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Old 07-15-2008, 08:35 PM   #1
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pouring a concrete driveway


what is the procedure to pour a concrete driveway by yourself? is it easier to rent a mini mixer and order a skid of quickrete and pour the whole thing in one day, or should i just mix enough in a wheel barrel for like a 4 X 8 rectangle and just do a section every day? where do i need to put those thin black foam strips.

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Old 07-16-2008, 12:05 AM   #2
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Neither. Pouring a driveway-sized project out of sack concrete is ridiculous. Look at it this way...An 80# sack of quickrete yields 2/3 of a cubic foot and costs something like $4 or $5. A cubic yard of concrete is 27 cubic feet. Figure $40 sacks per yard of concrete...That's $160/yard, plus the hassle and expense of hauling and mixing it. No thanks. From a ready-mix supplier, you can get it delivered to your site from a little more than $100/yard, ready to pour. Even if it costs you $160/yard for a "short load", which would be a rip-off, you're still money ahead.

For perspective, one yard of concrete will yield about 50 square feet of concrete driveway, poured 6" thick.

Don't forget the gravel. You'll need a dumptruck load. I'd use no less than 4" of 3/4" clean gravel.

This way you can worry about getting it properly finished and cured correctly, not mixing and segmenting as you go. Rent a long bull float. Do your research on finishing and cure (linseed oil, soybean oil, etc...) so you know what you're doing.

As for the expansion joint, you'll need to put it between the drive and the garage slab, and it is a good idea at intersections with other slabs or foundations. It is not necessary at expansion joints that are cut or formed in the middle of the slab. Many cities will require it at the apron/approach/sidewalk too. CHECK THE CITY'S REGULATIONS FOR THE APRON AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS. Concrete is expensive to tear out when done wrong.


Last edited by Termite; 07-16-2008 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:11 AM   #3
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pouring a concrete driveway


Also, don't skimp on reinforcement. If you do decide to go with the segmented approach you described, remember that all your reinforcement needs to be in place before you pour, because the cured/curing concrete will not truly bond to the wet concrete at the cold joints. So, your reinforcement is critical.

Pouring all at once is much better! Just have three friends there to help, and it will go smoothly.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:04 PM   #4
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1st, buy a book at the apron store then read termite's reply again,,, even tho he's a prince of a guy, there's a slight possibility he underestimates labor requirements if inexperience people're involved ps - those strips ain't foam & we don't use 'em
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:58 PM   #5
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Yeah, I probably should have stressed what a difficult job this is for anyone, even if they have done it before. It would be a shame to have the steep part of the learning curve occur when it is your own project being problematic, on your dime.

There's definately a good case to be made for paying a pro to do this. There's definately more to pouring it and immediately making the top pretty...A lot more...It is not as easy as it sounds, and takes a good understanding of how concrete performs in different conditions and the hydration process in order to produce a quality end result.

There, is that better?
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:32 PM   #6
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well i like the first response better! i am still going to do it myself. i cant afford to pay the pros. i know i may get what i pay for but i have no choice. i need some more advice on how to do this. so i can get a cement mixer truck to come, do they stay there while its poured, or do they just let you use the machine and they come back when you are done, how does it work?
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:51 PM   #7
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First you contact a batch plant in your area and tell them you're pouring a driveway yourself, and they'll send the best mix for that use. You'll also need to give them the number of cubic yards of concrete you'll need. You have to take it all, so be sure to figure it correctly.

Schedule a date and time with the batch plant.

This will come to your house.

The truck carries the concrete already mixed, and will pour it out the chute in the back. No mixing on your part. The driver will sit in the cab and move the chute and the truck as necessary to get the concrete where it needs to be. You'll use rakes, shovels, etc. to move it around as necessary.

When the load is emptied into your formed area, the driver will wash the drum and chute out on your property to clean his truck. Plan on this and give them a good spot to do so.

You really, really, really need to buy a book on concrete placement, reinforcement, and finishing before tackling this job. This isn't deck piers that you won't see. This is several hundred dollars (or more) of concrete that will be RUINED if you mess one little detail up.
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:41 AM   #8
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oy VEY,,, wasting in excess of $500 is a bad decision but facing a wife who ,,,,,, nevermind, its bad enough thinking what neighbors think,,, it does say something about character/decision-making/logic/personality,,, all said & done, tho, removal & disposal of the 1st drive's going to be a MAJOR pita.

nothing's so easy as we, who do the work professionally, make it look,,, have often thought that about many tasks - hell, i even think i know how to ' work ' a computer at times,,, hopefully you'll get a front discharge truck rather'n the 1 shown - if not, add a guy for that,,, 2 guys on the screed, 2 guys w/come-a-longs, 1 or 2 finishers depending on size,,, vibration probably won't be nec

really hope you do succeed but you'll forgive me if i bet against you & give termite great odds 10 to 1 it don't make it, 'mite,,, its always the jnts that gettem in the end, right ??? OW, that hurts ! ! !
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:51 AM   #9
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pouring a concrete driveway


My last large slab, I put up the forms and Paid a friend in the buisness to do the pour and finishing, saved me some $$$$. Concrete finishing is an art, and you only get one chance to do it right.
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:46 PM   #10
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pouring a concrete driveway


Seen many times were a HO wanted to save a couple hundred dollars by doing this or that himself and it cost him more in the long run after he has to hire a pro to make it better. Just remember. Concrete can't be changed after it sets up without costing some serious money.
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewhart View Post
well i like the first response better! i am still going to do it myself. i cant afford to pay the pros. i know i may get what i pay for but i have no choice. i need some more advice on how to do this. so i can get a cement mixer truck to come, do they stay there while its poured, or do they just let you use the machine and they come back when you are done, how does it work?
I can understand about not being able to afford to hire a pro, but what can you afford to just throw away? You did not give the actual dimensions of the driveway, but keep in mind, even a small driveway could be 400 sq/ft and be an 8 cu/yd pour assuming 6 inches thick....you probably do not have any idea of the labor and skill needed for this, or you can plan on having someone come in and bust our $1000 worth of concrete, since you only get one shot at this.

If you think you must, check with all your friends and neighbors....see who has a buddy that at least has done this kind of work before...and you will improve your chances 100%....if not, just save a few months and get a pro.....call a few and get estimates as well...then you might have an idea of how large this project may be.
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:13 AM   #12
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pouring a concrete driveway


how big is the driveway?

demo it
grade it
form it
put wire mesh or rebars
order aprox 1 yd per 80sf of 4" concrete
hire a concrete finisher + few helpers for the day of the pour
take forms out & do a final clean up the next day
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:03 PM   #13
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"Pouring all at once is much better! Just have three friends there to help, and it will go smoothly."

As long as those friends know what they are doing it will. Unless the OP is going to do it in very small sections (the small load charges would negate any DIY savings)they have no idea of what it's like doing a driveway; even a small one.

Education is expensive
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:11 PM   #14
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pouring a concrete driveway


Hire one or two guys for a day that know how to do it and then use yourself and some friends to do what they say. That way, you keep your material cost down, minimize the labor cost and get a better job in one day of pouring.

He/they will tell you how to prepare everything.
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:22 PM   #15
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pouring a concrete driveway


I once did a sidewalk for my ex-mother-in-law. It was actually a sidewalk in the front of the house from the porch to the garage, with an 24" elevation change, and two directional changes, then another walk/patio in the back that was straight. All told, I had about 180' of sidewalk, plus the patio that was about 10' x 15'. I formed the entire job, as well as added the stone. Then I hired a truck and got the friends and family around when pour day came. I recall hearing the MIL always saying how her dear hubby (then already dead) would have done the job himself, 100%, inlcluding handmixing, etc. he was so talented.. We did the job in one morning. All went well except for the finishing (most important job). I left that up to my brother-in-law, who had a lot of experience working with his dad on concrete jobs. All he did was edge after I did the screeting. I could have killed him.

Point of this is to get the point across for you to order the truck. Get the numbers worked out, plan on a little extra, get some friends that know what they are doing. If they do not know, get a book and teach them. Always remember that you get what you pay for. Surpirsingly, the sidewalks I did still held up year after year, just not the greatest finish on them.

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