Concrete garage base

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Technique is the key then? gotcha
I'm now in two minds as to what the best approach is:
1) Get ready mix delivered for 275 but have to barrow all of it, against the clock.
2) Mix my own, at my leasure, for 320 max. Can be done over any number of days if I split the work into smaller slabs. I still have to barrow all the materials, but not against the clock, and not with the water mixed in with it!
3) Get two lots of ready mix, on different days, ensuring the two slab halves are down long before the concrete starts to go off. This puts less pressure on the barrow boys but increases to cost to 165 x 2 = 330
Any thoughts?
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James wrote:

Mix your own. It won't kill you. You obviously want to give it a go. If you do it in strips, you can choose whether to keep going and do it in a day - or take a couple of weeks doing it, strip by strip - the concrete won't care. You can, as suggested, drill some over-size holes in the formers and use some rebar to bond the strips together. I have never bothered other than where I wasn't too happy about the sub-base.
I'd lay a few poly tubes down under the slab. Two days after you finish, you will find that you want to put a water pipe/cable/phone line across where you hadn't thought that you would need one.
--
Sue




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lol obviously want to give it a go. Perhaps that's true, I'd just not realised it!
Yes, I think it would be best rather than a race against the clock to move all the premix from the roadside.

Great minds must think alike. I've got drainage, hot and cold water, TV, cat5 and phone wires already down!

Thanks for all your advice, Sue. This just leads me now into the murky world of what's the best mix to use? The builder's merchant supplies aggregate which is fine sand mixed with fine gravel. I want something really strong and don't mind paying for extra cement to achieve it so do you think a 4:1 mix is suitable? Bearing in mind I'm going to build a big heavy log cabin on top, quite possibly with a hot tub inside it, not to mention some motor bikes and machinery.
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James wrote: <snip>

Your log cabin manufacturer will have given you the spec for the base. Stick to that.
Cement+sand with no gravel has zero strength - it is the gravel that provides the strength. The cement merely bonds the gravel together - too much can leave you with a weaker concrete in the same way as too little can. The sand makes the cement go further.
I use 1:2:4. If I want it stronger, I make it thicker and stick in reinforcement. Easy to do - lay the mesh on the sub-base/dpm with a few loops of string with knots 2" above the mesh - pour and level the concrete, then gently pull the loops until the knots show. Cut the loops, pull out the string and do a final tamp down and level. Easier than playing with stand-offs and trying to pour the concrete through the holes..
My workshop has 150mm with two crossed mesh reinforcement, one at 50 and another at 100mm. It has to take a 2+ ton milling machine, plus a few other toys like that. I worked on the premise that it was easier to go for overkill when I built the thing, rather than wish I had, later. My local building inspector was dead impressed - I think he thought I was really building a nuclear bunker..
--
Sue








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I've heard all I need to hear now. Will you marry me?
Steve
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shazzbat wrote:

LOL, there must be less drastic ways for you to get your hands on an auto-feed bed and a suds pump...
--
Sue

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I'm building the cabin myself so have no spec to work to.

Well you live and learn. I thought the strength all came from the cement!

I take it that is 1 cement, 2 sand, 4 gravel?
I'll have to ask the builders merchant which ratio of sand to gravel the aggregate comes in, but one would think it is a standard mix if that's all they supply to the trade.
Thanks for the string loop technique, I was wondering how it was done without the mesh just sitting on the bottom or it standing on blocks.

lmao. I'm kind of wanting the same strength, for overkill as you nicely put it, but was hoping 125mm with one cross mesh would do the trick?

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James wrote:

OK, so find a log cabin manufacturer that makes one similar to what you have in mind and get the spec for the base for that..

It's one of those things where a mix is stronger than any of the components, individually.

Yep
There's all sorts of stuff called various things from 40 to dust, to all-in-one ballast, to heaven knows what. I like to mix my own..that's the way my dad taught me..

lol..it's the way my dad taught me..

How long is a piece of string? I used the same spec that the workshop where I worked had been built to. The extra cost was not a lot and it isn't going to break, no matter what I do to it.
--
Sue





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Probably about the same distance - up the drive, down the side of the house and down the back garden. I thought it went very easily. The trick was to have two people with barrows (three for the first few loads to get started) and two more spreading and levelling. The lorry was gone after 30 minutes and all that remained was final smoothing and levelling. I would have thought yours would not take that much longer. The other thing to watch is that your shuttering is strong enough to take the cement rolling up against it and you have boards to enable you to push the barrows over the shuttering to where you want to tip. After my experience I wouldn't dream of doing it any other way. Bear in mind also that if you have the muck tipped at the roadside you have the additional task of shovelling heavy wet cement into the barrows whereas the mixer lorry pours it straight in.
--
Keith Willcocks
(If you can\'t laugh at life, it ain\'t worth living!)
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I think this really comes down to a decision of wether I want a race against the clock to move the wet premixed concrete from where it is dumped at the roadside, against moving materials at my leasure then doing the mixing myself in smaller portions, laying a number of slabs.
The premix lorry says they can hang around while it is tipped into barrows, rather than quickly into one pile, but then they'll charge me extra for waiting time.
Thanks for your advice, especially about the strength of shuttering. Cheers

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If it's 25m from the road and to be used for motorbikes does this mean you're building a garage that is also inaccessible to cars?
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Yes, no cars! It'll be a garage, workshop, gym, greenhouse and more but the widest thing I could get down the side of the house to it would be a bike or a wheelbarrow.
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