Summary: How much is ready mix concrete, average cost and price of ready mix concrete and factors to consider when ordering ready mix concrete.
There are many things to consider when purchasing ready-mix concrete. Preparation of the area to be concreted is essential and this must be considered in the final costs of the project. Ready-mixed concrete costs vary substantially in price depending on your location, the type and volume of concrete used. As a guideline, a range of between £40 per cubed metre up to £70 is reasonable.
|1 cubic metre (m³)
|£65 – £85 (m³)
Be aware that there are different types of ready-mixed concrete suitable for different projects. You will need to clarify with the supplier as to which type you need – most suppliers will happily discuss your needs with you if you’re not sure. Firstly are you using the mix for foundation footings, paths, flooring and foundations, garage floors or agricultural constructions? Also different mixes can produce different colours and textures all adjusting the final cost.
The amount of concrete you need to order will depend on many things:
- The weight of traffic that will be using the area; heavy use, e.g. vehicles, can require 25% more concrete than light use, e.g. just foot traffic.
- The shape of the area you are covering. You will need to supply a volume of concrete that you need (length x width x height). However if the area is not rectangular you may need to break the area down into different shapes, such as triangles and semi- circles to calculate as accurate a volume as possible. There are many online volume calculation tools to help with this.
- Always order 5-10% more concrete than you have calculated for, to allow for spillage, wastage and spreading.
You will also need to specify how wet you want the ready-mix concrete to be (the ‘slump’). The wetter the concrete, the more workable it will be, but remember you can always add water, but you can’t take water away.
Factors to consider
The timing of when you lay concrete is important, so think carefully before you book a delivery. When talking to suppliers, to finalise your exact costings, make sure you have answers to the following questions:
- How long will the truck-mixer wait at the site? Obviously to make their delivery schedule as efficient as possible, the truck-mixer has a limited time to wait. On average it take approximately five minutes for each cubic metre of concrete to dispense, plus an additional ten minutes or so for preparation and paperwork. Some companies may charge an extra fee for waiting beyond this time – so be careful to check this in advance. Many hands make light work at this stage, so getting people (with lots of wheelbarrows!) to help at this stage is a definite time advantage.
- How much time will I have to use the ready-mixed concrete? You can expect ready-mixed concrete to be workable for about one and a half hours. However if the weather is hot this time will be shorter, aim for a maximum usage of about one hour is these conditions.
- When will the concrete be delivered? It’s unusual for a specific time slot to be given, you may have to make do with a ‘morning’ or afternoon’ slot. Also you will need to consider if there is enough space for the lorry to park, will it obstruct a road, or will you need to obtain some ‘no parking’ signs to allow space for the delivery.
- If weather conditions are poor, e.g. if it’s raining, can the delivery be postponed? Some companies can offer this service, but only if the truck-mixer is not already on its way. Ask your supplier what is the latest time you can cancel should you need to.
- Will the supplier charge extra if you don’t need a full load? The average truck has space for about 6 cubic metres of ready mixed concrete and many companies will charge for each cubic metre that is left empty. An alternative to using only a small capacity of a truck is to hire a ready-mix trailer. A trailer is a scaled down version of the truck, but only mixes approximately 1 to 1 ¾ cubic metres. It can be hitched behind a pickup-truck for easy delivery to customers’ homes.
You will also need to ensure you have adequate protective clothing for skin and eyes for when you handle the concrete, as it can cause alkali burns and acute dermatitis.
When the concrete is laid, it will take time to cure (dry out). To stop this from happening too quickly you will need to cover the freshly laid concrete with plastic, this reduces the moisture loss. Concrete must never be laid in freezing weather and if the night temperature is likely to fall below zero, you will need to support a plastic sheet above the newly laid concrete with wooden stakes.
With careful planning and preparation it’s easy to have a problem-free experience of obtaining and laying ready-mix concrete.