We might have several important things to consider when starting a new construction project, but for most people, the cost will be the most important. We don’t usually have unlimited budgets, so anywhere we can cut costs is essential.
You might have heard that precast concrete can save you money – if you haven’t, you are hearing it now. Where do these savings typically come from? Depending on the other construction materials you are considering, this savings might not be in upfront costs. Precast concrete can save you money both in the way it is manufactured and how it’s maintained.
How it’s Manufactured
To understand the manufacturing cost savings, it’s helpful to compare precast concrete with other building methods. Let’s glance at what it takes to build a concrete wall using cast-in-place concrete. The entire project is done on site – building the forms, pouring the concrete, and curing the concrete. With precast concrete, all this work is done in a climate-controlled warehouse. The finished panels are shipped to and assembled on site.
What this all means is precast concrete is all made in a way to optimize the process and create the best product. Optimizing the process involves no weather delays – in fact because multiple parts can be designed at once, your timeline can often be bumped up.
The controlled environment helps the concrete cure to its full strength, and the staff creating the precast concrete product can work carefully. Every piece is inspected before sending it out. Fewer complications mean less waste and that cost savings get passed on to the customer.
Speaking of less waste, with cast-in-place concrete, when the concrete is sufficiently cured, the forms are removed and thrown away. Besides creating a lot of trash in landfills, this also increases the cost of producing the product. Precast concrete forms can be reused time and time again – around 40 to 50 times.
What about brick or stone? Both of those are also subject to outdoor project delays like cast-in-place concrete. They both have to be built onsite one brick or one stone at a time. The cost of labor will be higher because the worker needs to have the skills to lay the bricks or stones the right way. If you want the look of brick or stone, precast concrete can be made to look like either.
You might be wondering how precast concrete compares to lower upfront cost options like wood. What those options gain in upfront costs, they quickly lose in maintenance costs. Precast concrete is simple to maintain. Most years, it will only require a quick inspection and cleaning.
Unlike wood, concrete isn’t susceptible to damage from pests or fire, and the sturdy construction means it will stand up to everything else that gets thrown at it. Some estimates are that concrete fences can last around 100 years. You will need to replace a wood fence many times in 100 years.
If you’re ready to start your construction-less, low cost, low maintenance precast fence, call American Precast Concrete today for a free custom estimate. We look forward to hearing from you!