Did you know the world uses roughly 30 billion tonnes of concrete annually? Concrete is one of the most common and popular construction materials, helping keep costs low. But how much does a yard of concrete cost during construction?
For most concrete companies, the average cost is $125 per cubic yard. However, this cost can vary from $100 to $165-$170 depending on various factors.
If you’re curious about how much concrete costs, we’re here to help. Read on to learn about the costs of concrete, what factors affect this cost, and ways to cut the price down.
Factors that Affect the Cost of Concrete
To start, what are the factors that affect the cost of concrete? You’ll find similar elements with any product that will change the cost. Quality, quantity, and other factors are crucial in looking at the cost of concrete.
For this section, we’ll assume you are installing the concrete yourself. If you hire a team of professionals to install the concrete, the price changes dramatically. Here are some features you should expect.
Quality of Material
One of the most crucial factors is the concrete’s quality. Concrete is a mixture of several ingredients, and low-quality ingredients can often change these ratios for cost.
For example, low-quality concrete may have too much of one ingredient. This poor ratio can cause the resulting concrete to be sub-par.
It may fail to adhere, take too long to set, or not be as strong as high-quality concrete. However, this may fit your purposes perfectly, depending on what you need the concrete for.
Think of the uses you need and whether your project requires top-quality concrete. Most times, it’s best to get high-quality concrete than to buy a low-quality product. This concrete will last longer, hold better, and be easier to work with.
Quantity of Concrete
The amount of concrete you need will also impact the cost. As with any product, buying more will usually cost more.
If you only need a single yard of concrete, you may not want to purchase it in bulk. Otherwise, you can often find better deals buying in bulk. For example, many hardware stores will sell bulk concrete for cheaper than if you purchased smaller bags or mixes over time.
Look at how much concrete you’ll need and how long the project should take. If you anticipate needing a large amount of concrete, buy in bulk to save a few dollars. But if your project is small in scale, it’s best to purchase just as much as you need.
Another factor you should consider isn’t the price of the concrete itself. Instead, think of environmental factors that can affect the price. These factors can significantly increase the price of your project.
You can’t just walk into your backyard and start pouring concrete! The area will need preparation. This issue may mean clearing vegetation, draining water from the spot, building a brace, and more.
Think of what you’ll need to do to the area you intend to lay concrete over. This task can require more equipment, resources, and time. All of these factors can affect your cost!
Budget accordingly to ensure you don’t run out of funds before you’ve poured your concrete. Factor the cost of preparing the area into the cost of your concrete.
Average Cost of Concrete
Now that we know some of the many factors of concrete, how high is the cost of concrete? Again, there are a few factors to consider, but we can look at rough estimates.
As we said in the beginning of this article, for most concrete companies, the average cost is $125 per cubic yard. However, this cost can vary from $100 to $165-$170.
However, please note that this is the cost of concrete when installed by a professional concrete company. In addition, there are many applications where you may not require a company to install the concrete.
So, why the variation? Here are some reasons the cost of concrete can vary by as much as $70 per cubic yard.
As with many services, labor costs are one of the largest in this average price. Therefore, hiring a team to prepare and set your concrete will drastically increase costs.
Labor can often cost more than concrete, particularly in small projects. The team setting your concrete will bring equipment, personnel, and supplies. As such, you can expect the cost of labor to magnify the cost of your project.
The environment can have multiple effects on the cost of concrete. For example, exceptionally humid locations, such as Floridian summers or the rainy season in Washington, can make concrete take longer to set. The weather can also pose issues with the concrete’s stability or stop it from setting.
Consider how the environment will affect your concrete and whether you must purchase more. Anticipating these issues in advance can help stop you from dealing with ruined concrete.
Given that labor is often a significant cost, the competing rates between two companies will often affect prices. Due to this factor, your cost will change depending on your chosen company.
You shouldn’t always go for the first company you find when looking for a company to set your concrete. Instead, shop around for a few days and see what companies offer.
You may find some presenting deals on projects of a specific size or to first-time customers. These are a great way to cut the costs of your project, so keep your eye out!
Now that we’ve looked into what the average cost of concrete can vary, what are some additional costs? We’ve discussed labor and environmental issues, so make sure those are fresh in your mind. Otherwise, here are some additional costs of purchasing concrete.
Depending on your project, you may require specialized equipment. Consider the cost of this equipment as an additional cost for your project.
This is primarily the case with more complex concrete projects. If you’re just mixing concrete and spreading it over a small area, you won’t need much-specialized equipment. It may be unnecessary for small projects, patch jobs, concrete repairs, or similar situations.
Equipment can include something to mix the concrete in (a safe bucket is fine for small projects) and items to spread the concrete. You also may need the wood to make a concrete frame.
However, note that these costs only are incurred if you’re doing a DIY project. If you’re hiring a company, they should bring all the equipment necessary.
Another cost that can affect a DIY project is the time that it can take. The time and effort of a DIY project often make people hire companies.
Consider how long the concrete project can take you. Will you need to request time off of work? The lost money is technically another cost!
Think of the time and effort you’ll pour into your concrete project. Then, weigh if hiring a team is worth the extra money and decide which methodology is best for you.
Ways to Save Money
With so much discussion around money, how can you save a few bucks on your concrete project? Here are a few ways to shave down the cost of concrete for your project.
You may do a DIY project if the labor cost is too much for your preferences. For example, up to $170 for a square yard of concrete is staggering, but you can lower the cost if you do the project yourself.
For example, most bags of concrete are about 80 pounds. A bag this size will usually cover 0.6 cubic feet. That means you need five bags to cover 3 feet (1 yard).
Look at your local costs and see if buying the concrete (and any other materials) is cheaper than hiring a local company. You should expect to spend several hundred dollars at a minimum on professionals.
Lower Quality Concrete
The second way to save is to use lower-quality concrete in your project. Doing so may sound risky, but concrete comes in many forms.
If you’re only paving an area, low-quality concrete might work fine. However, if you’re anchoring something down, you won’t want to cut costs here.
A professional company may have several types of concrete that you can choose from. This can help you find something that fits your needs functionally and financially.
If you’re pouring the concrete yourself, you can also consider not making the concrete as thick. If the area is paved for aesthetic purposes, you won’t need as deep of a slab. Consider these factors while calculating what the best concrete for your goals is.
Negotiating Prices With Contractors
Negotiating prices can be an effective way of saving money on concrete. Before starting the project, talk to local contractors and get an estimate for your project. Ask for a breakdown of materials and labor costs.
If the price is too high, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Try to get a better deal by asking for discounts or offering to purchase materials yourself.
Purchasing Reliable Concrete
Concrete can cost several hundred dollars, averaging about $100-$170 per square yard of concrete. You can lower the cost by making your work a DIY project, but this will cost more time and may require specialized equipment. Some prefer to hire professional local concrete teams to ensure the job is done correctly, swiftly, and safely.
For more information on how to calculate the cost of your upcoming renovation project, be sure to browse our site!