Advice for 12x16 concrete porch slab and stain

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Home Guy wrote:

Not if uses the same company. Evidently.
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Thanks for confirming the crazy pricing (Home Guy, HeyBub, Oren, and gfretwell). I live in a 100+ year old community with nice houses, some waterfront, so I think these guys multiply their quotes by 2 or 3 times. It's really frustrating.
I found someone with experience to give me a hand, so it looks like I will be doing a lot of the work myself. I can dig, tamp, call the county inspector, order material, etc. He can lay block, etc.
I'll keep folks posted on the progress.
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On Sat, 12 Nov 2011 12:46:48 -0500, paulaner wrote:

So far I'm doing the slab myself with help from a knowledgeable contractor.
I dug the footers last weekend, 32" deep. Actually got my teenage boys to put down the video games and help. It took about 10 hours I think.
Submitted for inspection via web site on Monday (easy!) and passed inspection yesterday. The inspector wants the rebar in the footers to punch into the house foundation.
Then came all the rain. Even with tarps everywhere there was some collapse. I used an old boat sump pump to drain out a bunch of the water. I'll be digging out some again.
I will let the new moat dry out over Thanksgiving, then go shopping on black Friday for 2 yards of concrete (already reserved). The plan is to take a couple runs from the local rental works with a concrete cart. These carts can hold up to a yard and I should need about 2 yards according to the online calculators. I'll use child labor again for the wheelbarrow runs from driveway to back yard.
The 8" block, 4" cap, mortar and sand arrived today. If I'm lucky the contractor and I will do 5 courses over the weekend. So far I've spent about $1100.
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On 11/23/2011 8:02 AM, paulaner wrote:

it would have taken longer than 10 hours to convince my kids to help, so good on you for such a short time to convince yours.

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chaniarts unnecessarily full-quoted:

So you raised them such that they have little or no respect for you or your authority as a father and parent. That equals failure in my book.
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On Wed, 23 Nov 2011 10:02:13 -0500, paulaner wrote:

For those who need to know someday...
It took about $5k to make this happen:
$1100 - cinder block, concrete, sand, rebar, insulation (rigid foam) $500 - two yards concrete for footers (rental center trailers) $1100 - 5 yards fill dirt & gravel, delivered and bobcat (with operator) to move it $900 - 5 yards concrete for slab delivered via mixer truck $400 - bobcat (with operator) to move the 5 yards $1000 - misc stuff and paid to my helpers for labor
I used tarps and hay as insulation while it cured for a week (a couples nights went below freezing). The hay was handy because I needed to spread it out over the bobcat tracks in the yard afterwards.
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On Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:59:56 -0500, paulaner wrote:

Thanks for that. What are the finished dimensions and how high off the ground? Poured steps? Any railings? What's the cinder block for? I've been thinking about replacing my 3-step front stoop. It's about 7 x 5, not counting steps, all poured concrete I think. Nearly 3' high at the front door. Want to make it bigger, maybe 12 x 6. Much smaller than your job. But I'll need a new awning too.
--Vic
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On Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:38:30 -0600, Vic Smith

Mine is about 14' by 16.5' by the time it was done. It's about 30" off the ground. I went with azak railings, they look and feel good.
The cinder block is my foundation wall along 3 sides. After digging down 30 inches and pouring the footers, I framed it with 5 courses of cinder block to raise it up to 30 inches above ground. I filled it with dirt (compacted) and then about 5 inces of pea gravel. I added a vapor barrior plastic sheet then layed screen and rebar on top. After that came all the concrete.
I plan to build steps using paver stones. These are leftovers from before this project. I hope to make 4 steps at 6" high.
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We plan to go with an acid stain. The concrete will need to cure for at least 30 days before we can apply it. Since it's so cold here now, I think it's best to do that in the spring. I'll post a picture or two after I do that part.
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