Pavers cheaper than 4" of concrete?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by fool32696, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    I've been doing decorative concrete installations for almost a year now. Most of what we do is a knockdown texture in various patterns and colors starting at $2/foot. I had a customer that is looking to add a 400 sq ft patio that I did an estimate for today. I quoted about $4/foot for the concrete (excavation, forming, pumping, finishing, and providing 3000 pump mix with fiber) and just under $2 on the topping (we're pretty slow and can still make money on the job).

    I was shown a written estimate from a well known hardscaper that does good work pricing the same 400 sq ft at just over $5/ft. I'm fairly sure that my cousin does their taxes, I wonder if she could tell me what their margins are? I thought pavers were $3+ a ft just to purchase not counting labor and overhead. I really didn't think I'd be competing head to head with the paver guys. I thought that I could offer a cheaper option, we'll see how this one goes.
  2. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    Thats only 5 yards of concrete, what are you paying per yard? Here it's $105 per yard w/ fiberglass, and companies would charge around $400-600 for labor (forming & finishing). Not sure what topping goes for here as its not very popular yet. Just some prices here.
  3. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    Lowest quote I've got on 5.5 yds (going 5-6" around outside for strength) $610.00

    Pump (can't get to patio with truck) $220.00

    Need to remove 8" of soil to get on same grade as house with proper drainage. Excavation, form, and finish $820.00

    I think my price is very fair. I even quoted my contractor rate on the topping.
  4. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Posts: 4,347

    we start at 15 bucks a sq ft...
  5. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    Paver prices in Florida can be relatively low, depending on size & shape because so many folks are making them locally. Your base installation is Florida can be very cheap, especially in South Florida. No freeze or an occasional frost makes for little or no base when laying on coral sand. That stuff can compact tightly and with the proper edge restraint, paver walkways or patios have no movement, when properly interlocked. here in the northeast, we can get pavers for less than $2 per square foot, but proper base preparation is at least double that.

    Patterned concrete and basic paver installations are priced pretty closely in many areas, due to prep, labor costs and materials. More extensive base preparations and paver styles and patterns can greatly increase a paver installations cost. It's all relative to region and quality, or with this market, what people can afford to pay and what we can afford to work for.

  6. Elegant Outdoor Lighting

    Elegant Outdoor Lighting LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    Wow, we cant get that work done here for close to that price...If you could do that here, I'd have a ton of work for ya...

    but something to think about: if you ask your cousin to disclose her employers margins, you might be putting her in an uncomfortable position. A more ethical approach that everyone might be more comfortable with is to have her look at your margins and tell you, based on her experience, where you might be high or have room but bump it up. no one could be upset about this, if it all came out...

    just a thought
  7. JimmyStew

    JimmyStew LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 367

    If she does, make sure she isn't doing your books......
  8. Groomer

    Groomer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,421

    doesn't concrete always crack?
  9. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 946

    Here in southern Louisiana, the only guarantee that I will make for concrete is that, with time, it will eventually crack :hammerhead:

    Pavers, on the other hand, can be remedied using a small amount of mason's sand to fix any shifting that may occur with time...

    Provided that the client can afford it, I will always try to sell them pavers over concrete.

    And yes, here pavers are typically more than concrete, dependent upon the pattern, product used, etc.

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