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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been doing concrete for a few years now, I'm confident with every stage of finishing (excluding certain decorative finishes) and I'm starting my own company doing flatwork. I've got one moderately skilled guy on board and I'm pretty fast. I'm thinking with just the two of us I generally won't be wanting to take on anything too big, maybe 1500 sq. ft. basement for example with good conditions and not a lot of obstacles. I understand that what we can do varies a lot on the situation but I just wanted to know some examples of what you guys would comfortable doing with one other guy?
 

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Two guys is pretty small for concrete work if you're doing more than sidewalks or suchlike. If you're keeping it small, it'd be fine.

I've done a couple small additions and sidewalks with me and one helper. Had to give a $500 credit on one midsize (350 sq ft plus two steps down to a 10x20 porch) pour because it got away from us a little on the finish. It worked, but wasn't ideal. I don't do that anymore.

Can you make friends with some finishers to help you on bigger jobs? Then when you get it all formed and ready to pour, hire a few guys for the day, or even just a half day. I've hired some finishers who really know what's up, and it makes all the difference. If you can manage a few guys instead of working your ass off trying to stay ahead of the pour, you can catch a lot of the details that would probably slip thru the cracks if it was just you and a helper.

There's my 2 cents.
 

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I almost lost a 10x12 patio once with 2 guys. I bull floated and let it set up for about 15 min. It was a 4" slump. The sun just broke through the clouds and breeze picked up a bit blowing leaves onto pad. By the time I got the leaves off the crete was setting fast.
The crete was probably left over from another job is my guess by the time it set up. It only took 1 hour from the time it was poured to become unworkable.
Tips I would suggest..... Order first in the morning ... Keep a retardant on hand just in case, it might buy you an extra 30 min if push comes to shove...

If you pour wet you'll have alot more time but I prefer 4" slump

Also did a 20x40 driveway with 2 guys. That is about my limit . It also was a 4" slump broom finish. 85 degree day and sunny. Fibermesh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks a lot for your guys' input, I'll be pouring it a little wetter, I'm thinking at least a 5 slump. Where I live it's hard to find finishers, I'll probably just hire another guy who knows nothing to rake and clean tools.
 

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I always have an extra guy on hand for any concrete work, be it flatwork or walls. The chit is just to damn expensive to fix once it's set up. Having non skilled labour around is a good start, train him correctly and you can start bidding much larger work.
 

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I was once in your position. I purchased a vibra strike. And I can lay a lot more mud down because it does a lot of the work and also works the cream up. Makes it much easier to finish. The way I look at it is the machine will show up everyday and in the longer term is cheaper than additional help
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have used a vibrating screed a few times but I never really gave them a chance. I've always been kind of skeptical of problems with wetter concrete and/or slopes.
 

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I've use one to pour a loading dock ramp. Pour the mud very dry like a 2"-3" slump then the vibrations will work up the cream and it makes it much easier on the bull float man

There was also a time that we laid mud down and we used the vibra strike and then it poured down rain. The rain washed all the cream off but the rocks were down so once the rain quite we were able to work the concrete enough to save the pour. If we didn't have the rocks vibrated down I'm pretty sure we would have lost it
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've use one to pour a loading dock ramp. Pour the mud very dry like a 2"-3" slump then the vibrations will work up the cream and it makes it much easier on the bull float man

There was also a time that we laid mud down and we used the vibra strike and then it poured down rain. The rain washed all the cream off but the rocks were down so once the rain quite we were able to work the concrete enough to save the pour. If we didn't have the rocks vibrated down I'm pretty sure we would have lost it
Ya I have no desire to rake around a 2-3 inch slump
 

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I've been doing concrete for a few years now, I'm confident with every stage of finishing (excluding certain decorative finishes) and I'm starting my own company doing flatwork. I've got one moderately skilled guy on board and I'm pretty fast. I'm thinking with just the two of us I generally won't be wanting to take on anything too big, maybe 1500 sq. ft. basement for example with good conditions and not a lot of obstacles. I understand that what we can do varies a lot on the situation but I just wanted to know some examples of what you guys would comfortable doing with one other guy?
Are you talking about hand finishing 1500 sq. feet of basement, or by machine. If the latter, I don't see a problem, as long as the house is already roughed in. Generally, basements are a little colder in Summer months, and certainly damp and void of much sunshine, giving you a lot more time than a slab outside in the sun & wind. If you're wheeling it all through a man door or something, it's nice to have 3-5 guys to place it though............
 

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A 3 man crew can do alot. One guy that can finish. The second guy can finish, but is in the learning stage. The third guy just needs to pull concrete and keep tools clean.
I also use a vibra strike whenever possible. We also have a 40' Morrison screed for bigger stuff.
I have definatley scaled back my pours, as I get older. I have had too many times wehre I worked myself to death trying to finish a floor.
I do pick up some extra guys for bigger pours. I know some finishers that don't mind working on Saturdays. I also know a couple guys that are retired. So they are avaliable to work 1/2 days. I was also able to find a couple guys that work 2nd shift so they can help get it laid down.
Between all of those guys, I can usually find a couple extra on any given day.
 

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2 guys can do a lot, but you are both busting ass.

This time of year and in the fall you have all day so things go smooth, in July when it's 100 out everyone has to be in a constant state of motion.

I have done a lot of work with just two guys, but I would rather have 3.

Having just a laborer on hand to keep stuff clean while you keep working is a huge difference.
 

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Totally agree with 3 guys. That third guy can really pick up the loose end stuff. Maybe hire a hard working kid for the summer to get you over the hump...
 
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