replacing concrete

What Is the Process for Driveway or Sidewalk Removal and Replacement?

What is the process for removing and replacing concrete around your home? We’re talking outside stuff like driveways, sidewalks, patios, etc. What are the steps needed for this, how much time does it usually take and how much does it cost?

You need to know if this is a project you want to get into right now or if another process like some kind of concrete slab jacking would be a better option. Or maybe you’ve already been told that our mud jacking services won’t work because the concrete is past its usable life?

Anchor Foundation Repair Bryan College Station

At Anchor Foundation Repair, we want to inform and empower homeowners to make repair decisions that will work best for their situation. We’ve raised and restored thousands of square feet of exterior concrete in the BCS area. We know when that process will work vs. when you should consider removing your problematic concrete and starting over.

This article will review the steps needed for removing and replacing damaged concrete surfaces around your home. We will also offer estimated timelines and costs for a full replacement project so you can decide if you’re ready to get it handled.

Basic Steps to Remove and Replace Concrete Flatwork

bad concrete

Concrete flatwork is an all-inclusive industry term that refers to any sort of shallow exterior concrete surface like:

foundation repair BCS
pouring concrete
They also like to pour concrete in the middle of the night sometimes . . .

Saying “concrete flatwork” is way easier than rattling off that whole list sometimes. Sorry if I don’t specifically cite your particular kind of concrete surface every time. Just know what’s included when concrete flatwork is mentioned, mkay?

Most homeowners don’t ever see concrete flatwork being installed. It was probably done way before you ever bought your house. You weren’t there watching *live* as it happened for some reason . . . I can’t imagine why you missed something so exciting . . .

So you don’t really know what the concrete replacement process looks like or what it takes to complete this work.

Replacing concrete theoretically sounds fairly simple, but there are a lot of steps. Careful preparations and legwork are involved. You want people who are skilled in doing this major project for your home. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do.

Here is the process for replacing exterior concrete surfaces around your home:

rebar chair for concrete pour
Those little black things are rebar chairs
  1. Remove the old concrete by jackhammering or other means
  2. Haul away removed concrete by dump truck or smaller appropriate vehicle
  3. Even out the dirt surface, add soil material if needed
  4. Create tie-ins to any existing concrete sections to prevent horizontal slide
  5. Insert control joints between panels to minimize cracking
  6. Create/tie together a mat of rebar for internal structure and support
  7. Rebar mat placed in position using “chairs” when needed to support rebar above ground until concrete is poured
  8. Pour and finish concrete
  9. Stay off the concrete surface while it cures
  10. Return to normal concrete use

replacing concrete

Even with listing out this 10-step process, it feels like some of the laborious nature of this process is not emphasized enough. But I assure you, this is *an endeavor* for those doing the work, especially for larger surfaces or whole driveways.

The most important thing for a homeowner is to stay out of the way and don’t disturb the work areas. It’s not a safe place to be walking or letting your kids play around the area. Someone could trip or mess up work in progress. You might have to take alternate routes to get in and out of your house or park your car down the street to keep it out of the construction zone.

How Long Does It Take to Replace a Driveway or Sidewalk?

So, how long does the process of replacing some of your exterior concrete take? The biggest determining factor is understandably how large is the piece of concrete we are talking about. Smaller flatwork will take less time and big sections or whole driveways will take much more time.

process of replacing concrete

We’re not going to address DIY timeframes, only how long it would take an appropriately sized professional contracting team to do the job.

The replacement of a small section of concrete would take a day from start to finish for a professional to complete. If you’re just having one panel of a driveway replaced, it would probably take 1 day to demo and prep the project and half a day to pour the concrete. For a whole driveway, the estimated time would be 1 to 2 days for demo, 1 day to prep, and a half day to pour.

The timeframes above are just for the actual work to be completed. There is still downtime when you need to wait while the concrete cures. Concrete curing time for exterior flatwork ranges from 24 to 48 hours for walking surfaces, 5 to 7 days for vehicle/driving surfaces, and up to 28 days for massively heavy loads (probably non-residential).

How Much Does Concrete Removal and Replacement Cost?

cost of concrete full replacement

Pricing for a full replacement of concrete is not *chump change*. The full replacement of concrete’s base cost is estimated at $4,500 for replacing a couple of cracked panels in a smaller driveway, an average-sized project on a larger driveway with more panel work might cost around $7,500, and a full driveway replacement is estimated at about $18,000. 

For smaller flatwork projects – like a couple of sidewalk panels or a small miscellaneous concrete pad – the cost for replacement would be around $500 to $1,500.

How Does Full Replacement Cost Compare to Concrete Raising?

Now you know about the basic steps, timelines, and costs for concrete replacement. But what if you don’t absolutely *have* to replace that whole piece of concrete?? Some concrete panels just need to be raised and leveled because they have sunken from their original position. 

replacing concrete surfaces

The cost of a full replacement can be around three times as much as concrete lifting so it’s something to consider if your concrete is still in good condition otherwise.

At Anchor Foundation Repair, we don’t fix things that don’t need fixin’ and we don’t try to sell you stuff that you don’t need. We’ll be the first to tell you if your troublesome concrete can be raised with our mud jacking services or if a full replacement is better for your situation.

This might not apply to everyone reading this article, but if your concrete is in good shape but just needs to be returned to its original position, mud jacking might be a more cost-effective option for you. Check out how much you can expect to save by doing concrete lifting instead with the Cost of Concrete Repair: Mud Jacking vs. Removal and Replacement.