Author Topic: $14,000 For Concrete!  (Read 6638 times)

Jon Bon

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$14,000 For Concrete!
« on: June 29, 2017, 05:44:29 AM »
So I am building a garage and replacing all of my cracked and generally terrible sidewalks.

First off I have had to beg these guys to come out and give me a bid, I am talking multiple calls, emails etc. They are late, or cancel and I follow up to reschedule. The scope of work is a 15x24 garage, and about 400 sqft of patio/sidewalk. I have called about material prices, my sidewalks would be around 6 yards, maybe another 3-4 for the garage? A 10 yard mixer only costs $1500 delivered, so I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this.

The two bids I have gotten so far are:

Bid 1:
Garage: $7,000
Sidewalks: $7,200

Bid 2:
$12,500
Does not include footer or block wall. So this bid is kind of useless.

So I have I have two questions for the group.

1. Are these bids in any way reasonable? (I live in a city in the midwest)
2. Am I nuts to try to do the sidewalks myself?

I tried a small section on one of my rentals mixing by hand I attached the picture.




Cranky

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2017, 06:57:19 AM »
I don't know whether it's reasonable or not, but concrete is depressingly expensive for something so boring. (I'm getting my driveway replaced this summer.)

craiglepaige

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2017, 06:58:08 AM »
Your sidewalk looks good ;)

Having hand mixed seventy three 80lbs bags of concrete for my deck footers, and my lower back still bothering me two weeks later (it was killing me the first week), I would highly recommend buying a harbor freight electric mixer with a 20-25% coupon and doing the sidewalks yourself.

As a mustachian I went for  a the 80lbs bags I since  they were the cheapest per pound, but knowing now what I  know, I would rather go for the 50-60lbs ones to make it easier on my body if I was to do it  again.

For the garage, are you building it yourself or are you only pouring the foundation and having someone else build it?  Asking because some builders would rather do the foundation work also for warranty reasons.

$14k seems like a lot but it's still a lot of work.  I would try getting a few more quotes. Still, a 15x24 slab, say at minimum 4" deep is a lot of concrete. Plus I would imagine you'll need rebar and maybe even some type of glass resin to make it the strongest possible.

I would highly recommend checking out garagejournal.com and asking there about your foundation.  The sidewalks I would do myself over a weekend with some friends you pay to help. Offer $150 plus pizza and beer, cheaper than $7k.
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craiglepaige

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2017, 07:06:41 AM »
This channel provides really good concrete info.
https://youtu.be/kgOEeSBiefU
-The conqueror will always become a slave to his conquest.

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https://youtu.be/GO1Fsp4cUTQ

ncornilsen

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2017, 07:21:22 AM »
Seems a little high to me... generally I can get structural concrete poured at work for $1,050 per yard, but that includes the excavation, forming, rebar, permits, and following an engineering permit and coordinating special inspections.

Remember, you're dealing with a very busy time of year for them. They may be at the point where he's busy enough to throw a BS bid at you, and if you take it, the profit is worth the trouble, otherwise...

Generally, it is practical for 2 or 3 people to use a cement mixer and bags to pour and finish about 1 yard per day. Section your sidewalk like that and do that part yourself.

lthenderson

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2017, 08:16:05 AM »
I have had to beg these guys to come out and give me a bid

When there is a lot or work out there to bid, contractors are going to bid on the large jobs where they have the ability to make more money. So to get them out to do a small job like what you have, they are going to make it worth their while. So yes, I expect the price to be high if you figure it out on a cubic yard basis.

If you wish to save money, rather than renting a mixer and doing lots of backbreaking work, I have found it cost economical to just do all the form work yourself and then have the concrete delivered on site and do your own spreading it out and floating it smooth. You end up paying cost for the concrete and a small delivery charge which is almost always cheaper than renting a mixer and figuring out the cost of horsing around all the bags of cement, gravel, sand, etc. Plus when you are done, they haul any extra back so you don't have small piles of gravel, sand and bags of cement left over to deal with. Even worse if you came up short.

Forming isn't very challenging for driveway and sidewalk projects and can be done over time at your leisure. Once everything is ready to go, grabs some friends and rakes and have the concrete delivered. There are tons of Youtube videos showing how to pour concrete sidewalks and driveways and then float them. Buy a couple hand tools and rent a bull float for the driveway from the concrete company. If using a bull float is intimidating, most companies will have someone do it for you for a nominal fee.

MrsDinero

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2017, 08:26:58 AM »
Following because we are considering doing the same thing.

Jon Bon

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2017, 08:50:21 AM »
Thanks for all the insight guys!

I was definitely leaning to have the concrete delivered in the truck, I dont want to mix 200 bags of concrete by hand or in a machine.

I realized most of these guys are busy; supply and demand and all of that. Its just still rather amazing to me. I guess my point is maybe we should all go and start a concrete company? Obviously there is money to be made!

Yes I like the idea of ripping it out, and creating the forms at my leasure, I could take a week or a month to do that. I guess the big issue is here logistics on "pour day" 6 yards of concrete show up and I have to get it wheel barreled into place and floated, troweled, edged and groved in what 2 hours? That's a pretty short amount of time for that much concrete. How many guys would I need for this? 2 for finishing work and 2 for dumping it where it needs to go? Maybe an extra guy or two as well? So would six guys be enough? Im comfortable in doing maybe 100 sqft myself at a time, but if I did 400 sqft, that is a whole different ballgame.

So for 400sqft of sidewalks/patio:
6 yards of concrete
2 semi-skilled finishers
2 laborers
1-2 general helpers?

Am I going to be stuck with concrete setting up before its finished?




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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2017, 09:00:41 AM »
This is just for comparison... I don't actually know that I got a "good" or "bad" price.  But I'm a little guy with a little job, so maybe it compares.

I recently paid about $2600 for 275sqft of sidewalk/4 inch thick.  (~90 cuft.)  They did all the form work, rebar, excavation (minimal) and formed a brick ledge along the sides.  (I came back and did the masonry myself.)  The company that did the work specializes in small jobs like mine.  They have their own mix truck so they don't have to compete guys doing big jobs and don't have to sit around waiting on a truck to show up.

This may be just me but: I will DIY almost anything.  I don't do concrete.  Sure, I'll do something that is 1-2 bags worth.  I'm okay with anchoring a buried pole or pouring a footer tube.  I'm not doing something that needs to look nice and have a long continuous pour.  It's more work done faster than I can do it.  I've helped out a friend do a very small patio with a crew of about 4.  We did ok.  It looked fine.  But... I wouldn't do it again and I definitely wouldn't do it for my own house.
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Jon Bon

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2017, 09:15:41 AM »
This is just for comparison... I don't actually know that I got a "good" or "bad" price.  But I'm a little guy with a little job, so maybe it compares.

I recently paid about $2600 for 275sqft of sidewalk/4 inch thick.  (~90 cuft.)  They did all the form work, rebar, excavation (minimal) and formed a brick ledge along the sides.  (I came back and did the masonry myself.)  The company that did the work specializes in small jobs like mine.  They have their own mix truck so they don't have to compete guys doing big jobs and don't have to sit around waiting on a truck to show up.

This may be just me but: I will DIY almost anything.  I don't do concrete.  Sure, I'll do something that is 1-2 bags worth.  I'm okay with anchoring a buried pole or pouring a footer tube.  I'm not doing something that needs to look nice and have a long continuous pour.  It's more work done faster than I can do it.  I've helped out a friend do a very small patio with a crew of about 4.  We did ok.  It looked fine.  But... I wouldn't do it again and I definitely wouldn't do it for my own house.

How small of a patio?

So you paid about $10 per sqft.... I would have paid that yesterday!

Sure if I can find someone who is reasonable (I might have a lead on a smaller guy doing smaller jobs) I would for sure pay the 4-5k just so I dont have to wear myself out for  2 weeks.

Jon Bon

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2017, 09:16:17 AM »
This channel provides really good concrete info.
https://youtu.be/kgOEeSBiefU

Thanks, this is good construction tv!

Spork

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2017, 09:36:05 AM »
This is just for comparison... I don't actually know that I got a "good" or "bad" price.  But I'm a little guy with a little job, so maybe it compares.

I recently paid about $2600 for 275sqft of sidewalk/4 inch thick.  (~90 cuft.)  They did all the form work, rebar, excavation (minimal) and formed a brick ledge along the sides.  (I came back and did the masonry myself.)  The company that did the work specializes in small jobs like mine.  They have their own mix truck so they don't have to compete guys doing big jobs and don't have to sit around waiting on a truck to show up.

This may be just me but: I will DIY almost anything.  I don't do concrete.  Sure, I'll do something that is 1-2 bags worth.  I'm okay with anchoring a buried pole or pouring a footer tube.  I'm not doing something that needs to look nice and have a long continuous pour.  It's more work done faster than I can do it.  I've helped out a friend do a very small patio with a crew of about 4.  We did ok.  It looked fine.  But... I wouldn't do it again and I definitely wouldn't do it for my own house.

How small of a patio?


My memory is terrible and this was 10+ years ago so this number is absolutely guaranteed to be wrong:  I would guess about 10ftx20ft.  We had one person dedicated to spreading/smoothing concrete and 3 of us humping wheelbarrows as fast as we could.
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gardeningandgreen

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2017, 11:06:06 AM »
Last summer we built a garage in the upper Midwest ourselves. The concrete wasn't something we were comfortable pouring ourselves so we wanted to hire that part out. Our garage is 24X30 with a 20X18 driveway. We had the same problem getting bids. In the end we went with the only people who would consistently respond to our messages. The original quote from them was I believe $12000. We ended up looking at what the bid was for and figured out we could rent a backhoe and do the digging and our final price ended up being $7500. The backhoe only cost $350 so it was totally worth it. I am not sure if that is an option for you but for us it saved a ton of money on the overall project!

lamil

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2017, 02:16:51 PM »
Driveway, back pad, and walkway leading to front.

NE Ohio; September 2016.



pictures for scope of work.












I have other ones from the process if you need anything specific, but I think these covered most of the work being done in some part.

ncornilsen

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2017, 03:54:24 PM »
Another thing to consider:

Last summer, I had my patio poured.
320 square feet, with about 40 other square feet of infill for some broken concrete in another nearby slab.

4 guys showed up at 6:00 AM, cement truck came at 7:00, and they were done and loading up at 11:30 AM.

$500 for labor. $40 for sealer. I built the forms, compacted the gravel, laid rebar, etc... I gave them a week of flexibility.

Nobody else would even bid doing the whole job... these guys squeeked me in when they had slack from another job.

Might be a way to do it.

Jon Bon

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2017, 03:56:31 PM »
Driveway, back pad, and walkway leading to front.

NE Ohio; September 2016.



pictures for scope of work.












I have other ones from the process if you need anything specific, but I think these covered most of the work being done in some part.

What the hell!!

Your job looks bigger then mine and def more complex! I am in central ohio, think they would drive down?

Seriously thought looks good and is money well spent.

Jon Bon

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2017, 03:58:47 PM »
Another thing to consider:

Last summer, I had my patio poured.
320 square feet, with about 40 other square feet of infill for some broken concrete in another nearby slab.

4 guys showed up at 6:00 AM, cement truck came at 7:00, and they were done and loading up at 11:30 AM.

$500 for labor. $40 for sealer. I built the forms, compacted the gravel, laid rebar, etc... I gave them a week of flexibility.

Nobody else would even bid doing the whole job... these guys squeeked me in when they had slack from another job.

Might be a way to do it.

OK yeah that sounds pretty good, maybe I should look into that.  I am pretty sure all my flatwork could be done in a few hours with a skilled crew. Thanks for the insight, I will ask around.

Papa bear

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2017, 04:22:48 PM »
Driveway, back pad, and walkway leading to front.

NE Ohio; September 2016.



pictures for scope of work.












I have other ones from the process if you need anything specific, but I think these covered most of the work being done in some part.

Can I ask who you used? I may have some concrete work needed for some rentals up that way =)


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lamil

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2017, 04:38:01 PM »
Can I ask who you used? I may have some concrete work needed for some rentals up that way =)




I had gotten 3 quotes in total, them being the 3rd.  I know he had mentioned he was pretty local, but he did also say he had others he could recommend for work outside of the area.

The two other quotes were in the 7-8k range and I didn't feel like either understood what I wanted.

I had an issue with the height and rise at the apron and most people didn't really seem to care or were against a suggestion to try and flatten out the pitch.  This guy knew exactly what he wanted to do before I mentioned anything and it lined up with exactly what I had hoped to get done.  Signed right then and there for the work.  Very happy with everything.  It was about 2 months I think last year from when we agreed on the work and when they were available.

thesvenster

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2017, 04:44:25 PM »
They're using an old trick on you. They don't want to do the work for whatever reason, maybe it's too small of a job, maybe inconvenient, whatever. So they threw out an insane number to scare you away.

jmecklenborg

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2017, 05:37:35 PM »
This was upwards of $20,000 but required taking a ton of earth out through the alley in order to build a decent-sized patio and the short retaining wall.  Also included rebuilding a walk-out basement staircase (not pictured) and about 40 feet of alleyway and front steps.  The expense of this job was exacerbated by their inability to bring their usual equipment back through the alley. 






lthenderson

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2017, 08:00:22 AM »
Yes I like the idea of ripping it out, and creating the forms at my leasure, I could take a week or a month to do that. I guess the big issue is here logistics on "pour day" 6 yards of concrete show up and I have to get it wheel barreled into place and floated, troweled, edged and groved in what 2 hours? That's a pretty short amount of time for that much concrete. How many guys would I need for this? 2 for finishing work and 2 for dumping it where it needs to go? Maybe an extra guy or two as well? So would six guys be enough? Im comfortable in doing maybe 100 sqft myself at a time, but if I did 400 sqft, that is a whole different ballgame.

So for 400sqft of sidewalks/patio:
6 yards of concrete
2 semi-skilled finishers
2 laborers
1-2 general helpers?

I look at this project as two distinct chunks. Do the garage first. Is 15 ft the depth or width? With chutes and depending on the height of your doorway, concrete trucks and generally get the concrete as far back as 15 feet. If the depth is 24 ft, that might be stretching it with the doorway height and in that case, yes you will need some wheel barrows to start off with until you get within reach of the chutes. The alternative is to get a pumping unit. They add onto your total cost but you don't have to use a wheel barrow and won't have to move much concrete.

When I pour concrete, I have one guy swinging the chute to where the concrete needs to be and two or three guys raking it depending on how far it has to be moves. Sometimes with easy access, one guy raking is all you need.  Once about half the concrete is poured, I have two people working the screed to start leveling it down so that we know if we are getting enough in the forms and also not way too much. When the concrete guy if finished pouring, I generally have two people running the screed and two people raking or pushing so the screed isn't pushing so much concrete around. Once it has all been poured and screeded, then we pick up trowels and edgers, etc and go to work.

If everything is organized for such a small project, there really shouldn't be a time crunch. You will probably be waiting on it to set up a bit to finish floating it and start edging it, etc. For a garage, I would probably only have four guys who were good at following directions.

Some tips from doing it myself over many years:

Have a garden hose hooked up to a water source to rinse your tools off when you stop using them and before the concrete hardens on them.
Have a couple people wearing rubber type wading boots so they can walk in the concrete itself if need be.
Keep a couple cheap five gallon buckets handy and fill them with any extra concrete after they finish pouring and before they drive off with the truck. You should always order a bit extra which is way better than coming up a bit short. If you need the extra concrete in the buckets you have it available. If not, let it set up and dispose of it later with no mess. An alternative is to make up a couple small forms to make concrete blocks that can be used around the yard as stepping stone, downspout water channels/breaks, etc.
Make sure you tell the truck driver that you don't want the concrete too wet. The dryer you pour concrete the stronger it is however the more work to get it leveled out. Drivers always tend to get is way too wet to make their jobs easier and faster but at the expense of concrete strength. It also means a lot of twiddling of thumbs waiting on it to set up enough to trowel, edge, finish, etc.

Jon Bon

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2017, 05:41:00 AM »
Thanks this is great info.

Mainly I am looking into only doing the sidewalks. The garage requires footers, drainage, etc things I have not experienced before and I am not confident I would be able to build it correctly let alone pass an inspection. I watched a few videos on it and it did not look easy at all!

Ok so it sounds like I am going to have more then enough labor to handle the 400sqft of patio and sidewalks. I probably need to buy or borrow another set of finishing tools, obviously one set would not be enough.

iceberg8

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2017, 02:32:28 PM »
For such money, I am willing to fly from Europe to your place and do it :D

So, the truth it, as many of above said, no one wants to do it, even tho, I think, it is not so small job. They think its small (companies).
I paid a lot of cash for similar job, because i was stupid, not having a knowledge is expensive.
Later on, i did concrete steps on my own, saving me $1k in job alone. Well, I paid for the project $70, so i would need to deduct that. i did all the wood/framework, rebars, getting cement+gravel (1:3 ratio, gravel 0mm-32mm (like zero to 1 and a 1/4 inch) into interior, buying mixer and packing it to hatchback, then mixing it, pouring it to the buckets, dragging it up the stairs, pouring again finishing it, all in 7 hours nonstop, like 1 cubic yard(or close to 1m3). anyway - on my freaking own, no helper at any point. next day, no problemo, no pain what so ever. because i did take a cold shower, maybe that did help? who knows :D i am not used to do such hard work, BUT, i would not repeat it, it was insane speed and work pace, insane. i could not stop, but hell, i was tired that evening like never before. luckily, next day was fine, but remember - one injury in your back or anywhere and even that 14K offer would be better deal, than the injury, so be CAREFUL .

What I am trying to say, welcome to the insanity of the concrete work/compaies - prices makes no sense at all. Going with DIY is good, sometimes awesome, but needs perfect planning..
ignorance is bliss

dragoncar

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2017, 08:19:07 PM »
This post is relevant to my interests!  I'd love to do some concrete work, but it really seems like a pain in the ass and easy to fuq up

BCBiker

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2017, 12:55:19 PM »
I recently poured 4 yards of concrete for a sidewalk along side a retaining wall my father-in-law build and extended our driveway.  I called a short load company and got the concrete for ~$800.  The big savings was my father-in-law retired from working in concrete and had some old buddies who do small jobs on weekends.  They gave us a deal and took about $180 each for about a 6 hour work day.  I also did a lot of the work too... But for <$1200 got a really nice result. This was in a really expensive city for this kind of work.  I got a quote for the retaining wall alone and the quote was >$2000 so add on concrete and the deck we built, I would have spend ~30-50K.  So far this project was cost around $6K in materials and many, many hours of labor!

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/8nwv5xd0axzc0ge/AAAKM67ByHJa0kSpLXpI09zJa?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/sc/tyhsawfkz80t1xz/AAAmkM1I2vQJldYQLH1jNFM4a
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Jon Bon

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2017, 04:12:39 PM »
I recently poured 4 yards of concrete for a sidewalk along side a retaining wall my father-in-law build and extended our driveway.  I called a short load company and got the concrete for ~$800.  The big savings was my father-in-law retired from working in concrete and had some old buddies who do small jobs on weekends.  They gave us a deal and took about $180 each for about a 6 hour work day.  I also did a lot of the work too... But for <$1200 got a really nice result. This was in a really expensive city for this kind of work.  I got a quote for the retaining wall alone and the quote was >$2000 so add on concrete and the deck we built, I would have spend ~30-50K.  So far this project was cost around $6K in materials and many, many hours of labor!

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/8nwv5xd0axzc0ge/AAAKM67ByHJa0kSpLXpI09zJa?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/sc/tyhsawfkz80t1xz/AAAmkM1I2vQJldYQLH1jNFM4a

That sounds pretty great!

So a bit of an update:

My SO and I decided that we wanted more concrete and my SO wanted alot of it stamped..... So its a 15x24 garage with 200 sqft concrete and 400 sqft stamped concrete. By my calculations it would be 7 yards of concrete just in the sidewalks, plus the garage.  Now I am more than happy to do 3 foot wide sidewalk all day long, in fact I did a test on my rental property when I replaced some sidewalk to see if my work was good enough. In this case it is going to be a large patio that is stamped concrete I might be SOL.

I have however reached out to a few more contractors. I have also tried to find someone who has the skills but does not have a full fledged company. Id be more then happy to dig it out, set up the forms, compact soil, lay the steel etc and have them just come out and finish on pour day. However these guys are rather hard to find and unreliable! If they were reliable I have a feeling that they would be running their own concrete company or at least holding down a steady job.

Currently I am leaning towards paying the money, They are going to do significant grading (we have some issues now) as well as large sections of concrete that would require larger and longer tools. Trust me it kills me to write that big of a check but if I get my garage the SO is going to get their fancy sidewalks.


BCBiker

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2017, 07:36:09 PM »
I recently poured 4 yards of concrete for a sidewalk along side a retaining wall my father-in-law build and extended our driveway.  I called a short load company and got the concrete for ~$800.  The big savings was my father-in-law retired from working in concrete and had some old buddies who do small jobs on weekends.  They gave us a deal and took about $180 each for about a 6 hour work day.  I also did a lot of the work too... But for <$1200 got a really nice result. This was in a really expensive city for this kind of work.  I got a quote for the retaining wall alone and the quote was >$2000 so add on concrete and the deck we built, I would have spend ~30-50K.  So far this project was cost around $6K in materials and many, many hours of labor!

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/8nwv5xd0axzc0ge/AAAKM67ByHJa0kSpLXpI09zJa?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/sc/tyhsawfkz80t1xz/AAAmkM1I2vQJldYQLH1jNFM4a

That sounds pretty great!

So a bit of an update:

My SO and I decided that we wanted more concrete and my SO wanted alot of it stamped..... So its a 15x24 garage with 200 sqft concrete and 400 sqft stamped concrete. By my calculations it would be 7 yards of concrete just in the sidewalks, plus the garage.  Now I am more than happy to do 3 foot wide sidewalk all day long, in fact I did a test on my rental property when I replaced some sidewalk to see if my work was good enough. In this case it is going to be a large patio that is stamped concrete I might be SOL.

I have however reached out to a few more contractors. I have also tried to find someone who has the skills but does not have a full fledged company. Id be more then happy to dig it out, set up the forms, compact soil, lay the steel etc and have them just come out and finish on pour day. However these guys are rather hard to find and unreliable! If they were reliable I have a feeling that they would be running their own concrete company or at least holding down a steady job.

Currently I am leaning towards paying the money, They are going to do significant grading (we have some issues now) as well as large sections of concrete that would require larger and longer tools. Trust me it kills me to write that big of a check but if I get my garage the SO is going to get their fancy sidewalks.

My understanding is that stamped concrete is tedious and challenging from a technical standpoint so you will want to verify that whoever you hire knows what they are doing.  That also adds significantly to the labor cost but make sure they are only charging you for stamped what you are having done stamped.

I get wanting stamped.  It can look really nice.  If you want color that adds additional cost generally. Our job was reasonably straight forward.  We also did all of the grading and packing, laid out the exapansion and designed and laid out the water drainage (the main reason we did the whole project).  I also really liked the process of planning, designing and labor involved.  I could see how others might not be up for it.
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TomTX

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2017, 08:17:12 PM »
Make sure you tell the truck driver that you don't want the concrete too wet. The dryer you pour concrete the stronger it is however the more work to get it leveled out. Drivers always tend to get is way too wet to make their jobs easier and faster but at the expense of concrete strength. It also means a lot of twiddling of thumbs waiting on it to set up enough to trowel, edge, finish, etc.

Agreed on "not too wet" - drivers and many concrete field guys love to add water and make the concrete super easy to work. They sacrifice all the performance characteristics of the cured concrete - strength, permeability, crack resistance, etc.

I would also suggest seeing if you can easily get fly ash in your concrete mix - it's a partial replacement for the cement binder. Lots of good properties: helps with workability and can increase ultimate strength. Reduces susceptibility to ASR if you have reactive aggregates in your area. It's re-using a material that would otherwise be waste. It does slow cure time (ie, it takes longer to reach ultimate strength). All DOTs that I know of use fly ash extensively for their concrete.
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BrandNewPapa

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #29 on: July 17, 2017, 06:15:46 AM »
We had a stamped concrete patio done two years ago in central Ohio. Size is 20x20, total cost was $8,000 which included ripping out and hauling away an old paver patio. I think your quote is high, and the company sounds shady. I wouldn't go with them because if you had that much trouble getting a quote, think how much trouble you'll have getting them to do the work.

PM me if you want the name of the contractor we used. Good luck.

paddedhat

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #30 on: July 17, 2017, 07:28:16 AM »

I would also suggest seeing if you can easily get fly ash in your concrete mix - it's a partial replacement for the cement binder. Lots of good properties: helps with workability and can increase ultimate strength. Reduces susceptibility to ASR if you have reactive aggregates in your area. It's re-using a material that would otherwise be waste. It does slow cure time (ie, it takes longer to reach ultimate strength). All DOTs that I know of use fly ash extensively for their concrete.

It's pretty wild stuff. A industrial waste product that can do amazing things when added to concrete. I have some friends in the batch plant business. They talk about what a PITA is is to deal with. Storage tanks full of the stuff slowly emptying from a few pinhole holes in the tank. Leaving a paper bag full of it on a break room table, and coming back the next day to find the bag almost empty, and the stuff everywhere. It flowed around the folds and glue joints on the bottom of the bag, like water, but it's a bone dry powder. The most interesting part is that , compared to a standard mix, it can add 4-5000 PSI in strength, easily doubling strength in most mixes, after a year of curing, for very little additional cost.

Fishindude

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2017, 08:27:32 AM »
Sidewalks and patios are no area to skimp or try to do yourself if you are not pretty experienced.  Stamped concrete should definitely be left to the pros.
It requires good finishing skills to do a good looking job, and this is something you will be looking at and walking over every day.

I'd suggest a call to your local redi-mix company.   Ask for the local dispatcher, tell him what kind of a project you need done, then ask the name of a good contractor or two he would recommend for the job.  Even at $14,000 this is a small concrete job, trying to get multiple competitive bids will likely just cause the contractor(s) to lose interest.   Pick the guy with the good reputation and just go with him.  Good skilled trades contractors are busy, and they don't have time to waste putting together bids just for kicks.

HydroJim

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #32 on: July 17, 2017, 08:35:19 AM »
I'll add another sample point into the mix:

Summer 2015. Central, TN. 30'x40'x4" pad with turn down footers and 3,000 PSI mix was $5k.

Jon Bon

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2017, 09:58:32 AM »
I'll add another sample point into the mix:

Summer 2015. Central, TN. 30'x40'x4" pad with turn down footers and 3,000 PSI mix was $5k.

Damn you hydrojim!! I am jealous of that price.

I think I am paying a "city premium" as well as a "summer premium" but it is what it is I guess.

iceberg8

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #34 on: July 17, 2017, 01:44:38 PM »
1200 sq ft for $5k at 4inch thickness?
thats 388ft3 concrete?
how much of a turn down footers is there?
any rebar in that concrete ?

I'm asking because I paid $8k 2 years back for 90% of that 1200sq ft, but it took a lot more concrete (2 or 3times), since it was 6inch thick and a lot went into footers too. It was foundation L-shape. Material itselft was $5k. So your price is quite good, if I get it correctly.
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dragoncar

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #35 on: July 17, 2017, 01:45:31 PM »
Fishindude, are you saying to hire without any estimate at all? Or just basically make a decision immediately after getting the first/only bid?

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #36 on: July 17, 2017, 06:27:19 PM »
Fishindude, are you saying to hire without any estimate at all? Or just basically make a decision immediately after getting the first/only bid?

Hey Barber, do I need a haircut? How much does a haircut cost? How hard is it to find a barber? :)

« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 07:03:08 PM by BCBiker »
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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #37 on: July 17, 2017, 09:30:33 PM »
Fishindude, are you saying to hire without any estimate at all? Or just basically make a decision immediately after getting the first/only bid?

Hey Barber, do I need a haircut? How much does a haircut cost? How hard is it to find a barber? :)

Sorry, I don't follow.  Are you suggesting I should get a haircut without knowing the price first?

JLee

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #38 on: July 17, 2017, 09:38:04 PM »
I had about 1900 sq ft of 4" (well, 3.5" because they use 2x4's to frame it) mesh-reinforced concrete done for about $6k.  Phoenix AZ, 2014. Nearly half of the cost was excavating and removing a lot of dirt.

Fishindude

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #39 on: July 18, 2017, 06:56:44 AM »
Fishindude, are you saying to hire without any estimate at all? Or just basically make a decision immediately after getting the first/only bid?

I'm saying I would go with the best contractor that has good references, and I wouldn't waste my time (or his) trying to get multiple quotes.
Tell him what you want, have him put a proposal in writing and go with it, unless you can't afford it.   If it's more than what you can afford, ask him for suggestions on how he could change things to reduce price rather than involving several other contractors, or put the project on hold until you can afford it.

If you're not experienced in construction, you have no business getting and comparing bids anyway, because you don't know what you are looking at or talking about.   
The only thing most will understand is the price, so they start picking on that.


CareCPA

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #40 on: July 18, 2017, 07:49:59 AM »
Fishindude, are you saying to hire without any estimate at all? Or just basically make a decision immediately after getting the first/only bid?

Hey Barber, do I need a haircut? How much does a haircut cost? How hard is it to find a barber? :)

Sorry, I don't follow.  Are you suggesting I should get a haircut without knowing the price first?
I think s/he's alluding to the fact that Fishindude is a builder/contractor, and will push you towards the answer that is best for their profession (i.e. not wasting their theoretical time making bids that won't convert to sales).
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Fishindude

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #41 on: July 18, 2017, 08:14:01 AM »

I think s/he's alluding to the fact that Fishindude is a builder/contractor, and will push you towards the answer that is best for their profession (i.e. not wasting their theoretical time making bids that won't convert to sales).
[/quote]

True, I am a builder contractor and have purchased millions of dollars worth of subcontractor work.  Most home owners have no experience purchasing construction.
What I am suggesting is not "the answer that is best for their profession".    It's how you will get best response from a contractor, and how you will get a good job.

This business of shopping out contractors and going with the low bid, rarely works out favorably for the inexperienced buyer.  This is where the contractor horror stories usually originate from.
Have some trust, try to work with somebody, and let them make a few bucks in the deal.

The whole competitive bidding thing originated in the public sector where public entities are required by law to get competitive bids for projects in excess of XX dollars.  Joe Homeowner hears about these deals and thinks that's how he should buy his work.  The majority of large private corporations that buy construction day in and day out negotiate their contracts with contractors they trust and are familiar with.   If they do bid a job it will be a very short list of a couple highly qualified contractors.  Public entities in many areas have also seen the value in negotiating work rather than bidding and have raised the dollar threshold where bids are required, so they can negotiate the majority of their projects.

Hire the best guy, not the cheap guy.



CareCPA

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #42 on: July 18, 2017, 08:29:51 AM »
From personal experience, I get multiple bids to make sure someone isn't trying to pull one over on me as a homeowner. Contractors in my area assume we're all ignorant and willing to pay whatever it takes.

If one guys says he's going to do 3" concrete, and another says 5" concrete, I'm going to question both of them on their choice. Does the 5" guy want to charge me more so he's bringing in more material? Does the 3" guy not know enough about the soil in my area to give me good advice? Once I have a good contractor, then I don't see the need to continue to collect bids for future projects.

I'm not always looking for the lowest price, but I want a fair price for correct amount of work.
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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #43 on: July 18, 2017, 09:55:41 AM »
The whole competitive bidding thing originated in the public sector where public entities are required by law to get competitive bids for projects in excess of XX dollars.  Joe Homeowner hears about these deals and thinks that's how he should buy his work.  The majority of large private corporations that buy construction day in and day out negotiate their contracts with contractors they trust and are familiar with.   If they do bid a job it will be a very short list of a couple highly qualified contractors.  Public entities in many areas have also seen the value in negotiating work rather than bidding and have raised the dollar threshold where bids are required, so they can negotiate the majority of their projects.

Hire the best guy, not the cheap guy.

For me: I DO generally get multiple bids.  But, as you allude to in your advice, I do still try to hire the best guy, not the cheap guy.   If I get 4 bids and they're all similarly described in the bid and are all within 10% of the same price... I at least have some comfort that I am looking at the going price for the job.  As you say: I am not in construction.  I don't necessarily know what it SHOULD cost.  Competitive bids give me a comfort level.  Now, if there is one that is way out of line (low or high) -- I almost always toss that bid.

We got 4 bids to build our house.  They were all VERY detailed.  They were all so damn close in price (+/- $2000 for the entire house) that I had a great level of comfort that the prices quoted were "reasonable" and that if I wanted something cheaper I needed to work with the individual contractor to tell me which parts of the project would make the least impact on final outcome and the most outcome on price.
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BrandNewPapa

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #44 on: July 18, 2017, 10:47:07 AM »
From personal experience, I get multiple bids to make sure someone isn't trying to pull one over on me as a homeowner. Contractors in my area assume we're all ignorant and willing to pay whatever it takes.
...
I'm not always looking for the lowest price, but I want a fair price for correct amount of work.

This. There are so many shady contractors that will just jack you on the price BECAUSE they know people won't get multiple quotes. I had my HVAC redone last year. I got multiple quotes for the same spec systems. The prices ran from $4,000 to $12,000. Insane. I ended up going with the contractor I had the most faith in, and who I thought gave a fair price for both parties at around $6500.

dragoncar

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #45 on: July 18, 2017, 10:48:47 AM »
Most insurance adjusters require multiple quotes.  I wouldn't say three bids "originated" in the public sector.

paddedhat

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #46 on: July 18, 2017, 06:32:11 PM »
Most insurance adjusters require multiple quotes.  I wouldn't say three bids "originated" in the public sector.

Ah, public sector work, home of the rarely challenged low bid. Can't remember how many times I would be working for a legitimate contractor, and find out that a big project we were working hard to get ,was just awarded to the biggest asshats in the industry. Sometimes, it actually made you feel sad for the customer. I've even had conversations with public officials  and said, these guys will not only blow the schedule and do unacceptable work, but they are going to sue you after the whole shit show ends, why do that to yourself?  The answer was just what I expected, "The low bid is sacred, unless you want to throw a massive pile of taxpayer money at proving that the low bidder is incompetent or fraudulent, and it's expensive, and tough to do".  Strange way to do business, IMHO.

Capt j-rod

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #47 on: July 18, 2017, 08:14:13 PM »
I always suggest you get multiple quotes then add them together and divide by the number of quotes you received thus getting the average. Award the job to the closest bid. Anything really low needs a reason. I just poured a 30x40 pad 6" thick, 6 1/2 sack... I did all the prep, stone, and form work. $1000 in stone, $2600 concrete (20 yards), $150 in sealer/cure, I sawed it, $1500 labor. about $1000 in equipment rental.... $7000ish after forms, pins etc.... Your $10k probably isn't as far off as you think with any crazy slopes or figures. $14k seems about 2-4K high. FWIW I'm in north central Ohio.

GuitarBrian

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #48 on: July 18, 2017, 09:54:03 PM »
I have had a lot of good experiences with posting gig ads on Craigslist.
I posted an ad for my dad. Had lots of people call me, go over it and give me quotes. The serious ones I called back, and they came out to look. Picked a guy and it went great.
Dad put in a patio that he uses to work on cars. 20'x40' 4"-6" deep. Framing and labor was $700. He bought the concrete. Used 11 yards. First 10 yds was $110/yd with mirco fibers? (might be micro balloons? Or something else added for strength) they needed one more yard so that was $110 plus a $100 short load fee.
3 guys got it done in less than a half day.
$2,010 Total.

Fishindude

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #49 on: July 19, 2017, 07:22:02 AM »
Most insurance adjusters require multiple quotes.  I wouldn't say three bids "originated" in the public sector.

Not true.
We've done numerous insurance projects that were simply negotiated.  My former firm is doing a $3 mil tornado damage repair presently.
If an insurance company is looking for bids and low price, we usually walk away, because there won't be enough money left in the job to do them a good job.