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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need some help/advice on concrete. I've got a 25'X40' area that I want to concrete for additional parking area next to my garage. I've got all the grass and soil moved out at a depth of 4" so that it will match up with my existing driveway. I've got no problems with laying the metal rebar and/or wire but how far apart do the expansion joints need to be? And can they be regular 1x4's.

Also, any tricks for making sure I get a decently smooth finish. I've got a friend that's got a push pole/leveler/smoother but any additional tips would be appreciated. I'd planning to frame it out and lay the metal this weekend and have the concrete truck come early next week. Also, I was planning to frame the outside with 2x6's by digging it out a little deeper on the edges so the outer edge will actually be 6" of concrete. Any problem with that?

Also, once it's set-up, are there any steps to take to protect it while its setting. I know you're supposed to keep it wet, but should it be covered with a tarp also?

Thanks in advance for any tips/pointers!!
 

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Back in da Saddle
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Not an expert but 1x4's are what you need and 10'x12' are good size areas ...use red wood it will rot as fast!!! also consider digging the area where you vehicel parks about 2" deeper ...never know when a heavy load will be on it !!!

you can cover with plastic and all will be well !!
 

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Grand Master of Thread Kill
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diggin a little @ the edges

is a good idea, won't hurt nuthin. the bull float (pushpole,leveler) will get you a good enough finish for a driveway. get the bull float on it about 15 minutes after you have run your 2x4 across to strike off the concrete flat. this will help get the butter to the top and the rocks down. it'll leave a few lines, but don't worry about that for a while. after about 45 minutes or so your concrete will start to stiffen up. put your bull float back out there and knock down the lines you left the first time. if you still leave lines, wait a while longer and do it again. keep an eye on it. once the concrete starts setting it seems to set faster and faster. also get a couple of edgers and tool the edges of the concrete where the forms and expansion joints are. makes a lot stronger edge, and looks better.

match the expansion joints that are already existing in your driveway. this way your new pad will flex with your driveway. if none intersect your pour i'd put one in to bust the 40ft run in half.

i'm assuming the the thing your calling "pushpole/leveler,smoother" is a bull float. if it looks like a 1"x2" square aluminum tubing about 10' long then thats a check rod. don't use it to finish. those things are for the pro's to use. rent a bull float. this is a magnesium float usually 4ft long and about 8-10" wide.

you don't necessarily need to put plastic on it unless rain is imminent. if you do cover it, let it sit as long as you can before you do. the plastic will leave an ugly finish if you put it on too early. also when you do put the plastic down get a bunch of folks out there, spread your plastic out away from the concrete and lift it up and walk it over your pour and lay it straight down. don't drag it across your fresh mud. it'll really make a mess of things if you do.

when you order your concrete get at least 1" rock. you can also have them give you a 2% shot of retarder. this will slow down the curing and give you more time to play with it. lastly, get some curing compound. put it in a pump up bug sprayer. after you've put your finish broom on the concrete spray it with the curing compound. what this does is it makes a thin membrane on the surface. it slows down the curing process and makes for better concrete. i highly advise this with it being so hot and sunny. if it cures too fast you'll get tiny cracks in it. but don't worry if it cracks. thats what the rebar is there for, to pull the concrete back together.

holler if i didn't answer thing where they will make sense. steve @ 713-775-3571
 

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Grand Master of Thread Kill
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oh yeah

treated 1x4's are what we use on 4" slabs. get ya a 3/4" paddle bit and poke holes in it to run your rebar thru. continuous rebar is the only way to go. redwood is kinda getting hard to find, especially straight.
 

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Genesis 9:2-3 & Deuteronomy 12:15-16
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You may want to lay down ?visqueen? first to prevent sweating in the slab.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys! Just to clarify, the area I'm wanting to pour is off to the side of my garage and will be meeting my existing drive only on one side. My garage is perpendicular to my drive so the area to be concreted will run down the side of the garage and will basically extend my existing driveway about 12 ft out toward the road. I have a gravel drive from the road to the concrete area (about 200 ft) This area is going to be used to store a travel trailer (about 8,000lbs) and my boat (about 3000lbs?), both are tandem axle trailers.

I'm out of city limits and have no requirements to use rebar, although I planned to run rebar across the heavy load areas as well as the perimeter of the area. The rest I was going to use the wire rolls. Will that be ok or should I rebar the whole area.

Yes, the thing I referred to is a bull float, just couldn't think of the name. I'll definitely get some curing compound.

I'd like to be able to pay someone to do this, but I need to do this myself because I have other things that have to be done to the house, but I really want this area concrete because I am tired of trying to back on 2x12 boards and having high grass under the trailer to try and keep mowed. The quotes I had for this area were just too high considering how much I can save doing it myself.
 

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Grand Master of Thread Kill
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ditto speckle

wire mesh almost always ends up on the bottom of the slab rotting away and doing no good.

where ya located??
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey Dutch treat, Yep, that's DG's boat. Flatsfats, I'm in Wharton. Looks like I'll be going all rebar. Thanks for the help.
 

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If you use wire mesh, be sure to "lift" it during the pour to keep it from being on the bottom of your slab. Or you can get the small plastic supports from the local Home Depot to support the wire mesh off the bottom (best).

Additionally, be sure to dowel the side of your driveway that the new drive touches. You can use the 12" rebar dowels and drill them into your existing slab to keep the two slabs level at all times.

As added insurance, request "fiber crete" from your concrete supplier. This is 3000 psi concrete that has small nylon fibers added to the concrete that strengthens it and helps hold it together. The cost is normally only $5-8 per yard additional and is worth the extra cost.

Lastly, if you pour it on a hot, dry day like today, you will need to keep it moist for a couple of days to slow the curing time. The slower the cure, the harder the concrete. After you pour and finish the slab, you can lay cloth or cardboard down on the new concrete and keep it wet for a couple of days.

Hope this helps,
Chuck
 

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Grinderman, After you get it formed and the steel in place. See if you can get someone to just pour it and finish it. Might save you some $$. Pouring and finishing a job that size isnt for the novice. You are looking at 12 - 13 yards to move and finish. If you can roundup the tools and the manpower it can be done. Just something to consider.

Mike T
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Mike, I'm beginning to agree with you. Actually as I finished moving the last of the dirt about 10 minutes ago, I realized how big the area is. I'm going to give some local contractors a call tomorrow to see what their charge would be to just lay and smooth the concrete. I'm also going to check with some references on some guys that do this kind of work on the side. I would think it wouldn't be too bad since all the dirt moving and such is done. Hopefully, I'll have everything formed and rebar layed by the end of the weekend so it can be poured early next week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the help guys. I've got the area preped, form boards in place and rebar layed. Just need to punch some holes in existing slab and insert and tie in rebar rods. My next door neighbor put in in touch with a guy and his son that worked in the concrete business before going to work in a local plant. They have all the equipment and still do concrete work on the side. They're charging me $500 for his crew to pour and finish the concrete (about 1200 sq. ft or $0.41 per foot) next friday. Sounds reasonable to me. Even with paying them to pour it, I've saved approx. $4,000 from my lowest quote from a contractor to do the area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the help

Thanks for all the help offered. Drive/parking area (1,200 sq. ft) was poured Friday and turned out great. Very, very glad I hired a crew to do the finishing. Thanks again!!!!
 

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Congrats. Pics! We wanna see some pics. I'm considering doing some patio remodeling/concrete work my self, but I will definitely hire it out.
Mike
 
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