Purchasing concrete

Old 06-11-08, 03:52 PM
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Purchasing concrete

I know it's not the best idea to purchase "tired" (obviously not sure of the term) concrete for any project but it's all about money I am completely redoing my backyard that will include a partial concrete slab patio. With today's prices of gas and ready concrete (i can't mix concrete myself - bad back and i think it's even more expensive) I was thinking of using leftovers from whatever surrounding neighborhood projects I can find to use on my patio. I never tried it myself but one of my friends is telling me that using this type of small batches of "tired" concrete will cause cracks in the slab. I was going to cover the patio with something similar to "cool-deck" anyway. So depending on the size of the cracks they will be covered anyway and it could save me a lot of money.

Old 06-11-08, 05:28 PM
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Are you saying that whenever someone nearby pours concrete, you will try to obtain and use their leftovers before it sets up? If so, it's a bad idea for several reasons. The first is, logistically you'd need to be home when someone else is pouring, find the concrete truck driver, and coordinate it with him (and slip him some cash) so he would be willing to bring it to your house. He could probably get fired for doing so. If his truck damaged your driveway or yard who would be responsible?
Just because he brings it doesn't mean he'll do anything other than dump it out (in your pre-formed area or in your wheelbarrow). He won't get out of the truck and finish it for you. You'd need to do that. If the concrete has been mixing in the truck for awhile, you could get a "hot load" that flash sets. You'd not have much time to work it.
After he dumps it, he will expect to do all his washing out (he has to clean his truck and chutes) on YOUR lot, not the one he was paid to deliver to in the first place. You'd assume responsibility for the cleanup. If he washes the slurry down the gutter he (or you) could get hit with HUGE environmental fines.
Your friend is right about the cracks between different pours, and kool deck does not fix cracks. They will transfer up through the coating within days.
Your best bet would be to hire some of the concrete finishers working in your neighborhood "under the table". Finishers are always looking for a little extra cash (cash, not a check). They know what to do, and you'd end up with a much better job, and cheaper than if you hired it out legitimately. Good luck.

Old 06-11-08, 05:46 PM
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I just added a patio to my rear yard. Instead of concrete, I used pavers. I got a good grade, ran a few sacks of sand over it and laid the pavers. It was less money by far that concrete would have cost me. The work was in stages. (I am disabled and can only do stuff for a bit at a time). You could lay a nice pattern and save by eliminating the kool deck ? Just a thought.
I purchased 8x16x2 because they were the most economical and the new patio looks much better that the existing concrete one. Good luck with it
Old 06-11-08, 06:20 PM
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It is amazing how much time and money "money-saving-ideas" end up costing you.

You have a bad back so you can't mix concrete, but plan on finishing it? WRONG!

You are going to use a skim coat of material to cover the cold joints/cracks? WRONG!

You are going to beg shorts from random and unknown concrete trucks in the area? WRONG!

Save your pennies, Sir or Madam, because your plan is not going to happen.

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