How much does it cost to stain concrete?

photo-1-1I just did an estimate for a customer who wanted my concrete company to stain their concrete patio. The problem was that the patio was only 320 square feet. I knew when I calculating the cost of staining their concrete that the price was going to be too high. I even apologized as I sent the estimate:

The price to stain your concrete would be $1850. I realize that this is a high price for such a small area, but the problem is that it takes us 2 or 3 trips to complete the job from start to finish.

Alternatively, we do have a DIY program where we can help to instruct you and provide tech support for the project. Let me know if this is something you are interested in.

It’s frustrating for us as a business to have to price projects that high, but the problem is that we have a lot of overhead. The cost of the materials to stain your concrete is a small percentage of what it costs a contractor to stain concrete.

The customer wrote me back and asked what I thought the cost of materials would be for her job. Here is a material breakdown:

2 gallons of stain = $140
2 gallons of sealer = $80
Total cost to stain her patio = $220.

She will save $1630 by staining her own concrete!

The first thing you are probably thinking is- How is this possible?!?!!

Here is a list of reasons you can save money by not hiring a contractor & staining your own concrete:

#1- Full time employees cost money even when they aren’t needed.

What people don’t consider is that we have employees that we have to keep busy. We can’t send one person with one truck to that job, and then leave the rest of our full time employees at home waiting on the next big job. The patio pictured above could easily be completed by one person.

We would have used 2 employees on this project, when it really doesn’t justify but one person. Additionally, because of the commute, we wouldn’t be able to schedule anything else on these days, so this job has to pay 2 employees for 3 full days.

#2- Vehicle expenses

We have a payment we have to make on our truck. We also have to pay for gas & employee time to and from the job. According to standard taxable deductions, each trip to this job was going to cost us $112 in gas and truck wear & tear.

We also have to pay employees time to drive to and from the job…which would have cost an additional $150 per trip.

3 trips to this particular job would have cost us $786.

#3- Advertising

If you calculate the amount of money we spend on advertising and divide it for every lead that we get, we spend around $150 for each customer that contacts us… whether we get the job or not.

#4- Overhead

We have truck payments, warehouse rental, inventory costs, accounting costs, insurances, taxes, office expenses and a million other small items that no one considers.

These small jobs are tough because we it’s not good business to tell customers, “We aren’t interested in your job.” It also isn’t good for our name to tell customers that we need almost $2000 to stain a small patio that you do yourself for $220.

Homeowners have everything going for them to be able to stain their concrete cheaper than a contractor, but the one advantage a contractor has is knowledge. That is where this guide comes in. We have complied 12 years of installing stained concrete and put everything we know in to one convenient online manual.  Its better than an overprice & stagnant paperback book or  pdf download. This is a frequently updated website with videos and photos showing you every step in excruciating detail.

You can avoid all of the guess work. There are hundreds of YouTube videos about stained concrete that will tell you a hundred different ways to stain concrete. The problem is that there are also a hundred different manufacturers that sell products that are nothing like the products you see in the YouTube videos.  You can avoid all of the common issues that plague DIY stained concrete projects.

It’s true, anyone can stain concrete…

...and with our help your DIY project will look like a professional installation.

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