There is a slight difference in pouring-cement flatwork, than in pouring footings and foundations. In fact you will usually use a different contractor for pouring
The way your flooring is prepared for pouring flatwork concrete determines if you will be able to keep your basement dry or not.
Keeping your basement dry provides increased living space and additional storage space in your home. It protects the investment you make in your home and enables you to enjoy living in your home with increased ability to “spread out”.
It is essential that you have a good even grade done when the excavator digs your basement hole.
In the pix below, you can see the hurricane strap on the left. Hurricane straps are required to attach to the house, to help secure your home to the foundation, in the event of hurricane force winds. There are several hurricane straps secured in the foundation of this home.
The plumbing pipes have to be installed with gravel placed around them and then they will pour flatwork concrete over all this prepared gravel and sub-rough plumbing.
The sub-rough plumbing includes a drain in the basement floor, usually located some where in the utility room, near the water heater (in case the water heater has to be drained). The floor will usually slope gently towards that drain. This is just in case you get water in the basement due to broken water pipes inside or outside of the home.
When pouring-cement, the cement is prepared with a special mix with more water providing a smoother finish than footings and foundation mix.
You can see in the picture how the surface shines due to a higher water content and finer gravel - sand mixture.
As an example, our outside steps were poured with a very, very dry mix that had to be shoveled out of the trough from the cement truck. Then as they poured closer to the top of the step, a little more water was added to the mix so it wasn't as stiff a mixture when the cement reached the top of the steps.
This picture shows the front steps before they are stuccoed, you can see the dry concrete mixture near the bottom of the step. Near the top the mixture of cement became a bit more moist to form a nice smooth surface. By smoothing the cement, the water rises to the surface.
You can get all kinds of design work put on your cement walks and driveways when you pour-cement.
When they were pouring flatwork for our outside walk and garage pad,
it was winter and they covered the cement with blankets and didn't remove them during the daytime which left ours with a unique design. The picture on the Left shows the "design" we have on our cement. Some people think it is "cool", others don't.
We didn't want the traditional "L-shaped" sidewalk and so we had the concrete flatwork contractor curve the walk and then widen it at the garage pad. The picture shows the front of the steps, which have a slight curve curve to them too. We only had them do a 2 inch curve from side to side, but I think another time I'd have at least 3 or 4 inch curve when they are pouring-cement.
It really adds a bit of style to have the curved appearance to both the sidewalk and the steps when you pour-cement.
The sidewalk was also covered with the same design as the garage pad above, but when we were pouring-cement the second time, we got a regular finish. We still kept the serpentine effect.
For more information on why we had to replace the sidewalk
Explore ways to enhance your home's concrete surfaces through concrete staining, concrete stamping, epoxy floor paints, and decorative overlays
by clicking HERE.
How cement is actually poured
Sub rough plumbing
Gravel needs for pouring cement flatwork or steps
Waterproofing the cement walls
Window Bucks and Window Wells
Pouring cement steps
backfilling around your foundation
Building your home as owner/contractor
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