It’s a happy day at the Taylor house!! Why you ask? Well if you have been following along with our latest adventure, you would know that we have had some plumbing issues in our basement. And we have had holes in our basement floor for months… That’s right, months! But now the holes are all filled, YAY! No more watching your step in our basement, well you probably still should because there could be a random toy on the floor. But the canyons and pits in the concrete are gone, sorry I am just so happy…
Let’s start with a story. The other Friday night we were sitting around trying to decide what we were going to do on Saturday. Then we got a phone call from my parents wondering what we were doing Saturday because my dad now had an opening in his schedule. Meaning he could come help us with our cement earlier then planned. Of course we said “YES come help us” but we were not completely ready… (we thought we had another week to finish the last little details)
See, we had finished removing the last of the concrete (by cutting it out) but we had not removed the dirt. We needed to remove the dirt so that we could add the last drain, finish the plumbing. Plus we had not measured the area to know how much concrete we would need. So as soon as the kids where in bed, I was downstairs removing the dirt. This took me about 45 minutes because I had to dig under some concrete that we could not remove because the bathroom wall was sitting on it. Next I measured the area that needed new concrete. After I took my measurement and figured how many square feet we needed. Then I went online and used a concrete calculator to figure how many bags we needed.
Side note: We were debating on renting a concrete cart from a local concrete company that would already have the concrete mixed. But they would only allow us to have the cart for 2 hours and we knew we would need more time than that. Why?? Because we would have to bucket the concrete up and down the stairs. So we decided to cement the classic way, by mixing the concrete in a wheel barrel.
But back to figuring out how many bags we needed. We decided to get 42 (80 lbs bags) because that was how many came on a pallet. Which would make loading really easy, just put that pallet in the truck bed and drive home then return whatever we did not use.
Saturday morning come around and we were ready to begin. My parents got to our house a little after 9 am and my dad started on adding the last drain to the plumbing. While he did that and grandma watched the kids, Eric and I took the truck to Lowe’s to get the concrete. After waiting for 30 minutes, that’s right I said 30 minutes plus they knew we were coming because I called that morning. We were a little frustrated because who knew Lowe’s only has one person that can drive a forklift… Once we finally had our concrete, we headed back to the house. My dad had plenty of time to finish the plumbing plus fill the hole in with dirt. So we were all ready to start re-cementing.
We decided to have the wheel barrel in our basement that way we could pour the concrete into the holes. We mixed one bag at a time (making sure we followed the instructions on the bag). We used a garden hoe to mix the concrete in the wheel barrel. After the concrete was mixed, we poured it into the holes then used a trowel to fill and level the concrete. Because we have jagged edges from using a jack hammer to remove the concrete. We will be putting a finer concrete over this concrete to fill in all the holes.
The process of re-cementing was not that hard and the kids even came to help.
Here is our basement floor after filling everything in with new concrete.
There is the added drain in the storage room.
For this project we used a total of 22 bags (80 lbs each) which means we took back the other 20. And again we had trouble with Lowe’s. Sorry to be negative toward Lowe’s but the service at our local store is not good and this is why we choose Home Depot over Lowe’s. Sometimes Lowe’s has products that we can not find at Home Depot, like the Quikrete concrete mix we used for this project.
But enough about hardware stores, let’s finish talking about re-cementing our floor. The project took us a little less than 3 hours and that was with four people helping (Eric and my brother would bring the bags down the stairs and mix the concrete; my dad and I did the leveling but sometimes my dad was mixing the concrete). Most concrete takes 28 days to fully cure so we will let the concrete sit for at least a month before we add the finished coat.
What do you think of our new concrete floor? Or how about the whole project of redoing our underground plumbing? I still think all this work is worth the $3,000+ we saved from doing it ourselves.
You can see our other steps to this adventure here: