31 Jan

How To Lay A Concrete Base

Follow these steps for the best DIY project

If you are going to be laying a concrete floor for a DIY project it is important that careful preparation is made and each recommended step is followed. You may want to consider hiring a professional to do the work for you. Or at least certain parts. Perhaps the messier steps! Let’s take a look at how to lay a concrete base with this handy guide:

Mark Out Required Area

  1. The first step is to mark out the required area for your concrete base, this can be done using pegs and string. And will need to be 100% accurate. So, make sure all sides are straight.

Dig Out The Area

  1. Next, it is time to dig out the area you have just measured. Dig the ground in the marked area to around 175mm deep for a smaller shed or 225mm for a larger one. As you are going to need a level base it is a good idea to keep the depth you are digging as consistent as you can. Afterwards, remove the pegs.

Add Crushed Stone To Dust

  1. For this step, you will need an MOT type 1 stone, this is crushed stone from 40mm to dust or gravel. Shovel into the space a minimum thickness layer of 75mm to form a hard base for the concrete layer. The depth should be about 100mm for a shed and around 150mm for something larger like a summerhouse. 

Measure, Cut And Fit 100m Timber Rails

  1. Now it’s time to measure and cut and fit 100mm timber rails to the base and make sure the framework is level. This step is to create a framework that offers a strong and stable edge to the concrete and to ensure it is level.

Spread Out Layer 

  1. Spread out that layer of MOT stone or gravel. Then use either a manual earth rammer or powered wacker plate to compact it. This will help create a firm base for the concrete and stop it from cracking over time.

Mix The Concrete 

  1. So, now it is time to mix the concrete. Spread it out evenly and level it off. After smoothing over, grab a stiff broom to lightly brush across the base helping to encourage a textured non-slip surface. 

Keep an eye on the weather forecast at all times. At this stage, if wet weather is forecast cover the base with polythene or a tarpaulin for 24 hours. If it’s hot weather instead then use sacking and keep it damp for a day otherwise the concrete could too dry quickly. This will result in shrinkage and even cracking. You then need to leave it for at least three days to cure.

Finishing Touches 

  1. For finishing touches, look to see if your base is flush with the ground. If this is the case, you will have a space running around the edge of the concrete where the rails were. You can fill this with pea gravel, it will help drain away moisture from the concrete base. Now you just need to place on your base whatever your intended item was!

We hope that our blog has helped you understand how to lay a concrete base. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01442 389105 or alternatively head over to our contact page to fill in our online enquiry form. 

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