If you are planning on doing any concrete work in the near future, you should always pre-plan and make sure you have all of the correct concrete equipment. If you use the wrong kind of equipment you are just going to make the job even harder than it already is.
Cut to the Chase
Usually before you start with the new concrete, you will normally have some old concrete that needs to come out first. A good way to achieve this is to make use of a diamond saw blade to cut the concrete; these are great at creating a good straight line that can be used to butt up the concrete.
Once the older concrete is out of the way and in the skip it is time to start preparing the ground. If the original concrete had sunk you will most likely need to add a bit more base using pebbles, you will then have to ensure that the base is compact. This is simply to make sure that your new concrete will not sink in the same way the old concrete did.
Now that you have the ground prepped to a good quality, you need to start building all of your forms. Always remember that it is better to have too many stakes than too few, if you attempt to try and scrimp you may end up with some of the forms bulging under the weight of all of that cement.
Some concrete pours may also require you to use a rebar, which is used to help reinforce the concrete. If you are using a rebar you should pour the concrete over the top of it then raise it up to let some concrete fall underneath it, then let it sit on the concrete and then pour more over the top and finish the rest of the pouring. Ideally the rebar should be as central as possible to allow an even level of support.
Now, depending on the size of the job you will have to think about the concrete. No matter whether you have a concrete truck coming or have simply hired a concrete mixer and other used concrete equipment, you are going to need the help of some friends or family to assist with the pouring and levelling.
The pouring is the most critical part and has to be done quickly but correctly so you will need all hands on deck. A good idea when pouring cement is to do it early in the morning, this is to allow you the rest of the day to make all of the finishing touches.
If you are mixing your own cement you need to decide just how thick or runny you want it. The thicker it is the quicker it will set, so you need to make a judgment depending on a few variations such as how many helpers you have and how hot the weather is. The fewer workers you have the runnier you will want the cement to be to allow you more time to do the levelling out.
A suitable plan is to have four people working as a team on the cement once it is poured. One person does the screed, which is normally done by using a 2 x 4 to scrape along the forms to level out the cement. He is then followed behind by somebody who will work on the float of the concrete; this is the process of bringing the moisture to the top of the concrete to produce a smoother surface.
That person is then followed behind by somebody else who does the edging; this process will require a tool that is aptly named an edger. The fourth person then comes behind and smoothes all of the lines with the use of a trowel. The finishing touches are then made and the concrete is left to set before all of the forms are pulled out.
Just make sure you have the correct used concrete equipment before undertaking any kind of concrete work. A poor workman blames his tools, whilst an awful workman uses the wrong ones.