Creating jumbo slabs is a task that requires the use of a concrete form and a large slab of ready-mix concrete. The process is relatively simple and can be completed by a homeowner without the help of an expert contractor, but there are some steps to take to ensure that the project is successful.
First, make sure that the area in which you’re pouring is clear of debris and other items that could obstruct the work site or slow down the installation. You also need to check that the area is level, straight and well braced before you begin laying the forms. You’ll need at least two contractor-grade wheelbarrows and three or four strong helpers for this project.
Lay the concrete forms on top of plastic sheeting to protect the surface of the slab. You’ll need at least a 3-foot by 4-foot rectangle of sheeting to fill the form. Then, spread a layer of gravel over the surface to provide a smooth foundation for your new concrete. If the ground is sandy, scrape off as much soil as you can and replace it with the gravel. If you’re working with clay or loam soil, you can simply remove enough to allow a 6- to 8-inch layer of gravel underneath the new concrete.
Next, tie the perimeter reinforcing bar (rebar) to stakes set about four inches from the edge of the concrete forms. Use a metal-cutting blade or disc in a reciprocating saw, circular saw or grinder to cut the rebar. Repeat the process for the other side of the concrete forms.
Divide the concrete down the middle and fill the two halves on different days. This will minimize the amount of concrete you need to pour on a single day.
After the concrete has hardened, drag a 2×4 across the top of the concrete forms to level it. This will keep the concrete from cracking. You can also use a rubber hose or broom to remove sand and gravel from the bottom of the forms.
Before pouring concrete, check the weather forecast and reschedule any deliveries to a dry day. Rain accelerates the hardening process, reducing the time you have to finish your slab.
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