How we added over $12K to our house value!

I am just going to go there… and brag on my husband, Tyler, for the rest of this post. His skills, knowledge and follow-through astonish me, even after thirteen years of marriage. His attention to detail is spot on, his dedication to our family is something to be admired, and his drive to work (even when he does not want to) is something that has me respect him more and more as the years go on. We tore down our old wooden deck and poured a stamped concrete patio which then added over $12K to our house value.

finished concrete patio in backyard
Isn’t it beautiful!!!?

Disclosure
Published October 24, 2021
Updated March 21, 2022
Monica is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commission incomes by advertising and linking to Monica’s Scratch Kitchen Blog.
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90’s Ranch

When we first bought our 90’s ranch in 2019, it had an old and worn-out wooden deck. The layout was not ideal, and the wood was buckling and uneven. The scary part was the fact that when we removed the old wooden deck, the foundation sloped right to the basement walls, and it was where all of the water would pool.

Right next to our basement foundation near where we just fixed the walls with the egress window remodel. So, the main reason, other than aesthetics, was to keep water away from our walls with the slope of the concrete.

The deck was also a spider haven and housed a stray cat, that tried to kill Lucy our dog, within a week of us living in the house. The cat was less than ideal, and the vet bill was unpleasant. The pieces of deck were bult into a wood crib and tree fort for the kids. Nothing goes to waste in our house. Especially when wood prices are so ridiculous.

Loads of gravel

So last fall we devised a plan for our concrete patio and went about placing gravel down for the underlayment, if not the concrete would not have a sturdy base. Or so I have learned. We lived with a gravel and mud pit of a backyard through a typical Wisconsin winter, and wet spring, and slightly wet summer. I feel like we were always trying to contain the gravel and mud, trying to keep it out of the house.

We had such a blast on those sunny days, hanging by our makeshift firepit, enjoying and dreaming of one day having a patio. A lot of s’mores were eaten on that gravel and firepit! And even more memories and fond moments as our kids said, “dad, this is SO cool”, even while it was still unfinished.

He was such a Rockstar on those days where the kids wanted to run around the yard while we had a fire going, and we were able to sit there dreaming of the days when it would be finished. He honestly knew, a year ago, what style, color, shape and finish the patio would be.

Radius Forms

Designing a concrete patio is not an easy task, and I did not even help with 99% of the work! There was so much math that was WAY over my head, and I was just thanking God that he gifted Tyler with the ability, skills, and know-how to get this done.

Not only did he have to know the amount of gravel to buy, but also how much concrete to order for the two separate pours. He had to measure and make forms, level gravel, and find the color and type of concrete we wanted for the patio. Every time we have a project, and it comes out brilliant, I complement him, and he reminds me “it is his job, why be surprised?”. But it never ceases to amaze me at how skilled this man is!

We had to level the gravel out, compact it down, pound stakes into the ground around a radius that he designed, cut steel forms, cut and make from scratch wood radius forms, make a toe kick angle out of 1-inch foam insulation, lay-measure-cut-tie and place rebar… at that was before the concrete came! All of that work took us a week of nights after Tyler got home from working all day. We were out there in drizzle, with work lights, finishing a few nights after dark because there was just so much to do and so little time to get it done.

As a wife, mom, and self-proclaimed chef, I really do not have the skills to have done a lot (or any) of this myself. Tyler has so much skill. I am, however, ok at driving our trailer behind the van in a straight line from one destination to the next. So, I was able to pick up the compactor, concrete stamps and plate compactor, and a few odds and ends up that we needed; especially when Tyler was not able to get them himself. Having a van, with a hitch, and a trailer is super useful!

Estimate verses actual cost

If we were to hire a company to make this concrete patio, with colored concrete, stamped, and in a radius, we would pay close to $20,000. Really. It is really amazing at what companies can do with concrete! Professionals are so skilled with the colors and stamp designs. If it was a plain concrete pad with a square shape, the cost would have been close to $12,000. Now this is just an estimate that Tyler put together based on the local contractors’ prices, and what he guessed it would cost to hire out; these are not actual costs.

We did our concrete patio in two separate pours. It took two full weekends of work to finish them both. We are exhausted, and yet exhilarated to finally use them and to be done with this job on our house.

The two pours had to be measured by how much concrete we needed. The first pour was four and a half yards and the second was six yards.
The first was under $900 and the second was under $1,200. Just for the concrete, but it was tinted and not just plain gray like a typical driveway or sidewalk. We decided that if there would be scratches, nicks or breaks, we did not want to see the white concrete if we just stained the top. We really wanted this patio to shine! The concrete was tinted dark grey and resulted in the cost being doubled.

Then, we rented the concrete stamps and plate compactor, which was a super heavy plate attached to a long pole so you could basically pound the rubber stamps into the concrete – creating the designs. Bought rebar and iron stakes, bought concrete form release, sealer, foam tear away expansion joint, and rented a gravel compactor.

The second week we also rented a power buggy, which is a gas-powered wheelbarrow. This was literally a game changer! It ruined our not-so-nice yard with deep grooves, but it helped get the concrete into the forms and in place so much faster than using wheelbarrows alone.

Total, the cost for everything involved was just shy of $3,000. And the coolest part was we paid cash. Thanks, Dave Ramsey, for teaching us to not go into debt for house projects! Having the cash to pay for this patio was so refreshing and the peace of mind, knowing it is fully paid for, is just reassuring. I highly recommend looking into his Financial Peace University course on how to become debt free! As of spring 2021, we are debt free except the house, and we went on a week-long vacation to Florida and paid cash! Cash is King!

I do not have details on how Tyler came up with his idea for the radius forms or how he went about getting it done. To be frank, I really just have no idea. But I did take some pictures to show how he did some amazing things! As a Journeyman Carpenter, he does have skills building concrete forms, which came in super handy for this project. But by no means is he a concrete finisher; so, this was an ammeter job, and we cannot price it out like we would if a professional company had done it.

Shout-out to all of our helpers!

These concrete patios would not have been done without amazing friends, co-workers, family and neighbors! There was an amazing team of people that came out to help these two separate pours, and Tyler’s dad, Justin, came up to help tie rebar before the second round. My brother Bryan, dad Gary, friends Andy, Jason, neighbor Jared, and handfuls of Tyler’s co-workers came to help on the two separate days.

We owe you guys HUGE! I know I thanked you on the day but THANK YOU again! We literally owe you one 🙂 And in Wisconsin, that is like a blood-oath.

The first of the concrete pours

First, Tyler had to compact the gravel that had been sitting for a year. We used levels to make sure it was all set and the same thickness all around. Then, he built the concrete forms out of wood, concrete stakes and more wood. He literally created these forms from scratch. Once the forms were done and sturdy, he used 1-inch insulation to make an angle for a toe-kick on the lip of the concrete.

This was to add the image of a toe-kick to the lip of the concrete, instead of just a flat edge. I forgot to get a picture of it, sorry! Once the forms were done, and the gravel was compacted, he placed rebar to make the concrete stronger. On the day, we had a team of guys over helping move the concrete from the truck to the backyard. Wheelbarrow-by-wheelbarrow, they brought the concrete back into the form. Once all of the concrete was there, our friend Jason was in the wet concrete making sure it was level. To get the concrete level he used a long 2 X 4.

When it was all leveled, we had to wait a few hours before stamping it with the concrete mats. With trowels, Tyler and my dad worked on “maging” and “closing” the concrete. Over and over, they troweled the concrete with various trowels. An edger trowel was used to make the edges smooth and nice and rounded. While we waited for the patio to be ready, we worked on the pad by the side of the garage. Additional jobs were a new front step, and a few dozen pavers.

Once the concrete was ready to be stamped, we sprinkled the form release powder all over and laid stamps on top. Then we used a plate compactor to press the design into the concrete. The form release powder helped to color the concrete and made it easier to remove from the still-wet concrete. We chose the Italian Slate pattern, and it was beautiful, looked just like stone when it was done! After a day or two, we were able to walk on the concrete to sweep off the extra powder.

Pictures from the first concrete patio pour

The second concrete pour

Below are images from the second pour, where we made the wrap-around sidewalk connecting the garage service door with the ramp/sidewalk that leads to the lower patio. Tyler and I decided to make two patios. To go with the new concrete patio, we purchased a portable firepit.

The idea of having a fire pit/cooking area at the bottom with the table at the top near the house and patio door was what drove us to not make a permanent firepit.

We rented a power buggy, a gas-powered wheelbarrow, that helped move so much concrete at one time. This literally saved us hours of hauling wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow full of concrete from the cement truck to the backyard. We also made more steppingstones for a path to get around the yard. This second pour, we made thirty-one! These suckers were thirty-five pounds each, and I felt every pound as I moved them three times. Yup, three times, placing them around the yard after painting the sealer on them.

Pictures from the second concrete patio pour

friends helping smooth second concrete patio pour

Just a few tools we used to make our concrete patio

I really do not know the specifics on how to finish concrete. There were carbon steel trowels, finishing trowels, edging trowels, magnesium trowels, a magnesium Bull Float and more. Each trowel has its own finish and metal and will do a separate job. Some bring the liquid to the surface while others make the surface smooth. In addition to trowels, there are concrete vibrators, compactors and stakes, So. Many. Tools.

hand trowels

This compactor helps to press down the gravel down allowing the concrete to be poured on top without the gravel below being loose and causing breaks. Do not go out and buy a compactor, there are so many rental businesses to get one for a day or weekend.

Tomahawk compactor

This is called a Handheld Electric Concrete Vibrator. You hold the machine, which is not that heavy, and the long tool at the end of the hose gets shoved into the concrete at various spots to help remove any air gaps and bubbles.

concrete vibratior

We added over $12K to our house’s value with a concrete patio

This is just one example of a concrete trowel that was used on our patio. Having a good quality trowel, with a nice big grip, really helps get the job done. And helps to avoid sore hands! A trowel with a small handle, when held for a long job, can be hard to hold towards the end. If you are looking to do any concrete jobs, make sure to invest in the best tools! Marshalltown makes the best according to Tyler. They make a lot of work tools in this plant, and they are famous for their concrete tools.

All in all, we are SO glad we did this project! Not only did it add an amazing aesthetic to our home, but it was such a learning experience, and most importantly we protected our foundations! We got to learn a new skill and had fantastic help from friends, family and a great neighbor. If you want to add value to your home, look into adding a stamped concrete patio to your yard.

All-in-all, we could estimate the value of this stamped concrete patio to be more than $12,000, and under $20,000. If we would have had a professional done it, it would have cost closer, or more, than $20K!
Enjoy!
~Monica

19 responses to “How we added over $12K to our house value!”

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  12. […] do not know about this double radius poured and stamped concrete patio we did, check out my blog, How we added over $12,000 value to our house! I went in depth on how my husband, with the help of friends and family, went from a muddy and […]

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  14. […] do not know about this double radius poured and stamped concrete patio we did, check out my blog, How we added over $12,000 value to our house! I went in depth on how my husband, with the help of friends and family, went from a muddy and […]

  15. […] How we added over $12K to our house value! […]

  16. […] Tree fort made from the old deck boards How we added over $12K to our house value! […]

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Published by Monica's Scratch Kitchen

I have not always had the skills to cook and bake from scratch. As a young wife, I bought every meal frozen or boxed and presented it to my husband with a flourish, believing myself a decadent cook. As our budget shrunk, and our family grew, I looked for ways to stretch our money to nourish our kids with the best for their hungry appetites. Hoping to find recipes and meals that they would love to eat. Through the last 5 years, I have learned so many cooking and baking lessons, and experienced many wins and failures. Come along with me on this journey as I share my recipes that work, how to make them on the cheap, and my tips and tricks to get my kids to eat homemade deliciousness! I will also share updates to our house that we have done in the last year since our move. With one income, we do most of the work ourselves and with amazing family and friends to help out, cutting costs but keeping style and money in the bank! I am a wife and mother of 3 boys and 1 princess. When I was a kid, I remember being asked what I wanted to be or do when I grew up. My response was, "a mom", and I am proud to grow up and be a mom to 4 amazing kids! Samuel is 11, Matthew is 8, Levi is 4, and Elliana is almost 2. We have been blessed to have kids who love to explore foods, to try new recipes, and enjoy helping us around the house. With 4 kids, you better believe they help clean! My husband Tyler and I have been married almost 13 years. We love our kids, we love outdoors, camping, canoeing, grilling, watching movies, and just hanging out making memories. A few years ago I gifted Tyler with his own "menu" book, where we write meals and foods we have loved to eat. Weekly our family decides what our meals will be and I make up a grocery list with what we need. It literally is my favorite chore! I love to shop, so shopping for food on a budget is my biggest win! Thank you for taking the time and visiting my site, Subscribe so you do not miss a post! Keep coming back to hear about new recipes, updates on our home, fun times with our kids, and how to make homemade deliciousness! ~Monica

19 thoughts on “How we added over $12K to our house value!

  1. Hi there, just turned into alert to your weblog via Google, and located that it’s truly informative. I am going to be careful for brussels. I will appreciate in the event you proceed this in future. Many people shall be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  2. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the structure of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 images. Maybe you could space it out better?

  3. Hi, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam responses? If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you can suggest? I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any support is very much appreciated.

    1. Honestly, I just was notified today (11/14) about 83 comments that went directly to spam without my knowing! So now, I am scrolling through them and filtering them. I do not have a specific plugin, but my comment were filtered to be “approved” by me personally with a majority just going to spam.

  4. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn anything like this before. So good to search out any person with some authentic ideas on this subject. realy thanks for beginning this up. this website is one thing that is wanted on the net, someone with a little originality. helpful job for bringing one thing new to the web!

  5. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. many thanks

  6. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your site. You have some really good posts and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an email if interested. Thank you!

  7. Hello there! This article could not be written much better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I most certainly will send this post to him. Fairly certain he’s going to have a very good read. Thanks for sharing!

  8. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been conducting a little homework on this. And he in fact ordered me dinner due to the fact that I discovered it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this topic here on your web page.

  9. Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this short article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  10. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and look ahead to in search of more of your wonderful post. Additionally, I have shared your website in my social networks!

  11. Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Very useful info specifically the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot. I was looking for this particular information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

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