The foundation of your home is critical to its stability, and your long-term benefits for being in it. In all likelihood, the foundation of your home (concrete slab construction), or any extension on it, like concrete driveway construction, or even a new concrete fence, relies on concrete. This underscores the importance of concrete in the construction process, and why it’s important to do a thorough job of concrete estimating before you start the project.
Like any costly procedure, estimating concrete should be done by two competing contractors, and you should get an itemized quote for the estimate, whether you’re getting a slab foundation put in for your driveway, pilings for a deck, or laying out the base for a new room on your home. Concrete estimating takes in the total volume (the length, times width, times depth) of the concrete you’re pouring, plus factoring in things like digging out drainage, laying in steel reinforcement, or other aspects, to give you the total price.
When looking at concrete estimating, one of the key factors is knowing what kind of soil you’re pouring concrete on. Loose, sandy soil will need to be packed down; soil that retains water should be measured both after a good rain, and when it’s completely dry. Both of these factors will determine how deep a concrete piling will have to go to remain stable. If you have a grade – where part of the land is higher than the other, you should have it leveled off, and any large rocks should be removed early on. This will give time for the earth to settle, and give you a stable basis for pouring, and a rational boundary limit for your estimate.
When you’re doing concrete slab work in shapes other than rectangles, a good concrete estimating specialist will break the shape down into multiple adjacent triangles and work out the area from there. They’ll also give you recommendations for the depth of the concrete to pour, whether to pour it in multiple plates and what kind of treatments should go with the concrete to make it last for as long as possible.
Concrete estimating can be done by a computer program, and several web applications exist to help with this technical process. However, be aware that those apps always estimate low on the cost, because they’re usually meant as “teaser prices” to get you to sign with a particular pouring company. Consider them to be a rule of thumb guideline on concrete estimates, and be cautious of other estimates that come in at more than 15% higher.