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· Grand Master of Thread Kill
1,515 Posts
Lenght x width x heighth / 27

for example for a 10' x 12' four inch slab. 10 x 12 x .33 divided by 27= 1.46 cubic yds. the .33 is the decimal for 4" thickness. .54 is decimal for 6" thickness. to find the decimal for any thickness divide the thickness by 12 because you are working in feet.

demo the existing concrete. placing thin concrete over concrete is asking for trouble. drilling in tie bars will be good for the patio, but be aware that this could void some warranties on the house slab.

as metioned above #3 (3/8") rebar on 16" centers. i would personally stay away from the mesh. it tends to end up on the bottom of the slab if your not REALLY careful. it doesn't do much good down there and rusts away in a few years.

the purpose of deformed rebar (the kind you always see with the ridges on it) is to pull the concrete back together after it cracks. and it will crack. the purpose of saw cutting green concrete is to make the concrete crack where you want it. another big plus with the rebar is that you can hold it up with chairs as mentioned above. this will place your reinforcement in the proper place in the slab and you can pretty much forget about it and worry about pouring and finishing. also don't forget to wet your bedding down really good just before the pour. this will keep the ground from sucking the water outa your concrete too fast.

put an expasion joint on any adjoining concrete. a 1x4 for 4", 1x6 for 6" etc. this will allow for the expansion and conctraction that happens with temperature changes. this will also give you a good edge to run you edger along. a tooled edge looks much better and gives a more durable edge.

when you're all done with the finishing you can use some curing compound to slow down the curing process. the longer the cement in your concrete stays hydrated the higher compressive stengths you'll get. curing compound makes a thin membrane on the surface of your slab and keeps the water in longer.

oh yeh the 15-20% overage is a rule to live by with concrete. order at least 15% more than the math says you'll need. i started doing this stuff for a living about ten yrs ago and thats the first rule i learned.

good luck. if you're somewhere in the houston area and need a finisher just holler. will work for budweiser & a sandwich. but i ain't touching no wheelbarrow:eek: :D

doing concrete right is a bear if you don't know what your doing. a good conctractor (yes there are some) could be well worth the money.
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