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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i want to put a cement stoop on the side entrance...
just a single slab of concrete to wipe my feet on..
I was thinking probably 4 Ft * 3 ft 4 " slab

1. any guesses on how much cement? 300 lbs?

2. is it easy to do?


it looks fairly straight forward.. set up forms ensure they are level and square..
fill with cement...
scrape the top level with a board...

3. what would i need for tools? a trowel?

4. how do i get it to look nice and flat?

5. would i connect it to the existing slab? (i would guess no on this one) id probably just ghet it close up to the doorway..

6. Just basic home depot cement??

anything else i need to think about?
 

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Great! Just posted this response earlier and when I submit I get web site not responding.

Quikrete site says for 12 sq. ft. 4" thick you'd need 6 80# bags of mix.
I'm not a concrete expert but I think you'd need a regular flat trowel and an edger trowel. I'd put some rebar or mesh in there too to keep it from breaking up.
I'm thinking about doing a walk from my deck to the drive and it would just be a bunch of pieces about the same size as you're doing. Good Luck, Hutch
 

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You get it level and flat on the forms before you even pour concrete. I'd use an expansion strip between the existing slab and it. Have the bottom sandy and compacted real well. Use your new wheel barrow for mixing.:D
 

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Originally posted by simple_john
what do you mean an expansion strip?
They should sell them near the concrete and tools. It's a 4" x 1/2" strip of asphalt that goes between your existing slab and the new one to allow for concrete movement. The approach your going to put in, because it will be exposed to the elements more than the other, is going to move around on you in the winter...the expansion strip doesn't allow them to damage one another.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
what do you think i need for tools..
they have floats, leveling trowel (which looks like a thin float)
& edgers & trowels ect..


I thought i would level it with a 2*4 and then just get a float or a leveling trowel to make it look flat..

what about an edger? think its needed? i guess they just put a nice round edge on the slab...

also: regarding expansion strip: my new form will be flush against the slab so when i pull the form there will be an inch and a 1/2 so is an expansion strip needed? Or do i need 3 of them to fill in the space??
 

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I used a 2x4 and a tile trowel for the ramp on the back of my shop. the finish is not super pretty but it works for me. It is a ramp on the back of the shop!

I would get a piece of the expansion jount material and put it between the existing slab and your step, it is a good idea. The edging tool will give you a nice clean edge, not required but it will looks nice and they aren't too expensive. :cool:
 

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To expound on what Stewart said....use the expansion material in lieu of a form board against your existing slab. Set the form boards into the ground at the level you want and pound wooden stakes in next to them....then nail your form boards to the stakes....make any necessary adjustments and make sure you have compacted all sand and you should be ready to pour...you can float with a 2 x 4...a float brings the cream to the top, pushing the aggregate down, so yo have something for a smooth finish. The edging tool does exactly what you said, it rounds over your corners giving a finished look..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
so if i float with a 2*4 do i need to bother to buy the hand floater? its about 16$ (for the made in USA one) and the edger (made in US) is 14$.

not too sound wicked cheap here.. but i probably wont use them for much else again so no need spending the money if not needed..

and if i can float with the 2*4 and get it smooth.. do i need to bother with the hand floater? i would skip that and get the edger..

Im being cheap cause it just cost me 550$ yesterday for more fill in the driveway.. (last time) thankfully..
 

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If you float it with a 2 x 4 it would eliminate the need for a float....once you have put a smooth finish on it with a trowel....take a stiff bristled floor broom and drag it over the top to give it a broom finish.....that way it won't be snot slippery when wet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
ok so i can skip the float.. but i do need to buy a trowel...

Yes Stew im going to do it this weekend..

i may have a problem getting the slab flush or close enough to the garage slab.. becasue i ran electrical in PVC pipe that is sort of flush to the garage and where the end of the slab would go... i guess i could put the pipe inside of the slab/step i am making.. but it would probably force me to keep the slab about 1-2" away from the garage slab..


Unless i re-dig the pipe up and move it over more (which i did already yesterday)


thanks so no need for a float.. but get a trwoel and an edger...
thanks
sj
 

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I would make it pitch away from the building though and not make it perfectly flat and level. One inch or so in 3 or 4 feet will not be noticeable and will lead to water running away in a desired direction. You can nail a block of wood to a piece of 1 x 4 and use it as a float, and use a 2 x 4 for a skreed (straightedge). Hold the 2 x 4 on its edge not on the direct flat section of the 2" (1 1/2") portion and use a sawing motion pulling one side further ahead than the other. Biggest problem most folks have with concrete is overworking it. They kill them selves "working" the stuff instead of allowing it to work itself. Don't make it sloppy wet or strength will be reduced, and Quickrete or Sakrete is not all that stong to begin with so easy on the water. Skreed it off, allow to set up a bit, and float it with a wooden float........in a circular motion, with little to no downpressure on float. Once its floated, run your edging tool around the edges. At first you may have to raise the leading edge of the edger up a bit if concrete is not firm enough. ONce satisfied, hit it with a steel finishing trowel, in broad semi circular sweeps, using it at a very lowq angle with just the elading edge rasied a bit off the concrete itself. As it sets up more you can lay the steel trowel conmpletely or almost completely down flat on the surface. Then using a broom (floor type push broom) just drag the surface lightly to impart a slighly rougher finish to it so its not slick when wet. The brush finish will also help mask or hide any trowel marks you may leave.

Others mentioned using expansion material, and mesh. Mesh should be sufficient, for a stoop this size and you should not need any rebars. Make sure the mesh is in the lower 1/3 to 1/2 of the slab off the ground. Cut the mesh to fit so that it is approx 1" away from edges of forms, so it lessens thew chance of it bleeding through at a later date. Dampen your forms prior to filling with concrete so the wood does not suck too much moisture out of the mix. Pea gravel or #2 stone would be fine, and make sure its compacted sufficiently.

Me if I was mixing it by hand I would use a sweat board instead of a wheel barrow. Mixing cement or concxrete in a wheel barrow is a PITA in my opinion. A sweat board is a surface that you dump your mix on and then shovel it off of or pickup an edge and pour it off. Typically I use a 4 x 8 or sometimes 2, 4 x 8 pieces of plywood laid together side by side on the ground, with one edge up against the forms. Pour all my materials on this plywood and dry mix it all, add water mix again and either scoop it off or rake it off into the forms. Its a pain usiing a bazrrow with rounded corners, and if you dam or mound the ingredients and keep pulling the dry into the water or wet mix, it will not run off the sweat board. As a kid I used to work on a sweat board pouring house footers and foundations for my grandfather and uncles by hand along with about 2 or three others all using a hoe. Their practice was if its less than 4 yards at a time needed, do it by hand, as ready mix in that area back then was kind of iffy and you could never count on getting what you wanted when you needed it, and they had a 9 yard minimum, so labor was cheap or free so the old sweat boards were used. Larger batyches can be made with the board as compared to a mortan tub or barrow, and with it being at or close to ground level its much easier to work than up higher in a barrow.
 

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I used the wheelbarrow and a shovel for my job. A hoe would have been easier, but I didn't want to go buy one just for this project. My dad and I mixed up 10 bags total. I was a little sore the next day. We only did one bag at a time so we didn't get it too wet, and it is easier to mix. You can put the conduit in the concrete, it won't hurt it. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
thanks for the info...
chip;
i figured id use my wheel barrel for mixing.. i dont have any 4*8's around to cement up.. but the rest of your advise is well taken.. thanks..


good info all.. and thanks..
so i will see about getting an edger and will screed with a 2*4 then float (with my already bought float (or i can make one) ill get a finishing trowel and get it looking good and do the edges...


ill pitch it away from the garage..


as for pics.. thee is not that much progressive work.. i can take a pic of me openigng the bags and mixing it up... :furious: :furious:

I have a bunch of rebar kicking around so i thought id put some in...

stupid question.. how do i get the rebar in the middle of the slab.. do i pour an inch or 2 and then put the rebar in? in tic tac toe formation?

2nd stupid question: if i do it a few bags at a time (or whatever my wheel barell will hold.. is that ok? as in pour an inch then mix another 2 bags and pour another inch.. that does not weaken the step? i guess if the mixing and pouring would only be done a few minutes apart it would not be too bad...


Thanks ill post a pic or 2 but really.. it would be sort of boring..
 

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I would do no more than 2 bags at a time, any more gets tough to mix.

They sell wire in a roll near the concrete stuff that you can use to wire the rebar in a grid pattern. As far as getting it off the ground they also sell a plastic spacer type thing to get it up off the gound. Now would I buy the spacers, No I would use rock or somethng like that. is that a bad idea?? :confused:

I poured one bag at a time in the the form, it will stay pretty much where you put it. I mixed it fairly dry, I was afraid of getting too much moisture.

We will have to see what everyone else says about my spacer idea!!:confused:
 
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