Concrete can last for decades, which is a problem if you want to remove it for landscaping, a new deck, or some other renovation. Concrete removal is professional work, not suited to the amateur.
Suppose you want to replace a degraded concrete driveway; what do you do with the concrete chunks? The right move, nearly always for this physically demanding job, is to hire a company to come in, break up the concrete slabs with air tools, and cart everything away.
The same removal process can eliminate a concrete pad where a garage once stood, remove an unsightly, outdated concrete patio, or take out concrete foundation walls.
Unreinforced concrete, the kind typically found in driveways and walks, does not have steel rebar reinforcing rods in it, so it is lighter and easier to handle than concrete with rebar.
The costs of non-reinforced concrete breakup and removal is between $1,500 to $2,500. That's for an amount of concrete equivalent to a two-car driveway. Add to that disposal fees (what a landfill will charge, the costs of a dumpster, and possible additional labor charges from the removal company). Fortunately, most non-reinforced concrete can be recycled, lowering costs.
For breaking up, cutting up and removing steel-reinforced concrete, expect to pay more. To remove a 200-square-foot patio, it will cost around $2,600. Reinforced concrete is heavier, harder to handle, and not recyclable.
Your first decision is to determine if your concrete removal project is a do-it-yourself task or professional work. Angie's List can help you determine which way to go.
If you do decide to hire professionals, review this list near you to find a reliable, local concrete removal company. You can also call paving and concrete companies, inquiring on prices for removing the very material they also install.
In many cases removal is just the first half of a project handled by the same concrete company. Perhaps you need a sidewalk removed and a new one laid in; one company can quote a price for both tasks.
Get three on-site price quotes, and expect the quotes to list out labor charges per hour, removal fees, and any other add-on costs like dumpster rental. Get an estimate, too, of the number of hours the job might take. Be sure to clarify if the quote is for non-reinforced (recyclable) or reinforced concrete.