • Two Days | The time it takes to cure concrete. Let it cure before placing anything over a few hundred pounds on it.

Costs of Related Projects

A stamped concrete patio is a good “base” project for your landscape. Now or in the years ahead, you might want to increase the fun and functionality of the backyard with projects like these.

Enclose the Patio: This option is more popular in rainy and cool climates and costs about $65 per square foot. It gives you the opportunity for longer, more consistent use of the patio each year. If that cost isn’t in the budget, you can beat the rain and the sun with a retractable awning over the patio for less than $2,000.

Add a Gas Fire Pit: Warm up chilly nights and add a glow to any evening for under $600 plus the cost of running a gas line to the location. If you’re considering this option, the best bet is to run the gas line before the concrete is poured.

Install a Pool: For around $40K, you can optimize the enjoyment of your property with an inground pool. An above-ground pool costs about 10% of that but has use and durability limitations. Either project is a great option when kids are young.

DIY or Hire a Pro?

A stamped concrete patio is a labor-intensive job with up to 80% of the cost being installation charges rather than material costs. Remodeling Expense calls materials vs labor about a 50/50 proposition, but that’s too verifiably low on the labor side. HomeGuide is closer the mark with labor rates, based on the specific treatments applied (coloring, acid staining, texturing) of $7-$12 per square foot.

While there is money to be saved with a do-it-yourself approach, there’s a lot that can go wrong, leaving you with tons of hardened concrete that look like junk. It happens often. On the other hand, if you know what you’re doing and execute the job properly, you’ll get an amazing patio for a fraction of the cost your neighbor paid by hiring a pro landscape architect or concrete company.

One of the challenges of stamping concrete is that your window in which to make a uniform impression is fairly narrow. Start stamping concrete that is too wet, and the stamp lines might start oozing back together.

Wait too long, and you can’t get a consistent depth to the stamp – it gets shallower the harder the concrete gets.

Those are real concerns, and they’re a good reason to hire a concrete installer that specializes in stamping. If you intend to color or acid stain the concrete, then tapping into the skill of a concrete contractor specializing in these techniques is your best option for getting a finished project you’ll be happy with.

If you are still considering DIY, see this step-by-step guide from stamped concrete pros for tips and techniques.