Pouring new driveway - Need expert feedback


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Old 07-18-14, 07:19 AM
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Pouring new driveway - Need expert feedback

I know this subject has been beat to death in a bunch of forums and have read many of them but I thought I would post this to see if I missed anything and maybe anwser some questions.

I have a 36' x 27' slab that I am pouring out in front of my garage. I am going to excevate it down and put 4" of crush granite (3/4 to 1.5") which will be compacted. Below that will be undisturbed ground that is mostly sand with some clay mixed in.

I then plan on pouring a 5" slab of the "fibercrete". I was thinking about NOT using wire mesh at all. However I was thinking about some embedding two 1/2" rebar around the edges of the slab.

I plan on doing this in two pours. The first will be on a Thursday AM (in a couple weeks). It will be 18'x27'. I will run a pipe on stakes down the middle and screed 9'x27' at a time, coming back to remove the pipe to fill in. Then on Saturday AM (to days later). I will remove the form on the one shared side and pour the second 18'x27' slab using the same method. I am not going to join the two slabs together with dowels or anything.

After it has been screeded to grade my plan is to just bull float it, let it set, come back and run the edge and run a broom across it. Then spray on a curing compound. After the entire pour is done I will come back and cut control joints (my preference).

The concrete truck will be able to dump directly into form so no wheelbarrow work. Last two times these concrete company has been out the helped us work the the concrete a bit. So I have a "extra" person to help.

My crew is comprised of myself, my wife, and my father. The plan is to have me and my wife screed. My father will work the rake/chute adn the concrete driver helping with chute and rake as well.

My expierence is minimal. I ahve done a couple smaller slabs (10x12, 10x6, and one 108'x4'sidewalks, some steps), which all turned out good and seem to be standing the test of time....

Also I am in MN, so super cold weather.

So questions.

1. Is the 5" with fibercrete and some rebar enough? I don't plan on ever having anything heavier than a camper on it, however you never know. Is the rebar neccesary?

2. With the slab I have heard of some people pouring the edge thicker, I imagine it works similar to a footing. So aroudn the edge it would be 6" (vs 4"). Do I need to do something like this.

3. Is three people enough? I figure it is about 8 yards of concrete but with the guy dumping it right in the form it should go down super fast.

4. Based on the above description, should I do anything differently?

Thanks in advance for your help,
 
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Old 07-18-14, 07:52 AM
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Make sure the concrete is air entrained (5% to 7%) and is 4000 psi for durability and freeze/thaw resistance.

Don't bother with the thickened edges - it is more trouble than it is worth.

You could increase the thickness slightly to 5" or more. For my driveway in No. MI, I used fibers and some rebars in the slab, but spaced at 12" or 16" on center - gaped enough for stepping between without pushing the steel down to the soil. The rebar and mesh do 2 different things for the concrete.

The little "extras" are well worth it as long as you have free DIY labor. A thicker slab does not require extra labor for bull floating and brooming. Cut your joints as soon as you can get on the slab and use the right blade(if available).

Dick
 
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Old 07-18-14, 08:12 AM
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@concretemasonary,

-Thanks for the info. Agreed the price on going 5" to 6" thickness is negligible. I will look into that.

- I was just planning on putting rebar around the perimeter of the slab. Do you think I should put some in the middle?

I am going to rent a walk behind concrete saw. It is cheap (i think I pay by amount of blade use + small fee) and will get the lines nice and straight. Planning and going 25% of the depth of the slab for the lines.
 
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Old 07-18-14, 07:12 PM
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One piece of advice....don't hire my guys!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUul4v7VGc4
 
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Old 07-18-14, 07:58 PM
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I feel sorry for your wife & father. Hire some day workers.
 
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Old 07-18-14, 10:10 PM
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Unless your wife is a gorilla, and your father is Superman, I too would bring in at least one more grunt, or better yet, even someone with placement and finishing experience. And if it's a hot day, make it 2 grunts. Figuring 2 people on the strike-off, 2 puddlers and spaders, and one guy finishing, it adds up to 5 people, with the driver on the chute. Relying on him (the ready-mix driver) to be helpful is always a gamble--some are good, and know what they're doing, while others will have a full-time job just backing the truck in without smashing your forms, or will happily manage to give you 25 gallons of add water for a stiff mix instead of the 5 gallons you asked for. One of my early driveway pours (12 C.Y., on a very hot summer day in the early 70s) had me, my Pa and brother doing the work--we got the job done, but I was spending more time teaching them what to do as I was floating/finishing. Something to keep in mind if your help is inexperienced (or lacks the strength/endurance needed).

I've used fiber reinforcement a few times, and never had good experiences with it. Still got a few random cracks on the good placements, and on a DOT job where we did 2 identical, adjacent pours on successive days with similar weather conditions, with fibers and no fibers, the fiber placement had dozens of cracks while the control side (unfibered) had just a few. My preference has always been to use heavy mesh fabric, supported by dobies on grade. Despite what others may think and say, grunts walking on the mesh won't push it down if there's already (3" slump) concrete under it, and enough dobies supporting it.

In the 50 or so driveways and patios I've poured since 1969, I never used a saw to cut control joints, because of too many chances for screwing up the timing of making the cuts. Too soon, and you'll have lots of small (or sometimes, large) spalling adjacent to the cuts, while if just an hour or so too late, you will have uncontrolled cracks beating you to the sawcutting. Far easier to buy a nifty brass groover attachment for your bull float, and just groove the joints in as you strike off and float the fluid mud. My groover attachment was 1" deep, and cost less than $20 (albeit, a few decades ago).

I would not use a false form down the middle of your placements. I've done it many times, and it's just another step that requires time, which you may be running very short of (especially on a hot summer day). Why not make the 2 pours in the opposite configuration, going with 13.5' x 36' each? I've used my custom 14' strike-off on a number of 13'-(+) wide pours, and it always worked quite well.
 
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Old 07-19-14, 03:16 AM
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who's running the bull float ? while you & your bride rake, who finishes ? grade stakes in place before the truck arrives ? steel adds no compressive strength however it does add flexural strength,,, we generally add some at the throat or transition areas but no where else,,, we ONLY use mesh IF some spec requires it,,, h/o's are impressed w/steel & mesh because they don't realize what it does, how difficult it is to work properly, OR the problems it can create IF not installed exactly where it should be placed.

save your $ - NO fiber,,, you probably considered it rather than mesh ( also not worth the trouble for d/w's impo ) properly install'd jnt patterns ( slab sizes ) are MUCH more important,,, yes, air-entrained conc

impo, placing & finishing a 36' x 27' slab is FAR above the generally expected expertise of the average diy'er,,, even the chute man has to know something,,, rakers MUST work quickly ( that means efficiently - no time to stand up & stretch your back strain ),,, its hump work on a hot day & you're gambling on working w/HOT concrete OR, at worst, losing the load,,, the ONLY way i know a driver will ' run the chute ' is IF its a front-discharge truck he controls from his seat,,, drivers are ONLY drivers - NOT laborers.

@ 5", you need 15cy +,,, 6" = 18cy,,, that's 2 trucks - so who's on the phone talking to the plant while directing work being done & helping out where needed ? who ' eyeballs ' the fresh conc ? who's deciding if the slump's right ? what design mix are you using - any additives ? wtr reducer, cal chloride, plasticizer, fly ash, slag ?

we generally ' picture frame ' in atl but not in hilton head,,, we use walking groovers same depth as bdge mentions,,, walking trowels, too,,, i started sawing conc - initial cuts @ 1st - that's the toughest job in conc work - you're out in e bum ****, usually @ night, sawing conc into the right dimension so its does NOT crack randomly & subsequently need to be replaced as the engineer will reject the work - rain, cold, plastic sheets, straw, gravel - horrible working conditions,,, sleep in the trk for 30min - wake up & check conc to see IF its ready to cut - back to sleep, yada, yada, yada,,, cut, sleep, check, sleep, check, cut,,, ALL the time knowing 1 f/u & I bought the conc slab,,, your bet is a large

good luck hiring amigos - not all know how to place & finish conc nor do they generally have ANY tools - not even boots

just heard this on the radio - you can always learn from a fool even IF he only teaches 1 how not to be a fool,,, never heard that before til this am - good luck !
 
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Old 07-21-14, 05:29 AM
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@Samharris1 - yeah saw your videos, wow. Some lessons to be learned there.
 
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Old 07-21-14, 05:33 AM
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Pulpo, stadry & BridgeMan45, thanks for the feedback/advice. This is exactly what I was looking for. I think I am going to need to find some help. 5 people seems like the magic number. We don't really have day laborers around here (or at least I am not sure where to find them), will have to tap into my friends a bit and see what I can do. So I think I am at 2 screeders, 2 puddlers, and 1 person floating as we finish. I also think I am going to wait till this fall where the temp is in the 50s thru in the AM. That will probably give me a bunch more time in case it doesn't go well.
 
 

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