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    Can one use sharp sand to make concrete?

    As per title, one would like to make a base for a shed. One has lots of sharp sand already in the garden so would like to use it rather than get rid of it and buy ballast or whatever.

    So, can I make the base using this, obviously with cement too. How much cement would I need to mix in?

    The base I need is about 3.3m x 2.7m at around 4 inches depth on average. Is that about the right depth, I could make it deeper if need be. I also have loads of stones / bits of concrete I could / want to mix in to avoid having to get rid of it. I assume that is cool. They'd go a few inches down leaving the top 2 inches just sharp sand and cement.

    I'd put a wooden frame around and then tamp it level with a long piece of wood. Neighbour suggested smoothing the surface off but does it matter as I won't be able to see any of the base afterwards. It'll be covered up by bushes and a new patio going up to the shed doors.

    Thanks for any advice!

    36 Comments

    for walking on ---ok but it would be weaker than red builders so i wouldn't park a car on it

    Original Poster

    raptorcigs

    for walking on ---ok but it would be weaker than red builders so i … for walking on ---ok but it would be weaker than red builders so i wouldn't park a car on it



    Well, for putting a shed on lol??

    Benjimoron

    Well, for putting a shed on lol??


    should be fine!

    I would use ballast

    solarforce

    I would use ballast



    looooooooooooooooooool

    Original Poster

    solarforce

    I would use ballast



    Isn't it just sand and stones though? Much like I'm using?

    How much cement? A calculator I just used suggested 320KG?

    3 stone 2 sand 1 cement is fine for a shed if you need a harder mix use 4 stone 2 sand 1 cement

    3,2,1/4,2,1 = builders buckets
    Edited by: "raptorcigs" 30th Apr 2011

    Original Poster

    raptorcigs

    3 stone 2 sand 1 cement is fine for a shed if you need a harder mix use 4 … 3 stone 2 sand 1 cement is fine for a shed if you need a harder mix use 4 stone 2 sand 1 cement



    Should I put lots of stones in the top 2 inches then? Rather than just sharp sand and cement?

    use a cement mixer and put in 3 buckets of stone 2 of sand and one cement i would recommend 3/8 imp 10mm size stone

    or use flags

    Benjimoron

    Should I put lots of stones in the top 2 inches then? Rather than just … Should I put lots of stones in the top 2 inches then? Rather than just sharp sand and cement?




    No, just use the same mix as you would. If its for a shed, there is hardly going to be much traffic on it and the load it will take will be minimal.

    Top tip, let it dry a bit and smooth it over with a trowel for a nice smoooth finish.and make sure you make the floor level!

    Banned

    SAND AND CEMENt isnt concrete and is very brittle and prone to cracking completely through under surprisingly minimal loads

    raptor has it right and just putting two inches of stones wont help. it has to be a proper ratio mix

    Original Poster

    raptorcigs

    use a cement mixer and put in 3 buckets of stone 2 of sand and one cement … use a cement mixer and put in 3 buckets of stone 2 of sand and one cement i would recommend 3/8 imp 10mm size stone



    I'll probably mix by hand, but I'll give it a go using these amounts.

    Original Poster

    csiman

    SAND AND CEMENt isnt concrete and is very brittle and prone to cracking … SAND AND CEMENt isnt concrete and is very brittle and prone to cracking completely through under surprisingly minimal loadsraptor has it right and just putting two inches of stones wont help. it has to be a proper ratio mix



    Yes, I don't mean 2 inches of just stones though. I mean adding stones to the mix. I was going to just add the stones lower down to lose them rather than having to get rid of them. You know how it is on the beach lol with stones everywhere!

    So now I'll add the stones all through the mixture.

    Thanks for all help!

    Original Poster

    Can someone double check the amount of cement to buy for me please for those measurements? Thanks!

    Original Poster

    320 Kg of cement
    630 Kg of sand
    1170 Kg of gravel

    That's what the calc said. So looks to be the same as raptor said, 4,2,1.

    Original Poster

    http://www.wickes.co.uk/blue-circle-cement/invt/224661/

    About 12 of those alright? £50

    Banned

    Benjimoron

    Yes, I don't mean 2 inches of just stones though. I mean adding stones to … Yes, I don't mean 2 inches of just stones though. I mean adding stones to the mix. I was going to just add the stones lower down to lose them rather than having to get rid of them. You know how it is on the beach lol with stones everywhere!So now I'll add the stones all through the mixture.Thanks for all help!


    LOL - I hope by 'stones' you actually mean gravel sized ones. Large stones arent any good.
    Edited by: "csiman" 30th Apr 2011

    Banned

    Benjimoron

    http://www.wickes.co.uk/blue-circle-cement/invt/224661/About 12 of those … http://www.wickes.co.uk/blue-circle-cement/invt/224661/About 12 of those alright? £50


    might as well buy 15 as only about £2.50 for the extra 3 bags

    Banned

    tbh, seems excessive just to put a shed on

    mine just went on old paving slabs I picked up for free off freecycle

    Original Poster

    csiman

    LOL - I hope by 'stones' you actually mean gravel sized ones. Large … LOL - I hope by 'stones' you actually mean gravel sized ones. Large stones arent any good.



    Well, pretty much everything I want to use is smashed up concrete. It'll be fine to bury bigger bits several inches down won't it? Just having a good mix for the top couple of inches?

    Original Poster

    csiman

    tbh, seems excessive just to put a shed onmine just went on old paving … tbh, seems excessive just to put a shed onmine just went on old paving slabs I picked up for free off freecycle



    Maybe, but I want it right lol!

    Shall I just mix up less, maybe use 10 bags cement and fill more of the volume with my smashed up concrete?

    I could use slabs but they're funny textured so impossible to get flat enough I think?

    Banned

    Benjimoron

    Maybe, but I want it right lol!Shall I just mix up less, maybe use 10 … Maybe, but I want it right lol!Shall I just mix up less, maybe use 10 bags cement and fill more of the volume with my smashed up concrete?I could use slabs but they're funny textured so impossible to get flat enough I think?


    personally, I certainly wouldnt put smashed up concrete in (especially if you want to 'do it right').

    slabs worked fine for me.

    http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk173/csiman2/100_0397.jpg

    Original Poster

    hmmm, maybe I should use slabs. Neighbour got me worried saying it had to be 100% level. Whereas my slabs look like yours with a little texture on. I could lay the slabs with just sharp sand underneath or mix a little cement too?

    Your grass needs watering btw!

    Original Poster

    What's wrong with smashed up concrete anyway? Isn't that just little stones like what are needed?

    Benjimoron

    What's wrong with smashed up concrete anyway? Isn't that just little … What's wrong with smashed up concrete anyway? Isn't that just little stones like what are needed?




    They will be fine, it is effectively hardcore, just make sure it is well compacted.

    Banned

    Benjimoron

    What's wrong with smashed up concrete anyway? Isn't that just little … What's wrong with smashed up concrete anyway? Isn't that just little stones like what are needed?


    depends on the source / age of the concrete I suppose as it may have become brittle.

    Banned

    Benjimoron

    hmmm, maybe I should use slabs. Neighbour got me worried saying it had to … hmmm, maybe I should use slabs. Neighbour got me worried saying it had to be 100% level. Whereas my slabs look like yours with a little texture on. I could lay the slabs with just sharp sand underneath or mix a little cement too?Your grass needs watering btw!


    lol - pic is 4 years old

    top tip:- put a strip of pvcu on the shed bottom so that the shed runners dont soak up surface water and rot

    Banned

    Benjimoron

    hmmm, maybe I should use slabs. Neighbour got me worried saying it had to … hmmm, maybe I should use slabs. Neighbour got me worried saying it had to be 100% level. Whereas my slabs look like yours with a little texture on. I could lay the slabs with just sharp sand underneath or mix a little cement too?Your grass needs watering btw!


    defo cement too

    Original Poster

    Ok, final plan?

    Hole is dug already. Gonna do the first few inches with smashed up concrete, sharp sand and cement. Then top inch with sharp sand and cement, then lay the slabs level on top of that?

    christ its a shed your putting up not a skyscrapper....paving slabs leveled on top of a dry sharpsand and cement mix will be plenty

    Original Poster

    stephen25uk

    christ its a shed your putting up not a skyscrapper....paving slabs … christ its a shed your putting up not a skyscrapper....paving slabs leveled on top of a dry sharpsand and cement mix will be plenty



    lol, was hoping not to use the slabs as they're textured. Was hoping to use up lots of spare sharp sand and smashed up concrete etc so as to not have to get rid of it.

    Just been taking the slabs up and the concrete underneath is higher than I remember it. I want to take it down about a foot as it's higher than the house and I want to put grass so need to get rid of the concrete and put soil etc in. Turning into a big job lol!

    Original Poster

    Benjimoron

    Ok, final plan?Hole is dug already. Gonna do the first few inches with … Ok, final plan?Hole is dug already. Gonna do the first few inches with smashed up concrete, sharp sand and cement. Then top inch with sharp sand and cement, then lay the slabs level on top of that?



    Final final plan, forget the slabs, go with 4:2:1 mix and level off then smooth over, burying some bits of concrete at the bottom.

    Banned

    Benjimoron

    Final final plan, forget the slabs, go with 4:2:1 mix and level off then … Final final plan, forget the slabs, go with 4:2:1 mix and level off then smooth over, burying some bits of concrete at the bottom.


    good luck - post a pic when done

    Original Poster

    csiman

    good luck - post a pic when done



    Still can't make up my mind which way to do it lol!

    How much does 10 cubic yard (8 cubic metres I think) of hardcore weigh? I see I can get a skip for 10 yards but it includes 1800kg of waste, extra is chargable. I've a feeling it'd weigh rather a lot so the skip may well cost about a grand? (DOESN'T MATTER NOW, FOUND A GOOD PRICE SKIP WHICH INCLUDES ALL THE WASTE AT ONE SET PRICE)



    Edited by: "Benjimoron" 1st May 2011

    ___123

    I think the stones in ballast are to bulk it up ... Sharp sand and cement … I think the stones in ballast are to bulk it up ... Sharp sand and cement is the if not stronger.. You can throw some reinforcement fibre in the mix to strengthen.. ..



    6 years on the shed is fine.

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