Thursday, 28 May 2015

New Block Shed - Self Build Part 2 - Footings & Floor Prep.

After all the digging out was complete it was time to start with the concrete footings. These are 450mm wide & 6 inches deep. The reason they are so wide is to displace the weight of the blocks for the walls above. For some reason I have no pictures of this but it's quite self explanatory. 
You dig out the footing & take a tape measure to check the depth. When I was about deep enough, I cut up a load of bits of 20mm pipe I had in the shed. Then I put one in the trench so 6 inches of pipe was sticking up. Then with a spirit level, move about a metre away & put the next tube in level with the last. This will give you a level all the way round & then you'll see where you are too high or too low. They are also then used as gauges for when you poor in the concrete. As my footings were slightly too wide I then put some wooden shuttering on the insides of my trenches to make them narrower. From this I could then calculate how much concrete in cubic metres I needed for the footings. Mine was 450mm x 150mm x 16m = 1.08m3
 I priced up mixing it myself, but it really is not worth mixing that amount by hand any more. Get it delivered premixed; it's cheaper & quicker. I got my dad & my brother-in-law Freddie, 3 wheel barrows & we were done & dusted within about 40 minutes ready for a bacon sandwich & cup of tea. It was around £170 but buying the unmixed materials would've been £180 & taken a whole day mixing.

Once the footings are in it was time to start the wall, which then acts as shuttering for the concrete floor. It's important at this time to make sure you start your walls off square as it makes it easier for the roof later. I've laid bricks where they will be visible, but blocks everywhere else as they are equivalent to laying 6 bricks, so are so much quicker. A 3, 4, 5 triangle made out of wood is very useful for getting a right angle for your corners or measuring from corner to corner is another way of checking you're square. 

I am not a bricklayer but I have done some before. However I decided as I will be doing a lot with this I would make a tool to make laying the blocks easier. It works really well and makes the bedding of blocks much neater & solid. 

Cement mixer
Trowels: plasterer's & bricklayers
Levels 600mm & 1800mm
rubber mallet
Angle grinder
bolster & hammer

My tips for brick laying are: 
Try not to get the concrete on the brick faces & if it does, wipe if off straight away.
Use a small plasterer's trowel for bricklaying; it has a much smaller handle & your hand won't ache at the end of a days laying. Use a big pointed trowel for pointing up your bricks. 
Only check for levels after a good few are down, not just one or two. 
Wipe your bricks down with a damp cloth at the end of the day.
Make sure to check for levels of your wall vertically & horizonally.


Once the wall to shutter the floor was done, it was time to put a load of hardcore in, which is then compacted down & concrete poured on top. It's easy to work out how much you need. I got enough to leave a 4 inch concrete floor. As I was having soil taken away the week before, I got them to bring the hardcore at the same time & only had one haulage charge then too. The stone worked out at about £35 for 3 tonnes so is a lot cheaper than buying in bulk bags from a builder's merchant. I hired the compactor ''wacker'' plate from Travis Perkins for £20 for the day, but it only takes an hour (or 2 with Raph & Etta playing chasing it around)

Next is the Floor & starting the block work so stay tuned.

Post by Rob

No comments

Post a Comment

Blogger Template Created by pipdig