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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.

Equipment Requirements

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?

  • Irrigation Systems

  • Buried Utility Lines

  • Trees, Bushes, and other landscaping

  • Ditches

  • Fences and Gates

  • Property Lines

  • And More

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

  • Brushed/Picture Frame

  • Slick Trowel

  • More Aesthetic (Expensive)

  • Polished

  • Stamp & Stain

  • Sand Washed

  • 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)

  • Rebar

  • Footers

  • Wire Mesh

  • Fiber Mesh

  • 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.

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