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Unread 07-09-2008, 08:50 PM   #1
russ fulks
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Pouring a concrete patio

Hello all!

Well, I know this isn't a patio forum, but I figured you guys would know a thing or 2 about pouring concrete patios. I'm thinking about adding a 120sqft patio extension onto our existing patio and I've been having a hard time finding people to get estimates for such work. I've only spoken with 1 company and they quoted me $1650 for a 4" thick, rebar reinforced, 120sqft patio. That seemed a bit high to me, but it's the only estimate I've been able to get.


So.....that got me to thinking. Why not do the job myself? I'm a pretty handy guy, built most of my own furniture and have installed quite a bit of tile for a rookie. I've never poured concrete before, but I'm sure there is quite a bit to it so I was hoping to get some tips from those that have done it before.

I did read John's page about concrete patios and my patio will be bound on 1 side by the concrete slab of the house and on a perpendicular side by the existing patio. I plan to use J-bolts as mentioned to anchor to the existing patio and the house slab, but I'm having a hard time finding something to use for expansion joint material. The folks at HD looked at me like I was from the moon.

Any suggestions on where to find said material? Also, any general tips or suggestions? If anyone out there is in northwest Houston and wants to earn some money, I'd be more than happy to hire this out

Thanks in advance,

Russell
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Unread 07-09-2008, 08:56 PM   #2
Davestone
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I've seen the asphalt type at HD here, but i use the foam type i get from a flooring supply called Shoreline, don't know if you have them...http://www.c2products.com/expansion_joints.htm tip,i grew up doing concrete with my dad a builder,it's summer time, get someone to help you that has done concrete!
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Unread 07-09-2008, 09:35 PM   #3
Steve in PA
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with rebar and a good mix I doubt you need an expantion in that small of an area.
years ago when I worked with a mason we would usually put expansion joints every ten feet or so cutting it into 100 sq foot sections.
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Unread 07-09-2008, 10:05 PM   #4
russ fulks
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Davestone, thanks for the link. I'll see if I can find that product locally. I do have a friend of mine who's dad has poured a lot of concrete. He's agreed to help supervise I've also thought about hiring out a temp worker just to help move the concrete from the front yard to the back yard for the "pour".

Kilroy, with the crazy changing humidity and temperatures here in Houston, I figure I might as well add the expansion joint for good measure. I figure it can't hurt anything as long as I can actually find the material.

Any idea on what this is going to cost me? I have been having a hard time finding costs for concrete (pick up or delivery) and other associated tool rentals (concrete movers etc.). I guess I must not know how to search for concrete providers

Thanks,

Russell
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Unread 07-09-2008, 10:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ
they quoted me $1650 for a 4" thick, rebar reinforced, 120sqft patio. That seemed a bit high to me, but it's the only estimate I've been able to get.
Let's you and me have a little gentleman's wager here, Russ.

Within one hour of the time the readimix truck is pullin' out of your yard, I wager that you're shakin' your head and sayin' to yourownself, "I sure wish I'd just given that guy the damn money."

That aside, I wouldn't bother with the joint material, either. J-bolts aren't what you wanna dowel with, but if you dowel to the house slab sufficiently with some re-bar, I would pour right against the existing. Yeah, even in Houston. I do pour a better patio slab than a lotta folks, though.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-10-2008, 08:33 PM   #6
russ fulks
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CX,

No doubt I'll be shakin' my head wishing someone else was doing the pour. Unfortunately, I just don't have the cash in my budget. Having said that, I may not have the cash in my budget for materials at all! I really only have about $600 to spend on the patio and I have no idea if it's even feasible to do it myself for that much. If not, I'll just have to wait a bit and do it when I've increased the funds.

That's been part of the problem. I can't find the materials to even get an estimate on what it's going to cost me!

CX, do you happen to have any contacts for us poor old residential home owners looking to pour our own patios? I really need to find out the costs for:

Concrete (pick up or delivery if they'll deliver 1.5 yrds)
Concrete mover (to get from the front yard to the back)
Re-bar (no idea on spacing or install of this, still researching exactly how to do it)
Joint material (if needed)

So you really wouldn't worry about the expansion joint next to the house or the existing patio? What about if a first timer was doing it and wouldn't be doing nearly as good a pour as someone like yourself would be doing? To put it another way, would adding the expansion joint and filler help idiot-proof the install

Thanks for all the input so far!

Russell
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Unread 07-11-2008, 07:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Concrete (pick up or delivery if they'll deliver 1.5 yrds)
You give'em money, they'll bring it. You'll likely hafta wait until late morning at least for a single short load, but that's just common bidness practice for the redimix company - nothin' personal.
Quote:
Concrete mover (to get from the front yard to the back)
Big consideration, that. The easiest and most efficient method is a concrete pump, but that's not in your budget. How was the fella who bid the job proposing to handle that aspect?
Quote:
Re-bar (no idea on spacing or install of this, still researching exactly how to do it)
I pour even that sorta little patio work with at least a small grade beam around the perimeter. How much of a beam would depend upon your soil conditions and possible intended use of the slab. Your guy who bid it probably planned for no beams at all and only #10 wire mesh for field reinforcement. I would have a little steel in the beams and my regular #3 bar in the field at 12" centers each way. That you can buy from Homer, even.
Quote:
Joint material (if needed)
I bet Homer's got that, too, you're just gonna hafta 'splain him that he's got it.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-14-2008, 07:26 AM   #8
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CX,

Great info as always! You're the first person that I've ever seen even mention using a beam on the perimiter of this size patio. Do you typically use crushed stone of any sort on the base? I've seen some folks do this and others not.

Thanks also for the heads up on product availability! It's good to know that homer should have most of the items I need

Russell
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Unread 07-14-2008, 07:58 AM   #9
smschulz
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A few years back I added only a 5' x 8' extension to my patio.
It took as I recall about eighty bags. It was a tough back breaking project. It was hard to load up that many bags, hard to unload and move around to the side of my house. I mixed each one in a tub by hand (big mistake) I should have rented a mixer. Not a technically challenging project but very hard physically. Next time I would have some deliverd. I would still dig the foundation, make the forms, put in the rebar and finish the surface. But no way will I buy a bunch of bags and do it myself again. I don't know where exactly to get this now as I do not have a current project for this but I can't imagine it would be that hard to find.
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Unread 07-14-2008, 09:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell
You're the first person that I've ever seen even mention using a beam on the perimiter of this size patio.
Well, for small work like that, the beams wouldn't be dramatic, but I just don't like cracking edges and such. Costs so little more to make a decent perimeter.
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Do you typically use crushed stone of any sort on the base?
I do not. If there is fill required, I generally use base material that is "3/4-inch down.] I provide necessary drainage around the slab. And yes, I even pewt 6mil poly under small slabs like that, even when they'll be outside. It keeps the fill from suckin' the moisture outa my concrete. This is a good thing.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-14-2008, 03:23 PM   #11
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As far as getting the concrete to your backyard; it would probably be easier to just have the truck back up on the side of your house, and then when your done working, throw down new sod. Unless of course you live in one of those fancy neighborhoods that don't beleive in side yards.
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Unread 07-14-2008, 04:33 PM   #12
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We use 1/2" stone under our slabs if needed. This will not compact. Other sizes require compacting. We also use rebar in our footers. we also use 6 mil plastic under ALL slabs. Hammy



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Unread 07-14-2008, 04:36 PM   #13
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If you get you 2 good sized guys you can mix this with a small mixer. Sure do it cheaper than $1600 but its is labor intensive. But your time vs $1600. Hammy
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Unread 07-14-2008, 07:35 PM   #14
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I actually just had a 360 sq ft addition poured to add onto my existing 100 sq ft patio about 3 months ago, and let me tell you, the range of bids was mind-blowing!! I work from home, so having people come by to give bids was no trouble for me - only takes 10-15 minutes, so I got around 15 different bids. They ranged from a low of $1000 to a high of $4100!!!

I ended up going with a very reputable company with a great owner who talked with me at length about all the steps and was really patient with all my questions. I paid $1500 total, which I feel was a great deal, and believe me, I absolutely love doing things on my own (to the point where it annoys my wife to no end), and had seriously considered trying to do this on my own, for the following reasons:

first, I knew I was doing the clearing of the sod and leveling of the dirt myself, so there was part of the labor.
Second, I knew I could form it no problem - lumber is cheap (relatively), and I'm comfortable with that kind of stuff
Third, I knew that concrete is only $120 a yard delivered, so the concrete would only run me $600 for the 5 yards I needed.

However, the things that held me back were my fears of if I screwed something up with the setup, the possibility of something getting screwed up scheduling the truck and the pumper to arrive at the same time from 2 different companies (most concrete places don't run their own pumpers), I wasn't sure if I would pour it correctly, and finally, I really didn't feel like tackling the job of finishing and floating 350 square feet of new concrete.

If I can offer but one piece of advice - unless the truck can dump right at your location that you are pouring, GET A PUMPER! You don't want to deal with wheel-barrowing it or anything like that. 120 sq ft doesn't seem like that much, but it is a yard and a half - that's a hell of a lot of concrete! The other thing I would suggest is get at least a few more bids - you'll be shocked at the range, and you'll get a feel for the good ones and the sleazy ones, and you might find one that is good enough to go ahead and hire it out instead of doing it yourself.

Hope that helps!

Jason
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Unread 07-14-2008, 08:13 PM   #15
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I've poured concrete sidewalks nearly all the way around my house, all except the front yard. I do own a mixer and just have the gravel/sand delievered. The sidewalks I've done were only 42-48 inches wide with expansion joints every 7-8 ft. That breaks it up with a place to stop (rest). It is slow going mixing it yourself and I really like doing that stuff during cool days, not in the summer.

If you do it yourself, get some help. It's a lot of concrete but not all that bad if you have a couple strong guys helping out.

My driveway is all cracked up because the builder was too cheap to add any kind or reinforcement, none at all. Some day I'll get it all set up myself and have a concrete guy pour it along with his crew. Maybe stamped concrete, I like the way it looks. I'd better start saving now.
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