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1nonly 01-20-2008 11:02 PM

Help a beginner out with concrete skirting
I want to do a concrete skirting around my house about 4ft. wide. Are there any necessary precautions since the concrete will be up against the house? Any help or links to step by steps on this sort of project would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance. And I am sorry if the use of the word "skirting" is incorrect. Like I said, I am very much a beginner with concrete but am willing to take on this task to save a buck or 10.:laughing:

Chris Johnson 01-20-2008 11:37 PM

Skirting works for me, it's a walkway sort of thingermabober you want to add on, correct?

Anyways, first thing to do is get the marking paint out, mark the approximate line around the house plus a couple of inches. Get lots of beer, call buddies to come over for FREE beer, must bring pics and shovels, remove all organic material (grass, top soil, tree roots, etc) and be a minimum of 8" down from where you want the top of slab.

Stop, drink a few beers, now set forms to desired location and height around house. fill with gravel to 4" below where the top of concrete will be, maybe go 3 1/2", compact well with plate tamper, you are aiming for 4" of concrete, 4" is your minimum thickness, more is okay, but gravel is cheaper than concrete.

place tintest (The black stuff you see in the concrete section of home centers, comes in 4 and 6" heights, buy 4") put against building, may need to use a concrete nail to temporarily hold it until concrete is poured.

Call the line pump truck (Unless you are planning on wheel barrowing the whole thing), have pump truck co-ordinate with concrete supply...saves on waiting time for the concrete truck...pump operators have a relationship with mud companies. pour concrete and level out (actually slope it from the house, smooth 1/8" per foot, rough 1/4" per foot), drink more beer while concrete is setting up to allow you to finish it.

Good luck have fun and don't forget the control joints, usually every 5' +/- for the sidewalk (Follow what the City did in front of your house)

P.S. Don't get drunk, too much beer and you will start to not give a damn about the finish quality which is what you are doing all this work to acheive.

DISCLAIMER...Concrete workers are professional and have the most experience in consuming large quantities of beer awaiting concrete to set and be ready to finish, this should not be attempted by you at home, doing so releases the writer from all liability as to finish quality and wife's attitude towards you as you climb into bed smelly, sweaty and drunk.

1nonly 01-21-2008 06:58 AM

Thank you, Chris. I really do appreciate the quick response. I will mostly be going at the project alone so I may do it by sections using bags of mix (the just add water kind). Is this advised?

Chris Johnson 01-21-2008 09:45 AM

If you only needed a few bags that would be fine, once you hit 60 bags it's time for a truck ($$$ money wise), you will never get the consistancy right for the amount you need to do, mixes will always be slightly different. Perhaps built along one wall at a time, get a truck and pour that, finsihed, go on to the next wall.

1nonly 01-21-2008 01:12 PM

Screeding question now...
Fair enough Chris, but what about screeding the concrete once poured. Since one side is used up by the house, what is the proper way to screed a cement walkway that runs against a wall. Again, I apologize for sounding so noob about this.

rocklyr 01-22-2008 04:43 PM

Chris is giving you some great advice i would only add one thing MAKE SURE THAT YOUR CONCRETE SLOPES AWAY FORM YOUR HOUSE you do not want water to drain toward the house also depending on the size of your project you may want to go with a concrete truck, although the need for a pump depends on how strong your back is, how far you would have to push each wheelbarrow load, how much you have to pour and how many people you can bribe into helping you. If you figure how many cubic yards of concrete you need (length in ft x width in ft x depth in ft 4"=.33 ft divided by 27) and figure 7 large contractor sized wheelbarrow loads per cubic yard you can figure out just what you are getting yourself into

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