Can a diy guy pour a 16 x 16 slab with wife and son?


Old 11-11-13, 07:17 AM
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Can a diy guy pour a 16 x 16 slab with wife and son?

I would always rather DIY than pay someone but sometimes I have to be a realist. I want to build a 16x16 4" slab for a storage building. My helper's would wife and 14 year old son but most likely me doing the grunt work. So what can I do?

I assume I need a concrete truck to deliver and not try and use bag concrete?
If a truck delivers I think they charge by the hour. If I have to move concrete with a wheel burrow what is the working time for spreading and leveling before the concrete starts to set?
What else do I need to consider?

If I hire someone I am thinking it would be $2000 easy for them to do it.

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Old 11-11-13, 08:31 AM
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#1 I would call around and find out what it will cost not just guess.
There going to be able to do a far better job and will know more about local soil conditions, how to lay it out so it's square and level.
No way should you be mixing this on site.
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There going to hit you with a small load charge.
The only one that's going to be strong enough to move a wheel barrow full of concrete is you, do you want to trust your son and wife to deal with the spreading and leveling while your moving all the concrete?
Old 11-11-13, 08:49 AM
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Joe covered most. I would estimate 40 trips with a wheelbarrow, maybe more. If you use two of them and you do the wheeling with one while they fill the second it will go rather fast.

The problem I see, as Joe mentioned, is your wife and son dealing with what you dump. If you get too much in one area and not enough in another it is tough to move around. It is a good size project to learn on, I did at about your sons age (50 years ago and we mixed it), and it is a garage so it doesn't need to be perfect.

There are many contributors here who have poured a lot of concrete so you will get all the guidance you need. But getting estimates from local contractors will help you do the job if you so decide. It will also help you pick a contractor if they scare you away from DIY.

How far will you need to wheel the material and how many big friends can you bribe with hot dogs and beer?

Old 11-11-13, 09:23 AM
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Get some prices to have it formed and poured for you. In my area the concrete guys get a discount off the list price for the concrete and most of them also have the small batch deliver fee waived so hiring it may be close to the price of just the concrete if you try to DIY.
Old 11-11-13, 02:27 PM
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Unless both you and your son are big, burly men with lots of muscles and in excellent shape I would strongly urge you to consider hiring this out. Moving concrete is hard work and even someone in reasonably good shape will tire easily. The alternative is to do it in smaller sections and mix on-site.
Old 11-11-13, 03:12 PM
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Do you have any concrete experience? It's some of the hardest work you'll ever do I'd check prices and if it's feasible - hire it out, otherwise find some stronger helpers - preferably with some concrete finishing experience.
Old 11-11-13, 07:55 PM
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The main advantage of DIY is purely cost and not much else. You'll need close to 4 C.Y. of mud, so that eliminates the small load charge at most places. I suspect the quotes you get will be around $3000, with barely $400 of that being for concrete, and another $200 or so for forming materials, gravel base, etc. So the decision is yours--gamble that you and the family can get it done (without hurting yourselves or ruining it), or spend the extra two grand (plus) and be reasonably sure the job will be done right and perform well in the long term.

If you've never placed or finished concrete before, you shouldn't even be considering doing this project by yourself--you will mess it up. Also, the number of wheelbarrow loads mentioned by someone earlier is more than slightly optimistic, as 40 loads will each weigh almost 325 lb. for the volume you'll be moving, not easily moved or maneuvered. After the wife or kid dumps a few of those in the wrong place, you'll be talking to yourself, big time. And getting rid of a ruined slab is another story in itself, requiring as much (or more) work than placing it was.
Old 11-11-13, 08:28 PM
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16' x 16' is a pretty big slab to do, more or less alone. If you really want to do it, here are a few ideas I have:

Divide and conquer! Instead of pouring a single 16'x16' slab, pour a two separate 8'x16' slabs. You will be hit twice on short load charge for the mix, but screeding out a 8' wide slab would be much easier than a 16' one.

Divide even more! If you really want avoid the truck charges pour four 8'x8' slabs using a mixer and premixed bags. According to Joe's calculator, each 8x8 slab would be about 36 80# bags each. Get a bucket and make a mark when you get the right amount of water. Then just do 2 or 3 bags (depending on the mixer) to one bucket of water.

You are not going to want to have a 16'x16' slabs without any control joints. By breaking it up into multiple pours you would also have all the control joints you need. I would however, suggest tying the separate slabs together with rebar.

(Disclaimer: I am not really a pro in this area, but I am like you and like to DIY as much as I can. Take the others suggestions to heart before mine. )
Old 11-11-13, 08:42 PM
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Just in case the Iron Man lures you into doing it yourself--just remember that you'll be batching and placing more than 12,000 lb. of concrete. In round numbers, that's more than 6 tons of stuff you and the family will be lifting and moving around. That's more than grounds for divorce in some states.
Old 11-12-13, 06:27 AM
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Moving Concrete

Investigate renting a skid steer loader or motorized concrete wagon to move the concrete from the truck to the work site.
Old 11-16-13, 05:20 AM
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Thanks guys! I have "some" experience with concrete but probably not enough. The divide and conquer idea is intriguing but will have to give it more thought. I probably will have to give on this job and pay the price.


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