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How Much Does Concrete Removal Cost?

Last Updated on May 13, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Eliminating old, damaged, or unneeded concrete is often required for construction projects, renovations, or site demolitions. Removing concrete allows for rebuilding updated structures, replacing worn surfaces, or reimagining outdoor layouts. However, concrete removal comes at a considerable expense.

This detailed guide examines all the cost factors to consider when planning a concrete removal project.

We’ll break down the typical costs based on square footage amounts, equipment and labor needs, permits, disposal fees, and more. We’ll also compare the costs of handling concrete removal with DIY or hired contractors. With the information provided here, you’ll be able to estimate your project costs and budget realistically. Understanding the full scope of expenses allows you to execute your concrete removal affordably and achieve the desired end results.

How Much Does Concrete Removal Cost?

Costs for concrete removal projects can range from $2 per square foot for small residential jobs up to $15 per square foot for extensive commercial demolition projects.

Concrete removal is utilized for residential, commercial, and municipal projects in varying scopes. Cost ranges for typical projects are:

Residential Settings

  • Driveways – $2-$6 per square foot
  • Sidewalks – $2-$5 per square foot
  • Patios – $3-$6 per square foot
  • Foundations – $4-$10 per square foot
  • Garages – $3-$7 per square foot

Total cost range:

  • Small 300 sq ft project – $1,500 -$3,000
  • Medium 500 sq ft project – $3,000 – $5,000
  • Large 800+ sq ft project – $5,000 – $10,000

Commercial Settings

  • Parking Lots – $4-$10 per square foot
  • Loading Docks – $5-$12 per square foot
  • Foundations – $6-$12 per square foot
  • Retaining Walls – $8-$15 per square foot

Total cost range:

  • Small 500 sq ft project – $5,000 – $10,000
  • Medium 800 sq ft project – $8,000 – $20,000
  • Large 1000+ sq ft project – $15,000 – $50,000+

Municipal settings like roadways and bridges often exceed $10 per square foot. As you can see, costs vary widely based on project scale and requirements.

According to Thumbtack the national average cost of concrete removal is $825, with an average cost range of $650-$1,090. The low-end cost is $295, while the high-end cost reaches $4,149.

According to Lawn Love, the average cost to remove concrete is $1,380, with a typical price range of $585-$2,790. Factors affecting cost include project size, accessibility, and type of concrete surface.

Concrete removal cost starts at about $1,500, according to Fire Dawgs Junk Removal, with information on concrete removal pricing in Indianapolis and national averages.

HomeGuide states that concrete removal costs range from $3 to $8 per square foot, with an average cost range of $300 to $800 for a 10’x10′ concrete slab removal. It provides a detailed breakdown of concrete removal costs based on project size, labor, disposal, accessibility, and other factors.

What Does Concrete Removal Mean?

Before looking at associated costs, let’s examine what concrete removal involves. The process consists of:

  • Initial preparation – surveying the site, isolating the workspace, gathering tools/equipment. For commercial projects, saw-cutting sections often simplifies removal.
  • Breaking up the concrete – this is done manually with sledgehammers and pneumatic jackhammers, and/or using heavy machinery like backhoes and hydraulic breakers for reinforced sections.
  • Moving and removing the broken concrete pieces – loaders or excavators move debris into trucks or dumpsters for offsite disposal.
  • Site cleanup – once the concrete is gone, the area is graded and leveled as needed.

Concrete removal allows for complete demolition of foundations, sidewalks, patios, pools, driveways, parking lots and other concrete structures. It is also used when partial removal is needed such as eliminating sections of damaged sidewalks or driveways.

Factors Impacting Concrete Removal Costs

Several important considerations influence the costs of concrete removal projects:

Size of the Project

The total square footage of concrete needing removal directly impacts total costs:

  • Small less than 500 sq ft – $2,000-$5,000
  • Medium 500-1000 sq ft – $5,000-$15,000
  • Large over 1000 sq ft – $10,000-$50,000+

Bigger projects require more time, equipment, disposal capacity, and overall labor.

Thickness and Reinforcement

Thicker slabs with rebar reinforcement are more challenging and time-consuming to break up and remove:

  • 4-inch non-reinforced slab – $3-$6 per sq ft
  • 6-inch reinforced slab – $6-$10 per sq ft
  • 12 inches+ thick reinforced – $10-$15 per sq ft


Difficult access for workers and equipment causes delays and issues maneuvering, increasing expenses.

Labor Crew Size

More workers yield faster turnaround, but increase hourly costs:

  • 2-3 workers – $50-$80 per hour
  • 4-5 workers – $80-$120 per hour
  • 6+ workers – $120-$150 per hour

Equipment Required

You might also like our articles about the cost of crushed concrete, concrete driveway, or concrete delivery.

Larger equipment costs more to rent but expedites demolition:

  • Hand tools only – $3-$5 per sq ft
  • Jackhammers – $5-$8 per sq ft
  • Excavators/loaders – $8-$12 per sq ft
  • Heavy machinery/drills – $10-$15+ per sq ft

Next we will break down overall costs in detail.

Detailed Cost Breakdown

Concrete removal proposals should provide an itemized breakdown of anticipated project costs:


Concrete RemovalBased on local rates and crew sizes needed:

  • Basic 2–3-person crew – $70-$100 per hour
  • Large 4–5-person crew – $100-$130 per hour
  • Heavy equipment crew – $120-$150 per hour

Equipment Rental

  • Jackhammer – $50-$150 per day
  • Excavator – $300-$500 per day
  • Dump truck – $100-$200 per day
  • Front loader – $250-$400 per day

Materials and Supplies

  • Fuel for machinery – $50-$150
  • Hand tools –$50-$300
  • Power tools – $50-$200
  • Safety gear – $100-$500

Concrete Disposal

  • Landfill fees – $50-$150 per truckload
  • Recycling center fees – $0-$50 per truckload


  • Demolition permits – $50-$500 depending on region

Additional Site Work

  • Site preparation and grading – $500-$2,000 as needed
  • Surveying and utility marking – $300-$1,000
  • Traffic control – $200-$2,000 for signage, cones

Accurate cost estimates help you budget and plan your project effectively.

DIY vs. Professional Concrete Removal

You have two options when it comes to tackling a concrete removal initiative:

DIY Concrete Removal

With rented demolition tools and some sweat equity, concrete removal can potentially be a DIY project. Considerations include:


  • Significant savings on labor costs
  • Flexible schedule


  • Physically grueling work
  • Potential safety risks if inexperienced
  • Slower pace and longer timeline
  • Need to handle debris hauling/disposal yourself

Realistically DIY removal only works for small residential projects of a few hundred sq ft.

Hiring Concrete Removal Contractors

Professional concrete contractors have distinct advantages:


  • Faster demolition thanks to equipment, workers and expertise
  • Proper disposal services included
  • Licensed, bonded and insured
  • Ability to take on any size project

Cost range:

  • 2–3-person crew with equipment – $70-$150 per hour
  • Total fixed bid – $3,000-$20,000

Their experience makes hiring concrete removal contractors well worth the investment, especially for medium to large projects or intricate demolitions. Be sure to get multiple bids and check references to find a quality contractor at a fair price.

Concrete Removal Contractors

Here are tips for choosing a seasoned concrete removal contractor:

  • Ask for multiple itemized quotes for cost comparison
  • Verify they are properly licensed, bonded and insured
  • Check reviews and ask for references to confirm quality workmanship
  • Inquire about their equipment and demolition methods
  • Ask about concrete recycling and debris disposal process
  • Look for certification and membership in industry associations
  • Consider offering warranties or guarantees on their service

Doing diligent research ensures you find an ideal contractor for your specific project and budget.

Legal, Safety and Environmental Considerations

Concrete removal must be done with care, legally and safely. Aspects to address:

Permits and Regulations

Most regions require obtaining proper permits before concrete demolition valued over a certain threshold. Permits may cost $100 to $500 depending on the jurisdiction. Workers must comply with local environmental and demolition regulations to avoid fines or work stoppages.

Safety Protocols

Strict safety precautions need to be followed to prevent injury, including using protective gear, establishing safe work zone perimeters, having properly trained equipment operators, and checking for underground utilities before excavating.

Environmental Practices

Seeking contractors committed to sustainability helps minimize ecological impact. This includes reusing or recycling concrete debris rather than disposal when feasible. Dust, noise and runoff mitigation procedures should also be followed.

Addressing regulations, safety, and environment needs adds costs but is a mandatory element of responsible concrete removal.

Final Words

In summary, costs for concrete removal can vary considerably based on the specifics of each unique project:

  • Small residential projects – $2-$6 per square foot
  • Large commercial projects – $8-$15 per square foot

Major variables affecting pricing include the sheer size of the area, slab thickness and reinforcement, accessibility, needed equipment, disposal considerations, permits and regulations, safety measures, and environmental impact mitigation.

Smaller DIY projects may be manageable, but larger professional demolitions require experienced contractors with specialized equipment to complete the removal efficiently while addressing all legal, safety and disposal needs. This makes paying the added expense worthwhile in order to achieve results and limit liabilities.

Being aware of the variables and cost factors prepares you to confidently execute a concrete removal initiative with accurate expectations set.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you calculate concrete removal?

To calculate costs for a concrete removal project:

  1. Measure the square footage of concrete to be removed
  2. Multiply by thickness in inches to get cubic volume
  3. Multiply cubic volume by estimated rate per cubic yard for removal
  4. Add estimated costs for equipment rental, debris disposal, site prep, permits etc.
  5. Get quote from contractors to validate calculations. Rates range $3-$15/sq ft based on variables discussed.

What is the best way to remove concrete?

For small areas, handheld pneumatic jackhammers work well. For larger projects, heavy equipment like excavators with hammers and wrecking balls are used. Saw-cutting into sections also simplifies removal. Loading debris into a dump truck or roll off container is most efficient. Safety gear and isolating the workspace are essential.

Should I remove old concrete?

Reasons to remove concrete include updating landscapes, replacing damaged sections, gaining access to buried utilities, renovating structures, or altering layouts. If the concrete is in good condition, resurfacing may be better. Weigh pros and cons of cost, effort, and results when deciding on removal.

Can you remove concrete from a house?

Yes, concrete against a house foundation, sidewalks, patios and other structures can be removed safely. Preparation is a must – have buried utilities marked, wear protective gear, and isolate the area. Use hand tools or small jackhammers and saws to break up concrete carefully. Take care not to damage the home’s foundation or siding during removal.

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