Tell me about colored concrete, stamping, etc.

chisueJanuary 14, 2012

I remember some people here used stained concrete in their builds. I'm considering that for a patio replacement. If you have time, please read my post on the "Porches and Decks" forum to clue me in about any downsides and costs.

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Our former patio was cut on a 4x4 diagonal and we stained it with product from Direct Colors. It is truly DIY and very easy. Their website is

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 3:01AM
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Chisue: we have stained/stamped concrete on our front porch, steps, and sidewalk. We get lots of compliments on it, so that's a positive. On the negative side, it has to be sealed every year and sometimes chairs don't sit level. It tends to be difficult to sweep it, but that's a minor inconvenience. This picture shows the same pattern and color of our porch. Sorry I don't remember the cost.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 9:28AM
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Thanks to you both.

Motherof3 -- I need this done FOR me, but that is a nice site.

Joyce -- I hadn't thought that it would be a rough 'smooth' a choice? I didn't know it would need sealing every year either! I'm beginning to see why some people do tile.

The contractor's quote seems high to me: $10K for 240 sq ft, five inches thick, with rebar. He has to remove 120 sq ft of 2 X 10 slabs, but rough labor is cheap here on Maui.

We also want to do the same thing on a courtyard that's 11 X 12 -- currently has some rough concrete 'rocks'. This is to be $5K.

I have NO idea how much it costs to lay concrete, which is why I'm asking for any general ideas on the forum.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 4:15PM
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Concrete in Hawaii? I'm thinking the price seems about right.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 4:44PM
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Chisue--we were quoted $12.00sq ft for stamped & stained.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 5:00PM
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kirkhall -- May I ask why you think 'the price is right' for Hawaii? I know we strew the grocery store aisles with money here, but I have no idea of construction costs. There's almost NO new construction on Maui right now either. I'd like to provide jobs, but not be a patsy.

mydreamhome -- May I ask where this was -- in general? And how much depth? At $12/sq ft, my lanai would be about $3K plus removal costs.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 9:35PM
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Hi chisue-If I remember right it was 5" deep. What I found interesting was it didn't matter if we just stamped or just stained or did both, the price was the same. We are in central NC. Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 8:43AM
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Stamped concrete is finished with a roller, and finishes faster than typical broom finish flatwork. However in my locale, stamped concrete is also a premium that costs ~3x the price of broom finished concrete => go figure. It costs less to finish, so the subcontractor charges 3x as much. $12/sf is not out of line with comparable subs in this area, but it is way out of line compared to traditional flatwork.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 11:57AM
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kcmo_ken is right---the broom finish they did for us was $4.00sq ft. Funny how that works, huh?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 2:37PM
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My flatwork sub will tell you that stamped is a premium product, and you pay a premium price for a premium product. And he smiles when he says it ;-). I bet he smiles all the way to the bank.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 2:41PM
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Sophie Wheeler

For any island location where the raw materials have to be brought in by boat, plan to at least double the price of any project compared to the mainland. That would be around 6K and then add in the removal costs, which will depend on the depth and location of the slab to be removed as well as any local regulations concerning concrete waste. Say 2K ballpark. You are at 8K. If any local regulations prohibit the working hours specifically, the site is difficult to access, the parking is difficult and not on site, or there are prohibitive permitting processes, that's your other 2K right there.

The only way to know if the quote is in the right ballpark is to get more quotes.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 4:32PM
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She's in Maui not Gilligans island. Hawaii has plenty of batch plants.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 7:25PM
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Oh, woe is me! I'm feeling like an 'easy mark'. We are owners among other mostly Senior owners in a nice, but not plush, 310-unit complex on 23 acres: Maui Kamaole. These are primarily vacation rental condos with current market between $500K and $1M. (We're smallest.)

The contractor can park on the internal access road 50 feet from the lanai to do the 14 X 17 X 5" pour if he uses a concrete pump fed through or over a low hedge. Removal of 120 sq ft of old 2 X 10 slabs would have to go to the end of the hedge via wheelbarrows -- maybe 150 ft. I don't know about disposal costs, but there are no building permits required.

The contractor can park 10 feet from the courtyard gate to remove the concrete blocks there and pour 11 X 12 X 5". We may not do the walled courtyard. It exists primarily as a buffer between the condo BR and parking. There are about 300 random-shaped concrete blocks. I suppose they could be re-purposed. (I don't suppose they could be poured *over* to create a smooth, level surface? It's not as though we have freezing temps here.)

My only similar cost comparison is the $8K we spent to tile the interior of our condo 11 years ago: 830 sq ft, laid on the diagonal w/tile 'baseboard'. The material was $3200 of that.

I don't have a formal proposal yet. I'm hoping his $10K 'ballpark' for the lanai was intended to create a price from which he'll discount! I'm willing to pay somewhat more for a recommended contractor here, where there is a lot of fly-by-night, but...what would YOU pay?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 3:20PM
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I'd take a vacation and get in some exercise with a sledgehammer or see what a day laborer would charge. While I was taking break from the removal, I'd be on the phone with the local plants to find the best price for the concrete. You end up paying a small batch premium and another $500 at least for a pump, but that's better than wheelbarrowing if you don't have multiple wheelbarrows and a young back.

Doing a form on a relatively flat and level surface is easy peasy and call the truck. A rented bull float and joint cutter and an old straw broom and you're done. It won't be a fancy design, but it can be DIY stained with acid stains after it sets up if you want some color.

And you just saved about $8500.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 4:59PM
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Thanks, live_wire_oak. That's VERY useful information.

Looks like there is a LOT of profit in this quote, eh? DH and I are both Seniors, and I have asthma. Maybe you wanna vacation on Maui later this year and do it? LOL

The labor wouldn't seem to be pricey. There is almost zero construction here now. Interestingly, $500 is exactly what the contractor mentioned for the pump!

Prices ARE higher here. Food is about 20% more, and you can buy a teeny house on a teeny lot if you have $1M. Electricity rates are astounding; we've paid over $400 for the A/C on 850 sq ft that was rented only part of a month.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 10:15PM
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You would bring in a pump for a project that small? Around here it is 3-4 hours minimum, plus drive time. I would rent a Georgia Buggy from the local rental yard, move that concrete around semi-manually and save some serious pump cost. Concrete pumps only show up on big projects, ICF, or completely inaccessible.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 3:49PM
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Update: We are talking with someone who will do the colored concrete work for $3500. He will demo existing slabs, cap sprinkler heads, form new slab to tie into building with rebar, use SS mesh, broom finish. Stamping is extra.

He says he wouldn't roll and stain -- too slippery for a lanai. Couldn't you stain rough finish? I don't want a mono-color orange *slab*. (Looking for somthing that will tie in with 13" 'Maui Dirt' tiles on the interior.)

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 6:45PM
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