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Why Ready-Mix Concrete for your next DIY?

Why Ready-Mix Concrete for your next DIY?

JK excavation of waxahachie cement truck.

While ready-mix concrete is certainly the go to choice when it comes to projects around the house, it comes with it’s faults, as does any other alternative. Over time, concrete begins to wear down and contract during the cold winter seasons, leaving your sidewalk or driveway with potholes and cracks all over the place. No one wants an unsightly yard when bringing guests over, now do you? Though it is your residential property, visitors can actually sue you if you don’t maintain your property adequately or leave a warning that clearly states the visitor may encounter dangers. If a guest injures themselves in a pothole or damage their vehicle, you could be liable.

When it comes to DIY repairs and addons at the house, ready-mix is definitely our first choice, but there are different approaches to preparing and pouring your ready-mix concrete. The ideal option is dependant upon the size of the project, among other factors.

Mixing Ready-Mix by hand

I don’t know about you, but I’m deterred by the mere title of this paragraph. sounds like a lot more work when there is an option to rent a mixer and not involve so much manual labor. This is certainly an excellent method if cost is your greatest concern. If this is your desired method, you’ll need a few things before you start.

  • Bucket
  • Dust mask
  • Safety glasses
  • Wheelbarrow
  • stiff-bristle brush (for cleaning equipment)
  • rubber gloves
  • your choice of bagged concrete (of course)

The best spot to mix is in your wheelbarrow, you’ll need a sturdy hoe and a bucket to measure out ingredients. One of the most common mistakes, even with all the right equipment, is to add too much water. You’ll want to pour the water in cups at a time with sufficient mixing in between. you want to mix it to see the actual results of how much water you just added. If you still add too much water, you can always add a cup or two of dry concrete.

Now that we’ve created a perfect consistency, it’s time to start pouring the concrete where you desire. As I stated before, this is certainly the logical solution for small DIY projects. Hand mixing cement doesn’t require you to rent any tools, assuming you have basic gardening tools and buckets at home, so it’s also cost effective.

Renting a Mixer

This can get a little scary, it’s not the cost, they’re generally not that expensive (ranging from about $35 – $70 a day). Unless you’re undertaking a massive job or renovating your home, you should be able to get your concrete poured within the day. No, it’s the heavy equipment you’re now having to deal with. There’s also the learning curve for operating a new machine, which can consume much time depending on how adept you are at handling equipment. This is a great option for those in between jobs, not too big, not too little, you won’t need more than your kids manual labor to get the job done in a timely manner. You’ll still need a few tools as well.

  • Dust mask
  • Safety glasses
  • Wheelbarrow
  • stiff-bristle brush (for cleaning equipment)
  • rubber gloves
  • your choice of bagged concrete (of course)

However, we run into the same issue we ran into with hand mixing your cement, what kind of consistency are we looking for? And will you know what it looks like when it reaches that point? We mix the concrete by hand in measurements, carefully adding a little more water at a time. We want to approach mixing the concrete with a mixer in a similar manner. Your job is likely going to be a bigger job, so you may not want to use a measurement other than cups. Use what you prefer, just make sure you do measure what’s going in as a form of control, to make a better informed decision on whether or not you should add more water or not and how much to add. That way you also know by measurement how much you need next time should you choose to undertake another DIY project.

After mixing the concrete together, we’re ready for pouring. You may not need your wheelbarrow, but it may not be a bad idea to bring it along anyways. Most mixer rentals will have a pair of wheels you can tote it around on, but that concrete is heavy and you won’t be able to do much moving after it’s where you want it and mixing. That’s when your wheelbarrow will come in handy again.

Ready-Mix Concrete Delivery

There are many advantages to having ready-mix concrete delivered straight to your project site. The first and probably obvious after reading that first sentence; your concrete is delivered directly to your job site, already mixed up and having the perfect consistency desired for professional installation. That right there is the seller, who wants to deal with mixing concrete when you could pay just a few extra bucks to have it delivered to your home already mixed together and ready to pour. That also means the time spent on your project is dramatically reduced, you’ll shave off hours of manual labor. There’s no guesswork as to whether it’s too thin or too thick, you just have professionally mixed concrete delivered and poured. You’ll also be reducing cleanup efforts when all is said and done.

The true advantages of Ready-Mix concrete reveal themselves as your job gets bigger. If your just repairing a few cracks around the driveway and not a full replacement, you might just be better off with hand mixing or renting a mixer. That being said, if you are replacing your driveway with a brand new one, having your ready-mix concrete delivered is the perfect solution. Here at J & K Excavation, we offer Ready-Mix cement available for commercial and residential sale! We deliver by the yard, which is approximately 8 large wheelbarrows full of mixed concrete. This makes jobs such as replacing your driveway a breeze.

Still not sure ready-mix is right for you? maybe you’re just wanting to learn more about the actual product and not it’s benefits. check out related articles on ready-mix concrete including what is ready-mix?

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