Sunday, 26 July 2015

New Block Shed - Self Build Part 3 - Floor & Block laying

Sorry it's taken so long to post the next steps of my self-build shed, but I've been busy...building it!

I last shared the stone being ''whacked'' down ready for concreting & layed the bricks up to damp proof course, which would act as shuttering for levelling the floor to. At this point we were ready for a damp proof membrane to be installed which stops water from rising up through the concrete floor & bricks.

Once the damp proof course is in you can take measurements at various points & take an average of the depth. To calculate the volume of concrete you need you then multiply the area by the depth. Mine was:
5000mm x 3000mm x 100mm = 1.5 cubic metres.
Then ring up readymix companies for a quote. Mine was £204. An advantage of ready mix is the continuity of the mix which is always different if you're mixing it yourself.

The concreting process is really easy as long as you have a few people & a few wheel barrows. For a floor of this size it's about 15-20 minutes work barrowing when you buy readymix. It really is not worth mixing it yourself nowadays as the materials will cost more than readymix costs & you still have all the time it takes to mix it! Once it is barrowed into place, move it around with a shovel until it's close to flat. Then it's time for tamping. Get a long (preferably straight) piece of wood or metal & tamp it from one side to the other over the top of the bricks. This is a lot easier if there are 2 of you. You will be high & low in places so just shovel some into the holes. We were slightly low so we just placed some concrete tiles under the concrete to raise the level. Once it's level you trowel/float it to get a nice finish. You don't want to over work an area as it will bring the water in the concrete to the surface & pool. You can place a some bricks on the edges & put a scaffolding plank or long piece of wood over to make it easier to trowel the middle more comfortably.

Done & ready for hand prints. Thanks to Pops, Ed, Gareth & Gabe for helping. And of course Raph with his little trowel. (Hence how I know it the water in concrete pools when over worked!)

Block work

Once the floor was dry, it was time to get the walls up. I always find that there is so much waste when block or brick laying so I decided to build myself a template for bedding concrete on blocks. It sped it up so much & reduced an enormous amount of wasted concrete. It probably saved a couple of bags of cement plus sand by the end; I worked out that I'd need 8 bags, but only used 5. The block laying is easy if you take your time & do your cuts before you start laying. I was doing about a layer in 2 hours; about 40 blocks. The key is to keep it fairly level in each direction. I used a brick line but didn't find it that useful so just stuck with the level every now & then. If it goes out you can bring it back in with each course.

Next, I'll write about putting in a lintel over the door & the roof rafters.

Post by Rob


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