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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ocala Florida
    Posts
    92

    Default Working w/concrete

    Florida location: Never done any concrete work but have done everything else. I'll be building footers and block piers for a stilt home. My Question is: is it feasible to use a small mixer and buy mortar mix in bags for setting block and also using bags for footers (for piers). For footers, what PSI is required. I will not have any help with this and was wondering if I could save money by doing this stage w/o the use of a contractor. Thanks, Mark

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: Working w/concrete

    Mark - Someone else may have some helpful advice, but in general, this is not a DIY site.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,258

    Default Re: Working w/concrete

    Bags will cost you a lot more, probably three times as much per yard of concrete, maybe more. Can you not get a truck in to deliver mixed concrete to the footers and piers? If you can get a mixer and get the raw ingredients delivered to the site, you'll save a lot of money over bags. For laying block it's not as significant, since you won't use as much mud, but still will cost more.

    The other questions make me wonder if you are really ready for this type of project. Messing up a foundation makes for a whole lot of problems later on down the line.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ocala Florida
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Working w/concrete

    Jim, you're absolutey correct, I'm not ready yet, but will be by the time I receive all the info needed. I've built stick built homes from the sill up but always farmed out any concrete work, and admit I have much to learn on the subject, but that won't stop me. I really enjoy doing what my mother-out-law says I'm not qualified to do. Thanks for your reply, I'm build on this. Mark


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Working w/concrete

    Mark
    A word of advice. Check with your AHJ to see if they will allow bags. Some only want you to use delivered ready mix.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ocala Florida
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Working w/concrete

    Thanks Rick, will do


  7. #7
    Gabe S's Avatar
    Gabe S Guest

    Default Re: Working w/concrete

    Ask your local building department what the requirements are and the codes they follow.

    If you have to change something after inspection it will cost more more than just hiring it out. That's something to consider.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Working w/concrete

    I still have my old typical motorized barrel mixer on wheels with a trailer hitch to hitch to the back of the truck. These days it mostly sits in the backyard covered. When I was doing porches it got a good workout. It isn't cost effective to use delivery for piers/footings for porches or decks. Our 42" footings take about 2-3 bags per hole. I would not go back to a tub and shovels. Besides cost, delivery doesn't generally work due to access for this type of work.
    For retaining walls or pads around/under porches the mixer won't work. You can't mix fast enough to keep from getting cold joints or a good final product
    Hope that helps.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  9. #9
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
    chris mcintyre Guest

    Default Re: Working w/concrete

    Around here 3000 psi is used for footings. Sacrete makes a 4000 psi mix (I think) we have used it to add a pier that was needed but I don't think I would want to trust it for a house on stilts.

    As already mentioned cold joints, and a proper mix (to much or not enough water greatly affects psi) can be a big problem with using the bag mix.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ocala Florida
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Working w/concrete

    Thanks everyone, all good info for a rookie


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