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SpringJim 06-10-2008 03:48 PM

Bag vs Redimix
I'm looking at 45 bags of concrete mix to do the stand cores and the reinforced hearth....

any reason not to spring for the redimix truck and do the cores and the hearth at the same time?

It''s a pretty similar cost and no bags to carry or mix.....I can put a metal form on the edge of the concrete blocks inside or the cores and do one monolithic pour.

Whynot? any feedback? Seems like a no brainer for the cost differential!


rlf5 06-10-2008 04:20 PM

Re: Bag vs Redimix
ALWAYS spring for the truck!! I mixed up the concrete for my hearth manually and it totally sucked. If I ever do it again I'm calling a concrete service to just come and squirt it out of their truck and onto my form.

PizzaJNKY 06-10-2008 04:35 PM

Re: Bag vs Redimix
I agree. I also mixed my own concrete, and it was not my favorite part of the job. I wish I had done the readimix. Easier on the back, and no bags to pick up!

mfiore 06-10-2008 04:58 PM

Re: Bag vs Redimix
I think Jim is asking if there is a compromise in structural integrity to fill the cores of block and pour the hearth slab at the same time. I asked the same question a few months back. I ended up filling the cores myself first, but mainly because I thought I would do the whole thing myself. I realized, quite soon, that that was not a good idea. Ended up having concrete brought in for the slab. I wish I just did it all as one monolithic pour, but I still have no idea if that would have caused any problems. I worried that concrete would settle down in the cores, causing problems in the parts of the slab immediately above the cores.

reefman 06-10-2008 05:45 PM

Re: Bag vs Redimix
If you can pour straight from the truck it's definrtly worth it. But if you have to pump it, your cost obviously goes up. Depends on what it's worth to ya. If you think you're going to wheelbarrow it out of the truck, consider that the mix plant will hit you with a standby surcharge if you take too long to unload. Sometimes this can be almost as much as a pump, but twice the work.

As far as pouring monolithicly, you should have no problems. You may get some minor cracking, but nothing that's structurally dangerous.

james 06-10-2008 06:05 PM

Re: Bag vs Redimix
Mixing by hand is pretty brutal. Renting a mixer might be the right balance of budget and saving your back.

If money is less of an issue, you can pump the foundation and save time and energy.

I've been hit by the time surcharge -- it really upset me the first time; I felt like they were taking advantage of a newbie.


mfiore 06-10-2008 06:21 PM

Re: Bag vs Redimix
In my area, the delivery truck (cement mixer) will come curbside, but I need to wheel barrel it back to my site. It worked OK for the foundation/slab, but how about for the hearth? How do I get it up into the hearth, 31/2 feet off the ground? If I shovel it, I'll surely be hit with a surcharge!

reefman 06-10-2008 07:16 PM

Re: Bag vs Redimix
James has a good point with the mixer. I is definrtly a good compromise between cost and convenience. Depending on your pace, maybe looking for a good deal on one locally on like craigslist wouldn't be bad. Then, when you're done you could sell it.

As far as standby time, time is money and if the truck is sitting, it's burning fuel and not moving on to another job. It's just business, but it sucks when you get hit with it and aren't expecting it.

dmun 06-10-2008 08:15 PM

Re: Bag vs Redimix
Yeah, when I looked into ready mix, the truck wouldn't go any further than the curb, not even the driveway. The time limit would mean that I would have to have a crew of multiple people and multiple wheelbarrows. I went with the rental mixer, and it was a lot of work.

Some members have gotten a load of ready mix concrete in a special trailer, which you haul behind your own truck, and return when you are done. I didn't find that option here.

RTflorida 06-10-2008 09:45 PM

Re: Bag vs Redimix
I mixed all concrete, mortar, everything - by hand (yes, I'm a stubborn idiot).

Opt for the ready mix if they can deliver right to the oven site, otherwise look into mixer rental or purchase. Since building my oven I've found several (I believe were 3 bag) mixers for sale, pretty cheap ($100-$200). All were guys like us who bought them for a walkway or patio project...then didn't want them or need them anymore.
I believe somewhere on the forum is a pretty cool picture of a scaffold made of 2 x that someone build for setting a mixer above hearth height - they mixed it and dumped the mixer straight into the support slab forms. Been along time since I saw it....can't remember who/where.


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