When building your barndominium, you most likely want to save money wherever you can. One of the great things about barndominiums is that they are cheaper to build than traditional homes. However, there are some areas and components that may be difficult to do cheaply. When you pour a concrete slab for your foundation, for example, cutting corners isn’t a good idea.
That being said, there are still some things you can do to save money when you pour a concrete slab. By understanding some of the cheapest ways to pour a concrete slab, you can get results without spending a lot. With patience and a little bit of creativity, you can get a fantastic slab for your barndominium. This will give you a solid base on which you can build your custom dream home.
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Why is the Concrete Slab Important?
When you pour a concrete slab, it is important that you do it right and that it is free of issues. This is partially because a barndominium won’t have a traditional foundation like other houses. The slab is the foundation that the home is built on and it needs to be done correctly. Even if you do some things to save money, you should make sure it is poured well and solid.
The slab is also important because your plumbing will be embedded in it. When you pour a concrete slab for a barndo, the plumbing is set into it instead of a crawl space. This means that you only have one chance to get these aspects of build right. Doing it correctly the first time will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Cheapest Way to Pour a Concrete Slab
Even though the concrete slab is incredibly important, there are things you can do to make it cheaper. When you pour a concrete slab yourself, you can creatively come up with cheap solutions. The ideas below will help keep your costs down on this important aspect of the construction process. By understanding how they work and how you can take advantage of them, you can save a lot of money.
Use Waste Material to Fill the Slab Hole
When you pour a concrete slab, you will have to first dig a hole and then refill it. While many people use new gravel to fill the hole, that isn’t always necessary, and you have other options. One of the ways you can save some money is to use waste material to fill the hole for the slab. Depending on what you can find, you can end up paying a lot less to get this job done.
You can use a material like broken-up concrete to fill the hole for your concrete slab. Ask around at local construction sites or even at the dump to see if there is any you can take with you. In many cases, a construction crew will be happy to let you haul away the old concrete. That way, you will both be saving money, and you will be getting the material you need for your project.
Build Your Own Form
While this is not one of the easiest parts when you are pouring a concrete slab, building your own form is possible. However, you will want to ensure that you are doing the job correctly. Be certain that every side of the form is level and that it is even with the ground. This will ensure that your slab will be level, and you won’t run into building issues later in the process.
When you build your form, ensure you can get it off the concrete once it is poured. Coat the insides of the wood form with vegetable oil and put it together using screws. Once the concrete is dry, you will probably have to hammer the form away from it. You will be much less likely to crack the slab if the form is easier to remove.
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Mix the Concrete Yourself
Mixing concrete is no easy task and is a fairly labor-intensive part of the process when you pour a concrete slab. It may be tempting to try and save as much money as you can by mixing the concrete by hand. However, this is not a practical method for a large project like a barndominium. Using a powered cement mixer will almost always be your best bet and will save your muscles.
That said, you do not have to pay someone to mix the concrete for you. Instead, you can rent a powered mixer and it does not even have to be that big. You can pour one batch of cement while you are mixing another and get it done that way. Once you get into a rhythm, the work will go smoothly, and you will have saved a lot of money.
Let the Concrete Cure Completely
The best way to save money when you pour a concrete slab is to make sure it is done right in the first place. If you don’t have to re-do anything, you will not have to spend any more than is absolutely necessary. The cheapest way to pour a concrete slab is to be patient and spend time getting it right. A cracked or uneven slab could result in serious money being spent to do the whole thing over again.
If you want to ensure that your slab will be high-quality and ready to be built on, let it cure completely. Usually, this means leaving it for at least 72 hours before you even test it to see how strong it is. However, if you live in an area that is cold and wet, you may have to wait even longer than that. It is always best to wait longer and avoid having to redo something than to be impatient with the process.
Knowing the cheapest ways to pour a concrete slab can help save you a lot of money in the long run. With the right tools and techniques, you can do this job cheaply and properly at the same time. Then, once the slab is done, you have a solid foundation that you can use to build your perfect barndominium.
If you would like more guides like this one, check out the rest of BarndominiumLife.com. There, you will find more helpful tips and tricks from the pros. You will also find featured barndominiums, barndominium floor plans, and information on financing and insurance. Knowing as much as you can help you get the best results for your dream home.
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Michael O’Connor is a seasoned barndominium owner passionate about creating unique and innovative barndominiums. With over 15 years of experience in the construction industry, Michael has established himself as a leading expert in barndominium design and construction.
His work has been featured in several respected publications, including Barndominium Life, where he frequently contributes articles on best practices and emerging trends in the field. Michael’s ability to blend traditional techniques with cutting-edge technology and design concepts has earned him a reputation as one of the most knowledgeable writers in the industry.