Concrete Calculator Tips: Make Expert Measurements

by TRP Ready Mix on October 24, 2017

Use a concrete calculator to ensure perfect measurements when you order for your next project.

Order the Right Amount of Concrete For Your Project With The Help Of Measuring Tape And A Concrete Calculator

The costs of concrete projects can add up if you order too much or too little concrete. With large overestimates, you will have plenty of wasted concrete, unless you’re willing to find a use for it immediately. On the other hand, if you underestimate your concrete needs, you will have to order more mid-way through the project, which will cost more, waste time, and compromise the quality of your finished concrete project.

So to avoid making wrong guesses on how much concrete you’ll need for your next project, follow these tips and use a concrete calculator for an accurate estimate.

Even Out The Subgrade

One major factor that can really mess up your concrete estimate is an uneven base or subgrade. If one area is deeper than the other then you’ll need more concrete to account for the deeper area. But instead of trying to factor in differing depths, do yourself a favour and fix the subgrade so it will be even throughout. This will help you make easier and accurate measurements for your concrete order.

Measure And Repeat

Although the famous saying of “Measure twice, cut once,” applies to carpentry, it can also be loosely applied to all contractor jobs, including concrete projects. When it comes to concrete, you won’t actually be cutting, but you should always measure the project area twice to ensure you have an accurate reading. Measure the length, width, and depth of the area you plan to fill with concrete.

The measurement tool you use will depend on the size of the area.

  • Use a folding rule for small areas;
  • For medium areas, a 30-foot measuring tape and the help of a friend will do;
  • For larger areas, you will need a reel measuring tape (open or closed) and a friend to help.


The volume of concrete needed is calculated by multiplying the length x width x depth. You will then need to convert this volume into cubic yards. To make things easier, use a concrete calculator to plug in the measurements and get an accurate value.

Add 10%

It’s better to be safe than sorry when ordering concrete. A rule of thumb in the concrete industry is to add 10% to the total volume of concrete you will need. As mentioned previously, underestimating the amount of concrete you’ll need is much more costly and time consuming than ordering a bit extra initially. This rule ensures that you won’t run out of concrete mid-way through the project, and you also won’t overspend on large additional volumes of concrete that will probably go to waste.

Once you’ve calculated how much concrete you’ll need, contact a local concrete company for an estimate. The pros will give you a cost estimate and help answer any more questions you might have for your concrete project needs.