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Old 01-21-2012, 04:01 PM   #16
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PVC or Copper in concrete slab


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Even with a contractor, concrete does two things. It gets hard and it cracks!

Writer information is for discussion purpose only and should be confirmed by an independent source.
Thanks, I needed a good laugh. Both of you are correct. Before I am in the position to pour this slab, I will become much knowledgeable than I am today, thanks to help from foolks like yourself. Since I am the one who will be living here, what is the worst case scenerio with the slab? Assume I place all the plumbing and electrical pipes and conduit in the correct places, protect them from future irritation from the concrete and tie the slab into the existing foundation? I can live with a few cracks if I have to. Heck even the slab is not level, it is not diaster. Please convince me there are perils so devestating that there is no way a rookie should attempt to form, pour and finish this slab. I need reasons to research much much more. THANKS a million

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Old 01-21-2012, 05:11 PM   #17
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PVC or Copper in concrete slab


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Thanks, I needed a good laugh. Both of you are correct. Before I am in the position to pour this slab, I will become much knowledgeable than I am today, thanks to help from foolks like yourself. Since I am the one who will be living here, what is the worst case scenerio with the slab? Assume I place all the plumbing and electrical pipes and conduit in the correct places, protect them from future irritation from the concrete and tie the slab into the existing foundation? I can live with a few cracks if I have to. Heck even the slab is not level, it is not diaster. Please convince me there are perils so devestating that there is no way a rookie should attempt to form, pour and finish this slab. I need reasons to research much much more. THANKS a million
Like I said in your other thread, you really will not want to pour your own slab, it is some of the hardest work you will ever do if not done right and especially if you don't have a couple of other guys that know what to do helping. You can not pour in sections without special prep either, you will have one slab settling and it will be a mess. If your foundation isn't right nothing on your house will be right and you will fight every aspect of the house and will really really hate you didn't get the foundation/slab right.

If you need to know how to sweat a copper pipe I will be glad to drive over and show you how, there is no mystery about it. I wouldn't run the electrical in the slab either, I would run it over head. With block walls, you will want to use furring strips and insulate inside and outside or the walls will sweat. With the furring you will have a way to run your wires. I am not trying to rain on your parade but you are going to have a really tough time going the way you are wanting to, and it for sure is not the easy or inexpensive way to build a house.

There are ways to do this and save a bunch of money but one way or the other you are going to pay. If you don't pay someone to do it then you will have to do it yourself so you will be paying one way or the other.
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:52 PM   #18
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PVC or Copper in concrete slab


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Thanks Tarheel - do these Ford couplings mean I don't have to solder the joints - is this some type of compression fitting? By the way, is the term for copper fitting "sweating", "swelting" "soldering"
Looks like a swaged fitting/coupling to me.
Depending on your areas frost line youll want to bury either type of pipe atleast a couple feet deep outside of slab area,around here we aim for atleast 60" generally.
As long as you put atleast 4-6" of good clean dirt over the top of the water service same as the rest of your plumbing under your slab youll be fine with either type of pipe.
Any pipe should be insulated where it passes through slab to allow for expansion/contraction of slab.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:23 PM   #19
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PVC or Copper in concrete slab


Jim,You, as well as the vast majority, are about to convince me I am in over my head with the slab. I will have to come up with some more money for that part of the project - when that day comes. A little bird tells me you enjoy fishing. I know a couple great spots around Dunlap. I will lwt you know when I am able to get to Dunlap - I am in Thorsby, AL, 30 miles south of B'ham. When I can catch a ride home, I go. Thanks for everything my friend

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Old 01-21-2012, 06:33 PM   #20
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PVC or Copper in concrete slab


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Jim,You, as well as the vast majority, are about to convince me I am in over my head with the slab.
Not to put too fine a point on it but you're in over your head with every aspect of the project but especially the "hold it all together" thing.. which is a separate set of skills altogether.

Do the research on style and materials and mehods.
Come up with an amateur floorplan and scope of work.

Then... turn that over to pros to "tighten it up"...
and have THEM prepare a plan that can actually be built and work.

Once you have that sort of plan you can figure out how you can maybe shave a few nickels by doing this part of X and that part of Y and maybe all of Z yourself.

But mostly... find qualified pro's in each category (design, foundation, concrete, plumbing, etc) to lean on for the tough parts (that means having them do most of them)... and who will tolerate working with an amateur.
Most won't want to or will charge twice what doing it all themselves would cost.

But first step is having the ONE overall plan (with actual scale drawings) with all the details understood and budgeted BEFORE the first shovel of dirt gets turned over.

hth
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:43 PM   #21
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PVC or Copper in concrete slab


Once again Tarheel you argument is difficult to ignore. I am, however, naive enough not to give up entirely. The biggest point I take from you is to do as much design work as I can first, present it to a PRO and get their input. That make complete sense and that is my new gameplan. I still have so much to learn before I can even tackle that. My first floor plan was done in WORD using a ruler for scale. I have to obtain administrator privledges on this computer before I can download a "drawing" program. I am still in the stone ages! Maybe I just need to find a cave - fits my budget.
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:47 PM   #22
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PVC or Copper in concrete slab


Hey Chief, I do like to fish but haven't been in a good while.

Do you have at least a couple of guys who can help you with the heavy stuff. You can build this yourself with some input but it is tough as the dickens by yourself. Ever try to raise a ridge board alone, then pull the rafters up and nail them one on each side at a time. Trying to raise a wall of much length alone is really tough, then comes a long beam or heavy header alone. See my point. I am not trying to discourage you at all, I am just trying to encourage you to find at least two guys to help.

If you like I can walk you through all fazes of the build from drawing the plans, lay out, prepping for slab, the whole nine yards.
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:50 PM   #23
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PVC or Copper in concrete slab


You are in the thinking and planning stage---so we are trying to point out a few of the difficulties that we have learned the hard way--

Keep your open mind--and keep tossing the ideas out there---this is a project I sure am looking forward to---It won't be long before you have a plan the you will be able to pull off with the help you can get and the materials that you can afford.--Mike--
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:06 AM   #24
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You are in the thinking and planning stage---so we are trying to point out a few of the difficulties that we have learned the hard way--

where you think i got my screen name.
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:58 AM   #25
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PVC or Copper in concrete slab


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You are in the thinking and planning stage---so we are trying to point out a few of the difficulties that we have learned the hard way--

where you think i got my screen name.
Funny! I apppreciate all your input. I am so fortunate to have discovered this web site. I feel as though i have fallen through the rabbit hole into a new world of unlimited knowledge. Wish I were rich and I'd start building today. No. I don't know how to do anything. Maybe God is opening my eyes to life. Be patient. Hang out with wise folks and I will become wise. I will be here awhile!!!
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:50 AM   #26
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PVC or Copper in concrete slab


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My first floor plan was done in WORD using a ruler for scale. I have to obtain administrator privledges on this computer before I can download a "drawing" program. I am still in the stone ages! Maybe I just need to find a cave - fits my budget.
Graph paper and pencils are fine; maybe even better.
One less thing for you to learn as you proceed with the 20 others.

I have the large tablet (1/4" grid) graph paper and .7mm Pentel pencils
I still use less than a foot from my elbow as I write this.
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:09 AM   #27
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PVC or Copper in concrete slab


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Graph paper and pencils are fine; maybe even better.
One less thing for you to learn as you proceed with the 20 others.

I have the large tablet (1/4" grid) graph paper and .7mm Pentel pencils
I still use less than a foot from my elbow as I write this.
Thanks Tarheel, I like the idea of graph paper. My mind can only absorb so much in a day and I grew up when a Texas Instrument calculator was mind boggling - I remember my Father using a slide-rule
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:54 AM   #28
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PVC or Copper in concrete slab


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I like the idea of graph paper.
The one weakness of paper and pencil is sharing.
Here's a cell phone pic of my kitchen/bath/bath project
(1st draft; plan view):
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PVC or Copper in concrete slab-first-draft.jpg  

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Old 01-22-2012, 10:05 AM   #29
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Wow, much more detail than I have even considered- but then I am am baby still on the teat!

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