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DIY Guides

Paving | Retaining Walls | Installing a Post Using Rapid Set Concrete | Installing a Post Using Post Mix Concrete | Laying a Concrete Path | Building a Brick or Besser Block Wall



Installing a Post Using Rapid Set Concrete




Before you start

To calculate the size of hole you will need, here's a simple rule of thumb:-

Width = 2 x the width of diameter of the post. For example, a 100mm x 100mm (4" x 4") post would require a 200mm x 200mm (8" x 8") hole.

Depth = 1/3 of the length of the pole. A 2m (6') post will have up to 600mm (2') in the ground.



What you will need

Tools

  • Spade or long handled shovel and a crow bar or post hole auger
  • Spirit level or plumb line
  • String line
  • Tape Measure

Materials

  • Bags of Easy Mix Rapid Set Concrete
  • Water

Please note: Do not mix in concrete mixer or wheelbarrow. Always add Easy Mix Rapid Set Concrete to water.


Preparing the Holes

  • Set out the line for your posts with the string line.
  • Space out post positions along string line using the tape measure.
  • Dig post hole using the 'rule-of-thumb' outlined above.
  • Place posts in holes aligning them with the string line at set out marks, checking heights and levels. Ensure the ends of the posts to be placed into the ground are treated against woodrot.
  • Brace each post in position.

Installation of Easy Mix Rapid Set Concrete


  • 1. Add approx. 1/4 litre of water to the post hole to dampen the ground.
  • 2. Place half the contents of the bag of Rapid Set Concrete into the hole.
  • 3. Check the post is level and tamp down the dry concrete.
  • 4. Add remainder of the bag to the hole.
  • 5. Pour approx. 2 litres per 20kg of water into the hole to finish.

Please note: - Due to the fast setting time of Rapid Set Concrete we recommend NOT mixing the product in a wheelbarrow or concrete mixer. However, if this method is chosen it is essential to use the same water measurements as above, and only mix what can be installed within 10 minutes of mixing.


Installing a Post Using Post Mix Concrete



Before you start


To calculate the size of hole you will need, here's a simple rule of thumb:-

Width = 2 x the width of diameter of the post. For example, a 100mm x 100mm (4" x 4") post would require a 200mm x 200mm (8" x 8") hole.

Depth = 1/3 of the length of the pole. A 2m (6') post will have up to 600mm (2') in the ground.



What you will need

Tools

  • Spade or long handled shovel and a crow bar or post hole auger
  • Spirit level or plumb line
  • String line
  • Tape Measure

Materials

  • Bags of Easy Mix Post Mix
  • Water

Preparing the Holes

  • Set out the line for your posts with the string line.
  • Space out post positions along string line using the tape measure.
  • Dig post hole using the 'rule-of-thumb' outlined above.
  • Place posts in holes aligning them with the string line at set out marks, checking heights and levels. Ensure the ends of the posts to be placed into the ground are treated against woodrot.
  • Brace each post in position.

Installation of Easy Mix Post Mix Concrete


Option One - Dry Method

  • 1. Pour 1/2 bag of Easy Mix Post Mix into the hole and tamp in tight around post.
  • 2. Repeat for each post, aligning them with the string line and checking levels.
  • 3. Pour in the remainder of the Post Mix when all posts have been set to the correct spacing and height. Tamp the post mix down around the pole/post.
  • 4. Pour a small quantity (approximately 1.5 litres for a 20kg bag) of water on to the Post Mix around each post. Together with natural ground moisture, this will be enough to allow the mix to set.

Option Two - Wet Method

  • 1. Brace posts so they remain in the desired position.
  • 2. On a mixing board or in a wheelbarrow, add water slowly (approximately 1.5 litres for a 20kg bag) to the contents of the bag - the drier and stiffer the mix, the better.
  • 3. Tamp the mix with a shovel or spade and finish at the desired height.
  • 4. Repeat for each post and clean up.

Note: Curing Time

Although the concrete sets hard within a few hours, it should be kept moist and not subjected to any stress during the first week. The concrete will take up to 28 days to fully 'cure'.



Laying a Concrete Path




Before you start


Mark out the size of the slab you require and multiply length (in metres) by width (in metres) by the desired thickness (in millimetres). From this volume you can calculate the number of Easy Mix bags you will need. Volume of slab in cubic metres x 66 = bags required (based on 30kg bags).


For example:


2m x 1m x 100mm = 200

200 1000 = 0.2

0.2 x 66 = 13.2 bags


What you will need


Tools

  • Shovel and rake
  • Spirit level
  • String line
  • Tape measure
  • Timber for boxing and screed
  • Hammer/saw/nails
  • Screedboard, trowel/float/edging tool

Materials

  • Bags of Easy Mix Concrete
  • Water

Laying the Path


  • 1. Prepare the site - Dig the site for the slab to the required depth. Most slabs are a minimum of 75mm (3"). Allow space around actual slab dimensions for the timber formwork placement. Use bedding sand or crusher dust under the formwork if required.
  • 2. Set the formwork - Use lengths of timber to box the slab. The top of the boxing will act as the level of the top of the slab. Welded reinforcing mesh may also be added for extra strength. Ensure you allow for water run-off.
  • 3. Prepare the pour - Just before pouring the concrete, thoroughly moisten the slab base area. This slows down moisture loss during curing and makes the slab stronger.
  • 4. Mix pre-blended concrete - On a flat wooden or metal surface, or in a large wheelbarrow, mix Easy Mix Concrete with water, one or two bags at a time. Each 30kg bag requires approximately 3 - 3.5 litres of water. Add water slowly, mix thoroughly and do not wash out the cement powder. Shovel or pour the concrete into the formwork, then spread and tamp down with a shovel.
  • 5. Install the slab - Using a straight-edge board across the top of the formwork, 'screed' the concrete to a desired level. Work the screedboard across the slab from one end to the other in a sawing motion to bring the slab to its finished level. Fill any holes and screed again.
  • 6. Remove excess concrete if necessary. Leave the slab to set for 30 to 45 minutes (depending on weather conditions) before proceeding to step 7.
  • 7. Finish the slab - For a non-slip finish (or if tiling over) use a wooden float in a circular motion across the slab. For a smooth finish a steel float should be used. Edges should be finished with an edging tool for best results.
  • 8. Curing the slab - To help the slab cure to full strength, cover with hessian cloth and keep moist for several days.


Building a Brick or Besser Block Wall




Before you start


  • 1. Measure the size of the wall you intend to build. Calculate the number of bricks or blocks you will need for the job.
  • 2. Check site levels to accommodate changes in the slope of the land.
  • 3. Retaining walls: if there is any risk the soil or water pressure could push over the wall, additional reinforcement may be necessary. Seek advice if needed.

What you will need


Tools

  • Shovel and rake
  • Spirit level
  • String line
  • Tape measure
  • Timber for boxing the footing
  • Hammer/saw/nails
  • Brickie's trowel
  • Joint raking tool

Materials

  • Bags of Easy Mix Concrete (for footings)
  • Bags of Easy Mix Mortar (for the wall)
  • Full bricks/blocks
  • 1/2 bricks/blocks
  • Capping bricks/blocks (if required)
  • Reinforcing bar/ties (if required)
  • Water
  • 1. Build the footing - Plan the position of the wall. The footing trench (a strip of concrete) should be wider than the base of the wall by several centimetres. Prepare and pour the footing.
  • 2. Prepare to lay - Once the footing has hardened, drive a stake (as tall as the wall) beyond each end of the wall and in line with the face of your wall (approx. 24 hours after pour). Stretch a line between the two stakes level with the top front edge of the first course and repeat for each other course as they are completed. Tip: Trial the first course bricks/blocks on the footing without mortar to check and adjust the wall 'fit' between markers - allow 10mm for each joint.
  • 3. Mixing Mortar - Pour the required amount of Easy Mix Mortar into a wheelbarrow or clean mixing surface (1/2 a bag at a time is recommended). Add water, (approximately 6 litres per 30kg bag of mortar) gradually mixing as you go until a stiff even consistency is reached (excess water can ruin good mortar). Should your mortar become too 'wet' put the mixture aside for a few minutes until it thickens. Note: For easier and faster mixing and placing of your mortar, try using Mortar Aid.
  • 4. Laying bricks/blocks - Spread a 25mm (1") thick coating of mortar on the footing along to the length of 3-4 bricks/blocks. Position an end or corner block first, and tap into place with the trowel handle. Spread mortar on the end of the next brick/block and position. Leave a 10mm (5/8") joint. Leave mortar out of a number of vertical joints in the first course to allow drainage from behind the wall. Check as you go with a spirit level for horizontal and vertical trueness. Adjust if necessary by tapping with the trowel, and scrape off excess mortar with an upward sweep of the edge of the trowel. Repeat until all rows are finished. After laying 3-4 courses, or as mortar begins to set, use a joint raking tool to rake joints and compress the mortar.
  • 5. Curing - While the wall may seem firm to touch within hours, it will not reach full strength for up to 28 days. The wall should be kept damp for seven days (or 14 days for retaining walls that are not back filled) to help hardening.


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Concreting guides provided by Easy Mix.