You want a cement pad for a woodpile?
YES ….OH GOD please!!! I think we have waited long enough! One nice place to store all the wood that we will be burning in our wood-burning stove. I will be able to take 2 steps from my side door and I’m there GATHERING. haha. Do you realize how easy this will be? For those of you who burn wood in the winter, you get it, you just do! For those of you who don’t burn wood, I’m sure your reaction is something like…..
“Why on earth K. Rupp, would you ever go to all the trouble to build a retaining wall and then a cement pad to pile some ugly woodpile on it? Wow…I’m sure the neighbors love you!
Ok now. Hey hey, easy… Let me talk to my wood-burning friends! 2 feet from my side door and I have access to the entire 2 cords of a woodpile. You can’t beat the beauty of it. When it’s 20 degrees outside in 4 feet of snow and you have to gather wood from the depths of your backyard, you start dreaming of such things, believe me! AND…by the end of this post, it will be one amazing reality! 🙂
There are 2 other posts associated with this project. If you missed how this project was planned out with DIY sketches and diagrams, click HERE. If you missed how we actually built the retaining wall for this cement pad and want DIY details click on this image below.
Before we can pour a cement pad we need concrete mix. When building a cement pad I would suggest NOT to attempt to do your own concrete mixing. Ed has mixed his own concrete for very small projects but for something as big as a cement pad or patio, we would not try any other way than already mixed concrete in a rental concrete truck that is ready to go!!! Even with small projects, the concrete will get finicky if not mixed right and how long it has been sitting out affects how it sets up. You will definitely want to order.
HOW TO ORDER concrete
OK…..here it is! THE HOW on ordering your concrete mix and renting the concrete truck from ABC rental! ABC will ask how much concrete you need according to your project. Ed will be pouring 4 inches thick of cement. You will need to give them a quantity of volume based on your measurements of the cemented area. VOLUME = LxWxH for a rectangular cement pad.
LxWxH is the formula used for volume of a rectangular prism.
L=10 ft. Length of cement pad | W=6.5 ft. Width of cement pad | H=4 in. Depth of the poured cement
10 ft.x 6.5 ft.x 4 in.
To calculate we need to convert all measurements needed in the drawing from feet to inches.
10 ft = 120 inches
6.5 ft.= 78 inches
120 in.(length)x 78 in.(width) X 4 in.(height)= 37,440 cubic inches
Now convert total to cubic yards:
In order to purchase, ABC rental will need this measurement in cubic yards. Use a conversion tool from cubic inches -> cubic yards. Here is a link to one:
37,440 cubic in. = .8024691 Cubic Yards
We ordered .9 cubic YARDS (I think we said a little under 1 yard)
The Concrete truck
Ed hitched the concrete truck from ABC rental and when he arrived, he was able to back the concrete truck right up against our cement pad project.
- The truck has a handle lever on the very back.
- Once the handle is opened and the door props up, the concrete will come pouring out.
- The door can be closed at different times during the pouring process.
- Ed didn’t open it right away until he was completely ready and the area was prepped.
- As long as the concrete mix was in the truck we had a lot of time to make sure everything was completely ready for the pour.
A CEMENT PAD IN THE WORKS
Right before we were ready to pour the concrete, we had to prep the surface of the aggregate. We made sure the aggregate was completely level since it had been a couple of days that the stone aggregate was put down, tamped and leveled. Next….
- We also added a Concrete expansion joint material ( a black rubbery material) that was added on all sides in between the stone aggregate and the retaining wall block. This provides padding between the concrete pad and retaining wall so expansion during the hotter weather doesn’t result in cracking.
Immediately when the door opened, the concrete started flying out. He had the rake in hand to start spreading it around immediately. While filling the area, he was spreading it quickly. This is one of those projects to work fast! And YES IT IS A MESS! Be prepared. Be sure to buy yourself a cheap pair of boots for this one. Follow the 2 separate collage pics for the process and the bullets underneath for descriptions.
- After the first layer of concrete, a Concrete reinforcing mesh was added to give strength to the concrete pad to minimize any cracking that could happen in the colder months.
- Because the mesh was not large enough, Ed had to cut another square piece to overlap the other to make it large enough and strong enough.
- Another layer of concrete was then poured over the mesh reinforcement.
Screeding and Smoothing the cement
No, I have never heard of the word screeding before this! Apparently, sliding a 2×6 stud back and forth to level out the concrete is called screeding.
- The “screeding” process began and was done about 3 times.
- A tool called a Bull float was necessary to smooth out the cement. This came from ABC rental when Ed rented the concrete. The Bullfloat helped push the stone aggregate further down and bring up the smooth cement to the surface.
- The Bull float tool was pushed back and forth until the concrete set up slightly and Ed was happy with the smooth result.
- He also used an concrete edging tool to give a nice finished edge to the concrete adjacent to the capstone on the retaining wall.
WOW did we have to clean up fast! The retaining wall had a a lot of cement that was pushed on the capstone after “screeding”. Unfortunately, we weren’t prepared enough for that mess nor the cleanup that would ensue at such a panicky rapid pace. Next time we work with concrete, we will know better. We couldn’t just take a hose to the retaining wall for fear that it would mess all that beautiful concrete that was just smoothed out. So….here we were with rags and sponges. yikes. You might want to research a better way to cleanup after cement work. The whole time I was thinking that there had to be an easier way.
- Luckily we washed the capstone off the retaining wall well with buckets of water and sponges and rags just in the nick of time before the concrete became permanent. AHH!
- In this second pic, the cement was starting to set up. You can see how the smooth liquid concrete had risen to the surface after using the bull float. It is supposed to look like it is very wet.
- If it is necessary and you don’t see this happen, you can use the mist selection on the hose nozzle to wet down the concrete if you are in the HOT HOT summer months. Sometimes if the concrete sets up too quickly because of heat, there is a greater risk of cracking. Misting the concrete would prevent that. WE DID NOT HAVE TO DO THIS!
THE CEMENT PAD: AKA WOODPILE!!!
HA….WOW I’m so excited about this cement pad! I can’t believe we did this! Because it was the only sunny dry day I could snap a picture, the concrete was still drying out and damp here in the picture. Sorry, I kept waiting to get a better picture with the cement pad in the sunshine but it has literally been raining almost every other day here this season. The weather has not been easy to work with so I had to take what I could get; a final pic on a non-rainy day. BUT SERIOUSLY, man oh man I’m so happy! I wasn’t all that positive we were going to be able to pull this off. I will be honest with you. Ed was confident we could do it and he was sooo right! With a retaining wall that matches our actual patio in the back, I must say It is the prettiest woodpile I ever did see. RASBERRIES once again to those contractors!!!!! HA….we did it ourselves!
And during this entire project process of building the retaining wall and cement pad, a couple of cuties were always in the background.
2 little astronauts were tired of helping and landed on a crush and run planet. I couldn’t resist to sneak this one in here. Marking it with a flag, they told me they just landed on the moon. I whipped my camera around. Too cute! It’s ok, involve the kids in home projects! They will help a little, get tired, eat, and play all around you because they want to be where you are. They won’t be doing this forever. I love this! Who says this isn’t family time? It sure is!
Thanks for sticking out our project saga with us. Seriously PIN, PIN, PIN if you think you might want to DIY this project. If we could do it, so can you! Until our next project…..
Lumber jacks stacking wood?