How Much Does Concrete Cost?
Concrete is one of the most enduring and versatile types of building material. From a patio to a driveway to entire buildings, in some cases, concrete can provide a strong and stable structure that can be poured into almost any type of mold. One of the best features of concrete is its relatively low price. It’s very difficult to find another material that can provide the strength that concrete can that in any way competes on price. Concrete may get a bad rap for being utilitarian, but it does its job exceptionally well.
If you’re planning on using concrete in a project in your home, then this is the guide for you. It’ll cover different concrete prices depending on your specific needs, as well as the various types of finishes and decorations you can add. Whatever your budget, there is a concrete type out there for you.
How Much Concrete Do You Need?
The first key response to the question of how much concrete costs is: it depends on how much concrete you need. Generally, for concrete, you can expect to pay roughly $6.60 per square foot. Although the actual price varies a great deal depending on the precise type of concrete you need (whether it needs to be insulated, for example, the makeup of the concrete, and so on), the $6.60 figure is a good one for a rough budget.
You’ll need to calculate how much concrete you actually need. Broadly, there are three different shapes, and you’ll need to do a little math to work out the actual square footage you need.
For a slab, the math is very simple: multiply the width of the space by the length. For example, a space that is 8 feet wide and 10 feet long will require 80 square feet (8 multiplied by 10) of concrete. This principle holds for any rectangular (and squares count as rectangles) shape.
The math for footings is very similar, but you’ll need to subtract the cavity from the overall slab. For example, if you have a 10 by 10-foot slab, with a 4 by 4-foot cavity, you multiply the total space (10 x 10) to get 100 square feet, then subtract from that the 4 x 4-foot cavity (16 feet), leaving you requiring 84 square feet of cavity.
Pilings follow the same principle as footings, but the math is a little more complicated as you’ll need to use pi. To begin, take the overall slab size. Using our 10 x 10 example above, you have a total slab size of 100 square feet. Assuming there is a piling with a four-foot diameter, you half the diameter and multiply by pi. This will give you roughly 6.28 square feet. Subtract that from the total to give 93.72 square feet of concrete required.
What Type of Concrete Do You Need?
Once you’ve done the math and determined how much concrete you’ll need, you then have to decide what type of concrete you’ll need to buy. There are three main groupings of concrete strengths, and each grouping has a different price point.
If you’re working on a light domestic project, you’re likely to need C8, C10, or C15 concrete. You’ll pay roughly $3.50 per cubic foot. If you’re working on a slightly hardier domestic project, you may need C20 concrete, which is roughly $3.85 per cubic foot.
For a light domestic building, C25 will set you back between $4.00 and $4.10 per cubic foot. For medium domestic buildings, you’ll pay somewhere between $4.10 and $4.20 per cubic foot for C30 concrete.
Although unlikely for a home-use project, if you need commercial strength concrete, then you’ll need either C35 or C40 grade. The former is somewhere between $4.10 and $4.30 per cubic foot. The latter (which you’ll only need for really serious projects) will be between $4.10 and $4.40 per cubic foot.
Other Costs Involved
As well as the basic costs involved, there are different additional factors that can shape the final bill when it comes to concrete. Some of the most common costs to factor in are the following:
Grading refers to the amount of dirt or soil you’ll need to move in order to get a level surface. This can involve either removing or adding dirt. Because of the way concrete is poured, you’ll need a level surface, or the concrete will be shallower (and therefore weaker) in some spots. Grading usually requires a tractor and an operator. You can expect to pay roughly $50 to $70 per hour for grading.
Concrete usually needs to rest on a base of either gravel or sand in order to be stable. This can also help with the grading process. You’ll usually pay somewhere between $12 and $18 per cubic yard for sand or gravel (including delivery).
As mentioned above, concrete doesn’t have to be utilitarian. In fact, you can use concrete to create a number of beautiful surfaces. These are most commonly outdoor surfaces, such as patios, driveways, and areas around swimming pools. In each of these cases, you can pay extra to have a decorative finish put on the surface of your concrete.
There are two main price groupings to consider here: outdoor concrete (such as patios) and indoor concrete (such as concrete flooring). Depending on where the concrete is and what its purpose is, you can choose from the following different decoration options:
If you’re thinking about pouring and decorating some outdoor concrete, one of the most cost-effective ways to have it look decorative is using a repeating stamp to create a pattern. This process will likely cost between $8 and $12 per square foot.
To install a decorative concrete patio outside your home, you’ll pay somewhere between $6 and $10 per square foot (although this doesn’t include any of the additional costs mentioned above).
A concrete driveway will usually run you slightly more than a concrete patio because of the requirements of the concrete to be thicker. However, this is offset by the fact that the decoration can be simpler. As such, the range is usually somewhere between $8 and $12 per square foot.
A walkway can be a beautiful addition to your outdoor space. It’ll cost you $6 to $12 per square foot, depending on the level of patterning and the shape of your walkway.
Indoor concrete can be decorative in terms of both design and function. The four most common examples of this are as follows:
Ultimately, a new concrete surface can make a huge difference to different parts of your home. It’s very much comparable to adding a fresh coat of paint or a new piece of furniture to a room. Pouring a new concrete surface will result in a highly polished (and potentially decorative) surface on your driveway, garage floor, pool area, and so on. Despite the somewhat austere reputation of concrete, there are plenty of examples of truly beautiful concrete surfaces.
In addition, as the above has shown, concrete need not break the bank; there’s likely a concrete option that will fit your budget. As concrete pouring technology improves, the time it takes for concrete to be poured and to dry is ever-reducing. This helps keep down labor costs and, therefore, the overall project costs. It also means that concrete pouring is less obtrusive since it takes place over the course of one single day.