Contractor added concrete patio around the back of my house, but its already cracking after less than 6 months.

I believe that there should be cuts and expansion seams throughout the slab to allow for the patio to flex and bow with the north Texas soil.

I also think that they should have excavated a few inches of top soil before laying the concrete, but instead they laid it on top of the grass and on top of my pool deck.

Can anyone tell me from these pictures what (if anything) was done incorrectly? Can anyone tell me if my above assumptions are correct?

Pic #1

Pic #2

Pic #3

Pic #4

Pic #5

Pic #6

This is all part of a $70k insurance claim that has been dragged out for 1.5 years since the Texas freeze of 2021.

  • 9
    Was the contract with you or the insurance company? If it was with them, they might have the muscle to get this fixed. Aug 13, 2022 at 20:31
  • "What is wrong with it?" - I don't think you've left anything else for us to point out, to be honest. Quikrete even has a handy-dandy PDF quikrete.com/athome/sidewalk.pdf
    – MonkeyZeus
    Aug 15, 2022 at 15:27

3 Answers 3


It's clearly substandard work, but unless you have a contract specifying standards of work, have fun getting it sorted.

  • Soil prep
  • reinforcement
  • expansion joints

All appear to be lacking.

I'd bet on the concrete itself being mixed wrong (too wet) as well, given everything else wrong here (resulting in lower compressive strength.)


Yeah you can tell the concrete was mixed wrong and you can always come back and cut expansion joints afterwards which you have to do after it’s dry anyways but you have cracked concrete which means it was incorrectly mixed and poured due to lack of proper preparation and reinforcement.

  • 3
    Welcome to DIY Stack Exchange! Your answer touches on a few possible explanations for what the OP is seeing, but it should be edited to improve the way it's organized. Right now it's one long sentence.
    – Z4-tier
    Aug 14, 2022 at 14:46
  • 2
    Indicating how one can tell just by looking at the pics that the mix was wrong would be very helpful. Obviously, you can tell, but not everyone can. Please share your knowledge!
    – FreeMan
    Aug 15, 2022 at 14:18
  • Cracked concrete doesn't imply a bad mix. It implies a poor substrate first. That's confirmed in the question.
    – isherwood
    Jun 15, 2023 at 12:56

First off. Yes there should have been control cuts put in. Another thing is the edge looks like the slab is pretty thin. This is why it's important to research and get a contractor that has been in business a long time and check previous work.

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