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Tips to Estimate and Order Ready Mix Concrete

Whether it’s the renovation of a residential property, building a new office, repairing driveways, or any other related task, concrete is must-needed. As you know, every construction project demands time and money, so it’s better to pre-plan everything accordingly.  

Undoubtedly, the ready mix concrete is the most important element of any construction or renovation project. But you must know how to order concrete for different projects in appropriate amounts. It prevents wastage and saves money too. 

Well, we have created this article to guide you on the best ways of estimating concrete. Also, we have mentioned tips to prevent delays and inconvenience in the construction work. Let’s dive in! 

4 Steps To Calculate Requirements For Concrete

The concrete requirement for a construction project depends on various factors such as property measurements, construction application, etc. Some homes require a lot of concrete for pouring the foundation. Whereas some houses need construction material in comparatively lower amounts. For this reason, proper estimation is required. It gives you an idea about the demand or exact requirement of the product. Similarly, while buying ready mix concrete, ensure you have calculated the required quantity. 

Below we have mentioned important steps to follow. Read on!  

First Step: Decide A Place To Pour The Concrete

Let’s start the procedure with the first and foremost step of estimating concrete needs. Well, first you have to measure the space where you are going to pour concrete. So, start it by determining the type or size of space you are seeking to fill the mixed concrete. 

Well, the simple formula is to choose the one from some common concrete laying types

  • Slab 
  • Footing
  • Column 

Second Step: Measure Your Site’s Dimensions 

Once you have decided on the place where you want to pour the concrete, let’s proceed to the next step. Moving forward, it’s essential to find accurate measurements of the project site (where you will pour concrete). The formula of the concrete calculation will help you to find out your requirements as per the measurements.

Also, once the measurement is done we would suggest you double-check. Before you use the calculating formula, ensure you have checked at least twice. After that communicate the dimensions with concrete providers. You must know that any wrong measurements may lead to a wrong idea. And later, it can hamper the efficacy of the concrete mix laying process. 

So, be careful with the dimension, they must be accurate. If you are confirmed, then go ahead with the next step.  

Third Step: Apply The Formula 

So you have taken the dimension of the concrete laying site? If so, then enter the data into the main formula. 

How come the formula? You might be wondering that! Well, there is a universal formula to calculate the requirement or concrete precisely. To know more, check out below:

  1. Start with measuring the mixed concrete thickness.
  2. Now, check the length (L) and Width (W) of your concrete laying place.
  3. Now, calculate the square footage of the length, as well as the width.
  4. If you have measured thickness in inches then convert it to feet.
  5. Now, apply to multiply the square footage by the concrete thickness. And find the answer in cubic feet.
  6. Once you have got the answer, now multiply 0.037 by the cubic footage. You will get an answer in cubic yards.

How To Apply The Formula?  

Well, below we have applied the formula practically. It will help you to understand the mathematical terms more clearly.

Suppose the measurement is 30 by 30. 

  • 30 x 30 = 900 sq ft (square feet)
  • 4 ÷ 12 = 0.33
  • 900 multiplied by 0.33 = 297 cubic feet
  • Now multiply 297 x .037 = 10.989 cubic yards

Well, this formula is only used to find the concrete volume. And later, you need to turn the answer into cubic yards. Furthermore, for concrete mix, you can find the volume by using the length (L) x width (W) x thickness formula.

If you aren’t interested in doing measurements manually, then there are more options. In these situations, a pre-prepared calculator for concrete mix is the best possible option. You can find it on Google or in an android/iPhone app store. The second option is to connect with the concrete providers and ask them about the volume of concrete required. They will assist you in figuring out the requirements precisely.

Fourth Step: Get An Estimated Cost Of Concrete 

Now, the fourth and last step is getting an estimate. If you are done with the final calculation of ready mix concrete, the last step is to find the overall cost.

So, for getting a clear idea, contact your concrete supplier. Tell them about the volume of concrete or the dimension of the site. Their team will surely provide you with the best quotation for the project.

Once you are done with all the four-step, now it’s high time to enjoy the high-quality products from the best suppliers. But before choosing a company, don’t forget to check their background.  

Important Points To Remember While Ordering Ready Mix Concrete  

Well, you have already read about the right ways of estimating concrete requirements. So are you ready to order? If so, then we would suggest you stop by.

Have a look over the essential things to keep in mind while ordering.

1. Aggregates

First, you have to get an idea of the specific coarse aggregate requirements during ready mix concrete order. There might be a problem due to honeycombing in special situations. It includes if in a cross-section you use a large coarse aggregate and the steel ratio is very high.

The large size of ordered coarse aggregate depends on the available aggregates, reinforcing steel spacing, and inside form dimensions.

Remember a few important points:

  • Maximum aggregate should never exceed ⅕ the narrowest in the form dimension.
  • Also, the maximum aggregate should not be more than ¾ of the gaps in between the re-bars.
  • Well, structural engineers can help you out. They can offer you direction and guidance in reference to the aggregate’s size.

2. Strength

One must know the required compressive strength before you order a concrete mix. 

  • Mainly reinforced concrete (ranging from 3,500 psi to 4,000 psi) is used for slabs on grade or on footing. 
  • From 3,500 psi to 5,000 psi is used for beams, girders, and suspended slabs. 
  • Normally 3,000 psi to 5,000 psi is used for columns and walls.

On the other hand, non-reinforced concrete has several strengths.

  • 2,500 psi is good for footings or walls.
  • 4,000 psi to 5,000 psi concrete is needed for the pavements.
  • The 3,500 psi to 4,500 psi range is enough for outdoor concrete that is used for home improvements.

3. Concrete Slump

Well, the slump is popularly known as the concrete’s consistency while placing. The slump should always be low. Also, it depends on the formwork type, the slope, reinforcement spacing, and the region where concrete will be placed. 

Have a look over the different sizes of slump required:

  • For footings or caissons: A minimum 1 inch and maximum 4 inches slump is needed.
  • Foundation wall or footings: 2 inches to 5 inches slump is needed.
  • Heavy mass concrete: Minimum 1 inch minimum and maximum 3 inches slump are enough.
  • Pavements: Minimum 2 inches minimum and maximum 3 inches slump. 
  • Beams, slabs, reinforced walls, or building columns: Minimum 3 inches and maximum 6 inches slump are good.

4. Remember Ordering In Cubic Yards

Quantity is one of the most important things to consider when ordering concrete. So, you must take care of units that are required. Remember, the ready mix concrete is mostly measured in cubic meters or cubic yards. And a normal truck can deliver 9 cubic yards to 11 cubic yards.

Well, a lower amount can be delivered, but not more than 11 cubic yards from an average-size truck. But if you order less, still, you have to pay for the remaining capacity (vehicle). Also, the delivery price depends on your address and the place where it will be stored.

Remember a few tips:

  • There will be a waste of 5% to 10% of concrete, so be ready for that. 
  • If a concrete placing site has a rectangular shape, then multiply the length by width and thickness (in feet). Later on, dividing the unit resulted in digits by 27. Then convert the amount to cubic yards.
  • If a place has a cylindrical shape, like a column, then the steps will be different. You need to measure its height, then multiply by 3.14, and later on, by the square of a cylindrical radius. In the end, divide digits by 27 to get the final answer.

Other Important Tips

Remember to also know if you are using an admixture, specify how far the job site is from the batch plant, the arrival time of the concrete that you are requesting, the desired spacing of concrete trucks, specify if you need any fiber or plasticizer, how the concrete is going to be placed, air or non-air mix, total amount of ready-mix ordered, contact person, concrete mix ID number, and the purpose of the concrete.

Also Read :  Benefits of Installing a Concrete Driveway


Before ordering concrete mix for any site, it’s essential to know the basics. Get prepared with enough knowledge so that you can save money, and prevent concrete wastage. A wrong amount of concrete may lead to more spending and less utilization in a construction project.

We hope this article has provided you with enough knowledge on the steps for estimating and ordering. Now, you would be able to make informed decisions for your new construction project. All the best for your next commercial or residential project.  

Thank you for reading! 

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