Concrete Cost Per Yard To Build Patios, Houses, And Slabs

Concrete is one of the most popular building materials in the world. It can be used for foundations, walkways, and even entire buildings. This doesn’t just mean commercial buildings either, residential buildings can be made of concrete too. 

But before you go buying enough concrete to build a home, it’s important to figure how much concrete you need. The cost of concrete may fluctuate, but you can get a good average if you figure it by the cubic yard

How Much Is Concrete Per Yard?

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Image from Gwc Decorative Concrete

Concrete and cement can be sold in bags, feet, pounds, and cubic yards. The most common way to figure concrete costs is by cubic yards of concrete. Most of the time, base concrete will cost around $80 per cubic yard. But this price varies greatly. 

It’s very rare to pay more than $200 per cubic yard for concrete even with installation. But there are certain conditions where delivery and installation costs can be quite a bit more. That said, the base cost of the concrete won’t cost this much for a long time. 

Figuring A Cubic Yard

Since a cubic yard is a cubic that is 3x3x3 you can use that formula to figure the number of cubic feet that are in it. This is 3x3x3 which is 27 cubic feet. However, most of the time, you won’t need 3-feet thick concrete.

Most of the time, concrete is 4-inches thick. If your concrete is 4-inches thick, it will pour a 9-by-9-foot slab. This formula is easy to use for any area. Say you are building a concrete slab patio and need to find how much concrete you need.

You can start with the thickness, let’s pretend it is 3-inches. Then, you find the area. Let’s say that the area is 10-feet wide and 12-feet long. The first thing you’ll do is convert the feet to inches.

Ten feet to inches is 120 and 12 feet to inches is 144. So we multiple 120x144x3. That is 51840. Now, since there are 1728 cubic inches in a cubic foot, we can divide the large number by 1728 and get 30.

You need 30 cubic feet of concrete for this area. To turn that into cubic yards all you have to do is divide it by 27 because there are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard. Thirty divided by 27 is 1.1 cubic yards of concrete. 

Breakdown:

LxWxH in inches > cubic inches divided by 1728 > cubic feet divided by 27 > cubic yards

Changes In Concrete Price Per Yard

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Like most materials, the cost of concrete changes regularly. Concrete prices have been steadily increasing since 2013 (likely before) with the exception of 2016 when they dropped 10%. Since then, the price has spiked.

However, 2021 prices of concrete haven’t been calculated though all building material prices have gone up this year. With the demand for concrete higher as more modern buildings are created, the prices go up as well.

So if you are planning on using concrete to build something then it’s a good idea to get it sooner rather than later unless you are waiting on a drop again, which may or may not happen. More than likely, it will level out and slowly increase. 

Yard Of Concrete Cost In Different Regions

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Image from Prestige Builders

Just as the cost to build a house varies by state, the cost of concrete per yard also varies by state. For example, Texas, New York, and Connecticut see the highest concrete and other building material prices.

Whereas Tennessee, Michigan, and Ohio prices will be much cheaper. This is less about the cost for manufacturers to make the concrete and more about the price of living in these states, which affects the economy. 

In general, you will pay $1000 to $10,000 for a concrete foundation for your home, depending on where you live. But if you are building in a different country, things are even more different than the differences you see in states.

You may pay about the same in Singapore or Korea for concrete and building supplies, but other countries are different. England, especially London, will cost you about twice as much whereas, in Vietnam, you’ll pay less than half.

That said, this also depends on the region of the country. The cost of building a house cost twice as much in Hong Kong but half as much in Beijing as it does in the United States. So each distinct city and neighborhood matters. 

Cost Of Delivering Concrete 

The cost of delivering concrete should be considered if you aren’t delivering your own. If you can haul your own, it’s preferable because there will always be a base charge even if you only order one bag of concrete. It may cost the same as ordering 100.

Delivery costs are also higher on the weekends. If it is exceptionally hot or cold, it will cost more too, if the concrete is pre-mixed and you’re not simply having the bags brought to you, which is a simpler delivery. 

Other things that can affect the delivery cost are your delivery location if it’s easy to access and if it is close to the company’s base. Most of the time, you’ll pay between $100 and $500 for concrete delivery. 

Pros And Cons Of Concrete

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Image from WA Design Architects

Concrete has many pros, cons, advantages, and disadvantages. Here are the most relevant pros and cons of building with concrete. 

Pros:

  • Durability – concrete is one of the most durable materials known to man. There’s not much that can break it, whether it’s a storm, trauma, or decades of wear-and-tear. So it’s a good investment for any project. 
  • Economical – the price per cubic yard of concrete is substantially lower than most other materials. Most of the time, it is half the price of wood when used in framing and foundations, which is amazing. 
  • Weatherproof – there is hardly a storm that concrete can’t weather. It is durable and can withstand as much water as you can send into it. It won’t leak and if sealed properly it won’t sweat either. 
  • Fireproof – if it weren’t for smoke, you could survive a fire in a concrete home. Concrete is one of the most fireproof materials you can use in a home. This is why it’s often used for shelters from dangers. 
  • Versatile – concrete can be molded and sculpted into any shape. It’s like modern-day plaster with even more practical benefits. Although plaster is an age-old material, it isn’t as durable as concrete. 
  • Low-Maintenance – concrete is low-maintenance. After it is installed, it usually needs little to no maintenance for decades, or longer. This saves a lot of money compared to materials that do need maintenance. 
  • Great For Pets – concrete is easy to clean up and doesn’t stain if it is sealed. So this makes it great for pets, and just may be the best type of flooring to use in a home with a lot of pets making messes. 
  • Perfect Foundation – concrete is the perfect foundation. It’s solid, safe, sturdy, and is a wonderful level base for building any home. There aren’t many foundations that are built without any concrete. 

Cons:

  • Cheap Knockoffs – you have to be careful when trying to save money or you might run into some serious problems with low-quality concrete. A base of Portland cement is important and so are good mixing ratios. 
  • Needs Reinforcement – most concrete will need rebar or some other type of reinforcement. This adds to the cost but is necessary for a strong base. There are many ways to reinforce concrete, some cheaper than others. 
  • Difficult To Repair – concrete is not easy to repair. You will need to remove sealant from the area, fill the cracks, smooth it out, and let it dry. Then it’s time to rematch and sealant or paints on the concrete. Making it look good is the hard part. 
  • Tensile Strength – tensile strength was originally defined by the ability to pull something with a rope. This is still a good way to measure it and it isn’t a “strength” for concrete, though this rarely affects its structural integrity. 
  • Needs Sealed – concrete needs sealed or it will stain and even scratch. Sealing concrete is just like painting but it needs to be done right and with the correct sealer that it won’t absorb or allow to be sticky when humid. 
  • Hard To Customize – although it is highly moldable, concrete still looks like concrete. You can get finishes and designs to make it look different, but this is difficult to do without a professional’s help. 

Is Concrete Right For Me?

If you like how concrete looks for your project, then there’s no real reason not to use it. It is one of the strongest materials you can get and it can be used for almost anything. That said, it is fairly permanent.

It is like using nails instead of screws for a project. It will stand there unless you tear it down. But when you use wood, you can take things down piece by piece. With concrete, what you build is what you’re stuck with.

This can be a good thing. But it’s all about preference. The price per cubic yard for concrete is good right now. So money shouldn’t be a factor. It’s all about your personal design style and if you believe concrete is your best option.