Reinforcing Cement SlabsOne of the joys of owning your own home in Perth is that from time to time you will feel the urge to start a DIY project.

 

Whether you are doing expansions to your house or adding some new landscaping to your garden, there is always a component of building and project management involved that would require some expert advise.

 

This week we focus on an interesting project where the DIY project involves adding new life to the garden by making use of cement slabs to create a terrace slope down the garden from the patio.

 

As you can see from the image, it is a very ambitious DIY project.

 

That is why we asked Johan Bron and his team at Statewide Building Project for some advise.

 

 

The Project

 

Hi Johan.

 

My garden is not a garden at all. Due to the amount of trees in it there is not much sun light coming through and as such we are having extreme difficulty maintaining a proper lawn.

 

We have decided that we would like to landscape the garden with a terrace by making use of cement slabs. As this would be our first DIY building project, we have some concerns and would like to know what you would advise on the following questions.

 

  • What type of cement would you recommend for us to use to make the slabs?
  • What type of reinforcing should we consider to ensure that the slabs do not form crack and break over the years?
  • What weight would the reinforced cement slab be able to support?
  • Would there be any downside if I decide not to reinforce the cement slabs?

 

Statewide Building Project Advise

 

Johan BronCement vs Concrete

 

To achieve the look you want in the provided image, we would not advise using cement for the slabs. We would rather recommend that you use concrete. 

 

The finish of the slabs in the supplied picture is polished concrete which is 32MPA minimum strength. You can make use of different colors to achieve a finish that would appeal to you styling preference. 

 

Have a look at our range of concrete available for delivery here: Swan Concrete

 

Reinforcing mesh to use with concrete slabs

 

When you make polished concrete slabs you need to reinforce it in order to eliminate cracks over time and avoid it breaking off.

 

We would recommend either a SL82 or SL92 reinforcing mesh to be used. Using the following link you can see what the SL82 mesh offers - SL82 Mesh.

 

Reinforced slab strength

 

Your reinforced concrete slabs would be able to carry a lot of weight. Depending on your requirements, we would advise that you also consult a structural engineer that would be able to guide you on what you need to consider if you are expecting it to carry larger weight than that of normal foot traffic in the garden.

 

The downside of not using reinforcement on concrete slabs

 

On specific places on the concrete slabs you will start to get visible cracks. Concrete has the characteristic feature where it expands and contracts. The reinforcing mesh keeps it together and binds it to reduce the changes of cracking.

 


 

 

Need Advise?

 

If you are working on a DIY or building project and would like expert advise on your building material in the Perth and Western Australia region, be sure to drop us an email for assistance at admin@statewidebuildingproducts.com.au.