If you’re looking for a guide price for pre-mixed concrete delivered to a location in the UK, then you have come to the right place.
We know how much concrete costs as we’ve used several companies over the years to deliver concrete to projects we’ve worked on.
Concrete prices are rarely simple, and most suppliers add on extra costs. However, with our guide, we hope you can save money and get the facts about concrete.
Concrete is sold by volume, usually per cubic metre so it’s important that you measure the area you need filling accurately. Fortunately, there are several calculators online that can make things easier for you.
Many people get these terms confused, so it’s worth including these definitions here:
Cement is not the same as concrete; it’s a fine powder that is added to water and aggregates to make concrete or mortar.
Concrete is usually a mixture of aggregates of varying sizes, sand, cement and water. Additives are used to adjust its drying time or its workability.
Screed is a mixture of fine sand particles, cement and water. It’s used to create a very smooth hard material that is perfect for floors.
Mortar is a mixture of building sand and either cement or lime. It’s used for laying or repointing bricks and blocks.
Different Types of Concrete
If you’ve never ordered concrete before, you may be surprised at how many different types there are to choose from.
Below is a list of the most common types and their uses.
C7 – this is perfect for kerbing, cavity filling and haunching/flaunching.
C10 – is often used for drainage works, steps and as a domestic floor sub-base.
C15 – is the preferred option for small walls foundations, patio sub-bases, sheds and garden footpaths.
C20 – this is a tougher variant and is used by builders when they need a more robust foundation for larger walls, small conservatories, garages, and greenhouses. This is also used for domestic concrete driveways.
C25 – is used for foundations and in situations where a strong base is required. This type of cement often supports houses, extensions, garages, outbuildings and large conservatories.
C30 – for large domestic construction projects where extra reinforcement is needed.
C35 – this type of cement is seen more often on commercial and agricultural projects, also underpinning.
C45 – this is perfect for underground septic tanks, HGV parking foundations and piling.
Regardless of the type of concrete, you can customise it with the following optional extras;
- A plasticiser makes the concrete more “workable”, and it will flow easier into small areas and awkward corners.
- A retardant will slow the curing process and is ideal for situations where you need more time to work the concrete into place.
- Accelerators do the opposite and reduce the drying time.
- Fibres can be added for extra strength.
- Corrosion inhibitors are a good idea if the cement is to be poured over steel reinforcement bars.
What’s the Difference Between Ready Mixed and Volumetric Concrete?
Ready-mixed concrete is prepared at the manufacturer’s site, is poured into a truck and delivered to your building site.
This type is cheaper, but you’ll need to pre-order the exact amount you’ll need. Any unwanted concrete will need to be returned to the manufacturer, and they’ll charge an extra fee for this. If you don’t order enough concrete, you’ll need to order an entirely new delivery; this will increase your costs substantially. This type of concrete isn’t as fresh as volumetric concrete, and you get less time to work with it before it cures.
In general, ready mix concrete is the least flexible option, once your order is en route to your site, you cannot change it without paying excessive fees. Many suppliers also charge a minimum fee.
Volumetric concrete is mixed in specialist trucks at your building site.
This has many advantages:
- You only pay for what you use.
- No return fees.
- No re-ordering if you make a mistake with your calculations.
- It’s freshly prepared on-site, giving you more time to work with it.
Unfortunately, the cost of volumetric concrete is usually higher per cubic metre than a ready mix. You do however get lots of flexibility; you can add extras to the mix on site or change it from C15 to C20 for example.
Volumetric concrete is perfect for smaller projects or if you’re not 100% sure which mix is best.
Chute, Barrow or Pump?
If your site is located close to the road, then the concrete can be poured either directly from the chute into the ground.
If you need to transport the material further, you can either use wheelbarrows or have it pumped via ground pipes or an aerial boom system.
Ground pipes are very flexible and are perfect for sites with access issues; they can be laid around corners, downstairs and around almost any obstacle.
If you need to produce a sample (called a cube) of mixed concrete for compression/strength testing to meet British Standards requirements, then these are usually priced separately.
A technician will attend the site, take the samples of cement in the form of a standard 100mm cube and allow it to cure before testing it for strength in a laboratory.
Some concrete suppliers charge an additional delivery fee while most only charge a fee if you order a part load.
Part Load Fees and Waiting Times
There’s usually no “part load fee” for volumetric concrete, but for ready-mixed, you’ll need to purchase a minimum of up to 6 cubic metres, if you order less, there’s a part load fee.
Ready-mix concrete suppliers usually include 30 minutes of waiting time in their quotes. If you require more time, you’ll pay for each extra 30-minutes, the cost varies from supplier to supplier.
These are variable and usually quite expensive, always ask your supplier how much they charge for returns if you can’t dispose of excess concrete on site.
Ready Mix Concrete Prices
The table below contains the average prices for the most popular types of ready mix concrete:
|Concrete:||Price Per Cubic Metre:|
|C8 to C15||£105 - £115|
|C20 to C25||£100 - £120|
|C30 to C35||£120 - £130|
|C40 to C45||£130 - £135|
|Additives||From £15 per cubic metre|
|Delivery fee||Often free for a full load or there's a fee (variable for part loads)|
|Return fee||Yes but variable (waste concrete is bad for the environment and is expensive to dispose of)|
|Minimum total order value||£500|