How Much Does Precast Concrete Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 9, 2018

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Precast concrete can withstand damage from storms, tornadoes, heavy rains and heat.  Similar to concrete, precast concrete can even help prevent fires, termites, mold and rot.

The main difference between precast concrete and standard concrete is that precast concrete is formed at an offsite location from a mold, but standard concrete is poured and formed on site.

There are many advantages of precast concrete that can actually make it cheaper.

First, the fact that precast concrete is made in a factory means that it is of high quality since that is all the factory does.  Second, the molds that are used to form the precast concrete can be reused for years, meaning that these concrete pieces can be created over and over.

The ability to quickly erect panels at the site is another advantage of precast concrete.  Once footings are prepared, panels can be placed quickly to form the enclosure.  This requires some lead time to order the panels but is an advantage at the site.  Rather than having to build a mold, pour the concrete, and wait for it to dry, the construction can continue immediately after placing the wall.  It also means that construction can be completed within a relatively small footprint and may allow building in weather that would negatively affect other types of construction.

Solid, high-quality concrete construction built with an efficient use of labor creates a very cost effective structure.

Precast Concrete Stacked Wetcast Panels by Armcon Precast, on Flickr
Precast Concrete Stacked Wetcast Panels” (CC BY 2.0) by  Armcon Precast

How much does precast concrete cost?

The cost of precast concrete typically depends on factors such as the location or origin of the material used, the size of the piece in question, the number of pieces that you want to order, the quality of the materials, and the shape and structure of the piece.

By the cubic yard, if this is how the contractor will charge, complete jobs, including the ready mix, rebar, mastic and labor, can range anywhere from $275 to $400 per cubic yard.  So, for example, a four cubic yard project could cost upwards of $2,000.  Since all jobs are going to be so unique, consider getting multiple quotes, for free, from local, licensed contractors in your area at HomeAdvisor.com.

According to Precast.org, they claim that you should allow an average of $350 per cubic yard for the complete job.

Allcostdata.info has a large list of precast concrete and its cost.  Here, the average cost can range anywhere from $6 to as much as $15 per square foot.  Structural precast can range from $43 per linear foot for a 15-foot span to as much as $95 per linear foot for a 30-foot span.  These are the costs for the material only and won’t include the labor.

Since precast concrete can be formed into just about anything, we broke down the costs for the most popular projects inside our table below:

Type of ProjectAverage Price
Precast Concrete Fence$15 to $40 per square foot installed, depending on the block being used
Precast Concrete Light Pole Base$500 to $900 per pole base installed
Precast Concrete Panel$150 to $500 each, depending on the size. No installation.
Precast Concrete Retaining Wall Block$15 to $30 per square foot installed
Precast Concrete Splash Blocks$10 to $40 each
Precast Concrete Steps$200 per 4-foot wide step (no install)
Precast Concrete Wall Caps$12 to $15 per linear foot

Precast concrete overview

Precast concrete can be poured into virtually any shape, including steps, retaining walls, fences, light poles, basement walls or as a slab.  It’s also commonly used to build silos, cattle feed bunks, troughs, channels and retaining walls.

This type of concrete can be installed in just about any weather.  Standard concrete cannot be poured in the rain, but precast concrete is ready at any time, since, as mentioned, it’s produced offsite.

With precast concrete, panels can be full or a “half-sandwich.”  The former gives more durability and insulation while the latter includes one concrete face and has less insulation.

There are also hollow core panels which are used for making walls and floors.

During a common installation procedure, contractors will erect the concrete panels, seal and bolt them together.  After this is done, the slab will be poured and the floor joists above the foundation will be installed to brace the foundation walls.  Once braced, the backfilling will begin.  From delivering to installing, including the backfill, the entire process can take a day.

What are the extra costs?

Purchasing precast concrete online or from other regions may require additional costs to cover the expenses for shipping or delivery.

As noted above, some of the costs won’t include professional installation.


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