Four ways to Estimate Rebar – Methodologies

As we know that cost of the concrete structure project depends on the amount of steel added and concrete. As steel is much expensive than concrete so its exact amount is much important as one can know beforehand the cost of the entire project.

Following are the methodologies which are usually practiced during estimation of steel rebar.

Method 1: 

You can make a rough estimate by using thumb rule that about 80 kg of rebar is required per cum. of slab. So if slab size is say 10m x 10m x 0.2m. Concrete = 10 x 10 x 0.2 = 20 cum. Therefore, Rebar = 80 kg x 20 = 1600 kg = 1.6 MT.

Method 2:

 Another thumb rule can be used that 1% steel by volume of slab. So for above slab having volume = 20 cum.

Steel = 1% of 20 cum. = 0.2 cum = 0.2 x 7850 kg/cum = 1570 kg = 1.57 MT

The thumb rules for above 2 methods are based on your own experience. It may differ from one building to another. Only after having enough data can you make a correct assumption of the thumb rules. It is better to take a thumb rule from a previously constructed building of similar nature to the one you are calculating now.

Method 3: By measuring the quantity from the Drawings or from a BBS:

This is more detailed method of measurement. 1st you have to measure the total length of the different diameters of bars by including the length of straight bars, lap lengths, bend bars etc. Then multiply the total lengths with the unit weight of the respective bars to get the total weight of steel.

E.g. Total length of 20 mm bars is 100 meters. Then Weight = Length x unit weight of 20 mm dia bar = 100 x 2.47 = 247 kg???s.

Method 4: By Using Estimation Software:

Using different estimation software???s like Plan Swift and Blue Beam also help us to obtain direct mass of the bar just by providing the area and spacing between the bars. The amount obtain by these softwares is usually exact or near to the exact amount and some waste material usually 5-10% of total weight calculated is applied and you will get the exact amount.

Method 5: Using Online Calculators:

You can use different online calculators to estimate the quantity of steel reinforcement.


1-    Estimating & Costing in Civil Engineering by Prof. B.N. Dutta 27th Edition, 1st February, 1959.

2-    Estimation in Building Construction 7th Edition by Frank. R. Dagostino Steven J. Peterson

3-    Fundamentals of Construction Estimating by David Pratt


At BiddingEnterprise we specialize in Concrete and Rebar Estimating. You can visit our Concrete specific page to get more information or send us an email with your project plans to receive a no obligation quote for our estimating service;


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