The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Dreaming about concrete

Concrete slab with rebar.

We are leaning towards a concrete slab for our new wood stove addition.

Our small slab will need .79 cubic yards of concrete which would cost a little over 200 dollars. We could avoid a 75 dollar delivery fee by ordering the 3 cubic yard minimum for 411 dollars. Then we would need to dream up a concrete project to use the other 2.11 cubic yards of concrete.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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We used quickcrete for a small project as it was too small for the truck, then there are the hassles of someone having to be there when the truck comes in a household with two full time working adults- though I do NOT advise you load ten or twelve 80lb bags of quick crete in the back of an S10 truck!
Comment by Eric Wed Sep 26 06:50:22 2018
You need to assess whether the floor can bear the weight. Another option is thick tile on cement board.
Comment by Errol Wed Sep 26 07:03:27 2018

Here's a tip from an old guy: Before you pour your floor, put 2-inch closed cell foam on the ground underneath it. The concrete becomes a heat sink, and you will never have cold feet - ever. The concrete soaks up the heat and radiates it back into your room instead of constantly drawing up cold ground temps into your house. I have built 3 shop buildings over the years. Each one has this foam treatment under the floors. My current shop has 6-inch concrete over 2-inch foam. It is wonderful! They concrete guys leveled the land, then put construction poly film down, then did whatever reinforcement wire/bar they needed. Then they poured the floor.

I currently don't have a wood stove/fireplace in my house, and oh! how I wish I did. My shop is wood heated though!

Comment by Tim Inman Wed Sep 26 09:51:12 2018
What about a poured pad near the water pump? It'll help with boggy ground and what not. If you don't have a pump, what about a small poured patio? It'll be so nice to stand on the level surface for projects.
Comment by Liz Wed Sep 26 12:43:30 2018

You should definitely use foam and a vapour barrier beneath the concrete. See e.g. this video.

The R-value (how well a material resists heat flow) of concrete is pretty crappy compared to foam insulation. See e.g. this table. You want to break the thermal conduction between the concrete and the soil.

Once the concrete is insulated from the soil, it can act as a thermal mass. And on that note, why not build a rocket mass heater? The "Fouch family off grid" channel on youtube has some informative video's about how they built their rocket mass heater, and how well it works.

Comment by Roland_Smith Wed Sep 26 13:01:26 2018

profile counter myspace

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