How much does it cost to install a stamped concrete driveway?
Stamped concrete driveway is an appealing option to homeowners. This economical alternative to natural stone and paving stone is created by laying wet concrete into forms to create patterns and shapes, then large stamping tools are pressed into the wet concrete to add texture and design. Stamped concrete can simulate the look of ashler, granite, stone, and brick. By creating patterns and dying it, a variety of looks can be achieved. It requires less maintenance as it has no spaces where weed growth can occur. Stamped concrete can be expected to be more durable than pavers and stone and because it is so customisable it is available in virtually unlimited design options. Popular options are herringbone, flagstone and cobblestone. Stamped concrete is ideal for maximizing the return on your investment in the home as it adds both curb appeal and aesthetic value to your home.
This cost guide will assess the costs of installing a stamped concrete driveway of 600 sq.ft.
Contractors will provide pricing according to two different models and their pricing preference. Itemized billing is typically reserved for smaller projects, and cost per square foot billing is typically used for larger projects. The contractor will often select the quoting and billing method according to their own preferences.
- Labor: contractors charge $35-$85 per hour and the labor to install a stamped concrete driveway include: lightly grading 1 and compacting the soil; setting concrete forms; and pouring, finishing and patterning concrete. This would take around 67-75 working hours. Cost: $2,345-$6,375.
- Excavation or major grading 1 can double labor time and costs.
- Materials: materials include reinforced 3500 PSI concrete; forms and pattern embossed finish; typical waste overage and typical local delivery costs; reinforcing materials; isolation materials; and cleaning and chemical release agents. Cost: $1,800-$2,000.
- Cost per square foot: Patterns like herringbone, ashler and random installation will represent a basic pattern. Adding in a second color or a border would constitute a mid-range pattern. Anything additional, or mixtures of patterns would be consider complex or high-end.
- Basic pattern: a basic stamped concrete installation with one simple pattern and one color. Cost: $8-$12 per sq.ft.
- Mid-range pattern: customize stamped concrete with borders, or a contrasting pattern or color. Cost: $12-$18 per sq.ft.
- High-end pattern: top-of-the line stamped concrete can look very realistic and can include multiple patterns and colors, specialty patterns and hand-coloring that resembles the natural variations in stone. Cost: $18+ per sq.ft.
- Removal and disposal of old driveway: $250-$500.
Enhancement and improvement costs
- Enhance the look of stamped concrete by painting and sealing it. Cost: $400-$500.
- Add hand-detailing or embossing. This involves scraping or imprinting the wet concrete in areas that the stamping tools are not appropriate, like in vertical areas. Average cost: $450.
Additional considerations and costs
- Lower costs by using this method for a portion of the driveway, for example just the borders.
- Stamped concrete is a long-lasting, durable driveway solution. It can be repaired, and the color doesn’t fade as long as it is sealed every 2-3 years.
- Since stamped concrete is installed by pouring concrete over molds and the molds are created from the actual substances they are meant to look like, the driveway will not look fake.
- Stamped concrete can be applied over existing concrete, if it’s in good condition.
- Avoid using deicing salts on stamped concrete. Using deicers can damage the surface of the concrete. Common de-icing chemicals like ammonium nitrates and ammonium sulfates are especially harmful because they actively degrade the concrete. Rock salt and calcium chloride will do less damage to the concrete itself but they can ruin both vegetation and metal that might be on or around the driveway. As an alternative to harsh chemicals, using sand for traction won’t harm the concrete or any surrounding vegetation.
- Using deicing chemicals can contribute to an artificial freeze-thaw cycle where water can soak into the concrete, freeze and break apart the concrete. This is detrimental to the appearance and strength of the driveway.
- With stamped concrete, it’s especially important to find a contractor who can show you a portfolio of their work and provide actual samples of the patterns and colors they offer. Some decorative concrete contractors have showrooms with all their samples on display.
- Typically, driveways are graded for drainage. However, your home may require installing gravel for drainage. Drainage can be necessary to carry water away from the concrete. Gravel is ideal for drainage as it allows the water to be pulled away from the home and the driveway. This can be done as a DIY project.
- This project is not suitable. Placing and finishing concrete is as much art as it is technique and a large project such as a driveway is not the place to practice.
- Safety concerns: concrete can be slippery if wet and is not recommended in places where it rains frequently.
- Maintenance: concrete generally lasts longer and requires less maintenance than most other paving materials, which can add up to big savings over the pavement's lifetime. Sealing the concrete is important every 2-3 years.