Long before the concrete mixer arrives on location, you should take appropriate measures to ensure your placement will be successful.
A successful placement depends on many things, including the concrete and admixtures used, the weather conditions, the planning that has gone into forming the area to be placed, and the surrounding terrain. Some things that should be considered are where the location is and the route the concrete mixer will need to take to get to your pour location. Mixers can weigh as much as 70,000 pounds loaded, which may damage a lawn. Also, mixers are tall vehicles, and you should pay attention to any overhanging branches or power lines which may be in the way.
Concrete is heavy material, and it sets up (hardens) quickly. If you misplace the concrete, or don’t reinforce your forms enough to keep them from collapsing, you could have a problem on your hands very quickly. Do some research here and on other sites about preparing for pours, and how to set up forms. When it comes to placing concrete, the old adage, “measure twice, cut once” has a very relevant meaning. You want to do everything you can to make sure things go correctly the first time around.
In light of this, you need to focus on a couple of things:
1. How much concrete do I need?
Finding out how much concrete you will need is basic math. You can use our concrete calculator to help you calculate. The volume that you will need is length x width x height for slabs, walls, and other box shapes. For columns, posts, or other conical pours, the formula for volume is 3.14*radius (squared) (π r2). Remember to always add on 10% to account for spillage, uneven subgrade, or other unexpected circumstances. Also, remember that concrete is ordered in cubic yards (a cubic yard is equal to 3’ by 3’ by 3’). There are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard.
2. Contact your local town or county offices:
a. Find out if you need a building permit
Massachusetts State Building Code: www.mass.gov/bbrs/code.htm
b. Find out if there are any regulations for your town on concrete placement by calling Town Hall:
Abington (781) 982-2105
Attleboro (508) 399-6660
Avon (508) 588-0414
Bellingham (508) 966-5821
Bridgewater (508) 697-0904
Brockton (508) 580-7114
Canton (781) 821-5013
Cumberland, RI (401) 728-2400
Dedham (781) 461-5987
Dighton (508) 669-6711
Dover (508) 785-1028
Easton (508) 230-0500
Foxboro (508) 543-1200
Franklin (508) 520-4900
Lincoln, RI (401) 726-8420
Mansfield (508) 261-7345
Norfolk (508) 541-3232
North Attleboro (508) 699-0108
Norton (508) 285-0290
Norwood (781) 762-9180
Pawtucket, RI (401) 728-0500
Plainville (508) 695-3142
Randolph (781) 961-0900
Raynham (508) 824-2700
Rehoboth (508) 252-5342
Rockland (781) 871-1892
Seekonk (508) 336-7400
Sharon (781) 784-1505
Stoughton (781) 341-2394
Taunton (508) 824-6892
West Bridgewater (508) 894-1200
Westwood (781) 326-6450
Whitman (781) 447-7607
Wrentham (508) 384-5415
c. Check with DigSafe (http://www.digsafe.com/) or other local officials if you need to excavate to ensure that there are no buried utilities where you are building.
3. What other tools will I need?
Tools can often be rented from local rental stores. Some tools which you will find very useful will include:
Wheelbarrow (make sure the tire is in good shape and is filled with air - concrete can be extremely heavy)
Tamper / Vibrator
Mag or Wood Float
4. Preparing the Subgrade
Preparing the ground underneath where the concrete will be placed is also critical to the long-term durability of the placed concrete. For example, a pocket of soft dirt underneath the concrete could compact over time and leave an air space underneath the slab. This could cause stress on the slab at that point, eventually leading to a crack or minor collapse. For patios, you should excavate enough grade so that the concrete surface will sit slightly above the surrounding area (for water drainage).
The thing to remember is that you do not want soft dirt underneath the pour. Place at least four inches of subgrade underneath the bottom of your slab. Materials such as sand or crushed stone will suffice. These materials not only aid in water drainage under the slab, but they will also help to provide a solid surface for the slab to lie on. Make sure that you use either a tamper or a compactor to really compact the subgrade; otherwise, the situation described above can occur with time (stress and settling). Remember, you can get quality subgrade directly from us.
Also, check and see if you are required to use any reinforcing bar.
Building your forms accurately will be the single most advantageous element to a successful pour.
First, set stakes for height. Typically, exterior walkways and porches are recommended to be at least 4” thick. Of course, you can make it thicker at your discretion. You will also want your slab to slope gradually to prevent water from collecting. If this is a porch or patio, you probably want it to slope away from your home. The normal slope is 1/8” per linear foot.
Use quality 2X4’s or 2X2’s to build your forms. Again, remember concrete is very heavy, so you really want to reinforce your forms as much as possible to prevent a break.
Once you have a plan, its time to place your ORDER