Ron called in to tell me that cement mixers were on sale at PRAKTIKER (Bulgarian DIY chain) only 299 Lev (135 GBP) after discount. He bought one and was going back to PRAKTIKER for more tools today, and did I wish to come along, there was plenty of room in the back of his van for a cement mixer.

We’ve both calculated the cost of buying ready mixed concrete delivered by the truck load Vs buying the ingredients ourselves, plus a cement mixer, the difference is 60% cheaper per cubic meter if you do everything yourself.

So Ron and I drove off to VT. (Veliko Turnovo) bought our various tools etc, not only was it 100 Lev off the mixer, but when I got to the checkout I also received presents as well, and just when you think the day could not get any better…….There’s now a McDonald’s next to PRAKTIKER……We just had to have a Big Mac, chips and large coke each!!

It took me a couple of hours to assemble the mixer and today we tried it out.

Bulgaria is the renovation capital of Europe at the moment, and most houses here come with very large gardens, so if you want to build a parking space for 2, 3 or 4 cars…No problem.

If you want an Olympic sized pool in the garden…No problem.

If you want a patio the size of theย  Sydney Opera House…No Problem.

I have roughly calculated that I need about 25 to 30 cubic meters of concrete for the driveway, parking area, patio, barn floor and an assortment of paths etc.

Up until now we have mixed whatever cement, concrete and render we have needed ourselves, manually……This is absolutely back-breaking work!!

One wheel barrow of concrete in just 5 minutes.


Ready mixed concrete delivered to your door……100 to 120 Lev (45 to 54 GBP) per cubic meter x 30m3 = 3,000 to 3,600 lev ( 1,333 to 1,600 GBP)


Sand/stone mix….10 Lev (4.40 GBP) per Ton.

Cement….5.40 Lev (2.40 GBP) per bag.

Petrol/Diesel 2.35 Lev (1.06 GBP) per Litre.


On a rough calculation, a cubic meter will cost around 30 to 35 levย  (14 to 16 GBP) per cubic meter doing it yourself.

Saving approximately 70 Lev (32 GBP) per cubic meter X 30 cubic meters = 2100 Lev (960 GBP)

The above calculations are just for concrete, if you factor in cement and render the savings are just as much again, you just have to love DIY!!



~ by travelswithmymotorbike on June 30, 2011.

16 Responses to “ANOTHER NEW TOY”

  1. With the 800 quid you’ve saved, why not buy a bike!!

    • Hi James,

      Wish I could mate, but the oberfuhrer would want it spent on curtains for the chicken shed or something…



  2. Its got two wheels, must be a kind of Bulgarian bike ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Owen,

      Could be a Bogoffski 650cc from some angles!!



  3. hahahaha Owen, now I have a mental picture of Dave with his leathers on plus crash helmet sitting on the drum ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Dave:

    this seems like a no-brainer question.

    cement mixer or “bike”. and you chose what ??

    Riding the Wet Coast

    • Hi Uncle Bob,

      I was drunk on a McDonalds Happy meal at the time, sorry Bob….



  5. Its got 2 wheels and an engine bob, not sure about the colour though!!

    • Hi Graham,

      Fashion, just wait….You’ll all be painting your houses that colour next year ๐Ÿ™‚



  6. it has 2 wheels, an engine AND handlebars, it must be a motorbike, Dave you just assembled it wrong ๐Ÿ™‚

    • The instructions got wet when it rained……You could be right Gary!!

  7. How much do you estimate it would cost to fix up a house out there??

    • Hi Robo,

      Difficult question to answer, how longs a piece of string??

      But I’ll have a go, average UK house size is 75 m2, average USA house size 210m2…My house in Bulgaria is about 150m2 with 100m2 barn, so my chickens have much more space to live in than the average Brit ๐Ÿ™‚

      Basic building materials (Sand,cement,gravel,timber,bricks,tiles,nails,screws, plumbing etc) are cheap in Bulgaria, I would guess that to build an average UK size house here in materials alone would be less than 15,000 pounds, to renovate a UK sized house here would be less than 5,000 pounds, this of course depends on what standard of kitchen/bathroom (Most expensive rooms in a property) you put in and of course doing the bulk of the work yourself!!!!!!!!

      If you want to leave it all to builders then you will hemorrhage money very rapidly, people who cant/wont work then they should at least gather all the materials themselves to gain some control over costs and hire labour on a fixed day rate.

      Basically its cheap here, so if your spending 30 grand to renovate your house then theres something wrong!!

      Hope this helps,



  8. Thank you for taking the time to write out all your costs etc. Those of us yet to take the Bulgarian plunge find this kind of information invaluable, you just never know what you may stumble across when searching the internet.

    May I ask who you bought through and what was your experience?

    Many thanks,


    • Hi Simon,

      If I wrote something useful it was a shear fluke ๐Ÿ™‚

      We bought last year and considered two companies after months of research, BULGARIADIRECT and MOWLEM, both of these companies auction houses on EBAY.CO.UK aswell as selling direct, because both companies use EBAY, and EBAY has a customer satisfaction feed-back thingy, with BULGARIADIRECT we were able to trace back 7 years and they have 99% happy customers on 700 sales, MOWLEM was about 4 years history on EBAY.

      We chose to go with BULGARIADIRECT simply because of the EBAY feed-back………….AND our experience with them was first rate, really!!

      Theres about 3 kinds of Bulgarian areas really, Seaside and pissed Brits, Skiing areas and the quiet country life.



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