Trying to calculate the cost of concrete for the new home improvement project you got in mind? Read on for some helpful tips.
Whenever a home improvement project comes up, it always starts with question marks: Where, How, When, Why, and most importantly, How much. Well, let’s get one ‘how much’ out of the way right now, so that you don’t find yourself being duped by the salesman later on.
This article is primarily about concrete prices in the US. Concrete prices are not equivalent across the world, and prices in different countries depend on the available facilities and costs of extraction, production and transport.
How much does concrete cost?
Concrete prices can fluctuate regularly, based on the cost of the extraction of the components of concrete, and the cost of fossil fuels. At the time of writing, concrete costs about $90-$115 per cubic yard. 3000 psi concrete, which is the most commonly used grade, costs around $100-$110. This is just the cost of concrete itself, not including the various necessary peripheral processes. Other factors, such as grading, subbases, labor etc., increase the cost considerably. A rule of thumbs is, the various peripheral processes will nearly double the cost of actually pouring concrete. Thus, the cost of pouring one cubic yard concrete would most likely exceed $160 – $175, even $200 if you buy the very best grades of concrete (the very highest grades are not usually required for residential constructions).
Factors Affecting the Cost
► First of all, let’s get the obvious out of the way. The larger the area, the more concrete will be required, and the cost will rise.
► Production of concrete is an expensive process, and heavily dependent on fuels. Thus, the cost is also dependent on the fluctuation in the price of fossil fuels.
► In areas where sand, limestone and/or iron is extracted, the price of concrete is low due to the ease in transport and other logistical concerns. Hence, the distance from the quarry/production plant is directly proportional to the cost.
► Delivery companies charge extra if they have to deliver an insufficient (depends on the particular company, but any delivery less than the full amount is charged extra) amount of concrete, since transporting it is a costly business. Generally, deliveries less than 5 yards are charged extra. Some may even charge extra if the delivery is kept waiting by the customer.
► Decorative concrete types, such as stamped, cost more than the plain concrete. Although the cost varies according to quality, be prepared to shell out more than $300 (total cost).
► Plain concrete costs about $3 – $4.5 per square foot. Depending on the desired thickness of the slab, one cubic yard of concrete can cover a variable area. Safe cost-cutting can be done with concrete if the slab is to be laid outdoors, and doesn’t support a significant weight. For instance, a driveway can be much thinner than the slabs used in houses.
Concrete is the building block of any new construction you intend to make. It may seem lucrative to make a cheap deal on concrete, but in the long run, you are the one who would have to pay for it, and with more than just money. So invest wisely and, even if it seems excessively so, generously.