What to Know Before Making Sidewalk Repairs
It’s understandable that you may feel the urge to get this fixed on your own before a friend or neighbor gets hurt. But there are some steps to consider before jumping into this DIY project. First, it’s important to make sure that you are actually responsible for repairing the sidewalk, as some of this maintenance may fall on the local township or city government. Even if it’s not the city or town’s responsibility, many municipalities still have permitting requirements for anything that requires removal and replacement of concrete.
If it is, in fact, your responsibility, consider the potential cost based on square foot and the type of repair you plan to do. Total sidewalk removal and re-pouring concrete can cost more than fixing a crack but is sometimes worth it for aesthetics and safety.
Pro Tip: “If there is a nearby tree that caused the damage, check your city or town for any potential rebate programs,” says Matt DiBara, Expert Review Board member and owner of DiBara Masonry.
Sidewalk Repair Cost Breakdown
Type of Repair
The type of concrete repair you need and the specifications of the repair can dramatically influence the price. Filling a crack or hole with epoxy will be significantly cheaper than a full concrete repour (especially with the removal of the old sidewalk slabs). Concrete slab costs vary when you repair your sidewalk, with some additional options including:
The thickness of the sidewalk
The thickness of the edging
Local concrete and material costs
The cost of a sidewalk slab will vary based on square footage, ranging from $5 to $15 per square foot, and varying based on location and the contractor’s rates. Sidewalk projects can start at $600 and cost up to thousands of dollars depending on how many slabs of sidewalks need to be repaired.
On the other hand, if you are simply dealing with small cracks that need to be sealed, this may be a simple DIY job for as little as $5 to $100. This project involves filling holes, pitting, or cracks with an epoxy, and typically doesn’t call for a contractor’s help.
The breakdown of the costs you will pay to hire a contractor includes the contractor’s labor, any additional helpers they may need to bring along, the concrete itself, the equipment to remove the broken concrete, and the basic tools and materials to lay new concrete. In addition, if the walkway needs any coloring or design, that will result in additional tools, labor fees, and associated costs.
Don’t assume you can’t afford a job simply based on the square footage of your broken sidewalk, as the size of the space is not always the main driver for price. For example, a contractor with a minimum fee of $400 for one square of concrete replacement may do 10 squares total for $1,500, because they are already there with the equipment ready.
You can give your sidewalk or walkway a fancy upgrade during your repair or replacement by adding textures, colors, and designs at an additional cost. The following styles are available in order of least to most expensive. Stamped concrete typically costs between $8 and $28 (compared to $5 to $15 for standard).
Standard concrete, without designs or color added
Textured, stenciled, bordered
Engraves, scored and stained, or multiple patterns
More advanced techniques such as saw-cut designs
Concrete costs can vary by region and contractor. Here are just a few examples of prices in populous U.S. locations:
|Sacramento, CA||$1,400 – $2,500|
|Charlotte, NC||$1,800 – $2,100|
|Detroit, MI||$2,000 – $2,300|
|Des Moines, IA||$1,900 – $2,100|
|Boston, MA||$900 – $2,600|
Cost by Type of Sidewalk Repair
There are four common types of sidewalk repairs: crack and hole repair, sidewalk leveling, slab replacement and repouring, and design work.
DIY Sidewalk Crack and Hole Repairs
If you are looking to repair some cracks and holes in your sidewalk for under a few hundred dollars, your best bet is to purchase epoxy to fill the holes yourself. Typically applied with a caulk gun, included in most concrete repair kits, you might also find this option labeled as concrete repair sealant at your local hardware store. A small tube of this will run around $20. You may need just part of the tube or several tubes or kits depending on the extent of your needed repairs.
Professional Sidewalk Leveling
You know that piece of sidewalk that you always trip over on your evening walk? That can be fixed, often inexpensively and quickly. Slabjacking or mudjacking involves drilling one-inch holes, and pumping limestone into the holes to raise sunken concrete squares. Some contractors charge just $60 per square for this type of work but may have a minimum number of squares to start the job. Other contractors recommend just replacing the square, which is why it’s important to obtain multiple quotes and opinions before getting started.
Small Slabs of Sidewalk Replacement and Repouring
When it comes to tearing out sidewalks with major holes, large cracks, or uneven squares, repairs will vary based on the square footage of the space. For an average four by the 50-foot sidewalk, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000. If you are looking to complete larger jobs, your budget may need to exceed $3,000.
Additional Finishes Such as Stamping and Design Work
In addition to replacing broken and cracked concrete, you may also want to level up the look of your pathway or sidewalk to increase curb appeal by adding a finish. Stamping and design work can add $1 to $5 to your per square foot concrete cost but could potentially be worth it depending on the location of the walkway. A standard walkway in a neighborhood may not need any additional design, while a fancier walkway leading up to a patio might benefit from the stamped look.
DIY vs. Hiring a Pro
While it’s possible for an experienced homeowner to DIY minor concrete sidewalk repairs, like fixing small cracks or holes, it’s best to call a qualified professional to fix extensive damage. Concrete contractors have the skills, knowledge, and tools to identify problems that a typical homeowner may not be able to spot—and produce long-lasting results. This is especially true for complex repairs, like sidewalk leveling, repouring, and adding stamps or designs. Faulty concrete work need more repairs sooner rather than later.