Concreting – Is it a DIY job.
Is concreting a job for the home Do It Yourselfer?
Today I will go over some common mistakes that can easily be
made while pouring a concrete slab.
Concreting is an integral part of construction, be it a
house slab, garage concrete slab,
carport concrete slab or garden shed concrete base and as such will affect the structural
integrity of the building
Many of us would like a home improvement outcome, greater
than our budget will allow. This leads many homeowners to consider DIY for many
tasks around the house.
Some jobs however should be left to professionals
particularly jobs where injury, death and major damage are just
not worth the risk.
Concreting is a trade that can appear easy enough but when
you have a closer look its easy to see where mistakes can end up being quite
costly and even dangerous.
Some common mistakes that can affect the quality of the
final product are;
planning: It is critical to plan the slab pour prior to starting work. It
is critical to know exactly the size, shape, location and orientation of
the slab. It is also important to know the size design and location of any
footings that may be required.
- Concrete Sub-grade: The ground base needs to be compact enough to support the Concrete slabs requirements.
measuring is a common mistake it is important to note that the inside
measurement of the formwork is the size of the slab.
It is important for the formwork to be placed and remain level during the
pour. This can sometimes be difficult to achieve accurately. A sloping garden shed slab will create problems not only in installing the shed but in the shed being misaligned and doors not opening and closing properly.
corners: Corners on most slabs need to be at right angles, a small error
at the corner can be significant when followed through to the other end.
This can often be more difficult than it appears.
Correct placing, support size and tie wire attachment, are important if
the slab is to deliver the structural support required.
- Formwork: This needs to be accurately placed and supported effectively during the pour.
- Concrete Strength: Concrete comes in different strengths for different uses, It is important to select the right one.Concrete for a slab supporting heavy weight will differ from that for a garden concrete path.
The slab needs to be consistent and level throughout.
There is a range of tools used by concreters that can allow for a quality
job, particularly in leveling and working the slab to a level finish as
Advice on curing is important for the long term strength of the slab.
Effort: Many people underestimate the physical effort required. Concrete
is heavy and difficult to move and place.
If your still keen on doing it yourself bear in mind that
concrete errors are difficult and expensive to fix once the concrete sets.
We always recommend you get local advice and use a local
tradesperson for your needs.