If you’ve ever shopped around for concrete, you know it isn’t cheap. In fact, in the last 2 years, it has gotten worse. But why is concrete so expensive? There are several reasons it is so expensive in Tucson, Arizona right now. One reason is people are working from home and are looking to have their homes more enjoyable. In Tucson, concrete has been very desirable for years and works well in this environment. The raw materials of concrete have been rising in price. And labor has gotten more expensive as well. Let’s look at what affects Tucson concrete prices.
More People Improving Their Homes
Because of the pandemic, more people were working from home and noticed the condition of their homes. They wanted to improve the appearance of their homes and that included fixing sidewalks, driveways, and patios. It was difficult to get concrete contractors to work while we were adjusting to the new normal. We are back to work as usual, but cement is in high demand.
Supply Chain Issues with Concrete Worldwide
There have been problems with the supply chain for concrete and its raw materials for over 2 years. This has not only been happening in Tucson but nationwide, so it is not like we can just order some raw materials from other parts of the country or world. There have been concrete shortages in Canada and Mexico as well. One large cement producer has recently started 2 kilns just south of Arizona in Sonora, Mexico to meet demand.
The Tucson Market has few concrete plants
The Tucson market is not small but has only several major plants that can mix concrete ready to use. Some larger markets like Phoenix or Los Angeles have more plants and they have to compete. In most markets, competition is good and concrete is no different. So the prices of having high-quality concrete mixed and ready for us to pick up have increased. And with the shortage in concrete we have discussed in another article, these few plants may even have us on a waiting list for concrete. So call today and we will get your location ready for concrete and get you on the waiting list.
The prices of Concrete Raw Materials
One of the biggest factors in Tucson concrete prices is the price of the raw materials. Cement, sand, gravel, and water are all necessary to produce concrete. And these days, those raw materials aren’t cheap. The price of cement has doubled in the last 10 years, and the price of sand and gravel has also been on the rise. In fact, most construction materials have risen 24% in the past few years. Some materials are coming back down and plants will increase production to meet demand.
Construction Material Transportation Costs
Another factor that contributes to high Tucson concrete prices is transportation. Concrete is a heavy material, which means it takes a lot of fuel to transport it from the point of manufacture to the job site. And with diesel prices on the rise, that added expense is being passed on to consumers. Concrete is heavy and needs to be transported. Diesel fuel has doubled in price since the beginning of 2020, from around $3 a gallon to $6 a gallon.
Labor Costs rising Tucson Concrete Prices
Finally, there are the prices of labor. Mixing and pouring concrete is a labor-intensive process, and skilled laborers don’t come cheap. Concrete finishing is a highly skilled area and experienced labor does a better job and asks for more pay. Also, inflation is affecting employee wages besides raw materials. So they require more payment for their salary. With the increased mortgage rates, there are fewer new housing starts, so the labor is less likely to be working on new construction and is likely to work on the repair and smaller jobs. The prices of labor in Tucson might go back down.
Reasons Tucson Concrete Prices are Going Down
Tucson concrete prices have been going up. For several years, Arizona as a whole has been demanding more concrete. The state has been growing by around 11% in concrete demand yearly. But there are reasons that Tucson concrete prices may go down and there will be less waiting for concrete. Cemex restarted a 1 million ton a year production in Sonora, Mexico, and can export to the southwestern United States in 2021. So just with that increased supply, Tucson Concrete Prices should go down.
Then in 2022, Cemex announced that there will open a second kiln at that facility in late 2022. It will take more money to get that kiln operational, but they think it’s worth it. That will also push Tucson concrete prices down once that gets into Arizona.
Higher Interest Rates are Slowing New Housing Starts
With the continued inflation, the US Federal Reserve has had several interest rate hikes. This has raised the interest rates for housing mortgages and has decreased the demand for mortgages. This has decreased the number of new housing starts in the Tucson market. The number of new housing starts in Tucson has been around 320 since July 2022.
This is down from a 15-year high in March 2022 of 837! So since there are fewer new housing starts, the demand for cement, concrete, and concrete crews is down and they are available to work on more projects.
FAQ about Tucson Concrete Prices
Why is concrete getting more expensive?
Concrete is getting more expensive because the demand for it is increasing while the availability of concrete decreases. The reason for the increased prices of concrete is twofold: demand and availability. The demand for concrete has been growing for several reasons. First, it is an essential material for construction projects. Second, there is a growing population worldwide, so there is a need for housing and other structures. Finally, many countries are developing rapidly, and this requires a lot of new infrastructure.
Will construction prices decline in 2023?
It’s no secret that construction prices have been rising for several years. The price of concrete, for example, has gone up by over 25% since 2014. And according to the Associated General Contractors of America, construction prices in Arizona are up over 4% from last year. But there are signs that construction prices may decline in 2023. The AGCA’s chief economist is predicting that the price of concrete will level off next year. They expect construction to slow down in states like Arizona and Texas as the housing market cools off. As a result, construction prices may finally decline after years of steady increases.
What are some reasons that Tucson concrete prices will go down?
Though Tucson concrete prices are high, there has been some good news if you need a project done now. So if you need some concrete, call us and we will give you a free quote.
More Production for Arizona
Cemex has a plant in Tucson and when they saw the shortages, they restarted a kiln in Sonora, Mexico and they are shipping to all the Southwestern United States. They announced restarting a second moth-balled cement kiln at that same plant in the Fall of 2022. Both should help drive down Tucson Concrete Prices.
Less new home starts in Pima County
Because of rising home mortgage interest rates, fewer people are interested in taking a home loan now. So new home permits have halved in the past 6 months. Fewer homes mean fewer foundations, driveways, and sidewalks made of concrete. Less Demand means lower prices.
Higher interest rates on home equity loans
With the higher interest rates, fewer people will think a home equity loan looks appealing and make home improvements. So this will lower demand as well. That will push Tucson’s concrete prices lower.
How much is concrete per square foot in Arizona?
The cost of concrete per square foot in Arizona depends on the location, size, and thickness of the concrete slab. Some projects are fine with a 4” thick slab. While making a stronger slab, you may want a 5 to 6” slab. The price can range from $2 to $5 per square foot.
The cost of concrete per square foot in Tucson, Arizona, is similar, but a little lower at around $2 to $4 per square foot. Smaller residential projects might cost increase cost per square foot, as it still needs site preparation and the truck has to get there. And larger commercial projects might actually cost about the same per square foot as there are some economies of scale.
What is the Average Concrete Slab Tucson cost?
Usually, homeowners in Tucson are replacing an asphalt or gravel driveway with a concrete driveway. In that case, usually, it does not require reinforced concrete with rebar. It can be 4” to 6” inches thick depending on how strong you want it. If you think large trucks or cranes might need to park on it, you will want thicker concrete. So just measure the width and length of your area. Then the cost per square foot will be $3.50 to $11. We can give you a better estimate if you have a strange shape or need project recommendations. Also, there may be a fee for the removal of the old driveway.
Conclusion to Tucson Concrete prices
There are quite a few factors that contribute to the high Tucson concrete prices. From the price of raw materials, worldwide concrete shortages, transportation prices, and labor fees, there’s no getting around it – quality concrete isn’t cheap. But even though it may be costly upfront, concrete is an investment that will pay off, in the long run, thanks to its durability and low maintenance cost. So if you’re planning a home improvement project, don’t let the price tag scare you away—it’s worth every penny! We hope this article on Tucson concrete prices was informative for you.