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Concrete or Cement – What IS the Difference?

In the world of construction, two words are used quite often – “concrete” and “cement”. Most people assume that they both refer to the same thing, but this couldn’t be more untrue. Though both cement and concrete are used in the same field, they are different materials used for different purposes. Let’s find out the differences between the two.

What is Cement?

Cement is just a small component of concrete, usually comprising 10-15% of concrete. Cement is basically the glue of any structure, which hardens and gives it a firm shape. Most of the cement varieties used today are hydraulic in nature, including the common Portland cement. Upon coming in contact with water, the cement hardens permanently. The process is irreversible and can occur even underwater since the amount of water present makes no difference to the chemical reaction. Apart from concrete, cement is also used in brick walls.

What is Concrete?

Concrete is the most common material used in construction, akin to building blocks. Premix concrete is composed of various materials like aggregates and paste. The aggregate is made up of smaller materials like sand or crushed stone, while the paste is a mixture of cement and water. A concrete mixture is made depending on the properties like strength and slump, which is why concrete suppliers Brisbane ask the specific purpose for using the concrete. It is then molded into different shapes and used for various construction projects.

While dried cement is the last stage for the material, dried concrete is only halfway there. While both concrete and cement form integral parts of construction projects, it is important to remember the difference between the two.

Budgeting your renovation, from the scope to concrete prices

Concrete prices, the amount of concrete you need, and how you can afford to pay your trades are some of the practicalities that come with renovating. Building and renovation projects are exciting and some people might’ve ‘caught the bug’ after watching the reality shows on TV. Programs like The Block, House Rules and Reno Rumble, though entertaining, only offer a snapshot of what a project is like.

Starting the project is a commitment in itself, especially for first-timers. Buying the property and doing a walkthrough causes a mixture of excitement and intimidation. But that walkthrough and subsequent visits will give renovators an idea of what needs to get done right away. This is called ‘scoping the project’.

Scoping the project includes setting out the initial budget. It’s important to be transparent with your builder and contractors about your costs and what you can afford. What you want won’t always translate financially. NAB recommends budget calculators to keep you honest and track what you spend.

Getting quotes is the logical next step. Reocrete provides on-site delivery of Readymix Concrete. We also provide steel mesh, which is an essential component to any concrete slab. Our concrete prices depends on how large an area you need. The business is family-owned, friendly, and competitive on price. Our combination of steel mesh, concrete delivery, and even on-site storage makes us your one-stop-shop for a major component of your renovation. Our quotes are delivered the next day, so you won’t have to wait long at all, unlike some trades that take more time.

As with all planning in advance, you should set some money aside for contingencies. Sometimes builds go over budget thanks to last minute decisions and clients not understanding what’s included in the scope. The general recommendation is adding an extra 10 – 20% to the total budget.

Setting your plans in concrete

Planning a renovation or building project requires awareness, patience, and materials like concrete and rebar. You’ve met the interior designer to pick out paint colours and beento the furniture shop for a new couch. Getting the practical details right, though, is important.

 

(Tensile) strength

Concrete and rebar –  one won’t exist without the other in any commercial project. Rebar is laid and the wet mixture is poured over it. Because the bars have grooves, the concrete has  a strong ‘grip’ which prevents cracks.

Concrete is hardy and long-lasting, but only if the right type is used for the job. The slabs must withstand nature, traffic from people and machines, and anything else that will make it crack. Cracks in walls, ceilings, or support slabs spell disaster.

 

Have here or take away?

Cement mixes are readily available in hardware stores, and popular with DIYers. Professional concreters, though, will have ReadyMix cement trucks available. The barrel on the truck constantly turns, keeping the mixture at a good consistency and making sure the heavier stones don’t settle at the bottom.

Benefits of ReadyMix concrete include not having to make the mixture yourself. Amateur renovators might find this overwhelming and while it’s fun to watch the struggle on renovation shows, you might not laugh when it’s your turn. Another perk is knowing that  you’ve bought the right amount of cement. If you fall short, it’ll cost money that you delegated elsewhere on your budget.

 

DIY or a little extra help?

Unless you’re a builder or tradie who deals with concrete every day, it’s probably best to let the professionals handle the job. Experienced DIYers can order the premixed cement and do the work themselves to save money. The project, though, will go a lot faster with some experienced helping hands.

Professional concreters will come over in the early stages of the project for measurements. This way, you’re getting the right amount of concrete the first time. You don’t need to worry about running off to the hardware store for more supplies mid-project.