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Concrete Removal Cost

How Much Does Concrete Removal Cost?

low costLow: DIY 0-$500average costMedium: Handyman $500-$900high costHigh: Heavy Equipment $250-$4,000+
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An otherwise desirable house for sale may have too much concrete covering the ground in the form of patios, driveways or walkways. Or someone may want to turn that extra expanse of concrete into lawn or garden. Removing reinforced concrete -- embedded with steel mesh, rebar or other metal rods -- generally requires the use of heavy machinery, but unreinforced concrete can be relatively easy to break into manageable pieces.

Typical costs:

  • Unreinforced concrete can be removed with a prybar and sledgehammer; with power tools such as an electric jackhammer and/or a concrete saw; or heavy equipment such as a backhoe or mini-excavator (sometimes called a skid-steer or bobcat) with a breaker attachment. Do-it-yourself costs can be zero or $50-$500 or more depending on how much time the project takes; whether equipment needs to to bought or rented; local recycling/dump fees; the size of the area being removed and whether it's attached to something that must be preserved; and the thickness of the concrete. Prices vary, but renting an electric jackhammer can be about $50-$100 a day; a concrete saw about $30-$50 (with possibly $50-$150 more for wear on a diamond-tipped blade); and a small skid-steer with a breaker attachment can be $150-$350 a day. Three friends[1] broke a 9x22-foot concrete patio (about 6 inches thick) into manageable chunks in about two hours using a rented jackhammer.
  • The biggest part of a do-it-yourself removal job will be hauling away and disposing of the debris. In some parts of the country recycling fees for concrete are relatively low, but in other areas dump/disposal costs can be $300-$800 or more for the concrete from a typical two-car driveway.
  • For small jobs removing unreinforced concrete (no rebar) you can often hire a local day laborer or handyman to manually break up and haul away the concrete for $100-$400 for a small area such as a patio or $500-$900 for a 500-600 square foot (unreinforced) driveway.
  • Contractors' prices for 2-4 hours with heavy equipment removing a small area of concrete (such as a 8x10-foot patio 4-8 inches thick) start around $250-$550 and go up. Removing an average driveway is $1,000-$2,500 and up, particularly if it's reinforced concrete. Prices vary considerably by region.
  • Concrete foundation removal can run $600-$4,000 or more for a simple slab, and $1,500-$5,000 or more for a typical home basement.
Related articles: Debris Removal, Dumpster, Asphalt Removal, Foundation Demolition

What should be included:
  • At least two business days before doing any digging, call 811 (the free national Call Before You Dig service) to have utility companies mark any underground lines on your property. And check with your local planning department -- many require a demolition permit and/or inspections, depending on the size and nature of the concrete removal project.
  • provides a detailed overview[2] . gives tips for using a rented skid-steer or concrete saw, and a video[3] shows the use of a mini-excavator to remove a concrete sidewalk.
  • A heavy equipment operator can usually remove a typical concrete driveway in about 5-8 hours, depending on the thickness, whether it's reinforced and ease of access. If included in the contract, the contractor may add a layer of topsoil and grade (level) the site.
Additional costs:
  • If required, a demolition permit often costs only $15-$50, but can be much more in some areas.
  • Some concrete supply companies accept broken-up concrete for free or for a small fee, then grind it up and reuse it, and Some contractors use broken-up concrete as fill for other projects.
Shopping for concrete removal:
  • Removal work can be done by day laborers or a local handyman. For larger or more complex projects requiring heavy machinery, paving companies often also do removal. Referrals are available through the National Pavement Contractors Association and the National Demolition Association[4] .
  • Get several estimates. Ask about specific experience with this type of project. The estimator/contractor should walk the site with you, discussing any potential problems with access, underground utility lines or final grading/drainage. Be sure you understand exactly what's included in each estimate, such as how the area will be left when the work is done. Ask for and check references.
  • Make sure the company is properly insured, bonded and licensed[5] (demolition licensing requirements vary by state). Check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau[6] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Our quote
Amount: $4,000.00
Posted by: tiChris in San Jose, CA.Posted: January 4th, 2011 03:01AM
Sq. Ft. Removed: 1360Method: Jack Hammer & pump
We got our pool resurfaced with pavers (involved removing some old ~4" thick concrete around the pool. The average bid was around 3$/sqr foot.
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