How to Make Ready Mix Concrete

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Keeping ready-mix concrete on hand can speed up any home-improvement project. Mixing your own blend can also save you some money, as the materials can all be purchased in bulk. Tools for the project are no different than the tools needed to mix the store-bought product with water. By following a basic recipe, you can blend the material for a strong concrete mixture.

Things You'll Need

  • Wheelbarrow Shovel 4 -- 40-pound bags of pea-size gravel 3 -- 40-pound bags of masonry sand Garden hoe 1 - 94-pound bag of portland cement Large plastic garbage can

5-Bag or a 2500-psi Mix

  • Place the wheelbarrow on a flat, stable surface. The area should be well ventilated, as the dust from the powdered concrete can irritate nasal passages and lungs.

  • Add nine shovelfuls of pea-size gravel to the wheelbarrow. Level the gravel with the shovel.

  • Place five same-size shovelfuls of sand evenly over the top of the gravel. Mix the sand and gravel with the garden hoe until it is well incorporated.

  • Place two heaping shovelfuls of portland cement on top of the sand and gravel mix. Mix well with the garden hoe. The final blend in the wheelbarrow is equivalent to one 40-pound bag of store-bought ready mix. The process described here will yield the equivalent of nine 40-pound bags of ready-mix concrete when all the materials are used.

  • Move the wheelbarrow to the area where you will store the mixture. Use the shovel to scoop the dry mix into the plastic garbage can. Keep the plastic container covered.

  • Increase the strength of the mix by adding more portland cement to the sand and gravel. The 5-bag mix means that there are 5 bags of portland cement in every 1 cubic yard of concrete mix. A cubic yard is equal to 27 cubic feet, or a cube 3 feet high by 3 feet wide by 3 feet long. When using all the materials in the proportions described, this mix will yield 1/5 of a cubic yard of concrete. In other words, to fill 1 cubic yard of a 5-bag mix it will take 45 wheelbarrow loads of the mixture described here.

Tips & Warnings

  • When mixing the dry materials with water for the final concrete, use a large empty coffee can. Place 40 pounds of the dry mix in the wheelbarrow and add one full can of water. Mix thoroughly. Depending on the weather conditions, you may have to add more water. Add water a little at a time. The final mixture should be thick like oatmeal, not soupy.
  • The ready-mix concrete must be kept in a dry storage area.

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