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Old 02-28-2013, 12:03 AM   #1
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To sub out or not to sub out- concrete


I have a 40'x15.5' metal building I'm converting into a man cave. The concrete floor is a problem though. The rear 25' is stepped and sloped to allow it to be rinsed clean. The center 5' is makes a 2" elevated walkway. At the walls the floor is level with the walkway. They then slope down 2" to a conduit running the length of the building. Then you step up 2" to the center walkway. I've calculated 4 yards of concrete will be needed to level the floor and overlay the center walkway 1".

I have NEVER worked with concrete. I'm pretty darn handy though.

My questions are:
1) will a 1" overlay be thick enough at the center of the room to support the weight of a pool table and wet bar without cracking?

2) is it better (better product, stronger, easier, etc) to rent a mixer and mix the concrete on site or have it delivered?

3) I'm a retired cop on a very fixed budget. I've gotten a bid of $900 to do everything, mixing on site. Would it be cheaper to try to tackle this myself, and what would that entail?

4) once the concrete overlay is down, does it matter what concrete I use as far as staining is concerned? We like the marbled look seen everywhere online.

5) what am I missing or overlooking? What pitfalls do I need to be aware of whether I do it or have the company do it?

Thanks all. I just can't afford to get this wrong and waste money fixing it, but I don't have an extra $300-$400 to throw away if I can save it and do it myself with some sweat and sore muscles.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:05 AM   #2
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To sub out or not to sub out- concrete


First off I would get a couple bids especially ftom big reputable companies if only to find out if what u ask I'd the right way to go
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:29 AM   #3
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To sub out or not to sub out- concrete


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Originally Posted by kaschmid3 View Post
First off I would get a couple bids especially ftom big reputable companies if only to find out if what u ask I'd the right way to go
Thanks for the feedback.

That was the median quote out of 4. I got everywhere from $1600 to $700.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:02 AM   #4
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To sub out or not to sub out- concrete


U can also ask if price is different if u do all the moving if concrete and they do the finesse smoothing and attaching if needed
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:32 AM   #5
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To sub out or not to sub out- concrete


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Originally Posted by Tattooedmick View Post
I have a 40'x15.5' metal building I'm converting into a man cave. The concrete floor is a problem though. The rear 25' is stepped and sloped to allow it to be rinsed clean. The center 5' is makes a 2" elevated walkway. At the walls the floor is level with the walkway. They then slope down 2" to a conduit running the length of the building. Then you step up 2" to the center walkway. I've calculated 4 yards of concrete will be needed to level the floor and overlay the center walkway 1".

I have NEVER worked with concrete. I'm pretty darn handy though.

My questions are:
1) will a 1" overlay be thick enough at the center of the room to support the weight of a pool table and wet bar without cracking?

2) is it better (better product, stronger, easier, etc) to rent a mixer and mix the concrete on site or have it delivered?

3) I'm a retired cop on a very fixed budget. I've gotten a bid of $900 to do everything, mixing on site. Would it be cheaper to try to tackle this myself, and what would that entail?

4) once the concrete overlay is down, does it matter what concrete I use as far as staining is concerned? We like the marbled look seen everywhere online.

5) what am I missing or overlooking? What pitfalls do I need to be aware of whether I do it or have the company do it?

Thanks all. I just can't afford to get this wrong and waste money fixing it, but I don't have an extra $300-$400 to throw away if I can save it and do it myself with some sweat and sore muscles.

If you have never worked with concrete,then you really don't want to start with this project,especially with staining involved,also ask the person who is bidding the job if it's possible to see examples of their work,before you sign on the dotted line.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:50 AM   #6
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To sub out or not to sub out- concrete


1) will a 1" overlay be thick enough at the center of the room to support the weight of a pool table and wet bar without cracking?

I poured a strip of concrete at a major airplane manufacturer that was only about 1-2" thick. Apparently some engineer thought you could run a 787 over it and not have it crack. I didn't think so, and the finishers didn't think so, but someone with a college degree did. I imagine your pool table won't be much of a problem.

2) is it better (better product, stronger, easier, etc) to rent a mixer and mix the concrete on site or have it delivered?

It's almost always easier to have it delivered, and the mix will be more consistent, and the strength will be guaranteed as long as you don't add too much water. Depends on how much you need (and its too early in the morning for me to do math), but if its over a yard or two, don't bother mixing it yourself.

3) I'm a retired cop on a very fixed budget. I've gotten a bid of $900 to do everything, mixing on site. Would it be cheaper to try to tackle this myself, and what would that entail?

It'd certainly be cheaper, because you're only paying for materials, not labor. But again, if you have it done by a reputable contractor, you have that guarantee that it will be exactly what you want.

4) once the concrete overlay is down, does it matter what concrete I use as far as staining is concerned? We like the marbled look seen everywhere online.

Whenever we use stamp mixes, it's always a pea-gravel mix (no 1"- rocks), but if you aren't stamping and just staining, it shouldn't matter.

5) what am I missing or overlooking? What pitfalls do I need to be aware of whether I do it or have the company do it?

Do you have any friends that have done concrete work? If so, beer and pizza may buy you some valuable knowledge. Concrete is different for the DIYer, because it is unforgiving. If you're framing a wall or wiring an outlet, if you get stuck, you can take a picture, surf around online for help, take a step back for a day or two, and nothing will go wrong. When placing concrete, you have 45 minutes to an hour, and that's it, Jack. And its a lot of work to remove a bad concrete pour.

I hope this helps a little.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:19 AM   #7
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To sub out or not to sub out- concrete


I agree with Mort's comments. I was taught however in college and in practice never to place less than 2-inches of concrete (but I went to college 40 years ago) but maybe things have changed. I've never specified less than 2-inches and never had any issues.

I'm very handy having grown up in the construction business, but I find now that I'm older its' cheaper to hire stuff like this out than to tackle it myself as my insurance does not cover my chiropractor ...... LOL

Good luck!
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:19 AM   #8
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To sub out or not to sub out- concrete


Thanks All,

I calculated 4.5 yards on concrete. That's a whooooole lot of bags! So I'm pretty resolved I'm going to have to have it trucked in. Concrete is running $89 a yard with a $250 delivery fee. If I try to find day laborers with concrete experience on Craigslist or something, I think I'll have to at least pay them $100 each x2 workers. Seems like $900 to have it done just makes more sense.

Kinda hurts though. Thats $900 that can't go into stocking the bar!!!

Thanks everyone for your feedback. I'm sure I'll have more questions as the work commences, so I appreciate your patience with me.
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:02 AM   #9
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To sub out or not to sub out- concrete


That's why we're here man. Materials and labor for $900 on a 4.5 yard project sounds like a steal to me. I'm a DIY freak, only ever hired one contractor in my life (duct cleaner, I'm very allergic to dust), and I'd even hire this one out.

Post some before/during/after pics. I always like some good man cave ideas.
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:24 AM   #10
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To sub out or not to sub out- concrete


if your pouring a slab dont even attempt a diy at it.. ive placed a large amount of concrete and i work in renovations. we pour the concrete for the icf walls we build but we have someone else do our slabs..
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:54 PM   #11
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I appreciate everyone's responses. Truly. I'll post up some pictures as the project goes along. I'm quite sure you'll be seeing me pop up a lot over the next few months!!
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