How to screed cement for large area?

Help Support House Repair Talk:

johnv713

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
210
Reaction score
20
Personally I couldn’t see renting a power screed to do a 15 x 20 pad. Will he need the 16’ attachment to ride on the forms or will he be eye balling it as most of it was done in the videos. I doubt most rental places have that long of a base. If I was going to rent something I might rent a bull float and uses a long 2x6 to screed it. A first time DIYer would catch on quicker with a bull float and it would do the same thing the power unit would do as far as finish.



Slight change of plan, the person who really wear the pants in our household (You know who im referring to :help:) decided we need to make it 35x15 instead of the previous 20x15 dimension.

So below is what my other option entailed.
Build a wood form around the perimeter. Screed with 2x4. Then bull float. No need to build any other wood forms ddown the middle as reference ? Does that sound good to go?
 

johnv713

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
210
Reaction score
20
Last edited:

bud16415

Fixer Upper
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
5,579
Reaction score
1,976
Location
Erie, PA
It sounds like what I would do. Keep in mind I’m only a home owner like yourself and have only done this a dozen times in my life. When we poured the 24 x 48 floor in the house we broke it up into two days and two pours. If my math is correct if you pour a 4 inch thick pad you will be looking at about 6.5 yards. That seems reasonable to do at once given a few good helpers.

Do you plan on putting any reinforcing in it? Wire mesh? Are you going to saw cut it after for some break lines? Is the bull float finish going to be good enough for what you need or will you be hand troweling or something else? There are special trowels to do the edges and to make a break line also. Are you going to cover it with plastic as it cures? Is the pour in a location the truck can get to and deliver the mix around to your forms?

There are a lot of steps to a project like this even the preparation of the base and setting the forms.

I know how these projects can expand when the pants wearer comes on the project.

My dad used to say “Do you know how to break up an Italian wedding? You run in and yell The concrete truck is here!”
 

johnv713

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
210
Reaction score
20
It sounds like what I would do. Keep in mind I’m only a home owner like yourself and have only done this a dozen times in my life. When we poured the 24 x 48 floor in the house we broke it up into two days and two pours. If my math is correct if you pour a 4 inch thick pad you will be looking at about 6.5 yards. That seems reasonable to do at once given a few good helpers.

Do you plan on putting any reinforcing in it? Wire mesh? Are you going to saw cut it after for some break lines? Is the bull float finish going to be good enough for what you need or will you be hand troweling or something else? There are special trowels to do the edges and to make a break line also. Are you going to cover it with plastic as it cures? Is the pour in a location the truck can get to and deliver the mix around to your forms?

There are a lot of steps to a project like this even the preparation of the base and setting the forms.

I know how these projects can expand when the pants wearer comes on the project.

My dad used to say “Do you know how to break up an Italian wedding? You run in and yell The concrete truck is here!”
"Concrete truck is here" ... LMAO you just made my day.

A dozen time is 12 more than me. I've only done small patches in the past so I guess you can say im a concrete virgin.

Looks like I'm going to need 6.5 to 7 cubic yard total. Only got one other helper so between us we're going to wheelbarrow the concrete about 20 yard to the back yard, spread it out, screed and bull float then hand trowel. Hope we'll get by. Just a tad worry about screed with by hand because I heard it does wonder to your back :D

Plan on using extra chicken wire mesh and maybe a few reinforce bars for added strength. I already have an edger that Ill be using to cut 2 control joints. Hope that'll be enough.

Not planning on using plastic to cover or for vapor barrier. Will spray water mist 2-4 times within 24hrs of pouring.

Glad I joined this board. People here are so informative and helpful :beer:
 

bud16415

Fixer Upper
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
5,579
Reaction score
1,976
Location
Erie, PA
Running the screed won’t be nothing compared to moving 7 yards with the wheelbarrow. I would use the heavy wire mesh just for concrete sold at the builder centers and get a hook to pull it up to the center of the slab as you go. I don’t think you will need rebar.

Look for more friends. Even post on line seeing if you can find a couple strong backs for a half day.
 

CallMeVilla

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
1,657
Reaction score
597
Here is an idea to help save your back .... Get on Craigslist and keep looking until you can buy a small cement mixer. Roll that baby into the backyard and use it to mix your mud. Hose it off and clean it afterwards. Maybe hit it with some fresh spray paint.

http://houston.craigslist.org/search/tla?query=cement

Re-sell the mixer for what it cost you.
 

bud16415

Fixer Upper
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
5,579
Reaction score
1,976
Location
Erie, PA
I had a friend that did the portable mixer idea for his city driveway. He even hauled all the materials himself in the bed of a mini pickup truck. After about a week the project was going so good he invited me over to help. One bucket of this one bucket of that and a bucket of something else then a pail of water filled to the line. Turn it on and wait or mess with the load you just made or fill the other set of buckets getting ready for the next mix. To his credit he got the job done but it took most of his spare time all summer working after work. It became a joke with all his friends because it seemed all of us were recruited to help several times.

On the other hand we built a factory in Mexico and when I went down the first time they were pouring the floor 10” thick. The building about the size of a super Walmart was all done by hand. Mixed on the floor next to where they were pouring and shoveled in. They had a few hundred people working on it. We needed one footing for a big machine and it had to be a continuous pour and we insisted in a truck mixer. One showed up in about a week from a couple hundred miles away empty. They filled it by hand and mixed and poured. So it can be done.
 

johnv713

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
210
Reaction score
20
I'm going to hire a concrete truck, since my 2 door down neighbor wants to do his too. We're going to share a truck but with only an hr to pour hopefully we can unload in time.

There are tons of ways to pour concrete. My other neighbor did it himself with 300 bag of concrete from Home Depot. No mixer of any kind needed. He dump x number of bags on the ground and mix from there.

Hey check out this video below. The tool they screed with is called EZ creed. Thinking about making one myself or just pay for one.

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdkL9OdtQ5o[/ame]
 
C

Chris

Guest
I just poured 7 yards in my back yard a couple weeks ago and poured 30 yards last year for my RV pad that was 16' x 100' plus another small driveway. Each time I had two guys doing the finish work and one guy as a helper. I pumped my concrete which makes it easier to fill the forms I think. On my big pad they had a form on one side and went up to a chalk line on a wall on the other. They used a 17' 2x4 and eye balled it, that one turned out great. No real low spots and just a great job. The one I just did I formed everything and my biggest section was 10' x 20' and there is more issues and unevenness in that one then I care to admit.

Your patio can easily be done with a 2x4 and a good eyeball. The main thing I would recommend would is if you can afford it get an experienced finisher for the day, he will make a world of difference. As for getting a truck and pricing, it will probably be cheaper to get a truck than to buy bags. Around here I pay about 65 bucks a yard for a truck and about 120 or so to buy it buy the bag. You should get 3-4 minutes per yard to get it off the truck before standby charges.
 

johnv713

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
210
Reaction score
20
$65 a yard that's basically stealing compares to $115/wkday- $125/wkend a yard here in Houston. That came out about $900 on a truck, $700 for home depot bags. An addition of $1/per min if I go over the allotted time limit of an Hr.
 
C

Chris

Guest
Wow that is pricey, I guess you need to weigh out if the extra 200 is worth your time mixing by hand.
 

johnv713

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
210
Reaction score
20
No it isnt worth it for me to mix by hand.

That EZ screed in the video I posted goes for ....wait for it.....wait for it.....





























$300....Are you friggin' kidding me? That's highway robbery crazy! That much for a stick and a piece of metal? Going to make one myself with lumber and a handle.
 
C

Chris

Guest
It's a tool, no matter what it is made out of the price jumps once there is a purpose for it.
 

johnv713

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
210
Reaction score
20
C

Chris

Guest
I believe that if you are getting the thickness you want in the concrete and they are not going anywhere what difference does it make if you pull them. As of right now that is close to a 100% compaction, if you tear them out and disturb the soil your compaction percentage drops.
 

stadry

Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2014
Messages
198
Reaction score
47
if you're satisfied w/the thickness you're placing, remember it MAY be thicker between pavers thereby creating a weakened vertical plane more susceptible to random cracking,,, any decent slab will require contraction jnts to guide the expected cracking of conc as it cures & is under tension,,, you need to plan your jnt pattern extremely well so the contr jnt is exactly centered above the space between pavers,,, pay close attn to slab size which is formulated based on thickness,,, other than all the other hints & suggestions in this thread, pouring conc is a piece of cake :banana: if you DON't pay attn, its a nitemare:hide:
 

johnv713

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
210
Reaction score
20
And we have one Nay and one Yae...which is 50/50 LOL.

I will surely add more cntrl joints rt above the stepping stones.
 

nealtw

Contractor retired
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
24,769
Reaction score
3,395
Location
Chiliwack BC Canada
Before you spend alot of money on tools get a quote from a pro. You have to look at this for a long time and is not what you would call an easy fix if things go wrong.
 

CallMeVilla

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
1,657
Reaction score
597
Called them just now and they were like what does that do? LOL

They do have a concrete finisher aka power trowel for $85 a day. Does it level freshly pour concrete just like a power screed?
If you watch the video, you can see how it is properly used. It levels and screeds because you are tracking the edge of the form on one side. You can also see it is NOT necessary for it to be in contact with both sides of the forms to do the job. You just work it around, have a helper pushing the mud around and you can kick more mud into the low spots.

Could you bull float it afterwards? Sure. Can you strike a control joint? Sure. You can do whatever degree of finishing you want ... OR you can power screed it and get a beer.

Here are two finishers applying control joints. Really good guys use long poles with a grooving tool (not me)

CONTROL.jpg
 

johnv713

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
210
Reaction score
20
Yea I've seen people do it like the guys in the pic above, with long poles, or use gas powered cement cutter. Whichever way it is they all seem to do the job.

30x15 is probably not big enough to get a power screed but it's still an option at this point.
 
2

Latest posts

Top