concrete slab for workshop

Page 2 of 3  
I concur with many of the above comments with one exception. Forms and prework. The actual pour and finish, pay somebody. You can research the requirements based on your locale for footing requirements based on frost line. A good place to start is the local building inspector or engineering department of local community for building permits.
BUT if your clueless of the requirements and process, pay for it all!
Ronald Murray wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Check with your local building permit office for the requirements. When I built my shop last year, I found that almost all structures required a certified concrete plan which basically meant hiring someone to do it since they will have a licensed engineer on staff. I ended up going with a pole-barn structure for a variety of reasons but one main one was that they were except from the concrete plan rule. I still ended up hiring out all the work but not having to pay for the plan did save me quite a bit of money (about $500).
Lance
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi, I went through this same dilemma last year after we bought are house. I considered doing the work myself (to save money, "I know what I'm doing", etc.) but after careful thought, as well as some wise comments form individuals in this group, I hired the job out. Best decision I ever made. While I cringed at signing the check, it was a joy to watch the whole process from the comfort of my front porch, and to plan for the part of the project I know best - working with wood. While I usually hate the thought of watching someone else do what I "think" I can do better, and for less, I felt very good about my decision. Sometimes saving a few bucks just doesn't make sense - a hard lesson to swallow for a person that would rather die than to allow a repair person into his home. Yes, I could have done 75% of what the concrete contractor did (build forms, dig footings, etc.), but he and his crew got it right the first time and far more quickly than me and my wife could. The process went much faster and the results were far superior to what I could have accomplished on my first try - wood is very forgiving - concrete is not! Keep us posted.
Bill
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Does everyone else here do this? On the rare occasions where I have to hire some help, I measure how much it cost compared to wood or tools. "Why, I could have bought two blurfls for what that cost!".
todd
wrote:

for his

not to

gravel
I
since
they
all
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have been a "helper" on several concrete projects. These were all jobs without a true concrete professional. In all cases the final product came out OK but there were moments of near panic.
In one case some of the forms started to yield. A couple last minute braces were able to stop the problem. In another job we had a cart full of premix that started to harden before we could offload it into wheelbarrows. In all cases you need to be fully prepared when the concrete arrives. When the pumper comes to the site and the concrete truck arrives you need to have everything under control.
Even when you believe you are fully prepared it is likely that you will tie up the delivery truck for longer than his allocated time so there will be additional time charges. This should be one saving for the use of a contractor for the job. He will eat any extra time for the concrete delivery.
Dick

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 28 Apr 2004 07:41:38 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net (Bill) wrote:

There's a huge amount of good advice in that. When we learn woodworking (and a whole lot of other trades and crafts) we have an opportunity to practice and throw away what didn't work out. Every concrete pour is a finished job. There are no practice areas for finishing concrete. Your very first one has to be good enough for what it's intended.
Apprentice concrete finishers at least start out with a journeyman showing him what to do (and what not to do). We DIYers don't have that luxury. I've learned to do concrete finishing (which is why I know what I'm talking about in that first paragraph), but I don't want to pour and finish much more than a 4'x4' pad, and that's with some help mixing.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Did my own a few years ago 16 X 24. Excavated about 3in into the ground and backfilled it with sand, rented a tamper and smoothed and compacted it. Laid out slab forms along the perimeter with 2X6's and laid it directly on to of the ground so outside edges would be 5.5in thick. Pegged the forms on the outside every 3 feet. Used a level and some borrowed survey equipment to get the form extremely level. Backfilled inside the form 16 inches inside the forms with compacted sand to a height 2.5in higher than the bottom of the form to create a footing effect around the perimeter leaving the major portion of the slab 3in thick. Drove pegs into the sand spaced 8ft apart inside the forms and marked them at a height of 3inches above the sand with permanent marker. Got alot of 4X8 sheets of 6X6 wire reinforcing mesh and laid this inside the form overlapping each shhet by 6inches. Ran the cement starting at the farthest corner from the cement truck. Ran the cement along the forms from the corner each way for about 8 feet and then filled arround the closest peg to that corner up to the 3 inch mark. Filled in between the peg and the corner and used a screed (10ft 2X4 with handles on it) to level it from the corner to the mark on the peg. Repeated this around the forms ad to all pegs. Got a bull float to settle and smooth the concrete somewhat. Wait until the concrete is firm to the touch and barely leaves an indentation when applying pressure with the fingers. Get a Cement finisher with a good set of cutting blades and run over the surface to smoot out the surface...................................................................GE T A CONTRACTOR.........you'll never regret it.
Bert Newfoundland
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I am a manager for a small concrete construction company. I would not attempt to finish concrete. I even stayed at a Holiday Express.
If a contractor does your work the cost ofor the contractor will not be as bad as you think. You might work a deal to form the floor but don"t complain if the floor is tilted.
Also a concrete contractor can get the concrete at a lower cost than you can.
I would definiatly have a footer (12"x12" minimum) with at least one run of #5 rebar. If you have alot of weight on the building then two bars of #5. Overlap the rebar at least 24". Buy corner bars for your corners and make sure the rebar is 3-4" from the bottom of the foorer.
Make sure you have recesses at the doors either as a 3/4" lip or a sloped recess. This will keep water from blowing under the doors. Make sure the contractor cuts control joints within 24hr.
If you are framing the walls or installing a metal building go ahead and install anchor bolts in the footer. We poured a slab a while back where we took a PT 2x4 and screw it around the inside of the forms to form a ledge. Then we drilled holes for the anchor bolts. After the pour we removed the screws and PT boards. The walls were built using the PT as bottom boards. When completed the walls just fit perfect on the anchors.
Hope this helps.
On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 12:42:42 -0300, "Ronald Murray"

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've built the forms and prepped for pouring several slabs myself, but would never attempt finishing concrete. You screw up and it's permanent. Hire a professional; he's worth it. I'd recommend reading a book before you start, but I would rebar and cut in control joints. Ron

his
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well. from the sound of it I was the victim of dumb luck. when I decided I needed a bigger shed/shop than the 12x18 dutch barn style I built on cinder block piers. Bought a set of plans and followed the recommendations for a monolithic slab. 10" deep at the edges for 4" in then angled up at 45 to a 4" thick center. Laid out 2x6 forms, staked at 2' intervals in front of current shed. Dug the 2x6's in to level them out. This gave me a front entrance that was too low, slight slope to bckyard, so I ripped 2x4's and added about 1.75" to the overall thickness of the slab. Checked level carefully with a water level. put in black 20 mil, I think, plastic as a vapor barrier, then the 2 courses of rebar recommended and 6x6 mesh overlapped by 6" at edges and 12" at the ends. Called BIL to make sure he could help on th eday of the pour, he'd done this at least once before, and scheduled the day off and claled for 7 yards of concrete. Sat avround waiting for the early AM delivery, heated up some chile for lunch, and the truck magically appeared. Funny how that works. Offered the driver large glass of iced tea, sweet, and made sure he agreed I had taked down enough of the fence between my and neighbors yard for him to back up. guided him past water meters and he setup to pout. BIL and I sprad it around and used a 2x to level and smooth it out. Driver pulled out a bull float and did a semifinal smoothout then asked to use the graden hose. Iassumed, yeah I know, he was going to cleanup. He handed me one end a d directed me to the other side of the slab to hold one end of the hose. He then slowly dragged the hose over the smoothed surface and pulled up a thin even layer of water to the top. Then he rinsed off the hose and himself, acceptd arefill of iced tea and took the check and departed. BIL and I were surpridsed at the finish and went in to reheat and eat the chile. Let the mis set a little bit, don't recall how long, and set in the J bolts for the sill plate and smoothed around them. Glad that part's covered, not as smooth as the middle. Neighbor came home later and we were talking about the amount of concrete he had helped with, from a home batch plant, in his teens. Noticed a crack forming in the slab, no expansion joints, and mentioned about how they may have used to much phosphorous in the mix. I was panicking, but he explained what to do. Covered the slab with a layer of clear plastic and started the oscillating sprinkler to cover the whole slab. Left it running overnight and again the next afternoon for a few hours, maybe for the next few days too. It's been a while. The crack closed up most of the way, I might be able to find it now if I looked, and the slab cured slowly. Well, as slowly as SC will let it in August, even with the plastic and occassional watering. Let the slab cure for a few weeks and started the shop, but that's another story in what not to do. Joe
Ron wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you want to keep your neighbor as a friend, you might want to talk him into a professional on this. Maybe help out with the prep work and setting up forms, etc. Find a concrete guy who will do the actual pour and finish work but let you do the setup.
I have been reading this thread for a while, and I'm sort of glad I didn't read it a year ago. I built a new front stoop on my house to replace a poorly conceived older one that was starting to fall apart. I built a semi-circular, 3 step, stoop with brick risers and backfilled with concrete. The outer step is about a 5' radius curve. I dug out footers and used 1/4" OSB to form them, in steps. Then I built a double row brick wall for each step. After all that was done I backfilled the interior with rubble and dirt, packed it down. Then put in a crosshatched rebar mesh and poured on top of that. A couple friends helped me. We backfilled the gaps behind the first to risers with concrete, and the main top we screeded off with a slight pitch away from the house. My friends had worked as mansonry helpers years ago in their youth, but other than that we were flying blind. Worked out pretty well, considering. So far, no cracks or settling. Had I read this thread a year ago I might have paid someone else to do it. Thinking back on it, I might pay someone else to do it if I had to do over.
The fun part was building, essentially, 3 curved brick walls. It wasn't as hard as I had expected.
Bill Ranck Blacksburg, Va.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Given the pretty basic level of the questions posed, I'd say see a professional. Ask them what of the grunt work you can do and let them do the pour/finish. For example, getting a really dead flat gravel bed can save you a bunch of concrete ($$$) which can defray part of the cost of getting someone to handle the pour. Gravel can be worked at a leisurely pace.
There's an old saw: "You can work the concrete or the concrete can work you." Pro's do the former; newbies the latter.
good luck,
hex -30-
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
After all the good advice I have noticed that we haven't heard back from Ronald, who started this thread. What was your and your neighbors decision? Have a professional do it right, I hope. I've always enjoyed watching people try pouring and finishing concrete when they didn't have a clue. I have actually got my tools out and helped them while they stepped back and watched in amazement how easy I made it look. Well, what can I say, 37 years of finishing concrete?
I now enjoy my wood shop, take my time and not worry about mistakes because I have the TIME to redo my mistakes. Don't finish a project today, always have tomorrow. Not so with concrete!
Got some gluing to do on small pieces for inlays on jewelry boxes (al la Doug Stowe's books) so better get busy. Grandkids graduations coming up fast. Better get busy and turn of this puter. Good luck, Ronald and Neighbor. Al in WA

his
to
gravel
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 12:42:42 -0300, "Ronald Murray"

Damn, sorry, I'm busy that day.
-Dan v.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hello Everyone
Thank-you very much for your honest opinions. We have not decided which way to go yet. He doesn't have the permit yet either. We will get a few prices from contractors to build & place the concrete , then decide from there. Concrete is about $84 a cubic yd plus 15% tax. We figure around 6 yds to pour a 6 inch thick slab. Plus we will need a pumper truck($200-300) & rent one of those upside down helicopters to finish the concrete to a nice smooth finish. That's Canadian dollars. I called one concrete supplier for a price. To me cement & concrete are kinda interchangeable words.When I asked for a price on cement , he advised me that they don't sell cement. So I said sorry wrong number. I call the number again out of the yellow pages. Same guy answers. Can you give me a price on cement. Same response. We don't sell cement , we sell concrete. So I won't say where I told him to put his concrete. I'm sure he knew what I was looking for. NEXT. ron PS We are still leaning towards doing it ourselves. I'll keep you posted.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 29 Apr 2004 16:14:24 -0300, "Ronald Murray"
Sorry, but they're not. Cement is a product made from ground and fired limestone. It is the basis for several masonry products including mortar and concrete. Concrete is a mixture of cement, water, aggregate, and sand (a smaller aggregate).

He was trying to give you a lesson. Too subtly, perhaps.

Less subtle, since the first lesson didn't take.

Our teachers are under-appreciated and over-abused.

Not knowing the difference between cement and concrete, I'd suggest you lean toward contracting it out.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@pobox.com wrote:
In this usage a cement mixer would be rather useless. It would simply churn away at the powder. We must admit that common usage often confuses the two.
Dick

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

He must be busy enough not to want any extra business. Ed
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Flatwork guys around here (Wisconsin) are notoriously hard to deal with, because they're so damn busy. But, having seen how much work it is, and how well they do it, it's worth paying for it to be done.
I did nearly everything involved in building my house; foundation, framing, systems, and even the drywall. But, flatwork I hired out on the theory that it's more work than 3 people can handle, _and_ it's a one-time shot. Even though the flatwork guy badly delayed my project by not showing up as promised, repeatedly, I wouldn't want to tackle it myself.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It would probably behoove you to get used to calling it concrete. I bet when a guy hears you want "cement" it suddenly becomes a bit more expensive, just because he can ;-) There are also different compressive strengths of concrete and lots of additives you may or may not want. A slab is a pretty undemanding application, compared to prestressed girders and such but you still want the right order. I'm sure the pro guys here will jump in with recomendations but google can be your friend too. Garden variety Borg bag mix is 3000# gravel the last time I checked, just for a starting point.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.