Concrete Removal Cost

In this guide

Types
Labor
Repair vs. removal
Enhancements
Additional Considerations

How much does it cost to remove concrete?

Made of a mixture of Portland cement, aggregate, and water, concrete slabs, floors, and foundations are built to last. Over time, however, they may settle, crack, or develop holes that can’t be fixed any longer. When this happens, the best thing to do is to remove the old concrete and pour some fresh. Whether you need a new garage floor, a new driveway, or you’re getting rid of an old in-ground pool, the method of concrete removal is generally the same.

The size and location of the concrete you are removing is the single biggest factor driving the cost of the job. The larger the amount of concrete, the more expensive the job will be. Final costs will also be impacted by whether or not the concrete can be recycled, and whether you will need to pay disposal fees. On average, removing unreinforced concrete in a two-car driveway costs $1,500-$2,500.

Types

The mixture of concrete you’re removing can vary slightly from job to job. There are two basic types of concrete, however, which are generally used for driveways, sidewalks, foundations, and other areas in and around your property:

  • Reinforced concrete uses steel rebars 1 set into the concrete to strengthen it. This type of concrete often needs to be lifted up in larger pieces, often by machine such as a hydraulic lifter, simply because it’s more difficult to break up. This type of concrete is also less likely to be recycled, resulting in higher disposal fees, because a small patio can weigh up to 5,000 pounds. A 200 square foot patio will run around $600 plus removal fees, which can add as much as $2,000 to your total costs for a total of $2,600.
  • Unreinforced concrete is easier to remove, as well as lighter and easier to dispose of. 1.5-inches of concrete weighs roughly 18 pounds per square foot, and costs roughly $400 to remove using jack hammers and a hydraulic lift. If the material can be recycled, disposal fees are usually minimal, but if disposal is necessary, it can cost another $500 to $600 in fees.

Labor

The vast majority of concrete removal services will price per job. The most common jobs include:

  • Removing a patio at roughly $400 to $600, assuming 200 square feet of unreinforced concrete, this job will take roughly two to three hours. Reinforced concrete removal will cost $600 to $800, and take roughly three to four hours.
  • Removing a 2 car driveway at roughly $1,500 to $2,500, assuming the concrete is unreinforced, this job will take 4 to 6 hours. Reinforced concrete will cost $2,500 to $3,500 and will take roughly six to eight hours.
  • Removing a foundation at roughly $2,000 to $5,000, assuming the concrete is unreinforced, this job will take roughly eight to 10 hours. Reinforced concrete removal costs start at $5,000 and can take up to 14 hours.

Repair vs. removal

There are times when your concrete patio, floor, or driveway may be in rough shape, yet still repairable, which can save you hundreds of dollars in removal fees. The basic rule of thumb is that if your concrete has thin cracks or sunken areas, it can be repaired and still maintain its structural integrity. Patching concrete costs roughly $3 to $5 a sq.ft. However, if your concrete has frost heaves, large cracks, holes or settled areas, you should consider removing it and pouring a new slab.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Debris removal

Most concrete removal services will include some level of debris removal. In most cases, the cost of transporting the material is included in the cost of removing it. However, for some larger jobs you may need to rent a dumpster at a cost of $530. You may also need to pay disposal fees of roughly $500 to $2,000 or more if recycling is not available in your area or you have a type of reinforced concrete that cannot be recycled.

Additional considerations and costs

Utility lines

Depending on the location of the concrete you are having removed, you may need to have your utility company come out and mark the location of any lines or pipes before getting started. Driveways and sidewalks in particular may need to be marked to avoid a dangerous situation.

Demolition permits

In some areas you may need to obtain a permit prior to removing the concrete from your property. Pay a visit to your town or city hall to find out if a permit is necessary and to file the required paperwork. If you are having new concrete poured after the old is removed, a building permit may take care of the demolition as well.

Transporting to recycling

In most cases the fees charged for concrete removal do include hauling the debris to a recycler. However, if you are breaking up old concrete yourself, or you are trying to save money, you may want to rent a truck to take the concrete there yourself. Keep in mind that the concrete may weigh 5,000 pounds or more, and that a minimum of a 1 ton truck will be required. This may be rented at places such as Home Depot for an hourly rate of roughly $35.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Rebars: A mesh or bar made of alloy, used in construction projects to reinforce concrete

Cost to remove concrete varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zipcode

Compared to national average
Arlington, TX
+6%
Athens, OH
-32%
Austin, TX
+13%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Baton Rouge, LA
+19%
Boston, MA
+40%
Brewton, AL
-40%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Concord, CA
+30%
Coventry, RI
+5%
Denton, TX
+17%
Denver, CO
+1%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Enfield, CT
+21%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Fremont, CA
+35%
Gardena, CA
+9%
Harlingen, TX
-33%
Hayward, CA
+31%
Hollywood, FL
0%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Inkster, MI
+16%
Iola, KS
-44%
Kansas City, KS
+16%
Katy, TX
+63%
Lacey, WA
-16%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Lee, FL
-60%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Mesa, AZ
-2%
Moreno Valley, CA
-6%
Nashville, TN
+21%
Oakland, CA
+36%
Omaha, NE
-10%
Orange, CA
+22%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Owatonna, MN
-6%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Pompano Beach, FL
+2%
Portland, OR
+11%
Salt Lake City, UT
-6%
San Antonio, TX
-4%

Labor cost in your zipcode

Methodology and sources