A Guide to Buying Concrete For DIYers
Custom Concrete delivers site mixed concrete across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, and Buckinghamshire. No matter the size or location of the job, our volumetric concrete trucks provide freshly mixed concrete exactly where you need it. If you’re a DIYer, buying concrete for the first time, the Custom Concrete team has a few tips to help you save on costs, time, and hassle.
Choosing the Right Type of Concrete
The first thing to decide is what type of concrete you need for your job. Different mixes are required for different tasks; the concrete you would use for a driveway – which needs to take the weight of a car – would be different to the concrete for paving, which only needs take the weight of foot traffic.
Most concrete suppliers will be able to help if you’re unsure about the mix you need. At Custom Concrete we have specialist customer service staff who can talk you through the options for buying concrete, and offer advice on the right mix for your job.
Mix On-Site or Ready Mixed?
The difference between ready mixed, or site mixed concrete, comes down to the way in which the concrete is made and delivered:
- Mix On-Site Concrete. The raw materials are transported in volumetric trucks and mixed on site where it will be poured. The concrete is absolutely fresh, and the mix is bespoke to your needs. If weather conditions require a slight adjustment to the mix, this is not a problem.
- Ready Mixed Concrete. The concrete is mixed at a batching plant and then transported to where it is required. Small loads, or half loads are normally subject to surcharges. During transportation the concrete is agitated to keep it workable. It’s not possible to adjust the mix once it’s in transit.
Check How Much Concrete You Need
Buying too much concrete adds unnecessary cost and leaves you with waste that you need to dispose of. Ordering too little concrete involves a supplementary order, which is also an expense you want to avoid.
At Custom Concrete we help our customers to avoid either of these problems by providing a calculator on our website. When buying concrete, you select the mix, and the dimensions required; the calculator will tell you how much you need.
Do You Need a Concrete Pump?
You will need to consider in advance whether or not you will need to hire a concrete pump for your pour. Your decision will rest on the volume of concrete being delivered, the access available for the concrete truck, and environmental factors.
- Access. If it is possible for the truck to access your site easily, a pump will not be required. If, however, there is limited access, or the concrete needs to be poured from above, a pump or wheelbarrows will be needed.
- Wheelbarrows. If you need to transport a small volume of concrete, wheelbarrows are a viable solution. It is, however, a labour-intensive process as it takes 30 wheelbarrow loads to transport 1 cubic metre of concrete, and the concrete needs to be transported fast.
- Pump Hire. You can hire boom pumps for overhead pours, or line pumps for transporting concrete around obstacles or over a distance. They are normally available from your supplier and can be arranged at the same time as you are buying concrete.
Be Prepared for Your Concrete Delivery
When your concrete arrives, you need to be ready to work fast. This means having the site prepared, and the right number of people to help if needed. Fresh concrete is workable for around 90 minutes, or 60 minutes in warm weather. If the weather is extreme (snow, ice, heavy rain, or intense heat) we would recommend that you postpone delivery in consultation with your supplier.
Working With Custom Concrete
We are a leading provider of volumetric concrete, and we deliver to jobs of any size or location. Our Custom Concrete calculator can be used to determine the volume of materials needed, and the mix you require for your job. Our specialists deliver fresh concrete, on site, tailored to your requirements. The Custom Concrete pump hire service guarantees that fresh concrete reaches its destination fast and efficiently.
Would you like to talk to one of our concrete specialists about buying concrete for a DIY job? Call us today on 01525 861899