How to Estimate the Cost of Concrete

Written by soren bagley
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How to Estimate the Cost of Concrete

Concrete is made primarily of cement. When mixed with water, concrete goes through a process called hydration, which causes it to solidify. Because of its strength, durability and cost, concrete is the most commonly used man-made material on the planet. It is used in the construction of buildings, roads, driveways and many other facilities. Calculating the cost of concrete for any of these purposes is a fairly straightforward process.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape

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    Determine The Amount Of Concrete Needed

  1. 1

    Measure the area that will be covered in concrete. Measure the length and width of the area in feet. Measure the depth of the area in inches.

  2. 2

    Calculating the cubic yards of concrete that you will need for an area is complicated, especially when you start dealing with circular or irregularly-shaped areas. The process is explained in step 3. For your convenience, however, there is a link to a concrete calculator in the Resources section of this article. Enter the measurements from step 1 into the data fields found on the webpage and click "calculate."

  3. 3

    If you were to calculate the cubic yards of concrete needed for an area, you would use this process: Calculate the area. Plug your measurements into the formula for the area of the shape that you want. For example, if you are pouring a rectangular slab of concrete that is 4 feet by 4 feet by 4 inches thick, you would multiple 4 --- 4 , which equals 16 feet.

    Calculate the volume. Next multiply your area by your depth. In this case it would be 16 feet multuiplied by 1/3 or 0.333 (because four inches is one-third of a foot), which would equal 5.332 cubic feet of concrete.

    Calculate cubic yards. Concrete comes in cubic yards in this country, however. So, you have to divide by 27 cubic yards (3 feet --- 3 feet --- 3 feet), which would give you 0.1974814 cubic yards.

    Calculate Cost Of Concrete

  1. 1

    Determine what size concrete bags you want to purchase. The bottom three fields of the concrete calculator provided below list the three most common sizes of concrete bags: 40-pound, 60-pound, and 80-pound bags. In general, the larger the bag the better the deal so plan on buying the largest bag possible for your project.

  2. 2

    Determine the number of concrete bags that you will need to purchase. The concrete calculator will supply this information when you select the size of the bag you want to use.

  3. 3

    Determine the cost of each bag. This will depend on where you purchase your concrete. Compare bag prices from local hardware and home-improvement stores.

  4. 4

    Multiply the cost of the concrete bag by the number of bags that you need. The product of these two numbers is the estimated cost of the concrete for your project.

Tips and warnings

  • For the year 2008, the average cost of concrete in America was £48 per cubic yard.

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