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Homeowner’s Guide

CONCRETE BASICS

Concrete is a mixture of sand, stone, cement, water and other admixtures.

Concrete is an amazing, durable, and complex construction material. From the a basic garage slab to a beautifully ornate decorative back yard patio, the applications for concrete are nearly endless. “Ready mix concrete” is manufactured in one of our plants according to a set recipe or “mix” and delivered to a job site location in one of our red and white striped mixer trucks. Let’s make sure your next concrete project is a successful one.

FAQs

Although concrete appears to be a simple construction product, it is not as simple or easy to place as one might think. Concrete is a complex material that if not placed and finished properly could become a costly mess that is not easily fixed. Surface imperfections or defects can and will happen if concrete is not finished properly.

Concrete is also a very heavy product. A single cubic yard of concrete weighs approximately 4000 pounds. If forms are not shored up properly, “blow outs” could occur. This is not only costly and time consuming; it can also be very dangerous. If the subgrade or ground that the concrete is going to be placed on is not properly compacted, the slab you place today may be the slab you will have to mud jack or raise back up to grade level next year. And although concrete is a strong product (3000 to 4000 PSI compressive strength). The tensile strength or flexibility of concrete is not as strong. So, concrete will crack in two if asked to support its self with out structural reinforcement.

There are many qualified concrete contractors in the area who are trained to form and place concrete. Tell us about your project and we’ll recommend a trained professional in your area.

Completing your own concrete project can be a gratifying experience though it will involve a good deal of planning and plenty of physical labor. A concrete project requires that you plan your pour, set up forms, place your order and finish your concrete.

For an in depth guide to concrete placement check out “Cement Mason’s Guide to Building Concrete Walks, Drives, Patios, and Steps” available from the Portland Cement Association.

Concrete is sold by volume and not weight and is measured by cubic yards. Knowing how much concrete is needed for a job is incredibly important to save you time, money, and ensure your job goes smoothly. Use our Concrete Calculator or our iPhone app to calculate the cubic yards needed for your job.

How you measure your job depends on your project type. Ensure that your subbase grade and any other walls or forms are even

Flatwork, Footings, and Walls are all figured by multiplying length x thickness x height. Enter your dimensions into our concrete calculator to figure the cubic yards needed for your project.

It’s helpful to think about the space the concrete will occupy in terms of rectangles. For instance, to measure stairs break up the stairs into rectangles and calculate the volume of individual rectangles and then add up the rectangle volumes to get the total volume.

In order to calculate the volume of a column or caisson you’ll need to multiply the radius (assuming it is a perfect circle) by the height

Many factors are involved in pricing concrete such as the type of mix, specialty additives or finishes and size of the order. Request a free estimate or call our dispatch center to talk to a specialist.