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Plans have arrived....and so it begins

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#1 David81

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:51 AM

Well, the plans for my new observatory (16x24 ROR) arrived this weekend (thanks BYO) and it's time to start pricing out materials and such.

I figure it should be pretty easy to get quotes from the local lumber yards on the wood and such, but I've never dealt with concrete before.

The built site will be about 200-250 feet from where my driveway ends and I don't have a really clear path for a truck to pull back to the site (nor would I want to if I can avoid it). Has anyone dealt with concrete being pumped a similar distance? Does it significantly increase the cost? I'm hoping I'll just need it for the piers (yes, more than one) as I'll be going the deck route and I can set the posts myself with a power auger and a bag of Quickcrete in the bottom of each.

The piers will each be at least a cubic yard, but I may go larger if there is a minimum order or something.

Thoughts?

#2 Lorence

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:49 PM

The built site will be about 200-250 feet from where my driveway ends and I don't have a really clear path for a truck to pull back to the site (nor would I want to if I can avoid it). Has anyone dealt with concrete being pumped a similar distance?


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#3 David81

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:52 PM

Ha ha.

I'm really not up for hauling and mixing the amount of concrete needed for my two pier bases though (at least 45 80# bags per pier)

#4 Starman27

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 04:06 PM

Have fun! Keeps us posted.

#5 Shannon s

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 04:15 PM

Pictures, lots of Pictures.. ;)

#6 Mary B

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 05:08 PM

Some concrete companies have mini delivery trailers that you may be able to get back there.

#7 David81

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:13 PM

I'm looking forward to the experience. Tomorrow will be spent looking for concrete suppliers that may have some creative ideas for getting the stuff where I need it. Perhaps a few calls to scrap yards for pier materials as well...

#8 thesungazer

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 06:29 AM

You're going to love it, David! Enjoy the process and post pictures along the way.

greg

#9 David81

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 12:39 PM

Ouch. First quote for excavation and concrete for the 2 pier bases (3' x 3' x 3' each) is $1200 - $1500. Does that sound right? At that rate I'll blow through my budget in no time :)

#10 Mary B

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 03:02 PM

I just got a quote for 1 yard delivered via truck not pumper @ $227

#11 David81

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 04:05 PM

Thanks Mary. That's more in line with what I was thinking. He said even if I dug the holes myself it would still be over $1k.

#12 mikey cee

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 05:50 PM

I was in residential construction for years. The customers who complained the loudest about prices were the weekend warrior types. I wouldn't even dream of pushing several cubic yards of concrete 200'-250' in a wheel barrow in my best days. They'll probably use power buggies to do it. I'd kiss every foot of earth getting back there just to find someone period that would do it for that price! I'd pay that in a heartbeat and get on with the next phase. Observatories aren't cheap at least the better ones. :smirk: Mike

#13 rwiederrich

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 06:13 PM

Ouch. First quote for excavation and concrete for the 2 pier bases (3' x 3' x 3' each) is $1200 - $1500. Does that sound right? At that rate I'll blow through my budget in no time :)



Grab a shovel..or better yet pay some kids to dig the holes....they like digging for milk money..... :roflmao:

Rob

#14 rwiederrich

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 06:16 PM

Thanks Mary. That's more in line with what I was thinking. He said even if I dug the holes myself it would still be over $1k.


Well, I and my daughters old boyfriend dug my 3.5x3.5x6ft hole and I payer $330 for 2.5 yards.

Keep looking.

Rob

#15 rwiederrich

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 06:23 PM

I was in residential construction for years. The customers who complained the loudest about prices were the weekend warrior types. I wouldn't even dream of pushing several cubic yards of concrete 200'-250' in a wheel barrow in my best days. They'll probably use power buggies to do it. I'd kiss every foot of earth getting back there just to find someone period that would do it for that price! I'd pay that in a heartbeat and get on with the next phase. Observatories aren't cheap at least the better ones. :smirk: Mike


Like you said, his cost is most likely *delivery*...getting it to the site.

Are you saying my Observatory is a cheep, flimsy, shack cuz I saved loads of money and didn't ring up a big bill?

Is that what you are sayin....huh? Bro :tonofbricks: :lol: :lol:


Rob

#16 mikey cee

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 07:19 PM

When you say piers do you mean like 3'-4' above ground in sonotubes? If you do you've got to hand shovel either way the concrete up and into the tops. You don't push full wheel barrows several hundred feet and even if you did and dwaddled around your mix would start getting pretty stiff. Too much slump and you end up sloshing soup back there. Plus 90 bags of sackcrete....that would tax a mortar mixer or kill two men and still shovel it into the piers? Plus a concrete mason is going to mark up the concrete like any normal retailer would and paying a helper or two and his profit. Good luck. I've seen Rob's pics. He had easy access and plenty of slave labor. :grin: Mike

#17 David81

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 07:41 PM

I'm in agreement Mikey that this is not a DIY job. Especially for me. If it really comes down to it, I may do the digging, but 2 cubic yards of dense gray clay is not going to get out of the way easily.

The concrete will definitely be done by someone else. As you said. Moving and mixing 90+ bags of Quikrete is just not in my future.

I envisioned the piers being steel piers bolted to the tops of the bases. Perhaps a 3' cube of concrete topped by a 1.5' square 1' high to bring the top of the concrete near the level of the deck. The steel pier would then be bolted to the top of this and extend up through the flooring.

Sound about right?

#18 Mary B

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 03:38 PM

Dug by hand 3x3x4 feet deep

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Concrete poured, I am lucky and the truck could back up to my site

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Pier is 6 feet of 8 inch 1/4 inch wall aluminum tube in compression

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Pier mocked up in the house

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Hope this gives you some ideas.

#19 CounterWeight

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 06:54 PM

One thing, i'd get several bids if possible, and I'd spec out every inch of it, dimensions and depths, rebar&tie, framing, floating and finishing, da woyks. If excavation / digging... where to put it? Condition of worksite after completion. That is a good sized slab, where I live it would require permitting and a lot of the details beforehand.

All in the details. You may find one contractor will pump (there is usually a minimum load for these follows), another might roll an electric mixer over. Access and labor wrt access can often be a significant contributor.

Locating on clay I'd want some sort of survey before starting - might need some sort of bedding and/or drainage - but a lot of that depends on your location and build site and if no permit required, you.

#20 David81

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 08:10 PM

Definitely getting multiple quotes.

I'm leaning toward doing the digging the holes myself now. Since I planned on renting a 12" auger for the structure posts I figure I can use that to remove a large portion of the earth from the pier area then remove the rest by hand.

There is no permitting required in the township where I live except from the zoning inspector. No building inspector to be seen.

#21 David81

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:48 AM

Ok. I think I've got this bit figured out now.

Dig the holes myself with help of the auger to remove a good portion of the earth. Cart it all away to the back corner of the lot.

$365 for delivery of 2.5 yards + $100 rental of concrete buggy to shuttle the stuff back to the site.

What do you guys recommend for the pier base shape? Just a square with the mounting bolts at ground level or should I raise up a portion at the center of the base to have the mounting point higher than the grade?

#22 PatHolland

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 10:16 AM

Hey David! I am about a month away from starting construction on my OBS. I am very interested in what you are doing. How large is your warm room? Why did you decide to go with a aluminum pier as opposed to just a concrete pier?

#23 David81

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 10:20 AM

Hi Pat,

Exciting times, eh?

The warm room will be about 8 x 16 (minus wall thickness), leaving about 16 x 16 for the scope area with 2 piers.

My reason for going with steel piers is the ability to change things up relatively easily if my needs change down the road. If I need to change pier height, it's much easier to do by altering the steel pier or just making a new one if need be. Having a couple metal workers in our astro club doesn't hurt either :)

What sort of obs are you planning?

#24 PatHolland

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 10:34 AM

I am planning a 16X20 dual pier ROR OBS. I am looking for ideas on the BEST way to accomplish this as well as ways to save money. I will be going slowly, as money and time allows. I hope to have it finished by November. Mine will be solar powered (for the most part) on my property here in Clever, MO. The warm room will most likely be 6X10 (cheaper to keep cool or warm). I already have the solar equipment (purchased last year when I started planning it). Will have approximately 60 AMPS @ 12V at peak solar efficiency charging 2-6volt 245AH batteries (almost 500 AH). I will also have regular 110V service in the OBS but will try to run as much as I can on the batteries. I am not as handy as most on CN, so have to contract out some of the work.
Exciting times to say the least, been planning for almost 2 years but looks like this is the summer work will begin. I just looked into steel pier pricing....OUCH! I definitely get your point on the aspect of changing things up as needed, with concrete piers, that would be VERY difficult. I'd like to keep in touch with you as you continue on with the project if you don't mind.

#25 David81

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 10:47 AM

Regarding the piers, if you have a scrap yard around and someone who can do some welding you should be able to get a nice pier made for around $100 or less from what I've seen.






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