Concrete is the most commonly used construction material that comprises water, aggregates, and Portland cement. For construction purposes, people either use ready-mix concrete or prepare their own mix at the site.
Therefore, selecting the correct type of concrete for a specific project is crucial. Both these types are suitable for construction applications; however, the benefits depend on the intended application.
Ready-mix concrete is usually prepared at a plant that is then delivered to the construction site by a truck in a toughened and plastic state. This type of concrete is sold by volume that is measured in cubic meters.
On the other hand, site mix concrete is usually prepared at the work site by the contractor as per the application. Workers mix aggregate, Portland cement, and accurate water ratios to attain the preferred strength.
One needs to exercise caution at the time of mixing the different quantities of materials so that the mix has the right consistency and stability. Workers should be careful and meticulous with the proportion of materials, as it can lead to quality issues in the concrete structure after hardening.
Both types of concrete are suitable for construction purposes, but there is a noticeable advantage of one over the other based on the task’s prerequisite.
Typically, ready-mix concrete is ideal for large commercial projects. Ready-mix concrete provides better quality and a minimal variation between batches, but the price is relatively higher. The mix is prepared in a plant; as a result, the ratio of the different components is accurate.
The location of the project is an essential factor in the use of ready-mix concrete as well. Transportation constraints broadly impact the selection of concrete type. Site mixing is most suitable for small projects and renovation work where one needs small volumes of concrete mix.
Whether building a patio, erecting a wall, laying a driveway, or working on a foundation, a good quality concrete mix is necessary to ensure strength and structural integrity.
Before starting a project, it is essential to decide whether to mix the concrete at the site or order ready-mix concrete. This article presents some of the differences between the two types of concrete. It will aid in deciding if it is cheaper to mix your own concrete.
Quality Of Concrete Mixture
As discussed before, concrete repairs at the site do not always have the same quality. The differences are particularly apparent when multiple batches are required for a single application. Poor quality concrete does not offer relevant results and affects the structural strength.
Therefore, before preparing the concrete, always discuss it with the contractor and suggest a suitable alternative. Sometimes admixtures are included for preparing concrete for specific purposes. It is beneficial for improving the workability and strength of the mixture.
The mix also remains consistent over a long period.
Ready-mix concrete offers the same quality across all batches. Inconsistency in the concrete mix can result in poor quality and structural weakness after completion.
If the construction comprises load-bearing walls and foundations, it can ruin the quality of the entire project.
Despite being more expensive, ready-mix concrete is a lot more reliable and provides the optimal quality concrete mix for the intended use.
Projects that involve stringent quality control will never opt for hand-mixed concrete.
This is one of the most crucial factors determining whether to use ready mix concrete or hand mix concrete for a particular application. In addition, for large commercial projects, contractors need to adhere to strict deadlines.
For constructions involving residential houses, foundation work, buildings, and driveways, hand mixed concrete is usable. However, one needs to put in a lot of time and attention at the time of mixing.
The larger the volume of concrete, the more time invested in the mixing process.
Usually, for large projects, ready-mix concrete helps save a significant amount of time and labor. However, even for smaller projects, using ready-mix concrete proves a lot more convenient.
Ready-mix concrete is usually delivered to the worksite ready to pour. It allows the contractor to focus on various other aspects of the projects like preparation of the base, workforce management, and woodwork.
Also, the pouring process is much faster as a large volume of a concrete mixture is supplied to the worksite in a single batch. It eliminates the need for preparing multiple batches at the time of pouring.
For projects like building patios and driveways, the final appearance and finishing are critical. However, pouring the concrete in separate batches often results in inconsistency. Matching the final finish also becomes a tough job.
Using a single batch of ready mix-concrete offers more consistency and speed. Hence, obtaining the final finish becomes a lot easier.
The most challenging part of concrete mixing is estimating how much concrete is necessary for projects. If the concrete mix is prepared at the site, the chances of overestimating are high.
It also causes wastage of valuable time and money as the leftover concrete is wasted.
On the other hand, when using ready-mix concrete, over-ordering is not an issue. The suppliers only charge for the volume of concrete used. It effectively eliminates the cost of concrete wastage.
In addition, contractors are no longer required to make accurate estimates before pouring a concrete structure.
Homeowners and sometimes contractors think it is cheaper to mix your own concrete. However, preparing the concrete mix at the site requires purchasing multiple bags of concrete along with rental tools and mixers.
For larger projects, the cost climbs up fast, and one needs to ensure that all requirements are in place before preparing the mix. Concrete suppliers provide an approximate cost, which in most cases varies depending on the size of the project.
Ready-mix concrete involves lesser supplemental cost and wastage than preparing at the site.