How to Calculate Reinforced Concrete

Written by billy mccarley
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How to Calculate Reinforced Concrete
Calculating concrete in advance of a project ensures your needs are precisely met. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Estimating reinforced concrete requires accurate measurements, records and calculations, which can save you money when the installation process begins. The average do-it-yourselfer can estimate his own reinforced concrete needs in one to two hours, depending on the size and scope of the project.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Calculator
  • Pencil
  • Writing pad

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  1. 1

    Measure the length and width of all areas to be poured with concrete. If you have a large area to pour with various sizes, break up the measurements in sections. For example, if you have a large slab that has a 10 feet by10 feet area and a smaller, connected area that is 5 feet by 5 feet, measure these sections separately, recording the measurements under separate heading on your paper.

  2. 2

    Multiply the length times the width to get the total square footage of the section to be poured. Add all sections together to get a total square footage for your concrete pour. For example, a 10-foot by 10-foot section will total 100 square feet and a 5-foot by 5-foot area will total 50 square feet. Add these two together to get 150 square feet.

  3. 3

    Multiply the total square footage by the thickness of the concrete pour. You will first need to convert inches to decimals. For example, if your slab is 4 inches thick, then convert those inches to feet by dividing 4 by 12 (inches), which is .33. Now multiply 150 square feet times .33 to get cubic feet of concrete capacity, which will be 49.5 cubic feet of concrete.

  4. 4

    Convert the cubic feet of concrete to cubic yards to get a final estimate of concrete in cubic yards you will need to complete your project. Divide 49.5 cubic feet by 27 (the number of feet in a cubic yard) and you will have 1.83 cubic yards of concrete capacity to pour.

  5. 5

    Multiply the total yards times the cost of concrete per yard to get an estimate of concrete cost. For example, if your local concrete supplier charges £65 per yard of concrete, then multiply 100 times 1.83 to get the total cost, which is £118, plus sales and use taxes, if any.

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