Concrete is an essential material for building work including extending you home or laying the foundations for a shed or garage. Concrete comes in a few different forms, and it can be confusing to understand the price of each format and material. Check out this handy guide to make sure you’re getting a fair price for concrete.
Ready Mix Concrete
Ready mix concrete or cement is generally the most widely used concrete products for garden landscaping and shed bases. You can buy it direct from a home improvement store, or through your tradesman. It’s a great product that is easy to use, firstly add water, mix well and then pour into the desired area. Make sure the concrete is level, and it should set within 30 minutes to an hour.
Ready mix concrete also comes in a range of colours and shading, which can be important if you’re using concrete in the garden, and not so important in house foundations!
Ready mixed concrete can be bought in small amounts, around 20kg and is a suitable size for building paths, adding to walls, creating steps and laying shed bases.
If you’re using a large amount of ready mix concrete, it may be ideal to source this through your tradesman, or through a home improvement store that does deliveries. Watch out for additional costs relating to delivery or minimum quantity requirements.
Concrete is either sold by weight or cubic meter, so it’s important to figure out how much you’re likely to need before placing your order. Start by accurately measuring the length and width of your area, quite easy to do if you’ve got a standard rectangle. If however, you’ve got an oddly shaped area, this can be more complex and may require breaking down into smaller pieces.
It’s also important to accurately measure how much concrete you need to avoid wastage, as this has a negative impact on the environment.
Ordering directly from a supplier
If you’re in need of a large amount of concrete, then it could be worth ordering directly from a supplier to get better prices. There are a few things to consider when ordering a large quantity, including delivery schedules and costs.
Firstly, the supplier will have a delivery schedule, and may have particular times or dates when they deliver to residential areas. This is important to establish as concrete can be a critical part of the project and timeline. Following this, make sure that your project has a realistic timeline, which will enable the concrete to be delivered and used on the same day.
Ready mix concrete can be unstable after some time, and can ‘cure’ if left too long in the wrong conditions. This means you have around an hour from delivery to setting to use the concrete effectively, and so your plan and timeline will need to be well thought out.
Some suppliers will add a delivery charge to the cost of the concrete, which is why it is best to use local suppliers. Check their websites for exact costs, which may vary with the amount of concrete ordered. The average truck will carry 6 cubic meters of concrete, and you may be charged extra if you’re not ordering a full load.
When considering a significant home improvement project that involves a large quantity of concrete, make sure you measure the space accurately and correctly calculate the area you need to fill.
Following this, research national and local concrete suppliers and compare to get the best prices available for you and your project. If you’re working on a smaller project, it may be that a bag or two of ready mixed concrete will help you to get the job done to a high standard.