How much does it cost to repair a sidewalk?
Many urban homeowners are astounded to learn that the sidewalk in front of the home is actually their responsibility. There are some areas in which residents pay specific taxes to ensure that they are not liable for these repairs, but it pays to determine whether this is the case or not. Additionally, millions of homes have walkways and sidewalks surrounding the structure, and these too will often need repair. Is such work a DIY project? It is important to understand that most sidewalk repair actually calls for the removal of the pre-existing concrete and a replacement of it with newly poured materials. Unless the homeowner has the specialized saw blades and tools necessary for safely tackling such a heavy-duty process, it is best done by a qualified professional. For the purpose of this discussion we will review the costs and requirements for a sidewalk repair measuring 5'x50', and which will be done by a professional contractor.
Standard costs associated with this work include:
- Hiring the professional - although concrete sells by the cubic yard, a contractor will need to be compensated for labor as well as materials, and machinery usage too. This means that the average $75 per cubic yard of poured concrete will not apply to a sidewalk repair job. Generally, it is reasonable to expect to pay around $9 per square foot for sidewalk repair. This means that the 250 square foot project discussed here would average around $2250 to complete, though prices could climb quickly if there were additional issues required. For example, if the large roots of a tree had disturbed the pavement the homeowner would have to pay additional fees for the tending of the roots and the management of the tree in addition to the concrete repairs; and
- Additional materials - in addition to the removal of the pre-existing concrete and the pouring of new materials, some jobs might also increase in cost due to the need for the reinforcement of the base as well. For example, there may need to be a reinforcing base of gravel or steel mesh 1 put into position in order to delay the problem from occurring again.
- Curbing - if your sidewalk has curbing in place the costs for tearing this up and replacing or repairing it may dramatically increase the total price of the job. For example, granite curbing along the edge of a roadway will cost around $24 per linear foot (installed) as opposed to cast concrete varieties that run at $27 per linear foot (installed). Clearly it will pay to shop around for the best pricing and choices, but it is best to consider the installation of curbing while the contractor is on site and working on the sidewalks;
- Looking at additional cracks and patching - while a contractor is making a larger repair it is also a good idea to ask them about patching, sanding 2, or repairing any other areas that do not need full replacement. This may prevent a much costlier repair in the near future and may help to prevent potential damage at a later date.
Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet
Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Steel mesh
: Material made of interlaced steel bars or wire, welded together, used to reinforce concrete
: Process of removing the top surface of a material, such as wood, using sandpaper and/or a specialized sanding machine (for large surface areas)
Cost to repair a sidewalk varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.