What to Know About Pricing Concrete.
Concrete Pricing Considerations
Supplies and Material Needed
Easily the most obvious variable to consider when pricing concrete is volume. The more concrete you need, the more it’s going to cost you!
Concrete prices fluctuate. Concrete installation contractors adopt unique strategies for pricing in the face of a fluctuating supply chain, or their respective buying power. What does that mean? Well, some companies (not J. Callahan) choose to raise prices during the spring and summer months to prioritize their production schedules. Meanwhile, others adjust prices based on their buying power, or their relationship with suppliers - when contractors pay more for their concrete supply, so does the customer.
In addition to the volume of concrete required, one must also consider other material requirements including but not limited to forming boards, fill dirt, stamps, color additives, and more.
Keep in mind - while it may increase your total cost, you will likely save money in the long-run by having multiple concrete projects completed at once. These savings can likely be attributed to the fact that costs related to delivery and equipment will remain stagnant, though you will still see a cost increase associated with labor and volume.
Concrete transportation and grading equipment varies widely in cost and size. Even small projects can require larger equipment depending on the topography, property lines, and other obstructions.
Types of Grading Equipment:
Types of Concrete Tranportation Vehicles:
Obstacles & Obstructions
Many people planning to start up new concrete projects forget to account for obstacles and obstructions on the property when budgeting for their project. These obstructions can significantly increase the labor and prep requirements for contractors, which can translate into increased costs for the customer. When thinking about obstacles, be sure to consider property lines! You won’t be able to just “remove” items on, or drive equipment through, your neighbors property without their consent. Furthermore, some Homeowners Associations require an “easement” or the application of a comfortable amount of distance between the property line and any permanent structures. Navigating around obstacles that can’t be relocated or removed can translate into higher equipment costs.
What are some common obstacles and obstructions to consider?
Buried Utility Lines
Trees, Bushes, and other landscaping
Fences and Gates
Design Needs & Preferences
Concrete design has seemingly unlimited customization potential! However, it’s important to remember that any upgrade to your concrete design is going to cost more to compensate your contractor for the additional labor involved in sales, design, and production. When considering the design of your concrete, it is perhaps most important to consider its purpose. For many projects, a standard slab could be sufficient. In cases where you’ll be building or driving heavy equipment over the concrete, you may need to consider the additional cost of a higher PSI concrete mixture and/or reinforcements.
Design Variables Affecting Price
Concrete Finish Type
More Cost Effective
More Aesthetic (Expensive)
Stamp & Stain
Other Custom Finish Options
Why do some concrete finishes cost more than others?
Requires Additional Materials
Increases Difficulty and Risk of Damage in Production
Aesthetic Value to the Customer
Concrete Shape & Thickness
Unique Shapes or Forming Designs
4” vs 6” Thickness
Why can this increase my costs?
Increases Volume Requirements
Requires Specialized Forming Materials
Concrete PSI Mixture
Higher PSI Mixtures = Higher Cost
Reinforcement Type (if any)
Why is concrete reinforcement more expensive?
Increases Material and Labor Costs
Practical/Structural Benefits to the Customer
What are concrete calculators good for?
Ball-park & budgeting
There are many concrete calculators out there. Some calculate for volume, and others provide preliminary estimates. Regardless of what you might find online, there is no way to accurately and consistently estimate the cost of every concrete project using a “simple” calculator. Estimating concrete projects the right way requires a hands-on professional with ample experience. Even then, unforeseen circumstances can cause further fluctuations in price! If you’re going to use a calculator then, it’s recommended to take the results with a grain of salt. That said, concrete calculators can be useful for understanding where to begin with budgeting for your concrete project.