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cement/concrete help

I have a back porch, 16x9 ft, under my roofline and part of my foundations footprint i'm looking to close in and totally finish.  It currently has a 4 inch drop when stepping out of the house and i'd like to raise that up to be level with the height of everything else so that it's a smooth transition, so looking to see how feasible it would be to do it myself and had a few questions.  I've heard this being called 'capping' but haven't found this specific project anywhere on youtube, etc.


I guess the first quesiton would be, considering the size of the area (a 144 sf square) would doing it by portable electric mixer even be advisable, considering the amount of time needed to mix, etc??  keeping in mind the outer edges which would be 1 nine ft run and 1 sixteen ft run are going to need to be perfect in order to support framing and walls.


Should it be reinforced either with reebar or big concrete nails, maybe with some of that fencing laid down, etc??


Best type of concrete/cement for this?  I'm in N. Florida.


Or,, should i just hire a pro or semi-pro that could really use the work?



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Posted 2010-12-23T04:06:06+0000  by ti30x ti30x

Welcome to our community Ti30x,


This is Mike from The Home Depot in Chicago and I’m here to help.   This project is a very big undertaking for a DIYer, and considering this is a foundation for projects to come,  there are several reasons I would like you to consider a professional;

First, the amount of concrete you will need for the area will be about 110 bags of 60lb concrete, or about 1 ¾ yards of concrete. That is a lot, and a substantial pour. At minimum a mixer would be a must.


There are several schools of thought on pouring a slab over an existing slab. The existing slab needs to be sound in order to consider pouring a slab over it as the weight of the new slab is significant. Depending on the “expert”, you can either use a bonding agent or a layer of sand between the two slabs. In any event you should drill into the existing slab and epoxy short pieces of rebar to limit lateral movement of the new slab. You would then take wire mesh and tie it to the rebar creating a 20 -24” grid pattern about 2” off the existing slab. This should be sufficient for a porch/sunroom.


It very well may be more cost efficient and logical to have a company come in and pour it for you.  You could do the prep work, and have it ready to be poured.  They have experience with all facets of different mixes, humidity, temperature, as well as will do a spread test to insure it is the right consistency.


If you have any further questions feel free to write back and we can get you taken care of.

Best Answer

Posted 2010-12-23T16:54:11+0000  by FlyingHDsod

Thank you so much Mike. WIll definitely heed your advice and come to HD for everything I need.

Posted 2010-12-24T02:10:20+0000  by ti30x

I am trying to put in concfrete pillars in the backyarrd.  do i use concrete or morter mix.  I will use 8 in forms.  how deep do i need to dig, can the forms be removed aftr drying.  Do I mix the mix before pouring in the forms.  How do I assure no air pockets are in the mix and in the form?

Posted 2012-02-13T03:15:01+0000  by millhrr

This Dave from store 0116 in Woodstock Ga.  Have you considered building a wood framed flooring system at the level you want?  I've seen this done very successful using pressure treated lumber and plywood. 

Posted 2012-02-13T15:48:58+0000  by Stukas

Greetings Millhrr and Welcome to the How-to-Community!!!!

It’s great to hear that you plan on doing your own concrete work.  It’s not a super hard job; it just takes a while for the drying of concrete before you can move to the next step.


When it comes to choosing the right concrete there are a few choices you can do for this project. 


First choice is fast setting concrete. The fast setting concrete comes in a 50lb bag and doesn’t require mixing. Yup you read that right! All you have to do is dump the bags in to the forms and pour water over it.


Another type you can use for this project is just a regular 80lb bag of cement.  There is also a 60lb bag as well.

When you go to set up your forms, you’re going to want to dig your holes 42” inches deep.  If you’re in an area that receives snow and frost this will help prevent concrete from lifting over the years.  The forms can be removed if you would like.  It helps if you coat the inside of the tube form with some WD-40 or form oil for easier removal!!


Now when it comes to mixing up the regular concrete the best way to do it is in a bucket or large tub.  If you have a lot of posts to set a portable concrete mixer will make the job go even quicker. 

These are available through The Home Depots tool rental centers. 


When it comes to mixing it up, you’re going to want to add enough water to have the mixture slight more watery then the consistency of “Mashed Potatoes.”  This will help to keep any big air bubbles out of it.  There will a lot of mixing involved with this project, so if you have a drill you can always pick up a speed mixer to save your arms.  Once you get the forms filled you will just need to smooth out the tops as best as possible and you will be all set.  It’s going to take a while for these to dry.  It’s also always best to wait till it’s at least 55 degrees before doing any concrete work!


If you run into any problems feel free to post back.  Also if you could post some pictures of before and after that would be great!!!


Posted 2012-02-14T20:26:03+0000  by FlyingHDsod

This a very informative post by flying HDsod great job.

Posted 2012-02-14T21:06:53+0000  by Soheil_HD_BOS

I have questions about a concrete porch and steps as well. I recently had my side porch and steps replaced.  What is the proper way to do this?  My contractor used a filler for the middle of the porch and surrounded it by cement blocks and topped it off with cement.  The filler was compacted in the middle of the porch before everything is sealed is this the correct way to do this project.

Posted 2012-05-24T08:51:12+0000  by shakespeare

Hello shakespeare.  Welcome to the Community!


It is not necessary to make a cement porch and steps entirely out of poured concrete.  In essence a substantial shell of concrete is all that is needed.  It sounds to me as if your contractor did just fine.


I hope this helps,




Posted 2012-05-25T14:25:05+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI

I am building my new house. I want to know about how deep should I dig for the pillar? Also what material should I use for building pillar? Just to make sure, I am planning to build only single storeyed house.

Posted 2012-06-06T13:10:45+0000  by MarkHenry

Hey MarkHenry.


Other than telling you that support pillars need to extend below the frost line, structural requirements for building a new home will have to be calculated by a qualified engineer or architect.  This is beyond the scope of help we can provide you here.







Posted 2012-06-12T17:52:13+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
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