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Is It Cheaper to Pour My Own Concrete?

Is It Cheaper to Pour My Own Concrete?

Generally, it is not cheaper to pour your own concrete, because you need to have the correct tools and supplies for preparation, you have to make sure you get the mixture right, and you have to know how to even it out and set it properly. It may be more affordable if you are putting concrete in a small area, such as for footings or a concrete pad. However, it may not be worth it to pour your own concrete for a driveway or backyard space.

Today, we will give you a rundown of some of the tools and materials you might need if you’re thinking about pouring your own concrete, so you can decide if you want to continue with your DIY project, or contact some professionals instead.

Necessary Tools and Materials

If you choose to pour concrete yourself, there are some things that you will need:

  • • Concrete mixer, handheld or machine
  • •Screed boards and extension poles to get an even surface.
  • •Form boards that can be reused if being used multiple times
  • •Reinforcing steel bar (rebar) before pouring concrete so it forms strength
  • •Plywood underneath the rebar so the concrete does not adhere to dirt or surfaces
  • •Form liners so the concrete does not stick to the forms
  • •Concrete finishing trowel to scrape off excess concrete and smooth it out

In addition to purchasing the correct amount and type of all of these items, tools, and materials, you will also need to know how to use them properly and in the proper order. And, if you’re trying to do something more intricate, like stamped concrete patios or decorative concrete driveways, you’ll need even more tools and skills.

If you’re a homeowner or a business owner, and you have an upcoming project that requires the assistance of professional concrete services, Peak to Peak Roofing & Exteriors is your local Denver concrete company, and their experienced team members are your local Denver concrete contractors.

How Some Important Tools and Materials Work

To help you out a little, we’ve included descriptions of some of the items you’ll need below:

Cement Mixers

Cement mixers will blend all parts of concrete ingredients together differently than a shovel would, creating a concrete mix with a certain haste level. This will affect how much water is actually added into the mixture and whether it needs more cement or aggregates to create balance for what has already been mixed in. Blending thoroughly with the right ratio takes practice, so it is best to make sure you have the right concrete shovel before you begin.

It’s crucial that your freshly-poured concrete be the right consistency for your project, whether that’s stamped concrete patios, concrete floors, basement floors, a concrete patio, concrete walkway, etc.

Screed Boards

The screed boards and extension poles will help spread the concrete evenly across a designated space, which can be difficult for flat concrete that may require leveling out with either the labor of more concrete or different methods. If you are pouring concrete footings or uneven surfaces, this step might not be necessary.


Reinforcing steel bar (rebar) gives concrete strength once it has been poured into place. If using form boards similar to wood planks, plywood underneath them will stop concrete from adhering directly onto dirt or surfaces the forms are being placed on top of. The plywood also allows rebar to sit level on its surface without having to dig into concrete to keep it from moving.

Especially for commercial properties, professional concrete contractors will have a lot of knowledge on where to place rebar for things like concrete floors, basement floors, concrete driveways, and concrete patios.

Form Liners

Form liners prevent concrete from adhering to the forms they are being poured into, which can be reused if being used multiple times but usually only lasts one use. If concrete sticks to the forms after pouring it, a concrete finishing trowel can be used to scrape off excess concrete and smooth out concrete so it is even.

One last tip: Curing concrete by following instructions on a DIY website or going to a DIY center will help concrete set properly for hardening, strength, and stability. That way, your decorative concrete floors or other decorative concrete surface will have fewer visible imperfections.

It Might Be Cheaper, but Probably Not

While concrete is one of the most common building materials used in home projects, concrete pourings tend to be more expensive than they are worth in some instances. This happens because concrete is not cheaply created or poured as some might think. There are many tools that need to be acquired along with special attention paid to different elements for concrete pourings to go smoothly and successfully with concrete that will last and perform how it needs to against weathering, wear, etc.

If you choose to pour your own concrete for a small area, such as footings or a concrete pad, this might save you money but would require specialized tools and equipment that not everyone has readily available or can afford.

If you’re unsure if you can complete your concrete project yourself, or if you simply want to let someone else do the work for you, contact Peak to Peak Roofing & Exteriors in Denver, CO today. Their professional commercial and residential concrete contractors can give your home that beautiful decorative concrete walkway, or your building that lovely stamped concrete courtyard! Contact them today to get a free estimate!

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