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How tricky is it to pour your own concrete base for a large shed?

(10 Posts)
ReshapeWhileDamp Sun 24-Jul-11 08:25:59

We really need to get this sorted out this summer, as we moved to a house without a garage before Christmas, and we're still paying out for the storage unit now! hmm I've been looking at large sheds (10' by 12' or so) and know that with such a large one, plus all the heavy stuff we'd store in there, we need a decent sturdy base. DH thinks we can just put down paving stones set in mortar. Well, he and my brother botched together a platform for DS's playhouse in our last garden and it started falling apart almost immediately! DH would be the first to admit that his DIY abilities aren't up to scratch...

So can a couple of DIY-newbies (DH and me) manage a poured base if we rent shuttering and a mixer, or is it best left to the professionals? Last time I asked builders for an estimate to pour a base for DS1's playhouse, it was £££s. Anyone done this themselves?

SayItLoud Sun 24-Jul-11 08:39:10

It's not hard or complicated, but you don't sound confident! Why don't you try asking a handyman or a nice local person who's good at diy and might need some extra cash, rather than a building firm, it will be far cheaper? If you need to rent a mixer anyway, you'll save on that because a handyman is likely to have their own. Work out how much the materials will cost, as it will be expensive just for those, so that you know how much you're paying in labour, then see if you think it's worth paying for help. And if you get a handyman, why not get dp to do the labouring (mixing and shovelling) for him so that he learns for next time?!

ReshapeWhileDamp Sun 24-Jul-11 08:43:05

Oh, we're not at all confident! grin I know I said builder, but I have a sneaking suspicion it was actually someone calling themselves a handyman who said it would be a 2 man job and cost around £500 to do the shuttering and pour a base for a 7'x7' playhouse! He was having me on, wasn't he? Thanks, that's good advice. Wonder how I calculate how much cement it would take to make the base? Do you have any idea how I'd go about that?

Believe me, if we got a man in, DH would retreat to his study in relief!

Wormshuffler Sun 24-Jul-11 08:50:34

You don't need to rent a mixer, just build a frame ontop of a very sound base, call up the concrete company and they bring it ready mixed!, with any luck it will be in a position where they can pour it directly into the frame.

Geepers Sun 24-Jul-11 08:53:14

I think we paid someone £600 to pour the base for our summerhouse which is 12 x 18 feet. It could actually have been £800 thinking about it. But there is no way my husband and I could have done it properly, and when spending thousands on a summerhouse we wanted it done properly.

lalalonglegs Sun 24-Jul-11 09:02:22

800 quid shockIt's just a question of digging down about a foot, throwing some hardcore down then screwing some planks together around the edge and filling with concrete (nb: you always need tons more concrete than you think you will). Pray it doesn't rain and allow to dry out.

downtothesea Sun 24-Jul-11 10:10:09

you do not need to go down a foot for a shed!!!

Unless you're building a serious industrial unit a level slab base will be fine

ReshapeWhileDamp Sun 24-Jul-11 10:29:02

Good, because I nearly fainted when I read about making foot-deep foundations and hardcore and that. grin

Thanks for link, that's one of the companies I'm considering buying from.

TheSkiingGardener Sun 24-Jul-11 10:32:57

It's easy but hard work. If you can get a lorry to turn up and pour the concrete then great, otherwise consider hiring a mixer, or getting a mixer thing for your drill.

I laid foundations for brick raised beds, and I went down way to far and the concrete mixing was physically hard.

ReshapeWhileDamp Sun 24-Jul-11 11:23:28

Unfortunately, the shed is going in the front garden, which sounds accessible but isn't, since we are set back from the road and you get to the front of the house via a twisty turny path past other houses. The main road access is actually at the back. So a lorry to pump it out wouldn't be able to get close enough.
hmm. This does make getting men in, a lot more attractive...

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