How To Calculate How Much Concrete You Will Need And Save Money

When pouring concrete, there really is not much time to change your mind about things. The truck is showing up and the crew is ready to go. For this reason, it makes sense to do your calculations correctly the first time. One benefit of modern technology is that there are online calculators and applications that will do some of the math for you. As you lay out your concrete project, be sure to consult with an experienced concrete contractor. Some contractors or construction companies specialize in other areas but are not particularly experience with concrete specifically. Make sure your contractor has a pool of tradespeople that have plenty of concrete experience. You only get one shot on this one.


If you have the outer dimensions of the area you would like to fill with concrete, the calculation for figuring out how many yards of material you will need is pretty straightforward. If you are dealing with a square or rectangle simply multiply the length by the width to get the total square footage. 


For instance, if a concrete pad was going to be 10 feet long by 10 feet wide that would make a total of 100 square feet. Now image that each square foot was also a foot deep. You would then have 100 cubic feet.  Depending on the project you may decide to make a thicker slab, but most driveways are about four inches thick. Divide your total cubic feet, 100, by the cubic feet of one yard which is 27. You now know that you will need a little less than four yards of concrete to fill the area with four inches. Four yards will be a great estimate to figure out what the project will cost you.


Check your work with an online calculator and have a professional concrete contractor do the actual job. Concrete is too expensive to risk making mistakes. Another key decision is making sure that the surface you are going to pour on is well packed and no deeper than necessary. Just a few inches of unnecessary concrete can cost big! Also, make sure to leave channels for possible electrical chases so you can add a light or receptacle later. Be positive that all plumbing is in working order and set properly before beginning a pour.


Do it once and do it right. You will enjoy the satisfaction of a driveway or surface that looks good and lasts a long time.

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