How do I price concrete?

concrete broker
Oct 5 · 4 min read

Here at concretebroker we give you half a dozen things to consider when pricing your next concreting project

Concrete is sold per cubic metre or per cubic yard, depending on where you are in the world. The price varies depending on your distance from the batch plant, the time and day it is delivered on, and the strength and additives found in your mix design. Lets take a closer look.

1. Distance from the plant

When your concrete slab is being poured within 15km of the batch plant you are usually charged standard fare in Australia. However when you are more than 15km away a surcharge of a few dollars a kilometre for each additional kilometre travelled is added to your cost per cubic metre. This surcharge covers the batch plant for additional wages for the time spent by the driver in travelling to and from site. Furthermore the additional diesel costs and wear and tear on the delivery truck are covered by this surcharge.

2. Mix design

Your concrete mix design shall determine your concrete price. The stronger your concrete the more you have to pay, e.g 32mpa as opposed to 20mpa concrete. Each mix comprises of mostly rocks, water, sand and cement. The strength of your mix comes from the amount or Portland Cement (GP) added at the batch plant. And cement is the most expensive ingredient within your concrete mix. Therefore the more cement you require, the more you are expected to pay per cubic metre.

Keep in mind you may have to pay more for a driveway or shed slab than for your standard house slab or footpath. The concrete required under the weight of vehicles needs to be much stronger than that required for simple “foot” traffic.

Another thing to consider is that some batch plants use more cement when mixing for concrete that is to be pumped, or even concrete that requires a smaller aggregate, e.g., 7 or 10mm stone, commonly utilised in exposed aggregate footpaths and driveways.

3. Additives

When you add a chemical to your mix design once again it costs a few dollars extra per cubic metre or per cubic yard. Additives such as accelerator, to reduce the setting time of concrete, or retarder, to delay the setting time, are popular additives as they enable concreters to work with concrete during the cold and hotter months of the year.

4. The time and day of the pour

The time and day of your concrete pour are important things to consider when working out the concrete price for your next concreting project. If you want to pour on a weekend, in particlar after lunch time on a Saturday, or on a Sunday, expect to pay a hefty surcharge per cubic metre. Most concrete plants like to cover the cost of penalty rates and employee overtime when pricing their concrete. If you require your concrete early in the day to beat the heat, or late in the day when you arrive home from work, make sure to ask the plant if there are any additional charges per cubic metre.

5. Small loads

Don’t be caught out when pricing your concrete by small loads. Most concrete plants charge an additional surcharge for small loads, that being concrete delivered that is less than 3 or 4 cubic metres per load. Once again they do this to cover the additional wages, fuel and maintenance costs associated with the delivery of a small concrete load to site. Be careful, as this cost can be up to $200 per cubic metre extra in your location. You may like to consider utilising the services of a Minimix concrete plant if you do require a small load due to access to your site or the amount of concrete you wish to pour.

6. Competition

Concrete prices are more often than not determined by the level of competition nearby, and the supply and demand for concrete in your area. In other words, if there is only one batch plant located near you and you are in the middle of a housing boom, you are in trouble. But shop around for concrete prices when and if you have the time, you may find you can save money on your concrete. And why not? The price of concrete is one of if not the most expensive item’s to consider when costing your next concreting project.

Hey it’s worth it, you may even save enough to be able to afford a pizza..or two!

Source : Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

P.S. Don’t forget to eat your pizza after the concrete pour, not during it. Concrete plants charge waiting time for every minute the delivery truck is onsite longer than it shoulkd be e.g., one hour.

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