All you need to know about ready-mix concrete! General advice and FAQs

By October 17, 2023Blogs, News

If you need concrete for small construction projects or DIY jobs, site mixed concrete is ideal. An understanding of concrete and how it is ordered and supplied, particularly if you’ve never ordered concrete before, can help your project run smoothly.

At New Mix Concrete, we like to make the process of ordering concrete as painless as possible, so here we outline some general information about concrete and answer typical FAQs about ordering and receiving concrete for your project.


All you need to know about concrete


What is concrete?

Concrete is a composite material of aggregate (sand, gravel, stone etc) bonded with a hydraulic binder, usually cement. It is one of the most widely used construction materials due to its strength, durability, and flexibility. It is also cost-effective which is why it is used for both small and large construction projects.

Once concrete is laid, it needs time to set, cure and harden. Generally speaking, concrete will reach a useful strength in about 3 days although this does depend on the mix design and constituent materials. The majority of strength is gained within a month. It is important to remember that concrete will reach its maximum strength only if moisture is present during the hardening process


What is site-mixed concrete?

Site mixed concrete, as supplied by New Mix Concrete, is delivered to site in its constituent parts. Our vehicles will then be programmed to mix the exact amount of concrete required for each particular job.

The alternatives are to manually mix the concrete on site which takes longer and requires the space to do it, or to employ a ready mix company but this can come with added costs that include, waiting times, part load charges, returned load charges and even  a charge for material not carried.

DIY enthusiasts making home improvements, and smaller building firms working on the likes of home extensions find our way of delivering concrete more cost-effective than alternative concrete supplies because there is no wastage. Therefore, you only pay for the concrete you need.


How much concrete do I need to order?

The amount of concrete you need is measured in volume. To calculate the volume of concrete you need, you should measure the space you are concreting, then multiply the width by the length and depth. This will provide your m³ (cubic metre) volume calculation.

New Mix Concrete provide a handy concrete calculator that tells you how much concrete to order.

What is barrow mix concrete?

New Mix Concrete is an expert in the supply of barrow mix concrete. Barrow mix is ready-mix concrete that has been prepared to the required quantity on-site and then transferred in wheelbarrows from the mixer to exactly where it is to be laid. This is ideal for domestic DIY projects and building firms working on small sites with limited access.


Is there an extra cost for barrowing concrete to the site?

Some suppliers add a labour cost for barrowing, but New Mix Concrete does not charge for this service.


How far can ready mix concrete be barrowed?

On average we can barrow approximately 30 metres on prepared access. Please contact us if you need the concrete to be barrowed further.

Can ready-mix concrete be barrowed to my back garden?

Yes. This is a major benefit of barrow mix concrete; we can deliver concrete directly to projects with limited access.


How do I prepare for the delivery of barrow mix concrete?

You should dig the area to twice the depth the concrete will be, once laid, and any soil should be compacted. A 100mm deep layer of hardcore should be applied on top and compacted to provide a solid base, and a final thin layer of sand will create a smooth, level surface.

What is sub-base preparation and why is it important?

The sub-base is the layer of aggregate to be laid on top of a well-drained, sound subgrade (the surface of earth or rock that is levelled off to receive the concrete). Good sub-base preparation is instrumental in constructing a structurally sound concrete slab. A compacted, flat, level sub-base will reduce the risk of cracking.

Only a well-graded, granular shot type material should be used to form the sub-base. Once it has been levelled and compacted, a thin blinding layer of sand (no deeper than 20mm) can be used to fill any voids in the surface. ‘Blinding’ refers to creating a clean, level and dry working surface.

A whacker plate or similar can be used to fully compact the sub-base.

What are the site access requirements for barrow mix wheelbarrows?

New Mix Concrete wheelbarrows need a clearance of 750mm. Planked areas should be provided to accommodate the average weight of a filled wheelbarrow which is around 160kg in addition to the weight of the operative. If there are any muddy areas, they should also be covered with planks or boards.


How do I remove the concrete waste?

We only batch the amount of concrete that each job requires, so there is no need to worry about waste. Our operatives will require a suitable area o wash off the equipment though.


Get in touch for more information about New Mix Concrete’s services

Do you have a question that’s not covered above? Get in touch and we’ll gladly provide the answer you need.


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