Traditional Block and Beam Flooring
If you are looking for a good suspended flooring on a low budget then I would recommend Block and Beam Flooring. Although the system has been around for years it cannot be beaten for its effectiveness and cost. There is not waiting around for concrete deliveries and there is no pouring and levelling concrete. This process is quick and easy to lay and what is more doesn’t need a lot of skill.
It involves placing concrete beams and shaped in an upside down T shape across the width of your floor supported by the outer walls. The spacing of the beams must be sufficient to involve the slotting in of building blocks. Once the beams are secured in place then blocks are placed in-between the beams butted together to close any gaps.
Block and Beam can be used for commercial buildings and residential builds, for upper and ground floors as it meets all the building standards for new builds
The major benefits of Block and Beam Flooring
As mentioned one of the main benefits is that there is no extensive site preparation or delivery of concrete to wait for. However there are many more benefits of block and beam flooring including it is quick to install and it doesn’t require any maintenance. The system eliminates any upward drafts from the floor space and also acts as an insulation layer. However the underfloor space also provides excellent ventilation from the external wall ventilation bricks.
The concrete beams also mean that there is no worries of rotting and they can be longer than wooden beams as they are more resistant to weight. What is more you are not waiting for days for the concrete to go off. So you can continue building immediately which reduces build time and increases productivity.
Types of ready mixed concrete
If you are looking for some ready mixed concrete for you home DIY job you will find that the market place is vast. It is essential that you get the right concrete for your job. So you need to find out which is best. Basically there are only a few types of ready mix with the differences being in the ratios of materials used to provide strength and also the way they are mixed.
Some concrete has specialist materials added to it to add to the texture, strength or even colour. If your job will need you to be able to work with the concrete once it is poured you may need a plasticiser added to make the concrete more workable. There are also chemicals that can be added to help the concrete go off quicker which will mean that you can continue work quicker. Finally you can get a chemical that will reduce any corrosion in the steel work in your concrete which helps with durability and longevity.
Ready mixed concrete for residential builds.
For residential properties the most popular ready mix is a standard concrete which is made up in a factory or plant and then transported by a drum mixing lorry. With this type of purchase you will need to know exactly how much concrete you need as the lorry will only carry the amount specified in the order. So if you don’t have enough or have too much you may have problems.
Rapid setting concrete is also a favourite for use on residential properties as it speeds up the process and makes it brilliant for repairs and a range of projects. The rapid setting concrete is also great in the colder weather when laying concrete is difficult as it is too cold for the concrete to go off. Concrete that has lots of small fibres mixed through it is also good for colder climates furthermore it is stronger, and doesn’t crack which means that you won’t need to use steel in your foundations.
The Pros and Cons of Precast Concrete Panels
Precast concrete panels are basically panels of concrete which are made off site and delivered to the site. The concrete is poured into a mold or frame at the manufacturing plant to the exact size and consistency that is required for the build. It is then allowed to set, taken out of the mold and delivered to the site and set in place using cranes.
The benefits of using this system of building is that work can continue even through the bleakest of weather conditions as the panels are manufactured off-site. Obviously time is money so this solution is definitely cost effective. Moreover once the build plans are made the panels can be manufactured and stored beforehand so you will never have to stop and wait for the concrete to go off.
The main suppliers will all say that precast panels are better long term as they are very durable and also because panels are often the same size manufacturers may use the same old over and over again.
The main difficulties of precast concrete panels.
The main difficulty of using these precast concrete panels is that the placing of the panels can be difficult in cold weather. If you do plan to have the panels made earlier that required, don’t forget you will need to have a suitable place to store them. Moreover you will need to consider how many panels you will need to transport as there can be a financial impact on the build if you have many smaller panels which have to be delivered.
Finally it is essential that you get your measurements correct and exact as it is too late once the panels are made.