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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
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    13,029

    Default Strategy for steep driveway pour?

    A customer of mine bought a house with a very steep gravel driveway. There's about 70 feet of it that's a little too steep for all-weather use... much rain and you need 4wd to get up, and the gravel turns into potholes quickly. They've asked that we pave the steep section with concrete. I've never poured on anything this steep. Seems like a stiff mix would be less likely to flood out of the forms, although harder to move down the hill. The finish is to be very rough... a "rake" finish as opposed to a broom. How would you handle this?
    Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
    Website - Facebook

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
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    3,154

    Default Re: Strategy for steep driveway pour?

    Sounds like you need a better base and drainage than what you have, for starters.

    What exactly is the grade of the driveway?
    It is a simple matter of being patient. I do patience very well, except for the waiting part. That's the one aspect of patience that still bites me.

    I'm not saying I'm Superman. What I'm saying is no one has ever seen me and Superman in the same room together.

    ParkWest Homes LLC
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Martinez, California
    Posts
    14,880

    Default Re: Strategy for steep driveway pour?

    David:

    Check with your local fire marshal, they have requirements for steep driveways to get their equipment up.
    “It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights —the “right” to an education; the “right” to health care; the “right” to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Calyfornia
    Posts
    729

    Default Re: Strategy for steep driveway pour?

    If it's steep at all moving the mud downhill isn't a problem. In my experience the problem with steep terrain is getting the stuff pumped UP hill without having the pump guy put too much water in. Not sure what your regs are like for runoff but I think a good exposed aggregate surface is better looking and works just as well for traction, but here it calls for lots of extra measures for containment of sediment etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Strategy for steep driveway pour?

    19Homes-2.jpg19Homes-3.jpg

    Are they this steep. Maybe you should call this guy and find out what the mixture was.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Kennett Square, Pa (chester county)
    Posts
    476

    Default Re: Strategy for steep driveway pour?

    Does that house come with a winch attached to the back of the garage?
    Darrel Hunter

    "You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do." - Henry Ford

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
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    13,029

    Default Re: Strategy for steep driveway pour?

    I'm guessing the job here is somewhere between those two slopes.

    Not sure how you could get a car into that garage without ripping out the driveline.
    Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
    Website - Facebook

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Boston, MA
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    4,776

    Default Re: Strategy for steep driveway pour?

    As long as the Relator can list "off street parking" nothing else matters.
    "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

    Sir Frances Drake

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Martinez, California
    Posts
    14,880

    Default Re: Strategy for steep driveway pour?

    See why some of us drive HUMMERs?
    “It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights —the “right” to an education; the “right” to health care; the “right” to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    SF Bay Area (East Bay)
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    2,272

    Default Re: Strategy for steep driveway pour?

    I'm not a great concrete finisher (and not terrible either). I've done one steep driveway, although not as steep as the ones in the pics (!) and probably about 15' long x 10' wide. Maybe a 22.5 degree slope (it varied, steeper at the top, leveling out at the garage). We ordered a stiff mix with water reducer in it. I don't remember the exact specs, it was a mix the concrete company recommended when the situation was described.

    The mud barely flowed down the hill, I had to help it down the slope with a rake. It popped FAST. Me and one other guy finishing it, and we got it just barely acceptable by my standards (which are high but not ridiculously high). Had to come back and cut the control joints, there was no way we could get it surfaced and tool in the joints before it set. It was a warm sunny day, I think the mud came around 10:30.

    In all, it came out fine, but I wouldn't do it the same again. I might use the same mix but have another one or two guys finishing. Like maybe two guys per 100 sq. ft. Or three guys per 200 SF if they're a good unit. And maybe get it at dawn, or as close to it as I could.

    Either that or split it into multiple small pours. Get old rusty dusty out and mix up on site, then you can control the slump to your heart's desire. Divide the drive with forms into multiple small areas (all properly tied together of course) and pour as much as you/your crew can finish before a stiff mix pops.

    Either way, obviously, you'll need to key in footings or piers into the slope, and bring the reinforcement down into the keys.

    kevin
    Last edited by kfc510; 06-12-2012 at 08:00 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Boston, MA
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    4,776

    Default Re: Strategy for steep driveway pour?

    My father in law has a crew of concrete finishers who just do slabs. They roam from job to job and beef up the crew on the job to about 12, then all of them are onsite for the pour.

    They placed over 2000 yards of concrete in Fall River, Ma working around the clock several weeks ago. It's an amazing sight to watch them work, I really enjoy seeing it, they all have years of experience and it is not for the faint of heart.
    "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

    Sir Frances Drake

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
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    Default Re: Strategy for steep driveway pour?

    Quote Originally Posted by kfc510 View Post
    We ordered a stiff mix with water reducer in it.

    The mud barely flowed down the hill, I had to help it down the slope with a rake. It popped FAST.
    That doesn't sound like the water reducer mixes I have used. I generally ask for a 3" slump kicked up to 6", and it flows very easily with little effort. That's the whole idea of it... get the mud out of the truck and on the ground as quickly and easily as possible. Killing yourself with a rake and a shovel to move stiff mud into slab forms is for youngsters and/or guys who are too cheap to spend $5/yard for a much easier pour. The water reducer wears off quickly after about 90 minutes or so, but it doesn't make the concrete kick faster, so you don't suddenly find yourself in trouble unless there are other factors like sun and wind.

    I don't see using water reducer on this job. The mud would slosh right out of the forms at the bottom. I think we need to back the truck down the hill and get the chute right to the bottom, then have him crawl up as he dumps it. Everyone'll be sucking diesel exhaust for a couple of hours.
    Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
    Website - Facebook

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Boston, MA
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    4,776

    Default Re: Strategy for steep driveway pour?

    Something tells me top down is the way I'd see that done, I don't know why, but I aways figured bottom up, then the finishers would come and work top down. Concrete finishing is something I'd never do, I don't have the balls for it.
    "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

    Sir Frances Drake

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
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    Default Re: Strategy for steep driveway pour?

    Hmmm. Start the pour at the top, eh? I guess with a line pump you could do that, just add sections of hose and work your way down. It adds $400 to the job, but then you can avoid trying to screed the stuff up the hill. Then again, if it's mud they can pump, it might be too wet to stay at the top. My money's on a bottom-up pour, with super stiff mix that you have to force down the chute... place it very carefully so almost no screeding is needed. A good pour to have extra bodies on hand...
    Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
    Website - Facebook

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    midwestish
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    7,250

    Default Re: Strategy for steep driveway pour?

    Will [can] they go down the slope you have with the load you need, and do you have a retention pond at the bottom... looking down the road a bit?
    “I find the curiosity of our men with respect to this animal is pretty much satisfied.”
    ~ Meriwether Lewis

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