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Old 10-23-2008, 06:55 PM   #1
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R & R basement floor ?

Has anyone out there Broken up and re-poured a basement floor? I've been thinking about it for some time now and have not been able to decide what to do. I've got a section of basement about 28' x 16 ' I would like to transform into a family room / home theater. The problem is the existing headroom at present is about 7'6" on one side and less than 7' on the other side. All the work would be performed by myself. It appears the original owner sloped the floor into a sump in the center of the basement. The basement was poured in 1925. How much work do I have to look forward to and am I out of mind for even considering this ?


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Old 10-23-2008, 09:15 PM   #2
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How's the condition of the slab? If it is in good shape you might consider going right over the top of the old one. You'd lose a little headroom of course.

As for breaking up the new one and hauling it off, that's quite a job to undertake. A rented jackhammer would be used to break up the slab, and a lot of laboring. Have you got a plan for how to dispose of the concrete? You'd need to bring in gravel to level up the subgrade before placing the new slab. One advantage is that you'd be able to install a polyethlene vapor barrier under the slab as required by modern codes to reduce moisture infiltration through the concrete.

If you've never finished a large slab before, I'd consider having a concrete company place your new slab. It is quite a job and mistakes will cost you dearly. You'd of course need to use a concrete company for the mix as well, and would have to have a means of getting the concrete to the basement.


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Old 10-24-2008, 05:25 AM   #3
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we've done some,,, its not difficult but IS backbreaking grunt work,,, if you haven't done this work previously or, at least, any part of it, i'll bet you waste most of your time & mtls,,, consider this - hire placing/finishing but you demo, excavate, grade, fill rock, place isolation jnt & vapor barrier, etc.

if you don't argue about price, you'd be in a good position to ask for advice as you progress - you're hiring a virtual partner.

i REALLY admire someone who'd even consider doing this work personally,,, sure as hell i wouldn't,,, then again, i am sane at times othertimes i just remember doing them before if i never see another 5gal bkt fill'd w/rock/dirt/mud/muck, my prayers'll have been answered.
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Old 10-24-2008, 10:28 AM   #4
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This is nothing but back work. And you will soon wish you never started.

If you are married I hope you have a strong relationship.

If you have kids over 8 you can have them help and use this as a lesson in the "law of unintended consequences" as there will be some detours on the way. Like finding the plumbing 2 inches under the surface and wondering how to get around that.

Then there is the mud to deal with as you remove that for more head room. No matter how many floor protection you put in it will make a mess.

Then you have to consider how to tie into the walls with the new slab and make sure that the joint is sealed especially if you live in a rainy area with a high water table.

Make sure that if you do it you take pictures so that you can use that for cheap entertainment once you are done. At first the pain of looking at them will be too much to bare. Then you will be able to look at it and think of all the work you did to get this done. Soon you will be able to laugh and say, "What was I thinking".

Other than that it sounds like a fun project.
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Old 10-24-2008, 10:55 AM   #5
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KK you can do it. We changed the back door and improved the exit threshold at the same time. The area (36" wide) was destroyed. $1500, and a torn-up yard let a backhoe take our concrete out to a truck in the street. A cement contractor, four students and two homeowners - levelled the crusher fines and gravel. We took 10 days off to rest and let it settle. A carpenter was hired to reinstall stairs about $1000 with materials and some work to be done off site. The same crew manned wheelbarrels and ramped in and out of the backyard for 8 hours. There will be ruts from the concrete truck on your lawn for months. While the cc leveled and floated...we drank beer. We took 2 days off then installed lockstone outside the door and measured for threshold. On the third day we tarped.
Sorry no pictures. I'll try to answer your questions!
We'll wait until next year to paint it.
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Old 10-25-2008, 03:07 AM   #6
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no one's said he COULDN'T do it & to dismiss/minimize the scope of work AND the items involved is disingenuous imn-s-hfo,,, since you hired labor, its difficult to appreciate the sore muscles even tho its implied you helped some,,, 'settling of base' doesn't occur by itself - hopefully someone experienced used a compactor.

ps - there isn't ANY paint suitable for conc
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Old 10-26-2008, 12:55 AM   #7
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The wall was poured 1925...Was the floor done then or years later ?? It could be old weak thin concrete and break out easy for you...Question ...why is that much slope set in this floor ? do you have water issues to fix as you do this ? Any drain tile next to the footer ?
You want a dry area for your new room right...

OK after all the fears we have told you about if you do this job, remove the old concrete and dig down under the old concrete, set a 4"drain tile in gravel near the outside walls to your sump ...use mim of 4" gravel leveled with 6 mil poly taped and sealed on top before you pour new 25PMA ready-mix concrete ...If you can't place and finish concrete hire someone that can for that part...Good luck...


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Last edited by Lansing; 10-26-2008 at 12:59 AM.
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