FAQs About Concreting Answered

There are a few homeowners that are engaging in renovation and beautification of their properties so that they can have an increase appraisal of their property, yet what is least looked into is the fact that choosing the right concrete can certainly help in the aesthetics and functionality of the part of the house that is being renovated. It is important that you will consider on different factors about the use of concrete so that you will be fully guided on the different aspects of what you need to do when it comes to the renovation of your floors or even your patio outside of your house.

Choosing the right kind of concreting material will warrant some research, as proper research will lead to careful planning and will eventually make you have an informed decision of what it is that you have to first tackle. There are actually a lot of options that you can avail of and that you need to fully settle what you think is the most important matters at hand.

Master Q&A Vol. 8: Holding Up Hillsides

What are some of your favorite solutions for functionally controlling erosion that results in a beautiful product?

TR: When we talk about erosion usually we’re talking about the soil that is around a particular hillside.
A wall will help with erosion, but there is also bio-structural erosion control. It is essentially the use of vegetation and it is ecologically friendly.

My favorite choice is to use plants and vegetation because you can really see the beauty in the plants. It can be both the most functional and beautiful choice, especially using native or indigenous plants.

Do you have any stories of exceptionally difficult hillsides or slopes to troubleshoot?

TR: I’ve had entire hillsides cave into our form work and into our footings. One was at the Coast Guard Building in the Santa Cruz harbor. The other was the Boys and Girls club up in Pescadero. Both collapeses were caused by rainstorms that came through before we had the walls backfilled, so they were very vulnerable.

We had to dig out our forms and reconfigure the rebar all at our own expense.

How does lighting play a part in a finished decorative concrete hillside walkway or wall?

TR: Lighting can sometimes be downplayed or overlooked, that is a huge mistake. Lighting makes any hardscape on a hillside look exceptionally dramatic and beautiful. Hardscaped walls, stairs, patios, and even trees can exponentially enhance the hard and softscapes. Click this link for more details…

Take for instance the scenario where you have already placed all the columns in your newly renovated house or patio, then the easier way for you to get that concrete flooring is to pour concrete on it. That is virtually impossible feat years back, yet with the advancement in technology being infused to concrete these days, such a practice is never impossible and in fact achievable nowadays.

Concrete Slab Pour

Plumbing Inspection Approved

Before starting the concrete slab pour, it’s important to make certain the underslab plumbing has been inspected and approved.  It can get extremely expensive if the concrete is placed without an approval.  Most building departments will ask you to remove the concrete to inspect if the drains were not checked prior to covering them.

Ground Preparation

The area below the concrete slab pour should be free of all vegetation, top soil, and foreign material.  All of these items can deteriorate over time causing the slab to settle.  Uneven settlement will cause excess cracking and possible displacement in the floor.  This displacement/settlement can create problems for finished flooring and plumbing below.

Vapor Retarder

In order to isolate the slab from the moist ground, a vapor retarder should be used.  A 6-mill plastic sheathing (polyethylene or equivalent approved material) should be placed directly under the concrete with joints overlapped a minimum of six inches.  The seams should be taped securely to keep a tight seal.  Be sure to check that your concrete contractor has carefully cut the vapor retarder tight to all columns, plumbing drains, sump crock…etc.  This retarder will also serve as a barrier to radon below the slab so it’s important to create a tight seal.

Reinforcement for Concrete Slab Pour

Any reinforcement to the concrete slab should be supported to remain in place in the center to upper third of the concrete thickness.  Check with your local building department for any structural reinforcement requirements like rebar or wire mesh. Read more from this site: http://blog.armchairbuilder.com/6762/concrete-slab-pour/.

These things are the new updates that most homeowner should understand on the use of concrete, especially when renovation of the house is to be expected. It is an important matter to always look at how these things can totally benefit you with the convenience, affordability, and efficiency on how everything is taken altogether.

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