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Old 03-10-2008, 10:02 AM
 
759 posts, read 3,677,492 times
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We are about to begin the process of expanding our tiny & worthless patio into something much larger and more useful. Our current concrete patio is aggregate (with little pebbles) and is about 12x12. It is pretty thick and in good condition w/ rebar. We are wanting to basically double the size with stamped and stained concrete. Here is where I am SO confused... I have gotten 4 quotes. The first two told me it would be no problem to pour new concrete on top of our current patio, and then stamp and stain it. The last two quotes told me there would be cracking if we did that and they suggested demo-ing the patio and starting over (of course, this comes with a much higher price tag.)
We plan to be in this house for a long time. We want to "do it once and do it right." However, if we can cut costs and labor by pouring concrete on top of the current patio w/out cracking, we'll do it.
So, WDYT- will the patio crack if we pour new on top of old, or will it be okay? I just don't know who to believe and we're talking about a lot of money here.

One final question- we're looking at about 625 sq feet of concrete. Bc of the way our house sits, the cement truck will have to be on the street. The concrete will either have to be wheelbarrowed back or a pump will have to be used. The two cheaper quotes said wheelbarrowing would be fine. The last 2, more expensive quotes said w/ that much sq ft, a pump would be needed. They said if it was wheelbarrowed back, it would start to set too early and there would be fractures. Any clue??? I just don't know who to trust!

Thank you!!!!!
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:17 AM
 
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If your existing patio is flat - I really doubt that it would have rebar in it. The code for flatwork doesn't require rebar - but instead would use a wire mesh - pretty standard fare for sidewalks and patios. The question I would ask is if you are going to add a cover with any load bearing posts. I added a patio cover to my rear patio and had to have footers put in that were 18" deep to support the large 6X6 cedar posts that held up my large patio cover. (I actually extended the roof of my house - attic and all - so the roof was very heavy.) The footers were reinforced with rebar while the flat area was reinforced by wire. The work was expensive - but about five years ago so costs wouldn't be comparable. Our patio was 12X17 with the afformentioned engineered footers - and costs about $1,500 - five years ago. It was just the standard broom swept finish - nothing fancy.
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:20 AM
 
759 posts, read 3,677,492 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banker View Post
If your existing patio is flat - I really doubt that it would have rebar in it.
It definitely has rebar in it... My husband busted up a corner. We are planning to add a cover, so there will be a bit more weight...
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:23 AM
 
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Personally, I'd demo it and have one new one done. If they cover your existing patio with a new layer, I doubt it'd bond well enough to have the support of that rebar and you might start seeing surface cracking.
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:35 AM
 
1,051 posts, read 2,531,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren0319 View Post
We are about to begin the process of expanding our tiny & worthless patio into something much larger and more useful. Our current concrete patio is aggregate (with little pebbles) and is about 12x12. It is pretty thick and in good condition w/ rebar. We are wanting to basically double the size with stamped and stained concrete. Here is where I am SO confused... I have gotten 4 quotes. The first two told me it would be no problem to pour new concrete on top of our current patio, and then stamp and stain it. The last two quotes told me there would be cracking if we did that and they suggested demo-ing the patio and starting over (of course, this comes with a much higher price tag.)
We plan to be in this house for a long time. We want to "do it once and do it right." However, if we can cut costs and labor by pouring concrete on top of the current patio w/out cracking, we'll do it.
So, WDYT- will the patio crack if we pour new on top of old, or will it be okay? I just don't know who to believe and we're talking about a lot of money here.

One final question- we're looking at about 625 sq feet of concrete. Bc of the way our house sits, the cement truck will have to be on the street. The concrete will either have to be wheelbarrowed back or a pump will have to be used. The two cheaper quotes said wheelbarrowing would be fine. The last 2, more expensive quotes said w/ that much sq ft, a pump would be needed. They said if it was wheelbarrowed back, it would start to set too early and there would be fractures. Any clue??? I just don't know who to trust!
We are in the exact same situation. I have gotten quote for ONLY staining and stamping ($900+/-) and then for only pouring ($1900+). We are going to look into some other contractors since this seems pretty high. We also will have to wheel it in since we don't have alley access. I will interested to hear of other's experiences.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:40 AM
 
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I'm not close to being an expert but this is my family's business (or was, now they focus on the reinforcing rebar), so I've gleaned a lot from them.

1. I think that even with the rebar, you could likely have issues of cracking by just pouring on top. The rebar is set for that which is already there. The additional layer wouldn't really be supported by the rebar appropriately. I'm not sure it's worth ripping up the bottom layer though...

2. pump vs. wheelbarrow - I suspect it's a profit margin issue for them. Wheelbarrowing back = more labor = higher paid out expenses. Pumping back = less manhours = less paid out expenses although the additional cost of the equipment would be there. In general I think most contractors try to get by with less manhours whenever possible.
When we did our garage floor we could have the truck backed in, but I have seen my father and Co. do the wheelbarrow thing many many many times. It's harder work, but not impossible.

FWIW - we poured a slab for our garage (formerly carriage house with dirt floor). It's about 20x20, has reinforcing rebar, otherwise is fairly simple. We paid ~$1000 for the project. Ah, it is so nice to have a proper floor in there now!
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:48 AM
 
759 posts, read 3,677,492 times
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I've sorta gathered that if the new concrete is 4 inches think or more, then it's fine.
Here is the problem- if we add 4 inches to our current patio, we will be covering up siding. Again- confusion bc one guy (the cheapest) said that was no biggie at all and covering it up would be fine. Another (the most $$$$) said that covering up siding is a disaster waiting to happen- the space between the siding allows the house to "breathe" and if we cover it up, we'll be looking at mold problems.
Again, anyone have a clue????
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:57 AM
 
4,145 posts, read 10,387,090 times
Reputation: 3338
You really shouldn't run your siding to the ground. Houses are supposed to be built with the siding off the ground for several reasons. Yes, you want it to breathe. Also, if your siding is in the ground or slab, that's a perfect tunnel for termites. They find cracks in concrete and make their way up them.
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:53 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
1,893 posts, read 5,559,639 times
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The guy who told you it would be OK to cover up the siding with concrete should be taken off of your list immediately. Put his quote in the round file. Also I would demo the old slab and put in a new one. This is a slab and will be there a long time....if you do it right. I would insist on re bar reinforcement and do a lot of research into how it will be tied to the main house slab. Add on slabs are notorious for drifting away over time. Wire mesh may be the minimum by code but probably only because it's cheaper. No matter what you do it will probably still crack sooner or later. I would do everything possible to make sure it's later. This might be a helpful anecdote. Years ago we were having a slab poured for a four car garage. The contractor had finished forming, the inspection had been done and they were ready to pour. We happened to notice that one section of re-bar was above the top of the form. In other words it would be sticking out exposed above the top of the slab. We alerted the contractor about it and his response was " it will be OK, the cements trucks are almost here". We told him to send the cement trucks back if he had to but it would not be poured until the problems were fixed. If we had not been so insistant he would have happpily poured the slab and been on his way. Moral of the story: Keep a close eye on what they are doing, perform your own inspections in parrellel with the professional inspection and insist that everything be done to your satisfaction before the crew leaves the work site. A cement slab is not a trivial thing. Once it's poured it's not easy to do over.

Last edited by SnappyBob; 03-10-2008 at 01:17 PM..
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Old 03-10-2008, 05:32 PM
 
1,276 posts, read 3,810,079 times
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When we had our patio done they had to use wheelbarrows. The concrete did not cure to quickly for them to get the finish work done.

As far as your other questions: wish I could help ya there, but I'm clueless.
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