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What is a reinforced concrete base?

A reinforced concrete base is an important foundational structure that incorporates steel reinforcement for added strength and durability. We also offer a damp-proof membrane for extra piece of mind.

Why would I need a reinforced concrete base for my garden room/log cabin/shed/hot tub?

Reinforced concrete bases provide a stable, long-lasting foundation, capable of bearing the weight of structures and resistant to moving or deteriorating over time.

What are the advantages of using a reinforced concrete base over other types of foundations?

Reinforced concrete offers high compressive strength, durability, and resistance to environmental factors, like weather/rotting or animals getting underneath it, making it ideal for long-term stability.

How long does it take to install a reinforced concrete base?

The time varies based on the size and complexity, but it typically takes between 1 to 4 days to complete the installation.

Do I need planning permission for installing a concrete base?

Planning permission requirements are usually down to the size and height of the structure, distance from boundaries, the use and if there will be water and/or waste running to it. It’s advisable to consult local regulations and your council.

How thick should my concrete base be?

The thickness depends on the purpose—garden rooms and log cabins may require a thicker base compared to sheds and hot tubs. A typical range is 4 to 8 inches.

What preparation is required before installing a concrete base?

The area needs to be cleared of debris and vegetation. Additionally, the ground will need to be excavated, levelled and compacted. Ready for the sub-base.

What is a sub-base and why are they used?

Having a sub-base beneath a concrete base offers many important advantages. A sub-base helps to evenly distribute the weight of the structure, reducing the risk of cracking or sinking in the concrete layer. A well-compacted sub-base also provides a stable foundation, which prevents the concrete from shifting or settling unevenly over time. In summary, while adding a sub-base may involve an additional upfront cost and labour, the long-term benefits in terms of durability, stability, and reduced maintenance often make it a wise investment.

Can you install the base in any weather conditions?

Ideal conditions are dry and mild temperatures. Rain or extreme temperatures can affect the curing process. If there is heavy rain or snow then the concrete should not be mixed and poured.

How long should I wait before building on the concrete base?

It usually takes between 2 to 7 days for the concrete to cure enough to build on, although this can vary based on weather conditions.

How is the concrete mixed and inserted in the base?

there are 3 main ways to insert concrete, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. The first for small to medium-sized bases would usually be done by hand mixing. Which involves using a cement mixer, and manually inserting the ballast, cement and water to produce the right consistency of concrete. It is then poured in via wheelbarrows.
The next is via a concrete truck, they pour it directly into the base depending on access or into wheelbarrows and poured in.
The final way is via a concrete truck and pump. This is usually used if the access is poor, the distance is far to the location or a very large/deep base.

Is drainage a concern with concrete bases?

Properly installed bases are finished above ground to prevent water accumulation and going underneath the structure which leads to rotting and damp issues. Some clients choose to have the surround in shingle so there is adequate drainage around the base.

Can my existing concrete base be extended?

although this is not recommended. It largely depends on the size of the extension. If relatively small like 1 to 2 feet then this can be ok. But joining a new base with an old one means the base work cannot be guaranteed and there are effectively 2 independent bases. So cracks in between are inevitable, which can lead to dampness and issues with the structure on top.

Can I have my concrete base larger than the size of the structure I am purchasing so I can walk around it?

While this is possible we do not recommend this as water will collect around it and go underneath the structure. As a maximum would only ever make it a few inches bigger. Companies supplying the structures will also concur. Instead, walkways and other surrounds are offered at lower levels around the base.

What surround options can I have for around my base?

there are 3 main options we offer. The first is excavating and inserting a weed membrane, with a compacted sub-base on top, sometimes with decorative stones on top of this. The next is paving tiles laid, these can be sandstone, slate, concrete or porcelain. The final option is to have concrete inserted at a lower level around the outside of the main base.

How do you handle uneven terrain?

We can level the ground or adjust the base design to accommodate slopes or uneven terrain. Sometimes this means raising the base and adding steps, other times it requires excavation and retaining walls built from sleepers or bricks (we provide both options).

Can I add insulation to my concrete base?

Yes, options for insulation can be incorporated during the installation process. This is done by either adding insulation in the concrete base or once the initial base is finished, 2 courses of bricks are laid then insulation is put inside and finished with a screed on top. This is usually for finished floors in garden rooms.

How much does it cost to install a reinforced concrete base?

Costs vary depending on the size, specifications of the project, location, access and ground level. We provide fast and free estimates upon request.

What maintenance is required for a concrete base?

There is next to no maintenance needed, which makes the concrete base option a great choice for a permanent and reliable base solution. Some clients choose to paint/treat the shuttering we leave on the base, as this tends to look aesthetically nicer than concrete.

Can the base be removed or recycled if I decide to change my plans?

While it’s possible to break up and remove the concrete, it’s a labour-intensive process. Some parts of the base may be recyclable. But this is not recommended.