Concrete Porch

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Old 05-01-12, 01:55 PM
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Concrete Porch

So I've gotten around to demolishing the old concrete porch. Here's how it's looking right now. Name:  IMAG0145.jpg
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I plan on redoing a porch where the footings are but I'm wondering how to go about this. I need to make the area a little taller to reach my door without having to make a slab that's over 4". Whats the best way to do that and how do I frame around it? Any info or pictures would be very helpful. Thanks.
 
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Old 05-01-12, 02:06 PM
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You'd frame up the slab to whatever height you need and then fill the middle in with gravel. The middle portion would only be 3.5"-4" while the perimeter will be thicker - whatever it takes to get the height you need.
 
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Old 05-01-12, 06:42 PM
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Should the framing line directly up with the outside edge of the footing?
 
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Old 05-02-12, 03:36 PM
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I would think so although I'm not a concrete guy so I don't know for sure
 
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Old 05-02-12, 10:24 PM
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Make sure those exposed perimeter concrete blocks are resting on footings below the frost line, or you'll have problems in the future. To minimize cracking, make sure to use some decent steel reinforcement (either heavy mesh or even rebar--No. 4s at 16" centers would work well). And don't forget the cure.
 
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Old 05-29-12, 06:23 PM
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So I've made a little bit of progress, but I'm starting to lose my motivation and confidence. Here's what we have so far....

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We installed some concrete bricks around the perimeter to give us some extra height instead of having to pour a very thick slab. We filled up the center with about 3" of gravel. As we began the forming, we noticed that the bricks aren't exactly level, with one side being longer than the other (stupid rookie mistake) Is there any way to correct this without tearing up the bricks or should I just leave it? Also the forms don't fit completely flush up against the bricks, with some small gaps in some spots. Is there any way to seal those up before pouring or should I not worry about them since they are pretty small? Any input or advice is appreciated. Thanks
 
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Old 05-29-12, 07:50 PM
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Even professional forming jobs often have some small gaps here and there. Smaller ones won't matter (they'll fill up with mortar/fines, which will break off when hard and the forms are stripped). If any gaps are large enough to bother you, say greater than 1/4" wide, you can always plug them with caulking compound. As deep as your porch looks, you may want to consider using a concrete vibrator to ensure thorough consolidation of the concrete. Or at least spade the dickens out of it before strike-off, especially up against the forms, and soundly beating on the forms just after strike-off is almost mandatory if no vibration is used. Otherwise, you'll have large air voids to deal with after stripping. The 2 front vertical corners should also be "softened" somewhat to prevent breaking, using either rounded caulk beads (same radius as the edger you'll use around the top perimeter will make everything pretty), or even small chamfer strips tacked into place. A nice broom surface texture to finish it off will prevent the finished product from being too slippery when wet--you don't want it "glassy" smooth.
 
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Old 05-30-12, 11:34 AM
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Thanks for the reply. I have another quick question. Would this be too much concrete to do with a couple guys and a rented mixer from like Home Depot? The porch is 5 by 7 and 6 1/2 inches thick. I already have like 45 bags of concrete, so it really only comes down to being able to do it all before the first part starts drying.
 
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Old 05-30-12, 02:22 PM
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By my calculations, you need less than 3/4 of a yard of concrete. Yep, the mixer would be fine.
 
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Old 05-30-12, 07:04 PM
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Don't pour it too wet, or the heavy bleed water (and wanting to finish it before the water evaporates off) will tend to make a mess of things. Along with weakening the mix and compromising the surface durability. I'd suggest renting the largest mixer you can, such that at least 2 bags can be batched at one time. For the most consistent batching, have just one guy do all of the "watering." Doing so will avoid the "one-too-wet, one-too-dry" scenario, making for more uniform results. If you've never batched with a small mixer before, I'd suggest using an empty 5-gal. bucket marked on the side at the correct water level, based on the package mixing directions for the number of bags per batch. I always thoroughly wet the mixer before adding the opened bags--doing so avoids dry-clumping, which is a pain to clear and will slow down your progress.

Wet the grade and forms before you start, spading each dumped course into the one below. For best results, strip the forms (very carefully, to avoid concrete damage!) as soon as possible after initial set, enabling you to work some "cream" into the vertical faces' air voids. A dense, sponge rubber hand float works best for this. Then give it some cure, and leave it alone for a few days (unless wet-curing, in which case you want to fog-spray the surface periodically to prevent it from drying out).
 
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