Only one small screw-up…

Wow, couldn’t have picked a more perfect morning to pour a slab. It was even sprinkling a bit at first.

I knew I should have bought seven sacks. Meant to, and I always underestimate how much concrete I need. Always. Really even seven wouldn’t have been sufficient. I had one 80-pound sack left from last year’s construction, so Monday I bought six 60-pound sacks and thought that would be good. I was wrong – again.

Used a little more than half a sack yesterday on LB’s grave marker pedestal but I thought I’d still have plenty. I was very wrong. I brought the 80 and two and a half sixties to the Lair this morning, and halfway through filling the form I had to rush back to Landlady’s place for two more sacks. That leaves me with one, which isn’t enough for the stairs.

The slab came out pretty good, though…

…and I used up just about everything in the wheelbarrow. Neighbor D would have done a neater job of floating the surface around all that rebar, but that’s sort of the story of my life. It’s flat and level.

Didn’t forget the pagan sacrifice.

Didn’t forget the clean-up, either, the only part of any concrete job I enjoy.

I did plan to do the stairs tomorrow or even this afternoon after the slab sets up a bit. But now I can’t. Darn.

And now it’s baking day.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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8 Responses to Only one small screw-up…

  1. Kentucky says:

    I see seven sixties in the back of the Jeep????

  2. ODG says:

    So, do you shoot the concrete, or bury the rounds in it?

  3. Joel says:

    Yeah – okay, I miscounted. Either way I used up all but one on the slab.

  4. Jim Price says:

    I used to make bread twice a week. Wonderful stuff . . . until I couldn’t wear most of my clothes anymore. Right out of the oven it’s way too tempting, so I had to quit. When there’s warm, fragrant bread and butter within arm’s reach, I’m weak. I have no willpower.

  5. Norman says:

    Irrelevant now, but…whenever I’m doing concrete stuff I keep a couple small forms – stepping stones, usually, but occasionally 18″X18″X2.5″ and 30″X30″X2.5″ patio pavers, whatever – and some lengths of rebar handy. That way I don’t fret about mixing too much because I always have some small forms to take the overage, and if I’m filling “important” forms I’d rather have 10-20% too much than 3% not enough.

    Of course, as I get older I’ve learned to use the voice-activated, plastic-driven concrete mixing procedure more and more.

  6. Jerry says:

    “Voice-activated, plastic driven” local provider has now gone to a 5 yard minimum at $120 per. Used to be a 2 yard minimum when it was about $100.
    You rely on the contractor to get it right. Pouring slabs of 30×30 (area between 2 existing) and 15 x20 (extension). Oops! Make that a 15×17!
    A wall 12″x12’x100′ is 40 yards. If the form spreads 1/4″, it’s now 41.
    Ecology blocks (2’x2’x6′) stacked 2 high is not enough weight to hold 8″ being poured too quickly too high behind them.
    Experience is such a great teacher.

  7. Norman says:

    “You rely on the contractor to get it right.”

    That’s fine – as long as they don’t run short, any mistakes are on the contractor’s hook, and I always have the “spare small forms stack” handy for overages, even when the job is on someone else’s property. When the contractor is “Me, Myself, and I, Inc.” I measure 6 times, and add the fudge factor for irregular ground inside the forms, even after leveling, smoothing and compacting multiple times.

    I’ve found a dry mix truck is the way to go IF – big “IF” – you’re the first or second delivery for the day. Past that, it’s surprisingly common to be short part of a yard, especially on 4+ yard jobs, which is why good planning calls for having the measurements, extra stakes and “standby lumber” for quickly reducing the interiors of forms to match the available amount of concrete. When you’ve formed and planned for 5.5 yards and Cletus tells you there’s only 5 on the truck, figure it’s really 4 1/4, and is also why they invented “tomorrow.”

    Concrete pours are the most unforgiving part of construction unless the budget provides for always figuring in an excess, and even at high prices paying for an extra yard is better than being 1/2 yard short at the end of the pour, especially if you have a way to use most of that extra yard “on the fly.”.

  8. Kentucky says:

    Last “major” concrete project I was involved in was for a patio. It was gonna be a single pour and we had the usual too-many-helpers on hand so manpower was not a problem. Problem was that the redi-mix truck couldn’t get anywhere near the site and it was necessary to wheelbarrow the stuff in from the curb . . .thus the overabundance of help. We even had two wheelbarrows, so no gaps in transport time.

    All went well, until as we approached the end of the pour it became obvious that we were gonna be a little bit short on ‘crete. Momentary panic set in until the property owner remembered he had a pile of broken-up concrete blocks behind the garage. By judiciously adding all the chunks thereof to the pour we just managed to wind up with a complete pour when struck off level. Just. Very close.

To the stake with the heretic!