Average Cost to Raise and Level Concrete
The greatest advantage to raising and leveling concrete compared to replacement is cost. While the price for each job varies, a good rule of thumb is that raising and leveling concrete is usually around 50%-80% less than replacement! So in example a typical $4,000 concrete driveway replacement may cost around $800 – $2,000 to raise and level.
The size of the slab and the amount needed to be lifted are the main factors that determine price. Since there are fixed costs to each job no matter how big it is, such as travel and set-up, larger projects will cost less per square foot than smaller ones. A single section of sidewalk may cost $250-$450 to raise. Whereas that same section may only cost $60 if it’s completed with 10 other sections. Also, the location of the raising project can affect what you pay. You may pay less if you are closer to the contractors shop or other jobs they have. Finally, the difficulty of the job will impact the price. Slabs that are hard to reach or have many cracks will take longer and cost more.
What to Consider When Comparing Concrete Leveling Quotes
Be skeptical of contractors who don’t specify the type of material they will be injecting below the concrete or are very vague about it. Materials such as sand, cement, and limestone will reduce the cost of the job but the repair may not last long. Ensure that only geotechnical polyurethane specifically engineered for raising concrete is being used. Anyone who tries to sell anything else and claims it’s the best is either misinformed or being dishonest. Read more about why polyurethane is the best here: polyurethane vs mudjacking
Overage Fees and Price per Pound
Some concrete leveling companies will charge additional fees if the project requires more polyurethane than what was estimated. There is nothing wrong with this practice assuming the company was realistic with the original estimate and the additional fees are fair. Unfortunately that’s not always the case and some companies attract customers with low estimates and later charge excessive amounts based on “extra material” that was needed. A $600 patio leveling project can turn into a $900 project to complete.
Its can be tempting to save a few bucks and go with the lowest quote on a concrete leveling project. However, if the company doing the work only offers a 1-2 year warranty or no warranty at all, those saving will be short lived if the work will need to be redone a few years later. Make sure to read and understand the terms and conditions of the warranty to ensure your investment will last.
Crack & Joint Repairs
To prevent your concrete for settling again, the cracks and gaps around the raised sections need to be sealed with a high quality sealant. Crack and Joint repair is typically not included as part of the standard raising process. Never assume its part of the job. If its not listed, its most likely not included. Learn more about crack and joint repair.
Why is raising concrete so much cheaper than replacing it?
- Time: The biggest reason replacement cost more than raising is the amount of time it takes to remove and replace concrete. A typical replacement of a driveway requires a minimum of four visits. First to give the estimate, second to demo and set forms, third to pour and finish the concrete and finally fourth to remove forms and clean site. This is really true for any concrete project. Also, travel time, set-up and clean-up is the same for a small sidewalk or large driveway. Where as raising and lifting concrete, whether its mudjacking or polylifting will usually just take two visits – the estimate and the work.
- Material: Concrete contractors are charged a minimum load fee when they are not ordering more than a certain amount of concrete. So replacing a small section of concrete will include those fees. Concrete raising material on the other hand is not perishable and is brought to the job site by the raising contractor. No minimum order fees and no waste is generated.
- Labor: Concrete construction is heavy work and requires skilled labor. These professionals are paid well for their skills. Also, pouring concrete is never a one or two man job. It takes a good crew to do it right. Raising concrete can done with two and sometimes even one person.
How To Save Money On Your Concrete Raising Work
Like all thing is life, you get what you pay for when it comes to home repair. Be skeptical of very low estimates. Good work is not cheap and a professional concrete raising contractor with a solid track record, skilled employees, high quality materials and the proper insurance will usually not be the lowest price in town. With that being said, there are ways to save money on your next concrete raising and lifting project. The easiest way is to try to get work done together with your neighbors. Contractors love not having to travel to the next job and they may offer a group discount. Also, if you only have a small section to be raised, you may want to include other sunken sections around your home. Lastly, being flexible with when you need it done may help with getting a lower rate.