Concrete is the single most versatile construction material in existence. Its efficiency and relatively low cost mean that it is the de facto construction material for all large construction projects. With that being said, not all concrete is the same and so specifying the right mix is 90% of getting the job right.
Buying concrete can be a minefield if you don’t know what you’re looking for, which is why we’ve put this handy guide together to make your life easier. If you ever need to source concrete for a small home renovation project, bookmark this guide and refer to it when necessary.
What Do You Need the Concrete For?
Structural or load bearing concrete has different requirements to the concrete that you might choose to cast into a decorative architectural feature. This is because the latent strength of concrete is determined by exactly how it has been mixed and into what ratio of ingredients.
Your average floor slab for a residential property will be perfectly fine with a standard mix of C40 concrete. If you wish, you may choose to add one of several admixtures into the mix to enhance the performance of the slab even further.
A deep ring beam foundation on the other hand is going to require steel reinforcement and a more specific type of admixture to ensure its performance and longevity.
Consult with A Concrete Supplier
For any specialist projects, we suggest that you consult with a concrete company that has the required expertise to advise you further. Concreters in Melbourne, Australia, are all well versed in the requirements of both small and large construction projects. Simply provide them with your design requirements and they will design you a bespoke concrete mix to get the job done.
Figure Out How Much Concrete You Need
Your supplier is also going to need to know exactly how much concrete you’re going to need. Concrete is measured by volume so you will need the length and width of the area to be poured as well as the depth or thickness of your desired concrete slab.
If you struggle with this part of the process, your supplier will be able to make a best estimate based upon the detail you provide for the job. Too much concrete is always better than too little.
DIY Your Project
If you’re determined to get the job done yourself, you will need to head down to your local builder’s merchant and buy several bags of ready mix concrete. There will likely be a few different types but your merchant will be able to advise on what will be most suitable for the task at hand.
Bear in mind that you will need to mix this concrete yourself once back home so only attempt a small area unless you have the required experience to get the job done properly first time. Having to re-lay any poorly laid concrete will only cost you time and money.
You might find that its best to hire the experts for your first concrete pour, just so you can see how the job should be done.