Last Updated Sep 14, 2018 · Written by Richard Kempthorne
Concrete is one of our most important building products. We use it for house slabs, driveways, paving and much more. Without it, building costs would be much higher, because concrete is in plentiful supply and is relatively easy to work with, enabling concreters to cover large areas in a short amount of time. You can also get some pretty cool effects and designs from exposed aggregate concrete and stencil concrete, especially for flooring.
When it comes to budgeting your concreting project, it is difficult to work out as concreting costs anywhere from $50 - $150 per square metre, depending on the size of your job, the type of finish and amount of levelling required. Expect to pay $50 to $75 per square metre for spray-on concrete, $60 to $85 per square metre for plain concrete, $75 to $90 per square metre for coloured concrete and $100 to $150 per square metre for exposed aggregate or decorative stencilled finish.
So how much can you expect to pay for your project?
The cost of your concreting project will depend on a number of factors, specifically:
Read: Decorative concrete - a world of possibilities
A rough concrete slab will cost much less than a decorative finish. At a rough estimate, expect to pay in the region of:
Labour rates vary throughout Australia, but on average, concreters charge about $67.50 per hour. While the rate sounds high, concreters use expensive equipment that speeds up the process and keeps costs down.
Putting the finishing touches to a concrete driveway © One Stop Concreting
Read: How much does concrete stencilling cost?
Concrete is versatile enough to be used for pool construction. © Australian Outdoor Living
So what sort of jobs can concreters do? Quite a lot, including:
A concrete driveway is durable and easy on the eye. © Coolum Exteriors
Depending on your project and the type of finish you are looking for, there is a number of different types of concreting jobs. Some of them include:
Concrete pools: concrete is a very stable and durable option for a swimming pool
Concrete driveways: a stable surface for driveways that is available in a wide range of finishes, including stencilled, stamped and exposed aggregate
Exposed aggregate concrete: a popular decorative effect achieved by adding stone to concrete, and suitable for driveways, patios and pathways
Concrete footpaths: a functional and aesthetically pleasing option for a footpath, either laid as a single layer or individual blocks
Concrete formwork: the framework that contains a concrete structure is a timber frame called formwork
Concrete foundations: every building needs a solid base and concrete is the most common material used
Concrete house slabs: the perfect surface for house slabs, durable, stable and cost effective
Spray-on concrete: a decorative feature that can turn concrete into a real feature
Coloured concrete: adding dyes to concrete allows you to spruce up any area, indoors or out
Read: Polished concrete flooring - give that grey slab a new lease of life
Concrete resurfacing can rejuvenate any surface with a range of effects possible. © Decorative Concrete Resurfacing
Matt Pluples, managing director of Brisbane-based My Floor - Flooring Solutions, a concrete polishing and grinding service has seen polished concrete become a popular option in homes, “Today polished concrete flooring is suitable for use in a variety of different settings. It is not just for commercial settings - it can look just as stunning in a residential setting.
"Why spend thousands having a new floor laid when with the right staining or polishing you can turn a cold grey slab into a surface with the same look and feel of natural stone.”
#hiptip: Most states require contractors to hold either a dedicated concreting licence or builders licence
An exposed aggregate driveway. © Simply Driveways
Concreters are licensed on a state-by-state basis. All states except Tasmania and the NT require either a dedicated concreting licence or a builders licence.
When it comes time to hiring a concreter, make sure they are right for your job. Some questions to ask them include:
Today, concreters are specialising more than they did in the past. This is an important point to remember for a few reasons:
For example, some concreters specialise in pouring slabs and other large concreting jobs. They will come in with large trucks and concrete pumps. Working quickly and efficiently, they will pour a slab in the most cost-effective manner. The same company would probably be a poor choice if you want to have your driveway resurfaced with a decorative finish.
The best way of finding out the cost of your concreting job is to get quotes from local concreters. This will give you a sense of what market rates currently are.
* All the costs and prices quoted were sourced at the time this article was written. They are indicative, may vary locally, are subject to market forces and should only be used as a guide