How to Estimate a Concrete Order

Updated: May 12, 2023

Calculate concrete prices and how many cubic yards of concrete you need for a walk, driveway or basement. How much is a yard of concrete? Find out here

Family Handyman

How to Order Concrete

Working with concrete is messy, hard work. Before you tackle a concrete pour, it’s best to be as prepared as you possibly can be. Here we’ll explain how to order concrete and estimate the cost of concrete. We’ll use a 10 x 10 ft. slab as an example.

First, check out this video where we show you how to figure out the amount of concrete you need to order for your project:

How to Calculate the Cost of a Concrete Pour

Amount. Calculate the volume of concrete you need in cubic yards. The formula for cubic yards is this: Multiply the length (10 ft.) by the width (10 ft.) by the depth (.35 ft., or 4 in.) and divide it by 27 (the number of cubic feet in a cubic yard). You get 1.3 cu. yds. Then add 10 percent to allow for spillage and slab depth variations to help determine the concrete cost per yard.

Strength. Call a local ready-mix company, tell the supplier what the concrete is for, and ask about the best mix (proportions of cement, gravel and sand). For a shed, the supplier will probably suggest a mix with a capacity of about 4,000 psi (pounds per square inch). If you live in a region with freeze/thaw cycles in winter, ask for 5 percent air entrainment to help the concrete withstand freeze/thaw damage.

How Much Does a Yard of Concrete Cost?

The cost of concrete varies depending on several factors. Cost per cubic yard can range as high as \$200 per cubic yard, but concrete slab costs will vary by region and market. Also, there can be fees per load for delivery from a concrete truck for concrete cost. There could be other fees for such things as Saturday concrete truck delivery and small loads. Ask about these fees so you know the total bill before the concrete truck arrives.

How Long Will It Take To Unload Concrete?

Ask about the normal concrete truck unload time (usually 7 to 10 minutes per yard) and if there is a fee for overtime. If the concrete truck can’t reach the site, make sure you have two or three people with wheelbarrows ready to go.

Concrete Forms and Pouring

Before you have your concrete ordered and delivered, learn the best method of how to form and pour a concrete slab. The best thing you can do to make a concrete pour go smoothly is to have your worksite fully prepped. As soon as the concrete is delivered, you’re on the clock. Make sure everything is ready to go before you place your order.