Stamped concrete question

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Old 10-04-13, 06:44 AM
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Stamped concrete question

I'm planning on having my existing concrete driveway replaced with a new concrete drive (traditional broom finish) and adding a 48" wide x 20' long stamped concrete walkway on the right side (ashlar pattern). The estimator said that because the job will be one pour, that the coloring powder they spread on the stamped walkway will blow over onto the driveway and stain it. He said there is no way to prevent this, other than installing the walkway at a later date, which he said would add $2,500 to the cost (because they would have to get another concrete truck--sounds like BS)! I find it hard to believe that there isn't some way to shield/protect the driveway while they are spreading the powder. He also said that with the ashlar pattern, there is no way to butt the pattern up against the driveway. I believe his reason was because the stamps are rectangular shaped and/or because they would have to roll the pattern up to the edge and wouldn't be able to get closer than a couple inches to the driveway. I have a hard time believing that there a) isn't some way to protect the driveway while coloring the walkway (plastic sheathing?) and b) that the pattern I chose (ashlar) can't somehow be butted directly against the broom finished driveway. Can someone with expertise in this area or a homeowner with similar project chime in with their experience?
 
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Old 10-04-13, 09:49 AM
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How experienced is that installer with stamping concrete? It sounds like they don't really want to do the stamping. A simple search of the web shows a lot of photos of that pattern ending or being bordered by curved and straight edges. Seriously, how many pours could you ever do without having to run into a straight line like a driveway's edge or steps? There are even stamps that have two straight edges so you can start the pattern up next to things like steps or driveways.



As for the color powder getting on the driveway I have seen installers use sheets of plywood, plastic & tarps to protect the other concrete. I've also seen them time the pour so it's not an issue if the truck has access. They poured the area to be stamped first then went onto another area away from the stamped section and work their way back to the stamped so the concrete near the stamped has not been poured when they spread the dye. I'm sure there are many situations where it would not work but it does not even require shielding to contain the dye.
 
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Old 10-04-13, 12:47 PM
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Exactly my thought, why can't they pour the walkway first then stamp it and color it while they pour the rest of the driveway starting from the opposite side. Granted we're only talking about a 20' x 18' driveway, but I have to imagine it can be done. I believe he said the issue isn't accidentally getting the powder on the newly poured driveway, but that the wind could carry some of it onto the driveway before it drys. The contractor said that they would pour and float everything, then broom finish the driveway and stamp the walkway all at the same time.

Regarding the stamps, it sounds like there are different shapes available, and the kind that they have are more or less rectangular. From the sounds of it, they are pretty large. I guess I either need to choose a different pattern that is more conducive to my design or find another company that has smaller stamps. Regardless, I would think they could pour the entire driveway and walkway, then cover only the driveway with sheathing and then color and stamp the walkway, then broom finish the driveway.

This is a big concern and making me have second thoughts about this project. Maybe I should get one company to pour the driveway and the other to come in a couple weeks and do the walkway. Except then I would have a 1/2" expansion joint between the driveway and walkway, which I guess isn't that big a deal. But I'm looking online and I can find several examples of newly poured driveways with stamped borders that go right up to the edge and are a different color and they look great. What the hell?
 

Last edited by mossman; 10-04-13 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 10-04-13, 01:35 PM
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I would talk to another contractor, I've seen driveways that look like what I think you want many times.
 

Last edited by stickshift; 10-04-13 at 02:30 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-04-13, 01:51 PM
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If you do go ahead with the stamping pick a color that will still look good with fading and be careful with any sealers you use on it. A local body shop had stamped concrete installed in front of their business and sealed it (apparently with the wrong stuff). It was like ice when wet and they had some customers fall and cars would gently slide to a stop.
 
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Old 10-05-13, 06:31 PM
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Think I'll maybe just get the driveway poured and use pavers for the walkway. That way I don't have to worry about the color bleeding over and having a potentially slick and dangerous walkway. Any clue how much more a walkway done in pavers will cost (per sq ft)? FYI, the price per sq ft for just the driveway was quoted at $10 per sq ft by the second contractor. Seems a bit high. I have a hard time accepting that a 375 sq ft square driveway costs $3,750.
 
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Old 10-06-13, 04:54 AM
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I simply don't understand why they can't pour the driveway, overlay or tent barrier it with plastic for the duration of the sidewalk pour and stain, then remove the plastic. I'd still have an expansion joint between the two.
 
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Old 10-06-13, 09:11 PM
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Around here, $10/SF is a bargain. And unheard of, if that number includes removal and hauling away the old concrete.
 
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Old 10-07-13, 11:27 AM
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12 years ago I could have had a concrete driveway installed for $6/ft² with no existing material in place requiring removal. $10/ft² sounds likes a pretty good price to me.
 
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Old 10-07-13, 12:59 PM
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First estimate came in at $10 sq ft and the second came in at $12 sq ft, tear out and haul away included. It's such a simple driveway that I have a hard time envisioning looking out my window and thinking I paid almost five grand for a square concrete slab with a broom finish.

Apparently this online estimator is WAY off: Cost to Install Concrete Driveway - 2013 Cost Calculator (ZipCode based) (would be about $1,400 for my 375 sq ft driveway).

What exactly is driving up the cost? Is it because it is only 375 sq ft? Because they can get away with it? Both? If my (tiny) driveway was twice the size, it would be over $10,000 to replace it. That's outrageous. As far as I know, concrete isn't petroleum based, so that can't be the reason.
 

Last edited by mossman; 10-07-13 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 10-07-13, 02:42 PM
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My parents had their driveway replace a few years ago. Best estimate off the top of my head is 1200 ft² and it was well over $10K.
 
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Old 10-07-13, 07:40 PM
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Actually, all of the ingredients in a typical concrete mix are very much "petroleum-based." The rotary kilns used to produce Portland cement are almost always gas-fired while consuming huge amounts of energy, and all of the equipment, starting at the cement manufacturer, batch plant and aggregate supplier (including the ready-mix truck that delivers it to your location) burn lots of diesel fuel.

Since you're obviously unhappy with the estimated costs to have someone pour your driveway, why not consider doing it yourself? Using a 4" average thickness and allowing a small amount for waste, you'll need just 5 C.Y. of concrete, and the going rate for a decent 6-sack mix (delivered) in most parts of the country is usually less than $120 per C.Y. To take out the old slab, you could rent a 90-lb. electric concrete breaker for less than a few hundred $$$, and spend a few hundred more on forms and miscellaneous materials. All for a grand total of less than $1000, which works out to about $2.67 per S.F.
 
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Old 10-08-13, 07:46 AM
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Exactly my mindset. Being a DIY-er, I know I can save quite a bit doing things myself. However, I don't have the time or ambition to tackle a driveway at this point in my life. Now tearing it out may be doable, but not unless the savings are significant. Doesn't hurt to ask, except the contractors I've already talked to probably won't budge much on the price. I'll probably have to contact a third and tell him off the bat that I will be doing the tear out.
 

Last edited by mossman; 10-08-13 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 10-08-13, 08:47 AM
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First contractor got back to me and said I can save $1,200 if I do the tear out and haul away.
 
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Old 10-08-13, 08:56 AM
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Maybe I was doing it wrong but holding an electric jackhammer was no fun for just a small demo job. For an entire driveway I'd want something diesel powered with a seat. Rental would be much more expensive than a jackhammer but it's quite likely you could do the demo in one day. The big issue would be transportation of the equipment.


 
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Old 10-08-13, 09:58 AM
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I agree, a little much for a jack hammer. I would definitely want to rent a Bobcat. I have a truck and a trailer so transportation isn't an issue. Beginning to seem like it's more trouble than it's worth though. Maybe if I was single and unemployed...
 
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Old 10-08-13, 11:32 AM
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Demolition is only part of the problem. What to do with the removed concrete can be just as big an issue.
 
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Old 10-08-13, 01:04 PM
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Since cost seems to be the OP's main concern, the electric jackhammer rental is the only way to go. Probably costing only a small fraction of what a motorized piece of equipment will rent for. The last time I rented a 90-pounder (about 10 years ago), it took less than half a day to break up a total of about 240 S.F. The trick to using one correctly is always "aim for the perimeter," giving the broken chunks a place to move to as they're being separated from the mass. Getting rid of them should also present no problems--a free ad in CL, calling them "decorative patio stones, first come, first served", will have people rushing out to retrieve them.
 
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