Q&A / 

Ron wants to pour a concrete patio and wonders about proper support so it won't crack. He's doing this work in cold Fonthill, Ontario Canada. Here's what he told me: "We had our basement (block) waterproofed from the outside one year ago and have sandy soil. The area we are looking to do is 10 x […]

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DEAR TIM: I'm renovating a basement bath during the winter while I'm slow at work. When I removed the old shower insert, I discovered a large area of crumbling and missing concrete. There's standing water in the ground because of the high ground water table this time of year. I've discovered conflicting information online as […]

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DEAR TIM: What type of stone would be best for filling this cavity that is a planned two-car garage addition? It is approximately 7 feet deep. The local concrete supplier sells recycled concrete for a really good price. It is very similar to crusher run. Due to the design, compacting will be next to impossible. […]

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Curtis Gomes runs a building and remodeling business in Providence, RI just south of where I live. Read what he sent  me: "At what temperature is it too cold to pour concrete in sonotubes? 30 degrees F?" Here's my answer: Curtis, believe it or not, you can pour concrete successfully at much colder temperatures, even […]

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Ronald A. Carleton has trouble with paint peeling on his patio in Port Clinton,Ohio. Perhaps paint is not practical. How's that for alliteration? Here's what Ron wrote to me: "What's the best product to apply to pre-painted cement on a outdoor patio? The pre-painted area in the sun area flakes off while the shaded area stays […]

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Kristina Rowan, who lives in Bryan, Texas, has an excellent question about the magic of placing and finishing a concrete porch. "Hi Tim! My husband and I are planning to replace our concrete front porch. I'm not sure if it was originally poured and patched poorly, but it is cracking and crumbling terribly. The roof […]

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Quick Column Summary:   What causes concrete discoloration Were all slabs poured on same day What additives were used in the concrete Possible solutions for overall concrete color Paula Butterworth, who had some concrete work  done at her home in Kennewick, WA, is not happy with the color of the finished slab. Here's what she […]

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Quick Column Summary: Installing car lift Need to cut into concrete Is mesh enforced concrete enough Strong concrete with steel bars needed Seyla Pen, who lives in southern Maryland, is a shade-tree mechanic. To be more accurate, he's trying to install a professional car lift in his garage. Let him tell you: "I saw a […]

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Quick Column Summary: Stamped concrete overlay on patio Big differences in two estimates Both overlays will work if done correctly Bruce Laybourne, who probably eats lots of Skyline Chili and Aglamesis Mocha Chip ice cream, is scratching his head over two bids for putting a stamped concrete overlay on his patio. Let him tell you. […]

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Quick Column Summary: Concrete finish is rough Best mix of stone, sand and cement How to determine slump of concrete Good finishing ideas DEAR TIM: I'm going to do an ambitious concrete project this summer pouring a long sidewalk. My initial results are disappointing. The finish I'm getting on my concrete is rough and too […]

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