Have a small project I'm working on and need some advise. Pouring a small
concrete slab that I have formed on two sides, the side buts up to an
existing slab and the back is concrete blocks. I am in zone 5, do I need
expansion joints? if so what is best?
If what he said about the size of the project being small an inspector would gladly volunteer the information and probably
tell the op not to bother with a permit. That was my experience when I built my shed and during the final inspection I asked
a few questions about later adding electrical. He answered all my questions and said don't bother with a permit.
On Mon, 23 May 2016 20:21:46 -0500, Gordon Shumway
Why do you think "inspectors" are "instructors"?
These days they are getting pretty busy. The departments cut way back
after the crash and they are pretty slow adding new head count until
they figure out if this recovery is real.
email@example.com posted for all of us...
+1 Too busy inspecting the "new" housing. Some will put time aside in the
morning for questions/answers. Also because what they are being asked may
not be actual plans or conditions and the resultant disaster is quoted as:
But that's what the inspector told me.
There might also be legal ramifications. If you have an open permit
and the inspector is just giving you opinions on compliance issues
they are protected by sovereign immunity but giving advice outside the
scope of their job can void that immunity.
I know guys who will remove their ID before they walk into a Home
Depot because they are afraid they might get sued over something they
I tend to blame the lawyers, not the inspectors. 40 years ago I sat
down at a table with PG (Md) county inspectors and they helped me draw
my plans. I doubt you will see that anywhere today unless you live in
When we were building our house back in 2003, I would always ask my
inspector questions when he was finished. It helped build a relationship
rather than just him coming out telling me what I did wrong. I got the
feeling that he appreciated that I wanted to know how I could improve
things. More importantly, he suggested a few things I wouldn't have thought
of otherwise, even though they weren't code issues.
Many building departments (mine included) have reference documents online
that tell you the most common building situations (joist spans, wall
construction, foundation details, etc.). Mine even has free plans for pole
barns and other basic structures.
You could always call the building department and ask basic questions. You
may not get an inspector, but I found the receptionists could usually
answer simple questions.
Except for the associated permit fees, I had nothing but positive
experiences with our building department.
On Monday, May 23, 2016 at 6:06:43 PM UTC-4, buckwheat wrote:
Where it joins the existing concrete, I'd put one in. Otherwise if you
just pour it up even, there will be a crack between the two almost
immediately. And an expansion joint would look cleaner, IMO. Might
want it at the block wall too, depending on how important aesthetics are.
Whether you need any control joins mid-span depends on the length of
Yes, there WILL be a shrinkage crack between the new slab and the
blocks/old slab. However, this will be tiny compared to any kind of
expansion material that may be used to fill the gap. I've seen those
expansion fillers rot out, then you're left with a big half inch or larger
I would rather have a small shrinkage crack than a large filler up against
the wall. If it ever opened up it would be easier to fill with sealant too.
I would use an edger to round over the exposed edges of the slab to
minimize chipping on the edges. And, as you mentioned, add control joints
mid-span if the slab is large (or pour the slab in smaller sections).
I have poured several slabs around our place right up to the concrete
foundation walls. I've never had an issue, but we do have a mild climate.
On Monday, May 23, 2016 at 8:50:39 PM UTC-4, HerHusband wrote:
That would depend on whether aesthetics matter where it's going.
It could be for a place where something like a storage box or
grill is going over it anyway. He doesn't have to use strictly
expansion joint material. I'd consider even a piece of cardboard
or similar that will rot away quickly. Then he'd have a small,
clean gap. To me that's preferable to the tiny more irregular
crack he'll have if he does nothing. That crack would be so small,
you can't caulk it, etc. The other type of gap looks like it's
You could always stick some plastic or tape on the wall before you pour the
concrete. That would isolate the slab from the wall, ensuring the tiny
crack is regular and intentional.
You could also just run the edger along the wall to round over the edge and
create a consistent gap that you could caulk later if you wish.
I'm not a fan of installing something that's designed to rot. :)
On Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 9:49:03 AM UTC-4, trader_4 wrote:
Aesthetics? You want aesthetics?
I was in Burlington VT a few years ago and notied this sidewalk behind
The Firehouse Gallery in the Church Street Marketplace. Each section
appears to be sitting in it's own "tray", although it may just be a
open bottomed frame:
In addition, each section had a something that looks like a valve in the
exact center. I sent an email to the Burlington Historical Society asking
about it, but I never got an answer. I don't know if the fixture is
functional or purely for aesthetics.
On Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 5:18:14 PM UTC-4, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
The sidewalk is outside the former Ethan Allen Firehouse, built in 1889. I'm guessing
they had hoses to wash down their sidewalks. ;-)
I don't really know when the sidewalks were built, that's why I tried to contact the historical
society. I guess I could try again and see if someone different picks up the email. It's been
a few years.
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