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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys, I have a question about doing concrete. Last year I built a large retaining wall in my backyard and along the side of my garage for the purpose of being able to park trailers and such on that side. The area I want to do in concrete is about 20 ft wide and 40 long. I have talked to a few guys and they say for a small area its "easy". I know nothing is easy the first time you do it.

My question is am I better off just hiring a crew to come in and knock it out real quick or is this something I could do by myself and get it right? I like being able to do most of the work so that I can say I did it and its a pride thing, but I know when I can be in over my head.

Thanks guys.
 

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An experienced guy could handle that on his own this time of year. But that's a big job for a beginner. If you had some help from someone with some knowledge of concrete it may be doable just depends on your level of acceptable finishes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah I figured it would be too big of a job for a first time. Most likely I would end up hiring it out in order to make sure its done right and lasts for the next people who move in. Does anyone know how much I should be looking at paying for this?



Just Kidding.
 

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Twisted Cameron
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It's not that bad, if your interested me and the old man could come up there and help you knock it out for you. Pm me if your interested.
 

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Break it into quarters and do it yourself, you'll feel better. Use existing (first) pour as screed, then next and so on....use edger on inside joints, and you have control joint. It rarely gets away from you this time of year, but maybe have a finisher come by, at least to talk to....when you trowel is extremely important....good luck
 

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I didn't see your location, but I don't imagine you'll be pouring until it warms up if you in the great white north.

Yes, cut it up into at least halves (10 feet wide) in order to make it more manageable. Secondly, put plastic under the pour to slow things down. Thirdly, cool weather. Fourth, buy, borrow, or rent the right tools. You can bull float it, then exchange your float for a trowel on the stick. You can hand trowel a bit around the edges. If your pour is 10 feet wide, this will allow you to go out about 3-4 feet from the edge.

As I believe, this is a driveway or something, so put a broom finish on it and you are done. Have a light push broom (for sweeping smooth surfaces) and a stiffer broom (for sweeping rougher finishes) handy. Try the light broom first obviously, and rinse it in water and shake it clean frequently.

You can probably do a 10' wide pour by yourself, but a helper, even a teenager or someone over about 8 years old, would be a lot of help with the screeding part. Practice the back and forth motion with the screed board with them first so they understand what you are going to be doing. Even if they are 50 years old, don't assume they are any smarter than an eight-year old.

There are two concepts to understand here-high and low. I've found that it takes weeks of pouring concrete before people can fully master these two concepts.

Good luck.
 

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I would suggest subbing it out. If you don't have much experience with placing concrete, that size (20x40) would be a challenge, especially poured at one time.
rj
 

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Asphalt Repair Specialist
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Well I would suggest that you hire an experienced professional for a concreting work of this magnitude. But if still want to DIY then here are a few things you should keep in mind: lets-do-diy.com/Projects-and-advice/Concrete-work/Laying-concrete-outdoors.aspx
 

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20x40 is'nt that big of an area, espeically for what your using it for when you break it up into 4 pieces to better manage it for your first time, actually sounds like a great first time project since i have to assume you have some common sense:laughing: Do the research before site prepping and i'd be willing to bet it'll turn out as nice or nicer than many of the so called concrete subs around your area....you know, the guys in our trades that claim to be professionals, but SUCK, instead:laughing:

Definately be ALOT eaiser with extra hands to help ya. If you want to get "some" experience, YOU do all the prep/grading/forming and then call the mud crew in for the actual pour and finish....save ya 50% right there since most money is tied up in prepping. You wont get any guaruntee's from the mud guys since they did'nt prep the base, but at least it'll look pretty when they're done
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the replies and advice.

IHI - I think I am losing all of my common sense and I am too young for that.

A buddy of mine hired out a crew two years ago to do a lot of concrete around his home. It looks like they did a really good job so if I end up feeling like it is too much of a task and I'd rather just get it done, I will most likely hire them out to do it. It is mainly going to be used for parking trailers and the truck but I like things done right and for some reason, I dont think a re-do after I mess up would be too easy.

It seems like the guys who are used to concrete work say its an easy job for them to do, but a hard first time experience.

Maybe I will start on my backyard patio that I need to get redone for a practice round. I just worry about the customer (the lady) complaining about my crappy job.
I wont be starting this until late march or april, I still have some of the retaining wall to finish first.
 

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BamBam,

You can do it, especially this time of year. If you have some competent help who can assist you in getting it put down, you can handle it. Especially this time of year. In fact, if you get it put down, you can finish it by yourself without any problems due to the cool temperatures.

Have confidence in yourself. Do a lot of research on placing and finishing concrete. And just Do it. Get er Done. No better lesson than to be prepared and doing it. HooWah. Dam, I wish we had some weather here to do it. I"m gettin pumped.
 

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I agree with the idea of breaking it into 2 smaller pours would make it alot easier for you to do, but ordering two small loads will cost more and the two pours will not match.

20x40 can be alittle too much so someone with no experience but being in the trades I would think you would know a finisher. Do all the prep and forming and hire a finisher to give you a hand placing and finishing.
 

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Concrete Mike
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U have about 800 sf, 10yards of concret, sub it out. If u are not familar with concrete it will cost more for a learning experience if u screw it up. A job like that depending on what is exsiting should cost between 3.50 to 5.00 a sf. Concrete is about 100.oo per yard here in ohio with uncle sam, that is about 1000.oo for 10 yards at 4" or 800sf that cost includes fuel ser charge and delivery before 3:30, u have one hour to discharge or u pay 1.00 per mn after that. Use a 6 and one half sac mix 6 to 8 percent air and a 50 50 blend 50%no8 and 50%57 limestone ask for no fly ash. If you can back the truck in it will save money on gass buggy, do not back over exsisting concrete or asphalt, buggy is 120. with trailer, use 57 lime stone base and compact, use no10 wires you need one an one quater roll (750sf) in a roll, or u can use fiber in lieu of wire if your city allows it it costs abot 7.oo per bag u need ten bags. Job like that costs between 2800.00 and 4000.00. If u break it up in sections it will cost more for the concrete because of under loads. Another way u can save money is do the prep yourself, get it inspected, rent gas buggy for 120 if u cant back the truck in, call you local laborer hall hire one laborer for day pay is between 200 and 250, call local cement masons hall get two finishers for about 200 to 250 per person per and, maker sure u tell them the need to bring their bullfloats, straight edges and finishing tools, and tell them u want to hand cut it so you wont have to rent a saw to cut it, broom or float it. Weigh out the prices, hope this helps.
 

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how does a laborer make as much as a finisher in your area. the finishers here make more then the labor. mike does have the best idea for you to learn and save money
 

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Concrete Mike
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how does a laborer make as much as a finisher in your area. the finishers here make more then the labor. mike does have the best idea for you to learn and save money
A union laborer wages is 27.25 per hr and cement mason is 29.75. That was a ball park price, i pay a laborer to rake 150.00 but i dont call the hall for one.
 
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