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Everything posted by rigas

  1. i am not 100% sure but i believe you have to permit something like that as well. call the city, structural can maybe answer your questions. 713-535-7800. ask to speak to a supervisor. (thats who i deal with anyway) i know one of hte walks we did in the 5th ward they wanted us to bend around a tree and where adamant that we could not do decomposed granite or crushed stone or what not. once some large roots where found just under the surface of the ground, they allowed the builder to use decomposed granite inside a metal landscaping border but they where NOT HAPPY.
  2. i am not surprised the lone estimate you got was pretty high, this is a job not a lot of companies want. you could find a mom and pop type guy to do it but you would have to pull the permit yourself as he will more then likely not be bonded with the city. if tree roots have heaved your walk, the city MAY NOT let you do anything with it anyway. they would rather leave the walks bad then potentially harm a tree. this has really become a problem in some parts in terms of new construction. the city will not hand over an occupancy letter with out the walks complete per plans, but the tree office will not allow you do the walks because of the trees. the tree office and the structural office will not even talk to each other. as the home owner you can get the permit yourself and hire someone to do the work, buy the concrete yourself and just hire labor but in the end i think you would be better off leaving the walks alone. i do the majority of my work inside the loop and i am sorry to say but this job would be one i would have to charge way to much to make it worth my time.
  3. closest waste management dump i know of to the heights is off tanner road and the beltway (right by the 290 toll booths). a pickup will cost you like $25-30, and a trailer will run about $75 i think. doesnt mater how much or how it looks.
  4. what exactly is it you are doing? where is it located? do you have engineered drawings?
  5. my suggestion is to grind the surface down flat and smooth and then put a layer of "skim coat" like ardex feather finish. allow it to cure a few days and then stain the ardex. it works beautify.
  6. this is partially true, it all depends on the material used. not all toppings are created equal. i prefer/use a product called ardex. i have used this material for years and have only seen it crack once. not even so much as minute shrinkage or spawling cracks. another company placed the slab for my house in the rain (not heavy but just enough for the lazy finishers to not finish it well. we ardexed the garage floor 6 yrs ago, and i challenge anyone to find a crack in that floor not caused by me dropping dumbells or plate weights on it through the rubber mats on the floor. my brothers house has stained concrete floors and so they used a product called ardex "feather finish" which goes on like 1/32" thick, then they stained it rather then the concrete from the slab. it looks VERY good. these products can get expensive, a 40lb bag of cardex concrete dressing runs about $65 and covers about 100-120 sq ft 1/8" thick. if you just go get some patch material or use a mortar or "float" material then yes it will absolutely crack and may crack quickly (within hours in some cases).
  7. i say YES YES AND NO! anything you can do to keep the heat reflected/ away from the house is ALWAYS good. ridgevent alone doesn absolutely NOTHING. if you dont have soffit vents and/or gable vents then what is the point? the hot air escaping cant escape without the cooler air to replace it. as for radiant barrier will actually keep that air cooler in the 1st place.
  8. you would be looking at somewhere around $3000 for the new slab and about $1500 to demo the ond concrete (these are very rough) as for the placement of concrete, sounds like you need a trailer pump. i would not drive trucks up your neighbors driveway unless you are interested in buying him a new one or it is all dirt. a concrete truck with 10 yards weights about 40 tons.
  9. 10 yrs ago maybe. pumps are running anywhere from $400 on a flat rate (at least for a contractor like me or some of my customers and thats if we are lucky) to $700. considering it is a one time job if you do things on your own, you will pay $600 minimum and you will be put on the back burner. now you MAY need a "trailer pump" in which case you will have to get a special (more expencive) mix and the pump itself will run you AT LEAST $800 and more then likely upwards of $1000. the mix will run you at least $8-10 MORE PER YARD. these are realistic and yet worst case type numbers. it all depends on your access, power lines, trees, house in the way and so on. let me know if/when you need it and i can get you a number for some good pump companies.
  10. IMO starting over is your best option. trying to fix the slab is not going to result in anything but money wasted. i would leave everything alone and just demo the whole thing completely. i assume you are in the city which is going to require permitting also. if there is any plumbing ot electircal then to do any repairs you will have to update to meet todays code. all in all you are better of demoing and starting over (did already say that?)
  11. it could be zero, checking with you HOA if you have one, read deep restrictions, and the city are all the best route. you need to know about easements, both underground and arial. there is more to it then just that 3' piece of land
  12. something is odd, you CAN NOT get city aproved plans without a city aproved site plan/survey, and you CAN NOT pass a foundation inspection without city aproval which requres soils reports and a foundation survey to check location of home on property. something is very strange here if they got that far and are in the worng place.
  13. a testing lab (same one testing slump) will take cylinders, leaving some on site in the current weather conditions and taking some to a lab where they are stored in "optimal" conditions. then at 7 days they will put it in a "press" and press it till it breaks and it records the compressive strength. they will sometimes do this again at 14 days and then again at 28 days. red, IMO i would excavate a couple feet and compact a pad then you do not need 16x30 or even 12x30 but 12x24-26 will work just fine. if you are still concerned then beef up the pad and go 5-5 1/2" thick instead of the norm of 4". you have to remember concrete weighs ABOUT (not every mix is the same but average) 4000 lbs per yard. i have seen concrete crack under its own weight due to pour soil conditions. i do a lot of peirs in the heights area, sawyer heights, doing some right now in the 5th ward and we run into water at all different levels. it also depends on how much rain we have had. the water table in houston is very strange.
  14. spec, i have to appologize, i had a very bad day before i typed that and after re-reading i fell i was a bit harsh in my entire post. i am sorry if i offend anyone. i am a firm believer in learning EVERYTHING you can about what you do (and other things as well). i am rather hard headed as wel though. i come from a long line of concrete contractors, my father owns a concrete contracting comapny which also is the 2nd-3rd largest reinforcement suplier in the houston area, and somewhere around #60 or so on the list of 2008's top 100 concrete industry companies (based on revenew). i worked for him for 10 years before opening my business 5 yrs ago. my grandfather was one of the 5 origional members/inventors of the post-tension institute and started in the concrete business in the early to mid 1950's. i started working for him, pulling nails for about $1 a day in the early 1980's as a kid in the summers. in the houston area i have seen just about everything there is in residential concrete. i am working my way into learning more about commercial concrete. one of my biggest pet peeves in concrete is overkill without reason. for instance, i placed a parking area under a home on pilings or stilts down in kemah. the "engineer" designed this parking area with a beam around the exterior, fine, he put 4#5 rebar in teh beam with stirrups at 12" centers (to many stirrups), then he had a 4" pad, fine, but he wanted a 16 ocew grid of #4 rebar 3/4" from bottom of pad, and 16" ocew #3 grid 3/4" from top of pad. this is fine but not in a 4" pad. he then requested 4000 psi concrete WITH NO FLYASH, no retarders, and no more then 4" slump. the heat index was 108 today! he then required the concrete to be water cured for minimum 48 hours and preferably 7 days. the area was 1904 sq ft. he also wanted saw cut control joints covering an area no larger then 200 sq ft. i talked them into at least going with a treated expansion joint instead. all this for a parking area which (per the home owner) will be turned into a screened room with some lawn equipment in a storage in the back. AHHHHHH they spent about $3000 more then they needed to.
  15. i dont know where you got that WWM is placed to conduct heat from the core of anything. this statement is completly false. WWM is nothing more then reinforcement. there is no need to conduct heat AWAY if anything you want the heat of hydration to stay inside. the key is to keep the hydration going by keeping moisture involved. water curing, covering the slab area, curing compounds, are all made to keep the heat of hydration inside along with the water content. i agree 1005 with your other statements just not this one. i have been an ACI, PTI, and ASCC memeber for years and have never heard of such a thing. as for "pulling up the mesh", this all depends on what your plans for the mesh are. mesh is generally not ment for much strength but is very good for surface strength. placing mesh at the top 1/3 of the slab will help with "shrinkage" and placing it at the bottom 1/3 will herlp with tensile strength. CW congrats on your foundation. i would agree WAY over kill but to each his own. i wonder how deep your piers where and what size (i am guessing 12"/36" bell to a depth of 12 ft?). i would say the 30" beams are being wasted with the piers and the excavation that was done. the reason i say this is the load of the house is not really placed on the beams but transfered to your piers and their bell bottoms to the solid soil below. the excavation IMO is used improperly 90% of the time. if you excavate 2' then refil and compact to 95% in 6" lifts, that great BUT most of the time a pad is compacted only 12"-18" deep. now a 30" beam (depending on form hight) will penetrate deeper then the excavation. so why compact if your going deeper then the compacted fill? this will more then likely not be the case here. just depends on your form hight. now the 4000 psi mix is not a bad idea BUT remember this is a compresive strength not tensile strength. 4000 psi will not hold up without proper reinforcement. i will guarantee your slab WILL crack at some point. it does not mater what you do concrete WILL crack. you have a well built slab, it will last you as long as you will live there and then some. as long as you are happy with it and what you spent for it that is all that maters.
  16. specwriter intersting stories. the biggest issues i run into as a residential concrete contractor has absolutely nothing to do with site conditions or expansive soils but more to do with the builder/home owners pocket book. the diveway you describe would be WAY out of most peoples budget and a bit of overkill for the normal uses of a driveway. (not sure why he only used #3 rebar though, he should have spent the $300 to go with #4 in the 5" thick slab) i understand his reasons, i have a large boat myself. i would not recomend anything similar for the average home owner, there is just no need for all of that for normal everyday use. the only thing i need to correct is the reference to welded wire mesh, 1st it is not the norm (the norm these days on new construction has no reinforcement at all except on the "city side" of your property line) 2nd, welded wire mesh can be as good or better then #3 rebar. it all depends on the aplication in which it is used.
  17. i am a residential concrete contractor, and the heights is my generall area of work. i assume by this time you have found a contractor but if not feel free to contact me. Rigas concrete construction, llc 281-955-0537 chris
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