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Can one use sharp sand to make concrete?

36
Found 30th Apr 2011
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!
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36 Comments
for walking on ---ok but it would be weaker than red builders so i wouldn't park a car on it
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
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: "_Rappy_" 30th Apr 2011
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!
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
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.
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!
Can someone double check the amount of cement to buy for me please for those measurements? Thanks!
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.
http://www.wickes.co.uk/blue-circle-cement/invt/224661/

About 12 of those alright? £50
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
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
tbh, seems excessive just to put a shed on

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

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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