Concrete Garage Pad Cost Calgary

Concrete Garage Pad Cost Calgary

Exploring the Cost of Installing a Garage Pad in Calgary: A Comprehensive Guide

Navigating the expenses associated with installing a concrete garage pad in Calgary reveals a spectrum of prices. The final cost hinges on various elements including the pad’s design, its dimensions, and any extra features you might choose. While the price range can vary greatly, we’re here to offer a clearer picture by diving into the details that shape the cost of building a garage pad in this vibrant city.

If you’re considering installing a new garage pad, you’ve come to the perfect spot. As experienced local contractors, creating concrete garage pads is one of our specialties. Fill out the form below, and we’ll get in touch to talk more about what you’re looking for.

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Price Guidelines: Garage Pads

Depending on what is included in the concrete service you receive the pricing for concrete slabs, including garage pads, is generally based on square footage. The cost per square foot can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the thickness of the slab, the type of concrete mix used, the complexity of the job (including preparation and finish work), and any additional features like reinforcement with rebar or wire mesh, custom finishes, or integrated heating elements. Other considerations that can affect the price include the accessibility of the site, the need for excavation or removal of existing structures, and local market rates for labor and can expect to pay anywhere from $6-$15 per square foot of concrete for 4″ garage pads

The lower end of this will likely be for just pouring the actual concrete.  The higher-end will generally be for more complex projects that require additional preparation and include extra customization, excavation, gravel and finishings.

Things to consider when looking for new concrete garage pads are:

  1. The excavation and site preparation of the space where the pad will go.  Some companies include this in their square footage costs and some have it as an added cost.
  2. Gravel.  Again some companies include this in the overall cost and for some, it is an add-on.
  3. Extras like utilities, insulation and compaction.  All of these things will add to the cost of building the forms or pouring the concrete.
Garage Pad - Bedrock Construction (1)

Concrete Cracks

Sometimes cracks are unavoidable and that is generally why you can’t get guarantees on concrete.  However, there are contractors that are good at what they do and some that are not so good.  The most common sources of cracking are the rebar, the sub-base, and the conditions when pouring.   In Alberta, it is often recommended that you go with a 5″ garage pad slab instead of a 4″ slab to help reduce cracking and also increase the insulative value of the floor. 

This will also increase the cost however usually $1-$2 per square foot.

You need to think about the garage pads overall value though and remember cracking and restoration costs in the future will be less with a thicker garage pad.

Average Garage Sizes

When exploring the costs associated with installing a garage pad, our focus generally shifts towards detached garages. The intricacies of laying concrete floors and crafting robust concrete foundations for these structures demand a nuanced approach to pricing. Should your needs extend to an attached garage, you’ll find that the financial considerations slightly differ, primarily due to the necessity of integrating the concrete garage pad seamlessly with your home’s existing structure. This integration not only affects the overall design but also influences the construction techniques employed, ensuring that all elements meet harmoniously for both functionality and aesthetics.

For detached garages, there is a single-car, multiple car garage and a triple car.  Each of these has a basic measurement.

Single-car garages are usually 14 feet by 20 feet
Small double-car garages are usually 20 feet by 20 feet
Mose common double-car garages are 22 feet by 22 feet (Usually the size of attached garages)
A large double-car garage is 24 feet by 24 feet and is the most common upgrade for a detached garage
A triple-car garage is 30 feet by 24 feet

What Are my Options for a Garage Pad?

There are several options available to cater to different needs, preferences, and budgets. Selecting the right combination of options for your garage pad involves considering the specific requirements of your project, local building codes, and your budget. Here are some of the main choices:

  1. Thickness and Reinforcement:
    • The thickness of the concrete slab and the type of reinforcement used can vary depending on the intended use of the garage and the type of vehicles or equipment it will house. Options for reinforcement include wire mesh, steel rebar, or fiber mesh to increase strength and durability.
  2. Finish and Texture:
    • The surface finish of the concrete can be customized according to aesthetic preferences and functional requirements. Common finishes include smooth troweled, broom finished for added traction, or decorative finishes such as stamped or stained concrete.
  3. Drainage Solutions:
    • Proper drainage is crucial for garage pads to prevent water accumulation and potential damage. Sloped designs, drainage channels, or the installation of a sump pump are options to ensure efficient water management.
  4. Insulation and Heating:
    • For garages used in colder climates or for more than just parking, insulation beneath the concrete pad can help manage temperature. In-floor heating systems can also be installed within the concrete slab for added warmth and comfort.
  5. Expansion Joints:
    • To prevent cracks from thermal expansion, expansion joints can be strategically placed in the concrete slab. These allow for movement without causing damage to the structure.
  6. Load-bearing Capacity:
    • Depending on the use of the garage, the concrete mix and slab design can be tailored to support heavier loads, such as large vehicles, workshops, or storage of heavy equipment.
  7. Environmental Considerations:
    • Eco-friendly options include the use of recycled materials in the concrete mix or choosing a permeable concrete that allows for water infiltration to recharge groundwater.
  8. Edge Details and Formwork:
    • The edges of the garage pad can be designed with specific formwork to enhance durability and aesthetics. This includes options for thicker edges or integrating footings for structural support.
Garage Pad - Bedrock Construction

Do I Need a Permit from the City?

In many jurisdictions, including Calgary, you typically need a permit to pour a garage pad, as it involves significant alterations to your property and can affect drainage, property lines, and local building codes. The City of Calgary requires permits for most construction and development activities to ensure that all structures are safe, legal, and comply with local regulations. This includes the construction of new garages or any substantial modifications to existing structures.

Obtaining a permit for a garage pad or parking pad would involve submitting detailed plans that comply with zoning bylaws, building codes, and other local regulations. These plans might need to include information about the size and location of the pad, how water runoff will be managed, and how the project will adhere to property line setbacks and other restrictions.

Bedrock Construction is a full-service Calgary concrete garage builder and concrete driveway repair and installation experts. We can help walk you through this process as we offer a number of Calgary concrete services and can provide you with a free estimate for your concrete driveway or concrete pad.

Benefits of Getting a Permit

Many people are often frustrated by the permit process or even the idea that they need to get a permit.  There are, however, a number of benefits to getting the permit

  • When you get a permit, certified safety codes officers will give you expert advice, review your plans to find any potential problems, inspect your project, and make sure your project meets the Alberta Building Code.
  • Having everything in order beforehand saves you from having to go back and re-do things later
  • The permit will also be used during the sale process of your home.  Some buyers will not buy without a permit.

Building a Detached Garage

I have a detached garage and if I didn’t have one it would definitely be on the list of things that I would add to the house where we live.  Even though it is only a one car garage it is a lifesaver in the winter here in Calgary. Our concrete pad is smaller but still has high durability.

Considering adding a garage pad to your property but unsure if your yard space can accommodate it? We’re here to help. Our team would be delighted to visit your site for a consultation to determine the best fit for your garage pad. Feel free to reach out to us through our “Contact Us” page by filling out the form or simply give us a call. Don’t forget to mention you came across this post and have questions—we’re eager to assist you!

If you are looking for some tips regarding garage maintenance click here for our spring maintenance blog post.

You can also check out our Garage Heaters article to see about getting some heat into your garage.

Concrete Garage Pad Cost Calgary FAQ

What is a Concrete Slab?

A concrete slab is another name for a concrete pad. Just like a reinforced concrete pad, concrete slabs are flat square or rectangular-shaped concrete pads. Usually, they are between 4 and 8 inches thick and can range in size (square foot) and shape.

What is the best base for a Concrete Garage Floor?

The best base for a concrete garage floor (or garage slabs) depends on various factors, such as soil conditions, local climate, and the intended use of the garage. In Alberta, it is recommended that you remove the topsoil and use a compacted subgrade, compacted gravel with crushed rock, stone and stone dust.

A well-prepared base typically consists of the following layers:

  1. Compacted subgrade: This is the native soil, which should be well-compacted to provide a stable and level foundation for the other layers. Ideally, the subgrade should be free from organic materials and should have adequate drainage to prevent any water-related issues.
  2. Geotextile fabric (optional): This layer is not always necessary but can be helpful in certain situations. A geotextile fabric can be placed over the subgrade to improve stability and reduce the potential for soil movement, especially in areas with expansive or soft soils.
  3. Gravel or crushed stone base: A layer of well-graded gravel or crushed stone, typically 4 to 6 inches thick, is spread over the subgrade or geotextile fabric. This layer provides additional stability, promotes drainage, and helps to evenly distribute the weight of the slab and any loads placed upon it.
  4. Vapor barrier (optional): A vapor barrier, typically a sheet of polyethylene plastic, is installed over the gravel layer to prevent moisture from migrating up through the slab. This is particularly important in areas with high water tables or where moisture-related issues like efflorescence and concrete degradation are common.
  5. Concrete slab: The final layer is the concrete garage pads concrete pad, which should be designed to handle the expected loads and meet local building codes. It’s important to use the appropriate mix design, reinforcement (if necessary), and control joints to ensure the slab’s durability and longevity.

Properly preparing and constructing the base for a concrete garage floor will not only ensure a long-lasting and durable surface but also minimize the risk of the concrete pad cracking and other issues that may arise from poor foundation conditions.

How Thick Should Concrete Garage Pads Be?

A concrete pad, or a garage pad, or a concrete driveway should be at least 4 inches thick, however, as mentioned above we often recommend 5 inches for durability and stability. This will be especially true if you have heavy vehicles or equipment on the garage pad. Building codes offer requirements for the concrete mix, which vary by region. The standards are expressed in terms of “compressive strength,” which boils down to the amount of water used in the mix.

What Other Materials or Tools are Used in Concrete Pads?

Concrete is a relatively simple process it is just water and rocks. However with garage pads, or any new slab there are a number of other things to consider. Good concrete teams will have to manage things like rebar reflecting, site excavation, thickened edges, and local regulations. Here is a list of other things they will manage.

  • Slab thickness – as mentioned above the thickness of your slab will have to be thought out
  • Ground Preparation – all concrete needs to have a good ground preparation
  • Rebar – rebar also called reinforcement bar, is used inside the concrete to give it strength and durability. The rebar reflecting helps to minimize cracking and breaking
  • Expansion joints – expansion joints are full-depth gaps between individual poured-concrete slabs and are sometimes called isolation joints. The gaps allow the slabs to move with normal expansion, contraction or settling that occurs due to temperature changes or moisture conditions.
  • Site Excavation – often the concrete team will need to excavate the site in order to prep the ground and build the forms.
  • Heavy Vibrating Plate Tamper – A heavy vibrating plate tamper is a piece of equipment used to handle gravel and dirt surfaces that are rough or uneven. Plate tampers vibrate or press flat plates against the ground repeatedly. The average weight of a reversible plate tamper is between 425 pounds and 725 pounds.
  • Curing Compound – curing compound for the concrete
  • Reinforcement bar – rebar as mentioned above
  • Engineered drawing – an engineered drawing is not always needed, but for bigger projects they are helpful and necessary