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Old 12-23-2007, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by fiscus
I want to park my camaro at my parent's cottage for the winter, there is no garage or driveway, just grass so I figure I could make some kind of cement pad on the ground to park on, and maybe next year build a little garage/shack on top of the pad as a shelter. I only want to use this as a winter storage spot for my car, so the pad won't be much bigger than my car. I just want to keep my car off the grass/dirt/mud.

I don't know the first thing about cement or foundations. Do I need to put gravel underneath? How deep does the gravel need to be and big stones or small? Do I need to dig down before I put the gravel or can I just build it on top of the ground? Any specific type of cement I need?

Would it be cheaper to mix my own cement or just have a truck come?

I should mention it gets pretty cold and there is lots of snow.

Anyone have any advice?
I feel extremely qualified to answer you , since I pour concrete for a living.( over 12 years worth )
First , if it is only a 'winter' storage area , you might want to remove the grass from your desired parking area , and just put down 'pavers' ---- Pre-made concrete squares or round - they come in all shapes and sizes. Available at Lowes or Home Depot , or any number of landscaping places. They can work out to be cheaper than poured concrete , which , if it is done wrong , can be ugly , expensive and time consuming. If you have no experience whatsoever with concrete , I'd go with pavers.
Just make sure you compact your substrate ( the ground under your pavers ) as you would with any pad you put down. Un-compacted substrates will settle over time , leading to cracks.
As far as concrete goes , you got a LOT of misinformation in the previous posts.
Pigjamelectric gave a good ( been there-done that) response , and also showed some wisdom in the compaction process he went through.
As far as curing time/temps - Your local concrete company ( Rinker / Tarmac , etc. ) will answer any questions you may have about strength/ temp , etc. Just know that D.O.T. mud ( 3500psi-6000psi ) dries WAAAY faster and stronger than the 2500psi stuff we use on houses/driveways. Also , they rate the concretes psi's @ 4" thick. Thicker slabs have more strength. Use 'fiber mix' in the concrete to prevent future cracking , and have no worries about temperature. I've replaced floors in industrial ice cream freezers ( -40* F ) and the Concrete companies adjusted the chemical content to make it cure in freezing temps. I also pour houses/driveways in ARIZONA ( 120* in the summer ) and again , the Concrete company {rinker} adjusts the chemical content to slow down the curing time a little bit. Adding water DOES affect the strength , but not to the degree some would have you believe. ALL concrete has water in it , and it evaporates from it as it hardens.
IMO , hire a qualified contractor to do the concrete work , or put down pavers.....
Whatever you do , check the local ordinances to make sure you don't get your parents in trouble with the city.
Best of luck , and if you have any specific questions , send me a PM.
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