Overseeing a concrete project can be fun, especially if you are doing it yourself. For many people, however, the project does not turn out as expected, because they missed a few steps along the way.
””As anyone experienced in concrete projects will tell you, it is not as simple as mixing and pouring. There are other essential steps in the process, and you should have a good handle on them before getting to work.
Use this guide to prepare you for your project the right way, and know that you are taking the necessary steps to ensure the best outcome possible.
How to prep for a concrete project like a pro
Get the right permits
You cannot start working without approval, even if you think the project is small enough that no one will notice. Whether you are building a new summer concrete patio or a concrete wall in your home, you need to ensure that you are not on the wrong side of the law.
Seek a permit from the relevant authorities, and make sure you have complied with the municipal building regulations. There are probably many regulations of which you are unaware, so use this opportunity to learn what you can and cannot do before starting this project or projects you envision later down the road.
Clear the area and take measurements
Once you have secured relevant permits, it is time to clear the area where you will pour your concrete.
Remove any visible objects, and mark the outdoor area where you want to carry out the project. It takes time to measure correctly, so be careful when you do it. Start by measuring the depth, width, and length of the project, so that you can determine just how much concrete you will need. If you are unsure of the pounds/bags of cement to buy, you can use an online calculator.
Dig the foundation
Once you have the measurements out of your way, it is time to dig up the soil within the area where you want to set up your foundation.
Remove the soil, rocks, organic materials, and any other items from the area. Depending on the project, you may want to dig several feet deep so that the foundation can be strong.
Level the bed and backfill
The next step is making a proper bed for the concrete project.
Level your foundation, and backfill the hole before you pour the concrete. Unless the area has virgin clay, you will need to backfill it using crushed stone, gravel, or sand. This helps the concrete project stand strong and creates a stable foundation.
Compact the subgrade
This is an important step that prevents the concrete from cracking.
Depending on your project, there are different tools you can use to compact the area. You can choose to use a vibrator compactor or a heavy hand tamper to ensure that the subgrade is compacted perfectly. At the end, the subgrade should be well drained, uniform, and hard.
Forming is meant to let you decide the final grade of the concrete. Make the grade at least 1/8-inch, which is a slight slope, to ensure that water does not puddle on your slab. Using a piece of lumber, create the forms raising them slightly so that the top stays even with a string line that runs from one edge/joint to another.
The site is now ready. You can now pour your concrete to your marked level, smoothen it, and wait for it to dry. Be careful when you pour, make sure it is smooth, and expect to wait 24 to 48 hours before the concrete is set.
As you have seen, preparing your own concrete project is not a difficult task after all, considering you understand the steps involved. Although these tasks may be easier when doing small concrete projects, you may need the help of an expert from the best Arkansas concrete company if you want to undertake concrete projects of a greater scope.
Do your project the right way. Contact Razorback Concrete at (870) 455-0700, and one of our professionals will walk with you through the process.