Concrete is an essential part of construction and ordering pre-mixed concrete is one of the simplest and cost-effective ways to ensure your project goes as smoothly as possible.
Ready mix concrete can save you time and money on materials and labour, provided you’ve ordered the right premix concrete in advance.
In this post, we go through some of the factors you need to consider before ordering premixed concrete and some handy tips to help you avoid project problems and delays.
Before ordering premixed concrete
Consideration #1: Is the site accessible?
Is there enough space for a standard concrete truck to get on a site? Will it cause any damage to its surroundings if the truck is driven onto site, i.e. stormwater drains, sewer pipes, pathways, driveways, or patios.
Inaccessibility to site may require a concrete pump, which will also require a specially designed concrete mix that can pass through the pump and pipeline properly. It’s best to speak with your supplier beforehand.
Consideration #2: How will the concrete be placed?
The easiest and simplest method of pouring concrete is to be able to pour it directly into its final position straight from the chute off the truck. If this isn’t possible, you will need to let your concrete supplier know because you only have a certain amount of time to empty the concrete truck, i.e. if you’re using wheelbarrows.
This will allow you to plan ahead [the number of wheelbarrows and people required] to empty the truck on time.
6 Tips to avoid problems and delay when ordering premixed concrete
How to order premixed concrete and avoid construction delays and stay within your budget.
Remember to place orders in advance
We always recommend placing premixed concrete orders at least 7 days in advance. This is to ensure there is enough time to prepare the right premix concrete that is suited to your requirements. Premix cement cannot be made on short notice and is usually why urgent orders are declined or incur extra charges. Delays in concrete can result in construction delays, and therefore costing you time and money.
Schedule a date and time the concrete is required
We won’t need to tell you twice just how important it is to schedule a date and time the concrete is required. This also includes making sure there is enough time to finish whatever work is being done on site and have everything ready by the time the concrete is poured. For example, if more than one delivery is necessary — what is the time required in between deliveries? This will also depend on the method of how the concrete is placed, i.e. by wheelbarrow or chute.
Know the quantity of concrete you require
Here’s the thing with pre-mixed concrete — you can’t store it for later use. This means any leftover material ends up going to waste. This is why it’s important to know how much concrete you will need. To minimise wastage, make sure estimations are from on-site measurements and not drawings. Consider the thickness of the slab, deflection, and uneven/irregular ground levels, while accounting for possible wastage and over-excavation. As a general rule of thumb, allow for 10% wastage when estimating the amount of concrete needed.
Concrete specifications: strength, slump and aggregate size
While placing your order, it’s important to provide specific details, which includes the minimum required for concrete specifications according to the Australian Standard AS 1379: Specification and supply of concrete. Specifications include:
Strength — various strengths of concrete have different applications and costs,and include N20, N25, N32, N40 and N50. Most residential projects, such as floor slabs, sheds and pathways usually need a minimum strength of N20, whereas N25 is more suited for driveways and patios.
Slump — measures the workability and quality of concrete. For example, the higher the slump the easier it is to work with versus a slump of say 40mm, is fairly stiff and much harder to work. We recommend 100mm slump concrete for most residential projects. Going for an 80mm slump and adding water can compromise the concrete quality.
Aggregate size — is the size of the largest stones that are used in the concrete mix. By default, aggregate size is usually 20mm and is the most common size and suitable for most applications, unless specified otherwise.
Know your method of placement
As mentioned above, knowing how your concrete is placed will allow your supplier to choose the best mix design suited to your requirements. Some options include cement poured directly from the truck, by concrete pump or wheelbarrow.
Confirm order details and tracking
Confirm the details of your order. Double check the delivery details, such as arrival time to ensure everything is ready on site to prevent any construction delays. Keep an eye on the order to see if things are progressing as planned.
Poured premix concrete vs precast
Whether you’re working on residential projects, office buildings, parking structures or commercial buildings, there will come a time when you’re faced with the option of premix or precast.
Depending on the application, both precast and poured concrete has it’s do’s and don’ts. For example, pouring concrete in bad weather can affect the strength of the concrete. Curing concrete in cold weather poses the risk of your concrete surface drying out too fast.
There are many advantages and disadvantages, so you’ll really need to compare them side by side when deciding what’s the best option for your residential or commercial project.
And if things go wrong, it’s not the end of the world. You can always rely on the professionals at Diamond Cut Concrete to get things back on track.
With years of experience in delivering high quality and efficient concrete cutting and sawing, we’ll have your slab more aligned with your specifications on time and on budget. Simply fill out the form or give us a call with your specs and we’ll get back to you within 24hours.