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Garage Foundation Poured

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

You can't just build a new garage on top of dirt and sand. You've got to get some guys with a cement truck to pour a thick layer of cement and aggregate on the ground first.


Click image to uncrop and embiggen.

First, you get everything out of the way. Probably this involves the use of a Bobcat and some dumpsters. We did this two weeks ago.

Okay, then you figure out where you want the concrete poured and you stick some boards in the ground to contain the slurry. The top of the boards represent the top of the pour, so they've all got to be level and sloped the right amount in the right direction. If you get this wrong you're going to have a bad time of the rest of the job.

Next a bunch of class five fill (the best class of fill) goes in and gets leveled out. This will prevent the concrete from shifting and cracking later on. A guy with a square shovel walks around the perimeter and digs a trench along the inside of the frame. In this way, the concrete along the edge will be several inches deeper and thicker than the rest. This is where the structure of the garage will rest most of its weight.

Now it's time for the concrete truck to figure out how to get into the alley and start dumping it's gray slurry into the form (don't forget the rebar wire!). Now things are on a time table. The concrete cures in its own time and you've got to work it while it's workable.

These three guys are armed with shovels and rakes and set to smoothing out the concrete. They go over it again and again with progressively smaller tools until it's as smooth as it can possible be. I'm told that this is more than just cosmetic: smoothing the top seals the pores and improves the curing of the concrete.

Towards the end of the smoothing process they place a ring of blocks around the perimeter, leaving gaps for the doors; then their work is finished. The clean off all their tools and boots in the ramp of the cement truck using recirculating water, pack up and go home.

The guy driving the truck told me that when they have left-over concrete in the truck (which I assume they always do) they just dump it out, bust it up and recycle it into new concrete.

To slow the curing rate of the concrete and increase its strength I spent the new few days using a hose to keep it wet. I even stuck a sprinkler on it and ran it during the afternoons. I'm going to have the best concrete!

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