Frequently asked questions
That depends on what sort of job you’re doing. Different mix specifications are used for different purposes with higher grade (strength) mixes being used for flooring and external paving than for foundations. See our product guide.
Concrete quantities, like any other measure of volume are calculated by multiplying length x width x depth (or height) and are measured in cubic metres (m3).
For example: If a room measures 3m x 4m and the depth of the concrete floor is to be 100mm, the calculation is 3 x 4 x 0.1 = 1.2m3. Make sure that you work out your sum in the same units (don’t mix metres and millimetres or yards and feet), and bear in mind that it’s generally easier to work with the metric system. The conversion table below may help, or click the link to try our concrete volume calculator.
To convert cubic yards to cubic metres – multiply by 0.765
To convert cubic feet to cubic metres – multiply by 0.028
SMC operates throughout Shropshire, in Bridgnorth, Broseley, Church Stretton, Craven Arms, Dawley, Ellesmere, Ludlow, Madeley, Market Drayton, Much Wenlock, Newport, Oakengates, Oswestry, Shifnal, Shrewsbury, Telford, Wellington and Whitchurch. Our map page shows the full extent of our operating area.
If you are unsure if we cover your area please call and ask.
One cubic metre of concrete weighs around 2.4 tonnes. That equates to about 20 wheelbarrow loads per m3!
For concrete bases, floors and drives, the area should be dug out to twice the required depth of concrete (a minimum of 100mm or 4 inches is advisable, so you should dig the area out to 200mm or 8 inches depth), and the soil should be compacted. A layer of hardcore 100mm deep should then be placed and compacted to give the concrete a solid base and prevent sinking. A thin layer of sand on top of the hardcore will provide a smooth surface to work from and make a calculation of the quantity required easier as it will help to prevent variations in the depth.
If you use a layer of polythene damp proof membrane between the hardcore and concrete, it will help to stop water being absorbed from the fresh concrete by the hardcore and problems with rising damp on your finished project.
Most people will already have the tools required to handle and place concrete, but check the list below to make sure you are fully prepared:
Wheelbarrow – Essential if you need to transport the concrete around your job
Shovel & Rake – For moving the concrete
Spirit level – To ensure accuracy
Tape measure – For calculation of quantity required
Timber – To make pegs, formwork, and tamping beam
String & pegs – For setting out the area to be concreted
Trowel or float – For surface finishing
Brush – For cleaning up afterwards
Please be aware that concrete is both abrasive and alkaline, so protective clothing, gloves, boots, overalls etc should always be worn. Cement can burn sensitive skin.
The dimensions of a truckmixer are:
* Length = 6.6m (21′)
* Width = 2.4m (8′)
* Height = 3.7m (12′ 6″)
* Weight = 18 tonnes
* Chute length = 2.5m (8′) – see below
* Capacity = 4 cubic metres maximum
Please ensure that you can provide safe and reasonable access for the truck mixer, as we cannot be held responsible for damage caused to footpaths, existing driveways etc. You may be asked to sign an indemnity form at the time of delivery. Assuming that the truck can position itself at right angles to the job, the chutes have a maximum reach of approximately 2.5m or 8ft. This distance is reduced to around 1.5m or 5ft if the truck is only able to draw alongside the job.
Please allow a minimum of 8ft 6 inches (3m) for the vehicle to enter an opening, such as a gateway. This distance will need to increase if the vehicle cannot drive straight at the opening.
When the truckmixer arrives, the driver will assess the required delivery location and discuss with you the best method of discharging the concrete into place. If it is not possible to get the truckmixer close enough, and you have notified us at the time of order that you may require it, off-loading directly into wheelbarrows will be possible. If the truckmixer is required on-site for more than 30 minutes, a small additional charge may be applied.
A minimum of 24 hours notice is required for concrete orders, but if you can give us more than that, there is a greater likelihood that we can agree the time of delivery with you. All orders will be confirmed with you by the relevant company by telephone as early as possible.
Payment can be made by Visa, Mastercard or Switch at the time of order, or for trade customers through a credit account subject to status. Credit and / or bank references may be required. Please have your details handy, card processing will take place within 24 hours before delivery.
The chemical reaction that takes place within a concrete mix begins as soon as the cement and water are mixed together. This means that usually, you will have between 1 – 2 hours once the concrete arrives on your job to place, level, compact and finish the mix. Higher-strength mixes will generally give a little less working time than lower grades. Please ensure you have enough people to complete your project on time.