Getting Started...

Materials and tools you are likely to need for the process of concrete laying:

  • Lump hammer
  • Spade
  • Spirit level
  • String and pegs
  • Builder’s set square
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Wacker plate
  • Formwork timber planks
  • Polythene sheet
  • Hardcore
guide to laying concrete

Preparing Your Site

Ready mix concrete has a variety of uses. For example, it can be laid direct for drives and paths, and it can also be used as a base for constructions such as sheds. Before you lay the concrete, the site needs to be prepared correctly. How this is done will depend on what original surface you have as well as what you need the concrete for.

You need to mark out your area ready for concreting. The best way to do this is by using a string line and pegs. It’s important to make sure that your corners are 90 degrees. Then follow these steps:

  • Excavate to a minimum of 100mm
  • Clear the ground of stones and plants
  • Level the ground
  • Compact the ground using a Wacker plate
  • Add a layer of hardcore to a minimum depth of 100mm
  • Compact the hardcore

Once your area for concreting is ready you will be ready to build your formwork – this is the timber edging that holds the concrete in place as it hardens and helps form the level for your lay. Prepare this so there can be water run off; as a guide a 2m wide concrete lay will require a 25mm drop off to stop water from being able to stand on the surface.

Calculating Concrete Quantity

Whether you require a concrete driveway resurfacing, concrete floor or concrete patio you need to work out how much ready mixed concrete you will need. Ready mix concrete is measured as a volume, calculated by multiplying width x length x depth. This generates your requirement as a cubic metre (m3) measurement.

Use our volume calculator to work out what you need.

Ready Mix Delivery

The dimensions of the volumetric truck are as follows.

  • Overall width: 2.6m
  • Length: 11m
  • Height: 4m

To facilitate your delivery the truck needs access to the site, accommodating these dimensions and with reasonable driving conditions, stable enough to take a heavy lorry. We will ask you to confirm the access to your site when you place your order. A site visit from one of our team may be required in some instances.

Note that we will not accept responsibility for any damage to driveways, walls or pathways, for example; you may be asked to sign an indemnity form when the delivery arrives. You are also responsible for ensuring that the site is open for the delivery at the agreed time.

We will discuss the access to your site when you place your order and confirm if a concrete pump will be required. We will book the concrete pump for arrival at the time of the concrete delivery.

A concrete pump will be needed if the truck cannot pull up to where you need it and where using a wheelbarrow is not possible due to the volume ordered or the distance for you to barrow.

We usually require 24 hours notice for your ready mix concrete delivery. On placing your order you will be given a delivery date and time. We will aim to arrive within an hour of the delivery time and you will be notified if there is any delay.

After The Lay

You will need to decide what kind of surface you want. It can be left tampered which provides a semi rough finish which is low slip and suitable for pathways and drives. A brush head can be used to create a more weathered effect. Alternatively, using a float will provide a smooth surface.

Once the concrete has been laid it should be covered with a plastic sheet to make sure it does not dry out too quickly. Weigh this down to keep the moisture in. The concrete may need water sprinkling to prevent the surface drying out too quickly. Leave the concrete for a minimum of a week before removing the sheeting, and then a further day before taking the formwork away. Refrain from driving on your newly laid concrete for up to 30 days.

"Concreting projects come in all shapes and sizes; we would always recommend you seek professional advice from either an Architect or Structural Engineer before starting your concrete project. Likewise, advice should be sought post pour, different pours require different after care."

Derbyshire Concrete Ltd

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If you'd like a quote please either give us a call on 01629 823949 or fill out our simple quote form on our homepage.

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