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    • James Pinder
    • By James Pinder 7th Apr 18, 7:38 PM
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    James Pinder
    Has my shed base been laid correctly?
    • #1
    • 7th Apr 18, 7:38 PM
    Has my shed base been laid correctly? 7th Apr 18 at 7:38 PM
    I had someone in to lay a slab base suitable for a 12ft by 8ft shed approx. 2 months ago. The Shed was erected two weeks later. A total of 30 slabs (600x600mm) have been laid (5 down by 6 across). The shed was placed in the middle leaving half a slab visible (boarder). I have noticed today that one of the slabs has cracked and there are others that appear to be sliding away. I feel like the slab base hasn't been laid correctly.

    I have asked my dad what he thinks (and have sent him some photos) as he has always been very capable and has always put his hand to any task. (He would have helped me lay the base originally if I had asked but he is in his 70's now and lives 3 hours away, so I didn’t think it was very fair to ask him for help). Anyway, he said that the slabs look like they have just been laid on cement straight onto the soil with no ballast. He has said for it to be done properly the guy would have needed to dig down to a 10cm depth to get it level, then beat it down to compact it, ballast 8cm min, compact, dry sharp sand and cement to level and then lay the slabs finishing off with sand in the gaps. He said it would have taken the guy about 2 days to do. The guy was done in half a day.

    My dad believes the work needs redoing as the slabs along with the shed could move more as time passes by, which I don’t doubt as it is already doing this in a two-month period. So I believe I have three options:

    1) Leave it as it is and have faith that all is ok.
    2) Disassemble the shed, take up the slabs and redo the job. This would be done by myself as I don’t have the funds to pay someone else to redo this and at the same time having faith in the next person I choose to do the job. I understand that this may not be the easiest of options as I have little experience versus someone that has been doing it for years. However, if I do it wrong, all that I have lost is time and I can only blame myself and then start again.
    3) Go back to the guy that done the job originally and pull him up on his work. However, as I have no knowledge of what has been done all I can say it “My Dad Said…” which I imagine wouldn’t go a long way and he could baffle me with the experience he has over me.

    I am interested in anyone’s opinion which could help me decide what action I should take.

    If you have made it this far then I thank you for taking the time to read this and I apologize if I have rambled on too much. I look forward to reading the replies I get.

    Kind regards

    James
Page 1
    • pinkfluffybabe
    • By pinkfluffybabe 7th Apr 18, 7:47 PM
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    pinkfluffybabe
    • #2
    • 7th Apr 18, 7:47 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Apr 18, 7:47 PM
    3) but maybe don't mention the dad thing, just mention the movement and cracks and ask them to revisit it.

    Depending on that you probably then need to do 2) unless they offer to fix it. Was there any guarantee with the work?
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    • ceredigion
    • By ceredigion 7th Apr 18, 8:02 PM
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    ceredigion
    • #3
    • 7th Apr 18, 8:02 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Apr 18, 8:02 PM
    What did you ask to be done?
    What did he say he would do?
    If you said lay some slabs for a shed there, then that is what you got.
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 7th Apr 18, 8:39 PM
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    AndyMc.....
    • #4
    • 7th Apr 18, 8:39 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Apr 18, 8:39 PM
    What did you ask to be done?
    What did he say he would do?
    If you said lay some slabs for a shed there, then that is what you got.
    Originally posted by ceredigion
    These are the important questions, they shouldn’t have cracked if correctly laid.
    • James Pinder
    • By James Pinder 7th Apr 18, 9:02 PM
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    James Pinder
    • #5
    • 7th Apr 18, 9:02 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Apr 18, 9:02 PM
    What did you ask to be done?
    What did he say he would do?
    If you said lay some slabs for a shed there, then that is what you got.
    Originally posted by ceredigion
    These are the important questions, they shouldn’t have cracked if correctly laid.
    Originally posted by AndyMc.....
    I said that I would like a shed base laying suitable for a 12x8 shed.
    On the paperwork under Job Description he wrote
    'Supply and Install 12x8 Shed Base as discussed'
    'Supply and Install Type1 Hardcore'

    In reply to 'If you said lay some slabs for a shed there, then that is what you got.' I interpret this as if I didn't go into specifics in the job spec then I only get what I ask for? However, at the same time if I have said "Suitable for" then surely this would be up the tradesman being the professional to recommend what I need?
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 7th Apr 18, 11:52 PM
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    AndyMc.....
    • #6
    • 7th Apr 18, 11:52 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Apr 18, 11:52 PM
    And the thickness of the type 1?

    I!!!8217;m guessing you didn!!!8217;t see it go in but did you see it arrive on site or the soil he dug out?
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 8th Apr 18, 4:01 AM
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    Tom99
    • #7
    • 8th Apr 18, 4:01 AM
    • #7
    • 8th Apr 18, 4:01 AM
    Try option 3 1st "the base is obviously not suitable as its cracking and sliding, please fix it"

    If that does not work and you decide not to persue a claim further, then option 1, leave it for a year and see what happens. Taking the shed down will be a pain.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 8th Apr 18, 8:37 AM
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    Furts
    • #8
    • 8th Apr 18, 8:37 AM
    • #8
    • 8th Apr 18, 8:37 AM
    The work done is seriously wrong and here one has to consider some simple fundamentals. A shed base has little weight, and this weight is spread over a large area. That means the load applied to the slabs is distributed. Then consider the slabs. Everyday 600x600 are hydraulically pressed and as tough as old boots. That is why councils use them in pedestrian arcades and so on.

    Put these points together and the fact that slabs are cracking when there is virtually no loading on them means the job is a duffer.

    OK, slight long shot, there are folks who make up slabs in back yards and sell them to unsuspecting folks, typically via garden centres. These are poor quality, typically have a riven surface and are useless. It is possible these were aid under the shed, so over to OP here. But even if these were used the job is still a duffer.

    Whether the slab layers are willing to return and re-do the work is another matter. This type of work is notorious for its association with dodgy characters, so again over to OP.
    • FreeBear
    • By FreeBear 8th Apr 18, 1:45 PM
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    FreeBear
    • #9
    • 8th Apr 18, 1:45 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Apr 18, 1:45 PM
    Put up a 10x6 shed in January. I did consider using slabs, but the cost would have been greater than a solid concrete slab. Used one bulk bag of ballast (a mix of sand & gravel), four bags of cement and got rid of a pile of rubble/hardcore in the process. Total cost, just under £70 and a couple of days of grunt work.

    A 12x8 shed would probably need two bags of ballast plus a couple more of hardcore - If the OPs base needs redoing, the existing slabs could be reused in the sub-base.
    Last edited by FreeBear; 08-04-2018 at 1:48 PM.
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    • Furts
    • By Furts 8th Apr 18, 5:15 PM
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    Furts
    Put up a 10x6 shed in January. I did consider using slabs, but the cost would have been greater than a solid concrete slab. Used one bulk bag of ballast (a mix of sand & gravel), four bags of cement and got rid of a pile of rubble/hardcore in the process. Total cost, just under £70 and a couple of days of grunt work.

    A 12x8 shed would probably need two bags of ballast plus a couple more of hardcore - If the OPs base needs redoing, the existing slabs could be reused in the sub-base.
    Originally posted by FreeBear
    Similar thoughts too. It is clear there was no specification for OP's job, and OP was foolish to go ahead based on the miniscule info supplied. No specification says "based on what was discussed, because if a dispute arises how does any third party know what was discussed?

    But equally 600x600 slabs are wrong because they are bu--ers to lift and lay decently - here the manual handling guidelines apply and these slabs become two man lift, or whatever. Which means nobody on their own goes bigger than 450x450mm. Drainage is also an issue so tidy work can be permeable (or else solid) paving blocks - cheap, easy to lay and readily available.

    I suspect OP's shed needs moving out the way and the job being done again from scratch but this time properly.
    • James Pinder
    • By James Pinder 8th Apr 18, 7:13 PM
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    James Pinder
    A 12x8 shed would probably need two bags of ballast plus a couple more of hardcore - If the OPs base needs redoing, the existing slabs could be reused in the sub-base.
    Originally posted by FreeBear
    I assume by this you would recommend that I lay a concrete base instead?

    Similar thoughts too. It is clear there was no specification for OP's job, and OP was foolish to go ahead based on the miniscule info supplied. No specification says "based on what was discussed, because if a dispute arises how does any third party know what was discussed?

    But equally 600x600 slabs are wrong because they are bu--ers to lift and lay decently - here the manual handling guidelines apply and these slabs become two man lift, or whatever. Which means nobody on their own goes bigger than 450x450mm. Drainage is also an issue so tidy work can be permeable (or else solid) paving blocks - cheap, easy to lay and readily available.

    I suspect OP's shed needs moving out the way and the job being done again from scratch but this time properly.
    Originally posted by Furts
    As much as I hate reading the word foolish when it is aimed at me, I know this is true. I've learned this the hard way this time. And I thank you for your advice (and everybody else's). I don't think I will pursue this with the builder as I have nothing substantial to back me up. I think once the weather is a bit nicer I shall get out there and have a go at it myself. In the mean time i'll do a bit of research online so I will have more of an idea of what I am doing. I won't try and take the shed apart as previously mentioned. I'm sure a few long timbers and a couple of friends round should be able to help me move it.

    I can't just leave it and hope for the best as this could end up costing me more in the long run as the next step is to get electrics out there. I need it to be perfect before this happens.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 9th Apr 18, 7:38 AM
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    Furts
    I assume by this you would recommend that I lay a concrete base instead?



    As much as I hate reading the word foolish when it is aimed at me, I know this is true. I've learned this the hard way this time. And I thank you for your advice (and everybody else's). I don't think I will pursue this with the builder as I have nothing substantial to back me up. I think once the weather is a bit nicer I shall get out there and have a go at it myself. In the mean time i'll do a bit of research online so I will have more of an idea of what I am doing. I won't try and take the shed apart as previously mentioned. I'm sure a few long timbers and a couple of friends round should be able to help me move it.

    I can't just leave it and hope for the best as this could end up costing me more in the long run as the next step is to get electrics out there. I need it to be perfect before this happens.
    Originally posted by James Pinder
    Whatever you do think carefully about your 600x600 slabs. No idea what thickness yours are but usual ones are 50mm deep. No way can you re-lay those without a second pair of hands, and even then they are swines to work with if you are not used to them. If you buy new ones, make sure they are hydraulically pressed concrete (not vibrated), and make sure they are not riven, or patterned. Aim for 450x450, and some of these slabs are suitable and come at 50mm deep - though 35 -40mm should be OK for your job.
    • James Pinder
    • By James Pinder 9th Apr 18, 9:06 PM
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    James Pinder
    Whatever you do think carefully about your 600x600 slabs. No idea what thickness yours are but usual ones are 50mm deep. No way can you re-lay those without a second pair of hands, and even then they are swines to work with if you are not used to them. If you buy new ones, make sure they are hydraulically pressed concrete (not vibrated), and make sure they are not riven, or patterned. Aim for 450x450, and some of these slabs are suitable and come at 50mm deep - though 35 -40mm should be OK for your job.
    Originally posted by Furts
    I've measured them this evening and they are 38mm thick. The best description I can find (comparing to similar ones I have found online) is 'pimpled'. So going by your advice if I want to avoid further issues I should not use these when redoing the work. I will keep your recommendation in mind for the 450x450 slabs but if I wanted to keep costs down would a concrete slab base be ok or would it be better to stay with slabs? I'm assuming either option I could use the old slabs as a sub-base?
    • Furts
    • By Furts 10th Apr 18, 7:46 AM
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    Furts
    I've measured them this evening and they are 38mm thick. The best description I can find (comparing to similar ones I have found online) is 'pimpled'. So going by your advice if I want to avoid further issues I should not use these when redoing the work. I will keep your recommendation in mind for the 450x450 slabs but if I wanted to keep costs down would a concrete slab base be ok or would it be better to stay with slabs? I'm assuming either option I could use the old slabs as a sub-base?
    Originally posted by James Pinder
    Sounds like the slabs are decent quality, albeit somewhat thin. The money saving way forward is straightforward now, but includes some "buts". If you are happy dealing with the weight and size of these slabs (get a mate to help you) then re-use them as your new finished base. However it is vital the slabs are fully bedded when laid otherwise you risk cracking when laying, or when the shed is on them.
    • seatbeltnoob
    • By seatbeltnoob 13th Apr 18, 11:49 PM
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    seatbeltnoob
    I personally would make a wood frame, around the base, spirit level it and then fill it with concrete. Slabs will never be 100% level.
    • Begsey
    • By Begsey 14th Apr 18, 9:40 AM
    • 75 Posts
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    Begsey
    I grabbed free slabs from someone for a shed base previously, a mix of slabs of different sizes, thinking I'd save a few bob.
    It was a disaster, so ended up going with a concrete slab.
    Someone I knew happened to have a cement mixer on hire, which was a bonus. Just done as suggested. Left the slabs in place, built up a 4in frame around it all and concreted it.
    • FreeBear
    • By FreeBear 14th Apr 18, 1:03 PM
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    FreeBear
    Someone I knew happened to have a cement mixer on hire, which was a bonus.
    Originally posted by Begsey
    Well.... It is possible to mix sufficient concrete by hand.... Did it myself with a wheelbarrow, bucket, rake & spade. Tip the first bucket of ballast in the wheelbarrow, sprinkle about a fifth bucket of cement over. Mix with the rake & spade. Add a second bucket of ballast & repeat, and so on until five buckets of ballast has been mixed. If it has been raining for the last few days, there shouldn't be any need to add water to the mix, and if you do, half a bucket will be plenty.

    Should take about a day to mix one and a half bulk bags of ballast/cement and cost around £130. Or you could get a readymix delivered for about twice the price.
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    • seatbeltnoob
    • By seatbeltnoob 17th Apr 18, 3:50 PM
    • 521 Posts
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    seatbeltnoob
    Well.... It is possible to mix sufficient concrete by hand.... Did it myself with a wheelbarrow, bucket, rake & spade. Tip the first bucket of ballast in the wheelbarrow, sprinkle about a fifth bucket of cement over. Mix with the rake & spade. Add a second bucket of ballast & repeat, and so on until five buckets of ballast has been mixed. If it has been raining for the last few days, there shouldn't be any need to add water to the mix, and if you do, half a bucket will be plenty.

    Should take about a day to mix one and a half bulk bags of ballast/cement and cost around £130. Or you could get a readymix delivered for about twice the price.
    Originally posted by FreeBear

    I would highly recommend drill attachment paddle at the very least. https://www.toolstation.com/shop/p92433


    you can get more expensive ones that are longer and wider and even get dedicated concrete mixing drills. But for one of use I would made do with this £2.50 attachment


    The sand, cement and hardcore needs to be mixed in very well to make a solid concrete block. The better it is mixed the stronger the end result will be. So I like to mix it very thoroughly, rather than giving it a few stirs with a spade.



    It makes life a lot easier, otherwise it's a very long process to hand mix and backbreaking work.
    Last edited by seatbeltnoob; 17-04-2018 at 3:55 PM.
    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 17th Apr 18, 4:14 PM
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    DCFC79
    OP did you get anywhere ?
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