Most Expensive Concrete Projects for Homeowners

Concrete is one of the most common building materials used around the world.  Mostly known for its durability as a construction material and its relatively low cost, it is often the first choice for homeowners when they think about improvement projects.

However, beyond the plain concrete for basic applications, concrete can become a costly material for certain projects that require more skillful installation or planning.

Decorative concrete projects

Any time you apply more advanced design techniques to building material, the cost increases.  That’s why, while the allure of decorative concrete is strong, it may be worth understanding how it fits into your budget.  As the decorative concrete industry continues to innovate and improve, homeowners are looking to incorporate the latest design trends into their backyard projects.  With decorative concrete, the more intricate, the more costly it will be.

In fact, you’ll pay at least $10-15 more per square foot for a more detailed project such as one that has multiple colors and requires some hand painting.  Think concrete designs made to look like pavers or concrete designs that have hand-painted rosettes of various colors.

Keep in mind, though, that decorative concrete designs can mimic more expensive options such as pavers or wood plank floors.  Pavers cost more because they are much more labor-intensive to install since each paver has to be placed individually. Decorative concrete designed to look like pavers is a good money-saving option for those wanting a more high-end look at a lower price point.

Concrete Columns

Building concrete columns, whether they be for a large commercial project or a residential project, requires careful planning and preparation.  Load bearing columns require careful measurement and planning in order to build them with the proper reinforcement.  Due to the extra materials and intricate work involved, the cost of concrete columns is more expensive than most other concrete projects.

According to the website constructor.org, concrete columns are considered “the major elements in reinforced concrete structures”. In fact, most of the stability and strength of the structure depends on the construction of columns.  If a structure is more than one story, columns help to distribute and translate weight loads to the foundation, which, of course, helps to render the building structurally sound.

Foundations

Concrete foundations are expensive. Yes.  Concrete foundation repair is also quite expensive.  Not only do they require a licensed contractor and engineer but they also require quality materials and are labor-intensive.

Foundations for your home, or any building, are an essential part of the structural soundness of the building.  If the foundation is built in a negligent manner, then it puts the entire structure at risk.

Most people think of concrete slabs when they think of foundations. But a foundation can take on many forms.  The four most common are made using one of the following four techniques: concrete slabs, concrete blocks, crawl space foundation or pier and beam.

Concrete slabs and concrete blocks can be used interchangeably, depending on the price of each material in the location where the building will be built.  When price is not a factor, most contractors prefer to pour a concrete slab foundation because it requires less labor, which helps to offset costs.

A crawl space foundation is used when there is a need to protect the home or structure from flooding. However, there is another big advantage to having a raised foundation; easy access to utilities, ductwork and electrical wiring.  It can also be an advantage if there is a need to make any upgrades in the future because these items will be easy to access.

Lastly, a pier and beam foundation also is used in circumstances where the home or building needs to be lifted off the ground.  However, this type of foundation is usually used when the home or building is along a ledge or built on rocky ground where a more uniform footing cannot be added.

Building a foundation involves multiple components which contribute to the longevity of the foundation work.  From prepping the soil, leveling, adding the mesh or rebar to the concrete, to  drainage, and finishing of the foundation, it all must be done with attention to detail and with precision, making it one of the most concrete projects.

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