Hard and Fast Rule

Not Done

As I was finishing the previous post, Set in Concrete, I was hoping to be done with concrete, at least for a while.
I was wrong.

I feel I should mention a few more things about this essential building material.
You can buy bags of the dry product and mix up a batch at a time adding water, sand and aggregate, repeating the procedure until you have the necessary amount.
You can mix this in a container or wheelbarrow or rent a mixer which will take some of the back breaking labor out of the process.
But, if you have much concrete to pour, you might as well order in a truck load of premixed.

How Much

To do this you need to know how much you need.
Concrete is often sold in cubic yards or cubic meters. If you are going to pour a slab that is 4 inches thick and 20 feet by 24 feet you would multiply 20 x 24 to get the area in square feet then multiply that by 0.34 feet then divide this by 27 to get the cubic yards. (4 inches = 0.3333333 of a foot so I rounded it to 0.34).
My formula was (20 x 24 x 0.34 / 27) x 1.10 because, as with most estimates, you will want to add 10% extra just in case. It is better to have a bit more than not enough.
If you are arithmetically challenged or just want to double check your calculations, check the internet for concrete calculators. You can enter the length, width and thickness and you can get the answer in cubic yards or bags of the dry mix if you want to go that route. You may have to add the extra 10%.
Wish I had the internet when I was building.

But not too much Concrete

I mentioned in the last post that the concrete was building up in a wave as I pushed it toward the front of the form. I had to remove some of the extra so I dumped it, a shovelful at a time, into a rough slab in front of where the garage door would be. I could smooth it out later right?
The slab hardened before I could smooth it out and the stuff I dumped in front of the door followed suit.
It was a year or two later that I finally got around to taking a sledge hammer to the excess that sat guarding the front of the garage.

The Takeaways

• Measure
• Measure again
• Check your calculations
• Have someone else check your calculations
• Have enough help when working with concrete
• Deal with concrete while it is still wet (or else)

Here is a Basset Hound pillow you can buy if you like pillows with dogs…though with it staring like that I would have the feeling I should take it out for a walk or feed it

Basset hound pillow
Basset hound pillow by ladybuglane
Browse other throw pillow designs on Zazzle.

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  • The advice in this post is great even though it goes against the way I do things which is measure once, cut once, measure again, swear, cut again, cut again, whittle away the excess, cut again, swear again because I cut it too short then start over.

    • Repetition is the best way to learn according to some but if that was true and people actually learned then there would be less repetition. Parents would say something like “Pay attention, read the instructions or do it right the first time”. If we all listened to such sage advice there would be no need to learn from having to repeat our lessons. You don’t see anyone building a Hindenburg II or Titanic II do you? OK someone in China is building the Titanic II so, nevermind.

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