Introduction: Concrete Forms and Rebar – Our Garage Slab Prep
Concrete Forms and Rebar – Prepping for our Garage Slab and Pour. If you haven’t read my post about the absolute hellishly first weekend in June when we prepped for this (and several other projects) it was a truly horrible weekend for yard work. It hadn’t rained in weeks, we hit heat records, our deck thermometer (in the sun) hit over 110 degrees… It was just terrible. The next weekend, fortunately, wasn’t quite so terrible as that was when we scheduled the concrete pour for our slab on Saturday morning!
I just love Lodi! Even after that awful weekend he ordered the concrete to be poured the next Saturday morning. Talk about forcing us to get our butts in gear and get those concrete forms done! His ways are maniacal however I also totally agree with them. We only have so many weekends every summer and, damnit, the sooner we get this done the sooner we might actually get to enjoy summer a little!
We had already picked up all the rebar we needed and the little rebar stands which we actually just ordered from Amazon. I always have everything we need for a project ready and waiting sometimes months ahead of time. Its a way of making no excuses so when we want / need to get something done all we have to do is go do it.
Concrete forms are NOT hard. You can see we already had a half assed L shape going on with 2x6s to help us get the grade correct. Now we perfected those 2x6s using stakes, our four foot level and measuring out from the garage about a thousand times. Lodi completed the full rectangle with 2x6s and secured everything really well. Here’s probably the best reason as to why we decided to do this in three pours instead of one. Besides the fact that we’re a little army of only TWO, doing the slab first means that we could put our frames all the way around it and really do it right.
Step 1: Forms and Rebar
Then, later, we can remove our concrete forms and connect our next pour (our new apron that’s going all the way across our addition and the existing garage) directly to this new slab as well.
Our next step was more shovel work as we needed to dig a four inch deep trench around the entire inside of the frame. This “footing” will give us a thicker slab where our walls will sit and it will help stabilize the rest of the slab. From there we borrowed a hammer drill from a friend of ours and got to putting a 1/2″ size hole into the old slab every couple of feet. 1/2″ rebar is a little larger than that requiring us to pound it in and guaranteeing its not going anywhere. You might be able to get this done with a regular drill… but you would probably regret it. Borrow (or rent) a hammer drill for concrete work and get decent masonry drill bits. Inside of our concrete forms we laid our rebar down on their little stands every three feet and then lengthwise as well. We attached the overlapping rebar together with wire. The majority of our slab will be four inches deep so we ordered two inch tall rebar stands.
Step 2: Pour and Floating
Finally, its concrete day!
Lodi ordered the more expensive concrete that comes with fiberglass mixed into it – it is a lot stronger than regular cement.
Bright and early Saturday morning (both wearing clothing we had no interest in saving) it was time to pour our new slab! We had one helper with shovels and rakes who got in there with Lodi while I helped from the outside running the scree with him. I can’t take any credit for any of this honestly – Lodi handled it all, built the concrete forms, prepped it all and gave me instructions on how to help where I could. He did an AWESOME job. We rented a bull float which is pretty much absolutely mandatory for any slab.
Step 3: Completion!
Like with any concrete pour there was extra in the truck that we were prepared for.
Lodi built concrete forms in front of our front step and even up in front of the barn door. There was just enough to make the front step a lot better – when we pour the slab for the apron next weekend we’ll use that extra up at the barn. And then when we do the third pour to finish the apron that will give us extra for a bottom step over by our deck. In a couple of days we’ll pop off our forms so we can reuse those 2x6s for our concrete apron! PHEW! Of course we just had to date our new step, put our hand prints in it and even added Annie’s paw print too. (Note: Concrete is insanely toxic, get it off your skin or, in this case, washed off your dog’s paw immediately!)