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Concrete PreparationA concrete mixer is a valuable tool for any construction worker, or DIY-er. They can mix large amounts of cement quickly and efficiently which would be hard to do by hand. Concrete needs to be mixed well in order to be effective, so you need the right equipment if your project calls for it.

A cement mixer is a heavy and cumbersome piece of machinery that can be difficult to handle without proper training. A concrete mixing truck, for example, has an engine strong enough to mix up the material in batches as large as 3 cubic yards with ease!

Purchasing a cement mixer is not something you want to get wrong when dealing with your construction projects or home improvement jobs. The price may seem too good-to-be true at first glance but there are many factors such as sheer size and horsepower rating which make these prices competitively priced from other more expensive models. If you need a large concrete mixer, then it’s best for you just start off renting one because they will have plenty on hand ready for any big project.

No matter what kind of project you are working on from pouring foundations to laying down stepstones in your backyard; mixers have always been there and they're here to stay! They'll surely make this task seem easier with their consistency at work - no more guessing if that's enough cement mixed in before moving onto pouring the concrete. They will help you get the consistency down just right.  The operation of the mixer will ensure precision mixing every time so once you have found the perfect mixer match (and taken into account different factors such as motor size), you are off to the races!

Size

One of the most important things to look for when you choose a cement mixer is size. If you are taking on a project that will require lots and lots of concrete, it can be helpful to hire one with more capacity so your work gets done quicker!

Bulk concrete mixers are the perfect solution for construction sites. They come with wheels so you can easily move them around, and they're capable of mixing as much 110 liters in just six minutes!

For small to medium-sized projects, a tip-up concrete mixer is the perfect choice. It's not as large or heavy duty as bulk mixers but can still handle mixing quite a lot of concrete in one go. When you're ready for it to be poured into your desired location, just tilt up and pour without hassle!

You can't go wrong with a mixer that is designed to be safe, durable and easy-to-use. Choose the model based on your needs; for example, if you work in an area where there are rough ground or obstacles, make sure it's compatible!  Ensure it has safety features!

Operation

While all concrete mixers perform the same task, each model has different operating instructions.  Make sure that you familiarize yourself with the concrete mixer you are using and operate it according to the guidelines.

When you are mixing concrete in a cement mixer, always wear long sleeves and pants to protect your skin. Use gloves on both hands for extra protection.  Concrete can be rough on exposed skin!  Safety goggles help keep any debris or dust particles out of your eyes while working with the concrete mixer, so it is advised that they be used at all times when operating one.

Before you start using the mixer, make sure it is set up on a level surface and near a water supply. Then, read through all of the instructions that came with your cement mix to ensure they are followed properly while adding in just enough water into each batch for safe mixing. It’s crucial not to overload any concrete mixer because this can cause severe problems when trying to produce high-quality material; be mindful about how much wet mixture goes inside at once so as not ruin everything!

A perfect mix of concrete is difficult to achieve. It should be dry enough that it moves around the mixer easily, but wet enough so that doesn't crumble or slosh as you move the drum. To test out a good mixture, pay attention to how quickly and efficiently it fills up one side of the tank while not spilling over on itself at any point during mixing process.

There are many different ways to pour the mixed concrete. You can either dump it onto the surface you’ve prepared, or into a wheelbarrow that will be pulled by another person. The best way is typically using two people: one holds the wheel barrow and pours while the other tips over the mixer full of concrete.  You will either move the concrete by wheelbarrow to the location of the pour, or you will pour it directly into the forms at the location.

Tip the concrete mixer at a slow, but steady pace. Avoid pouring it too quickly or you could risk losing control of both your equipment and the cement mix!

You can use a shovel to work the concrete into the area. You want it smooth and without gaps or air bubbles for your project. If you are pouring pavement, foundation, patio or other structure that needs to be perfectly smooth and level, try using an easy float instead of just a regular old shovel! The name says it all – this handy tool is great for small jobs around home improvement projects.  For more industrial, larger projects, you may want to use a beam screed to smooth the surface out completely.

Cleaning

Don’t let that concrete mixer dry up!  As soon as you are done with the concrete mixing, clean it out so that the inside doesn’t become hard and difficult to remove.  Add sand and a little water to your mixer, turn it on for two minutes. This will help clean the concrete out of the drum so you can easily remove it with more water.  Empty it out and run some fresh water through it again, until you have removed all traces of the concrete mix.

There are plenty of different projects where you may find yourself using a concrete mixer.  We hope that some of the information above will help you get the best results and produce a great finished concrete piece.  If you need any assistance with your project, we encourage you to reach out to us.  We are always available to assist!


​Is a Concrete Foundation a DIY Project?  We would have to say a hard No! 

When you ask builders what the most critical component of erecting a building or structure is, they will tell you it’s the foundation.  The building or structure’s stability is dependent on a sound, strong foundation. It doesn’t matter what the structure is, such as a commercial building, a residential home, a garage, or even a deck.  The foundation is a critical component on ensuring the overall structure does not shift, sink, or become compromised and damaged.
 
The required foundation of a structure is complex.  There are no simple, one-size fits all dimensions or applications.  There are variances based on the type of structure it is to support.  The foundation must also protect the structure from moisture and water damage.  It is critical to avoid issues such as cracking and water seepage.  This will damage the wood framework and cause rotting, mildew, and even mold.  Getting a sound, strong foundation is the first and most critical step of all construction.
Foundation also provides climate protection, sitting between the actual earth and the structure.  Even in summer, the ground beneath a building remains cold.  Concrete foundations actually provide insulation against the cold, by acting as a layer between it and the space found below surface level of the building.

It will also provide protection against movement.  You may think, a building isn’t going to move.  But it does.  And not just from an earthquake.  Have you ever felt the vibrations in a house that is close to train tracks, when the automotive comes by?  Vibration is found in all things around us, and it can cause movement, even if it is slight.  A strong foundation will protect walls, ceilings, doorways, etc. from movement and the resulting damage to the structure.

Is excavating a structural foundation something that DIYer’s should do?  We would have to say no.  This kind of thing is very complex and should be handled by experts.  It is also very dangerous.  First of all, excavating sites has many safety hazards that should be considered.  Underlying utilities are a huge concern.  All lines need to be identified and carefully excavated around so as not to damage the line or, worse, cause harm to the persons doing the excavating.  Also, trenching can be very dangerous due to the risk of cave ins. 

But let’s just assume that you are not concerned about the safety issues.  Setting footings and pouring concrete foundations is and has to be a precise project.  Measurements have to be spot on.  If not, the entire structure will be off and appearance will not be favorable. 

Soil conditions and moisture need to be considered in determining how stable the foundation will be once poured and cured.  There may need to be adjustments made in the density of the concrete to counter potential sinkage or shifting.  And what other factors may determine the overall weight the foundation is intended to support?  Are there any heavy features planned for the structure?  Remember the foundation is needed to support the structure.  So, all of this needs to be considered to ensure there are no errors when creating the foundation.

While there are many DIY projects that can be taken on in constructing a home or building, the foundation is just not something that should be undertaken.  There are just too many components that are all connected to each other, that will determine how sound and strong the foundation is.  If you are looking to save money, look at other areas where you may be better suited to take on the project.  Foundations are very critical to the overall structure.  Please leave this part of construction to professionals.