Need concrete poured for a home improvement project? The typical cost of concrete is between $110 and $165 per cubic yard on average (excluding labor cost). In addition to the price per cubic yard, you’ll have to pay someone about $8 to $18 per square foot of your project to pour and install the concrete.
Expect your total cost to increase if:
- You request less than a full truckload (short load)
- You live more than 20 miles from the mixing plant
- You choose a weekend or holiday delivery, and
- Other factors covered in this guide
Here’s everything we’ll cover in this cost guide:
- Average costs
- Cost estimator by size
- Other factors that affect cost
- Related services
- DIY cost
- Cost by location
Average costs of concrete in 2023
|National average cost per cubic yard||$125|
|Typical price range per cubic yard||$110 – $165|
|Low end total project cost||$550|
|High end total project cost||$17,000|
The average cost of concrete nationwide is $125 per cubic yard, with most concrete companies charging between $110 and $165 per cubic yard. The majority of homeowners spend no less than $550 total on smaller projects and up to $17,000 total on larger concrete projects.
To keep costs down without compromising quality:
- Use simple shapes and patterns
- Use accurate project dimensions to get the exact amount of concrete you need
- Get several quotes from concrete contractors or delivery companies to get the best deal
- Buy from concrete companies near you to reduce transportation costs
Homeowners who can afford a custom concrete installation can choose from stamped, colored, or advanced stains. Your choice affects the cost of the concrete.
Concrete cost estimator by project size
The size of the project is the most important cost factor when installing concrete. For most large projects, you would likely purchase a full truckload (8 to 10 cubic yards), costing about $1,025 to $1,395 total. Smaller projects cost between $150 and $205 per cubic yard, including a $40 per cubic yard charge for a short load.
The short load fee is an additional charge added to the usual price when homeowners purchase less than a truckload of concrete. While the fee varies from company to company, the average is $40 per cubic yard.
Below is the typical cost range for different amounts of concrete. Note: We only applied the short load fee to orders under 10 cubic yards.
|Cubic yards of concrete||Price range (concrete + short load fee)|
|1||$150 – $205|
|2||$300 – $410|
|3||$450 – $615|
|4||$600 – $820|
|5||$750 – $1,025|
|6||$900 – $1,230|
|7||$1,050 – $1,435|
|8||$1,200 – $1,640|
|9||$1,350 – $1,845|
|10||$1,110 – $1,650|
|15||$1,650 – $2,475|
|20||$2,200 – $3,300|
|25||$2,750 – $4,125|
|30||$3,300 – $4,950|
How much does a cubic yard of concrete cover?
The thickness of a concrete slab determines how much space a cubic yard of poured concrete will cover. How thick your concrete slab needs to be depends on how much weight it’s meant to support.
The number of square feet that one cubic yard can cover at different thicknesses is shown in the table below.
|Slab thickness||Area one cubic yard of concrete can cover at this thickness|
|4 inches||81 square feet|
|5 inches||65 square feet|
|6 inches||54 square feet|
|7 inches||46 square feet|
|8 inches||41 square feet|
|10 inches||32 square feet|
|12 inches||27 square feet|
How many cubic yards of concrete do you need?
To determine the amount of concrete you will need for a new concrete patio, slab, walkway, or driveway, you will need to calculate the total area of the installation and convert it from cubic feet to cubic yards.
Follow these steps to figure out how much concrete you need:
Step 1: Convert the thickness of the concrete slab from inches to feet by dividing it by 12 inches.
- 3 inches / 12 inches = 0.25 feet
- 6 inches / 12 inches = 0.5 feet
Step 2: Multiply the slab’s length, width, and depth to get the total cubic feet.
- 10 feet (length) x 20 feet (width) x 0.5 feet (depth) = 100 cubic feet
Step 3: Divide the calculated cubic feet by 27 (the number of cubic feet in a yard)
- 100 cubic feet / 27 = about 3.7 cubic yards
Step 4: Add 10% to the estimated amount of concrete to account for waste or spills.
- 3.7 cubic yards x 10% (0.1) = 0.37 cubic yards
- 3.7 cubic yards + 0.37 cubic yards = 4.07 cubic yards
This means that a 10-foot-long, 20-foot-wide, 6-inch-thick concrete slab would require 4.07 cubic yards of concrete, which would cost, on average, between $610 and $834, including the short load fee since it is not a full truckload of concrete.
Other factors that affect cost
The cost of concrete depends on a few factors that may add up to the national price range, or may not, if your project is unique. Consider these factors in your cost estimate for a more accurate price range.
Concrete mix strength
The various concrete mixes available vary in strength, with PSI (pounds per square inch) indicating the strength of each mix. Higher PSI concrete mixes withstand more weight but also cost more.
See the chart below to figure out what PSI your concrete should be for your project type, along with the typical cost of concrete with that level of strength.
|PSI (pounds per square inch)||Price range per cubic yard||Suggested structures|
|2,500 – 3,000||$100 – $150||Floors|
|3,500||$110 – $125||Foundations|
Beams and footings
|4,000||$120 – $130||Heavy-traffic pavements|
|4,500||$130 – $140||Commercial & high-traffic structures|
|5,000||$135 – $140||Special & high-impact structures|
Delivery day and distance
Most concrete delivery services have a set delivery distance. For each mile beyond that, there is an additional cost of $9.60 on average. Some companies always charge by the mile for delivery, regardless of distance.
When you need your concrete delivered can also affect the cost. Be prepared to pay more if you want delivery on a weekend or holiday.
In addition to the concrete itself, you’ll have to pay for the labor it takes to drive the concrete to your property and pour it. The average labor cost for pouring concrete ranges from $8 to $18 per square foot of your project. Labor costs vary by location and project type, as some concrete projects require more detailed work than others.
Short load fees
Concrete delivery companies lose money every time homeowners order less than a full truckload. For this reason, they charge an additional fee of $40 per cubic yard or a flat fee that ranges from $60 to $110 for “short loads,” which are anything less than a full truckload. Trucks usually hold 8 to 10 cubic yards of concrete.
There is a need for some onsite prep work before you pour concrete. Depending on the job site and the project, one or a combination of the following preparatory work may be required.
- Land clearing – removing trees, bushes, and other obstacles – costs between $500 and $1,000 per acre or $1,500 and $3,000 per acre for more difficult terrain.
- Grading – reshaping the land so it’s level and flat – ensures that water does not collect under the concrete, which could cause cracks. Land grading costs $1,150 to $3,680 on average because it requires a lot of work and specialized equipment.
- Sub-base provides stability and reduces the risk of concrete shifting. For this purpose, a layer of sand and gravel must be applied and tamped down before the concrete is poured. The installation of the sub-base costs about $10 to $20 per cubic yard.
- Reinforcement ensures that the concrete foundation is strong enough to prevent major cracks. Concrete contractors use wire mesh, which costs between $0.15 and $0.30 per square foot, and rebar, which costs between $0.30 and $0.50 per linear foot, to reinforce the concrete.
- Concrete forms are needed to create the shape of any concrete structure. They usually consist of plywood, pegs, nails, and form oil. The price of making concrete edge forms varies by project type. For sidewalks and driveways, forms cost about $2 to $3 per linear foot. For more complicated projects, such as retaining walls and concrete foundations, the cost of forms is about $2.50 to $6 per square foot.
To save time and money, it’s best to hire a professional concrete installer to pour the concrete for you. The average cost a concrete installer would charge depends on the type of project. Below is an overview of common concrete installations and their average costs.
|Type of installation||Installation price range per square foot (not including the cost of the concrete)|
|Basic concrete slab||$4.43 – $7.73|
|Concrete patio||$9.29 – $10.04|
|Reinforced concrete||$4.40 – $16|
|Concrete foundation||$4.50 – $15|
|Concrete driveway||$6 – $14|
|Stamped concrete||$9 – $16.25|
For most landscaping projects that involve concrete (aside from a basic slab or foundation), you have other options besides just concrete. Let’s explore some alternatives and other services related to concrete installation.
Before installing a new concrete slab, any old concrete must be removed. Removing the existing concrete costs between $585 and $2,790.
Concrete can also be used for landscape curbing (aka landscape edging) to add appealing aesthetic to your yard and also prevent grass and weeds from growing around patios, driveways, and flower beds. Most landscape curbing costs between $710 and $2,200 on average.
The table below shows some of the most popular alternative materials to concrete for landscape curbing and their associated costs.
|Curbing material||Average cost|
|Steel||$11 per square foot|
|Stone||$26 per linear foot|
|Wood||$34.50 square foot|
|Granite||$27 square foot|
|Brick block||$10 square foot|
Installing a walkway on your property can further complement the exterior of your home. Concrete walkway installation costs an average of $8.85 per square foot.
Aside from poured concrete, here are some of the other materials you could use to build your walkway, listed from most affordable to most expensive:
- Concrete pavers: $
- Brick: $$
- Stamped concrete: $$$
- Stone: $$$$
A patio can serve as an extend your outdoor living space and increase curb appeal and home value. A poured concrete patio costs about $3 to $9.80 per square foot. See the table below for alternative patio materials and their associated costs.
|Construction material||Typical price range (per square foot)|
|Pavers||$6 – $20.50|
|Brick pavers||$8 – $18.50|
|Gravel||$2 – $6|
|Stamped concrete||$10 – $29|
|Stone||$8 – $30|
Cost of pouring concrete DIY
You can opt for do-it-yourself (DIY) installation with premixed concrete to save money on concrete and labor costs.
Pre-mixed concrete is a mixture of cement, sand, and gravel that you can buy from a hardware store. The materials come dry in a bag, and you mix them with water when you’re ready to pour the concrete. Pre-mixed concrete is only suitable for small projects, such as countertops, modest driveways, walkways, slabs, fence posts, and repairs.
DIY cost breakdown
There are several different types of pre-mixed concrete you can choose from, depending on your needs and budget. The cost of pre-mixed concrete ranges from about $4.50 to $27 per bag.
See the table below for the typical price range of different types of pre-mixed concrete.
|Type of pre-mixed concrete & weight of bag||Average cost per bag|
|Light-weight concrete (50lbs)||$4.49|
|Fast-setting concrete (50lbs)||$4.57|
|Mortar mix (60lbs)||$5.57|
|High early strength cement (80lbs)||$6.29|
|Portland cement I and II (94lbs)||$11.50|
|Masonry cement (70lbs)||$11.50|
|Plastic cement (94lbs)||$12|
|White cement (94lbs)||$26.90|
In addition to the concrete itself, you’ll need some other tools and safety gear. You may already own all or most of these items, but if not, here’s how much they’ll add to your project cost:
|Total cost of equipment:||$360|
How to use DIY concrete in 12 Steps
When using pre-mixed concrete, you’ll follow the instructions on the bag to make sure you get the right ratio of dry material to water. Those instructions vary between different products. Aside from that, here are the general steps it takes to install a DIY concrete sideway, walkway, slab, or other simple project:
Step 1: Clear grass, plants, and other obstacles from the site where you will install the concrete.
Step 2: Compact the soil in the project area so that it’s solid and level.
Step 3: Lay a sub-base layer with a granular fill or road base.
Step 4: Create a concrete form with wooden planks around the perimeter of the area where you will install the concrete.
Step 5: Add wire mesh or rebar to the concrete form if necessary for more stability.
Step 6: Mix the premixed concrete with water using a wheelbarrow and a shovel or mixing hoe. Follow the mixing instructions on the label.
Step 7: Fill the concrete form with concrete and level the surface with a shovel.
Step 8: Smooth out the wet concrete with a straight-edge.
Step 9: Compact the wet concrete with a concrete float (aka bull float).
Step 10: Make joints about every 6 feet (1.8 meters), using a plank as a straight edge to prevent cracking.
Step 11: Sweep a broom across the surface so that it’s rougher and won’t be slippery when wet.
Step 12: Apply a concrete sealer to prevent liquid absorption and discoloration.
DIY Cost vs. Professional Cost
While pre-mixed concrete is much less expensive for smaller jobs and repairs, it isn’t a true alternative to poured concrete for bigger projects that require sound structural support. Professional concrete installation makes more sense and is more cost-effective if your project requires many cubic yards.
Cost by location
Concrete tends to be more expensive in areas with a higher cost of living, such as New York or California, and less expensive in more rural areas, like Montana or Wyoming. On the flip side, though, if you live in the middle of nowhere, and the nearest concrete installer is several miles away, you may have to pay a high delivery cost. Get a quote from a local pro for a specific cost estimate.
Once the concrete is mixed to meet the needs of your job, the driver has approximately 90 to 120 minutes to deliver the concrete to the job site before it begins to set.
Yes, the strength of fast-setting concrete and standard poured concrete are equal. The strength of pre-mixed concrete can be as high as 5,000 PSI.
It takes one to two days for concrete to dry to the point where it can be walked or driven on. However, it takes about 28 days to reach its maximum strength.
The national average for concrete ranges from $110 to $165 per cubic yard. The final price homeowners pay depends on factors such as the type of installation, delivery distance, labor, and a number of other factors mentioned in this guide.
Note: Lawn Love may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.
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