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Is It Cheaper To Mix Your Own Concrete?

If you’re planning a construction project, chances are you will need at least a little concrete to get the job done. Luckily, this versatile material is fairly inexpensive, but when you need large quantities, those costs are sure to rise! So, is it cheaper to mix your own concrete?

This is a conversation that we often have with our clients. Whilst there are benefits to mixing your own concrete, we’ve found that hiring a company to deliver, mix and lay your concrete can be easier to estimate a budget for and usually results in a quicker all-round job.

It isn’t necessarily cheaper to mix your own concrete, as you’ll need to factor in the cost of supplying your own materials and hiring a cement mixer machine, with these costs increasing as your project grows in size. 

Hiring a company to do the work will come at a set price, which is often easier to budget for as they’ll provide a quote for the job before any work starts.

Ready Mix vs Site Mix Concrete Cost

Ready mix concrete is pre-prepared in a plant to your pre-arranged specifications and delivered to your job site in an unhardened, plastic form. This type of concrete will arrive in trucks and can be used straight away with no additional mixing equipment required.

In comparison, site mix concrete can be prepared as and when you like using base ingredients that have been delivered to your site. This style of concrete requires mixing equipment to be hired and workers to physically produce the concrete on demand.

Ready mix concrete is usually the more expensive option, with the transportation costs and logistics involved generally costing more than the tools and labour associated with site mix concrete. However, for larger projects, ready mix concrete can become better value.

Price For Ready Mix Concrete per m3

Ready mix concrete is sold by volume, usually calculated in cubic metres, with the average price being between £65-£85 per m3. 

Ready mix concrete is often more expensive than site mix as you’re paying for convenience. If you’re opting for ready mix concrete, you should also make sure to account for any spillages on site by ordering 5-10% more than you need, though this will contribute to a higher cost.

Ready Mix Concrete Price Calculator

In order to keep on top of your budget, you must calculate the volume of ready mix concrete you’ll need to complete your project before you begin searching out any quotes.

This can be done by measuring the length and width of your project area alongside the intended thickness of the finished concrete surface and multiplying these values together.

To help with this process, below you’ll find a list of online concrete calculator tools:

  • Rapid Ready Mix
  • Hanson Concrete Calculator
  • CEMEX  

FAQ’s 

How much does it cost to mix your own cement?

Mixing your own cement can cost between £40-£150, depending on the amount of concrete you’re making and the length of your project, you can also find out how long should you mix cement in a mixer. Hiring a cement mixer will usually cost around £30-£40 per day, whilst one 20kg bag of cement formula generally costs around £6-£10. 

One 20kg bag can produce approximately 0.009m3 of usable concrete, so for smaller projects mixing your own concrete can be cost-effective, though, for larger jobs, ready mix concrete will often work out cheaper.

Is it cheaper to mix concrete by hand?

It is cheaper to mix concrete by hand, but it will become less cost-effective as your project size increases. 

Hiring a company to prepare and lay concrete for more extensive jobs will often be less expensive, as they already have the equipment and infrastructure needed to carry out the work and will include this in their quote. 

Last Word

Whilst it is cheaper to mix your own concrete in small quantities for personal projects. Generally, it will be more cost-effective to hire a company to do the mixing for you when working on a job larger than 3-4 cubic metres.

The cost of hiring mixing equipment and base materials can quickly add up when mixing your own concrete, making it hard to keep on top of your budget, whilst using ready mix concrete comes with the benefit of a set price and volume, which is much easier to account for. You can also discover if there is a difference between a mortar mixer and a cement mixer on our other page so you know exactly what you are doing.