Ways to Control the Cost of Your Decorative Concrete Patio or Driveway

One benefit of decorative concrete is that it comes in various designs, which costs different amounts. So you have the freedom to adapt the paving to what you can afford. Read on to discover more.


You can control costs when installing decorative concrete with your colour choices. For example, you could choose a simple colour palette of one or two hues to keep costs down. Also, colour can be applied in different ways, and some are more labour-intensive than others, which will add to installation costs. Integrally coloured concrete has pigments blended with the cement before pouring. Other treatments, such as colour hardeners and stains, are applied to the laid concrete in sections. So they're more labour-intensive to apply. Some designs that mimic natural stone require multiple colours and stains that are applied in layers, so they're relatively complex and more expensive. Ask a concrete services company for their suggestions.


The textures of decorative concrete vary in price as well. Brushed concrete features gentle linear patterns created with a broom. Stamped concrete is more labour intensive, and various moulds are needed. The contractors manually press the stamps across the surface, which can be time-consuming on a large patio or driveway. Mixing patterns will increase the cost and complexity.

You can reduce the price, though, by combining sections of stamped with plain concrete. The contrast will also give a pleasing look to the paving. You could simply create a border of stamped concrete and leave the middle section of a driveway plain. Other decorative concrete texture options include a salt rock finish and exposed aggregate.

Existing Concrete

Another way to save money with decorative concrete is to work on existing concrete and enhance it instead of laying a new slab. Whether this is possible, though, will depend on the condition of your patio or driveway. Some colour options, such as stains, can be applied to set concrete. The contractors will wash and prepare the concrete first, removing built-up dirt.

You have texture options also, as set concrete can be cut into shapes. Another possibility may be an overlay. This is a thin layer of cement that you pour over an existing slab. An overlay helps reduce costs, as you won't have to pay to demolish the current slab and build a new subbase. Plus, you won't need to dispose of the broken-up concrete. An overlay requires less cement than pouring a whole slab, so your material costs will be less.

For more information, contact a concrete company near you.