The pour

The shed saga rumbleth on….

I always had Dan’s voice rumbling in the back of my head that I should be putting a hardcore base beneath my concrete. It nagged at me. Kept me awake at night. Until finally I cracked. I lifted up the paving stones – which I was just being lazy by burying – and ordered some more wood to go with a couple of bulk bags of hardcore. I specifically ordered the hardcore as bulk bags to be delivered on a truck with a hoist so that they could drop them into the dug out base hole. The guy turned up, took one look and told me there was “no chance” the arm would lift the bag over the bushes. He didn’t even have a go … that’s the problem with people today – no willingness to go the extra mile to help ME!

So anyway, I spent a couple of days wheelbarrowing two bulk bags [ or about 2 tonnes ] of stones around the bushes and into my hole. I then hired a compression plate and the end result looked like this :

This is after I had a quick run around the edges
I then added a layer of plastic to stop the concrete sucking all the moisture out of the earth…
Added [ apparently far too much ] mesh to hold the concrete together, whilst Daisy watched in amazement at my elite building skills

Slightly before doing all this the pubs in England re-opened. So I took a break for a while and met up with Paul and Jason. Paul and I started discussing concrete pouring techniques and he put me onto the concrete poker. It’s basically a vibrator but I think people in the building industry are averse to using that word. Turns out the poker/vibrator was a genius idea of Paul’s. He also told me about how to use a float, which is you rotate the handle to change the angle of the float and have it skim across the surface of the concrete giving you a neat finish. This came in incredibly useful when the chap at the tool hire shop asked me if I knew how to use it. “Sure”, I replied “you just twist the handle and change the angle right?” – the tool hire guy replied affirmatively and added “you wouldn’t believe how many people bring it back and say they couldn’t make it work”. We exchanged knowing glances and eye-rolls and I swaggered off with my pride intact.

The day of the concrete pour arrived and it was a beautiful morning. No wind, no rain, sunshine – but they did arrive at about 7.30am.

Spread out a bit
This is the poker in action. I’ve pokered the left half of the concrete but not the right. It has the effect of knocking out any air bubbles and makes the bigger stones sink down a bit giving a smoother surface finish
The surface having been floated.

So the stressful bit is now done. I’ve never poured concrete before and if it had gone all wrong then it would have been a proper PITA to sort it out. From now on it’s just laying a few bricks and screwing together some wood…famous last words.