loads. I found that out when I had to dig a 1m3 drain for my conservatory.
Irving, the old grubbing mattock is a great tool. I used one as well for my foundation and I'm currently digging out a pathway at the back of my workshop with one as well. A mini digger and powered barrow will save you loads of time. Would it be easier to hire an 8yarder to dump the soil into? Try not to copy me and pull the track off the digger. Its a right pain in the arse to put back on.
Well tree is now well lopped, much to SWMBO'd dismay as now there is no foliage left. She wasn't/isn't happy, mainly because we can now see the flats at the end of the garden. But on the advice of 4 different tree companies, all who quoted the same price within £20, all the upper branches were dead wood or rotten and all the diseased foliage was on the outside only and there was a strong chance of branches coming down and destroying the fence or falling on someone... Basically it should have been cut back every two or three years, not 10! so now its a much smaller tree and there's no chance of branches falling on the workshop roof...
But it also means I can get on with digging foundations... so there's a microdigger and powered muck truck coming on Friday morning and the weekend should see the hole dug and a big pile of earth on the front drive.... I may have to shore up the back LH corner as it'll be 800mm - 1m deep there by the time I've leveled everything... I'm wondering if I should either build a retaining wall or simply design the concrete pour to provide some butressing in that corner, but still leave a channel between that and the main shed base... ideally the base should be 20-25mm proud of the ground level but thats not possible cos of the slope into that corner. So the plan is to make the hole 75mm bigger all round and after the concrete has set fill the gap between concrete and soil with 20mm gravel so that water run off the soil or off the concrete has a soak away. This should also deter roots from trying to grow back.
I'm hoping if I go down 300mm elsewhere it'll be clear of roots etc. If not I'll go down another 100mm. The centre will be 100mm ballast, 25mm sand, dpc, 75mm insulation and 100mm of concrete - 300mm deep.
So Friday will be using the digger to lift all the big roots and lop them off 100mm or so outside the base... then dig it out starting at the high point at the back. I made a simple clamp with a camera thread to mount my laser spirit level onto a tripod to use as a basic levelling measure. That should be good enough to +/- 1mm.
Still got to find a local source of rebar, either rods i can weave into a mat or ready woven matting... and got to get 21m x ~300mm of 18mm osb for shuttering and a load of 2x2 to stake the ground out and support the osb during the pour...
Nice to see progress on this one. Happy digging.
Instead of re-bar you could use this stuff: Concrete & Screed Fibres
I used it on my foundation for the workshop and the bike shed. Big benefit is that you can drill anywhere without worrying about hitting bar.
Yes, I've looked at that stuff. If you go on the concrete industry's website and look at the pages that talk about reinforcement they are quite clear that steel is the way to go for anything involving tension so large slabs subject to ground heave, like on london clay, its needed. Fibres are good for other stuff, particularly controlling cracking due to shrinkage and the two should be considered complimentary.
The concrete I'll get pumped in will have fibres in it, but the firm in questions still recommended 'fabric' (thats the industry term for steel mesh). I need type 142 apparently, 6mm wire 200mm mesh. and It shuld be at least 50mm from any surface so you shouldnt hit it with a drill under normal circumstances, a 2" hole in concrete is quite deep.
Looking at using sleepers or 75mm half-poles as a retaining wall rather than concrete, it'll look nicer and is quite cheap.
Going for both methods should give you a very stable base. The pump method is great to watch. When we did our conservatory we had to get a pump in to over the house to the back garden. Emptied a fully loaded concrete lorry in about 30 minutes. All the kids in the street were out to watch.
Thats a lot of concrete! were you doing it yourself? I've never laid this much before, I am, shall we say, apprehensive, about it.
But my first issue is whether I need to build retaining walls or not. the ground slopes up to the left and towards the back. The far left corner is 58cm higher than the datum (front right corner), Frnt left is 28cm higher as is rear right. So if i dig down 275mm (so the top of the base is 25mm above datum) I have a 'wall' of earth 855mm in the left rear corner. I think that needs retaining. and similarly the left and right side need retaining to about 1/2 way along the base and grading from there. Got to find a solution that doesnt take up a lot of space else I either need to move the base over a bit, or make it smaller... and I've already compromised on size :(
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