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AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/29/24 6:28 p.m.

Mrs AAZCD has given me a deadline of Memorial Day to have a water fountain in the front yard (I buy cars and motorcycles, she gets a fountain).  Right now I have a dirty circle with some sand and stone.

My Idea of what to do:

  • Get some 8x8 concrete blocks to define the generally circular (maybe octagonal) edge. (Lowes is my local Box)
  • Lay them and level them using an 8'x 18" kiddie pool as a guide.
  • Mortar them together as one tier.
  • Lay a heavy tarp in the center with a thin layer of sand and stone on top.
  • Mix [the best type of] concrete in a wheelbarrow and pour the [1.5" to 2" thick?] base slab.
  • Build up the outside edge with blocks high enough and wide enough to sit on with feet in the fountain (kids).
  • Top the edge with stone tile.
  • Stain and seal all exposed concrete.

Worry about the rest after the pool is finished, but I have a good solar pump with battery backup ordered.

I built concrete steps once and they were okay and did labor to help a contractor friend do a sidewalk. I once did some brick and mortar that I think was 'type N' with 50/50 sand? That's all I know about concrete construction.

Someone here knows this stuff. Halp!

hobiercr
hobiercr UberDork
4/29/24 6:46 p.m.

This is about as helpful as I can be.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/759265732721356/

hobiercr
hobiercr UberDork
4/29/24 6:48 p.m.
hobiercr
hobiercr UberDork
4/29/24 6:51 p.m.
hobiercr
hobiercr UberDork
4/29/24 6:55 p.m.
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/29/24 7:00 p.m.

In reply to hobiercr :

For the moment I'm working on constructing a pool for the base. That mermaid you posted would be an awesome centerpiece.

I hadn't thought of FB Marketplace to find the center fountain.  Most of those are on budget and would look great.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
4/29/24 7:29 p.m.

Don't forget about the plumbing!!  Water supply, maybe a drain etc.

Also:

hobiercr
hobiercr UberDork
4/29/24 8:25 p.m.

In reply to AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) :

If you have a neighbor you don't get along with, you can offer this view. I can't wait to see what you end up building. 

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/29/24 10:32 p.m.

I'm reading here now: https://www.otl-inc.com/fountain-structure/

The author says 4" thick slab, but I think he may be talking about larger projects. 3000psi concrete seems to be generally accepted, but higher strength is better and less porous. Most of the YouTubes showed DIYers building with concrete block or brick. He recommends against that due to the many joints. For small fountains he recommends a 'monolithic pour' to make the whole basin at once as a single jointless piece. I'm working with an eight foot inner diameter basin/pool. If I mess up, that's a lot of concrete to break up and dispose of.

I'm now considering 4x16" blocks around the outside as a form that will become permanent as the outer wall of the basin with a tear-away inner form to mold the smooth water bearing side of the basin wall. The framing and pour is going to be complicated that way, but the product should be very good.

Time for more reading, maybe opposing design theories.

Edit: Further reading, 4" thick slab is appropriate. I'm probably going to dig the whole thing a couple inches deeper tomorrow and not pour until next week.

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/30/24 12:23 a.m.

Here's a Quikrete bag calculator: https://www.quikrete.com/calculator/main.asp#concrete

If my numbers are right, just the base slab is 2,880 lbs of mix. My back can probably handle 60 lb bags, so 48 (make that 50). $4.66 each, maybe having a concrete truck delivery is better ...and I'm going to want a helper or two. I hope my calculations are wrong. ...Maybe the basin will be smaller, but Mrs AAZCD is pretty sure she wants the ~8' inner diameter.

Now I'm thinking: Pour the base slab using the 4x8x16" blocks circled as a form. Let it cure as needed. Build the form for the sides of the basin on the hardened slab and pour that.

Rough idea:

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/30/24 10:23 a.m.

The entire basin is roughly under two yards of concrete. The Googles say that less than a full 10 yard load (short-load) should cost just under $175 per yard. If I truck it in, it makes sense to do it once rather than multiple deliveries. Maybe it's best to have a walkway ready to pour or replace the brick patio in back with a slab while I'm at it. Between friends at work and local family, I can get a crew together. It's going to take some time and planning to have everything in place to execute the pour all at once - A day that all the people can be available and the truck can deliver. *That's why most people pay a few thousand to have this done for them. I want to spend under $Challenge car to have this complete. Basically I'm planning to build the equivalent of a small swimming pool for the basin.

Noddaz
Noddaz PowerDork
4/30/24 10:41 a.m.

Scale this up using a real gas pump.

Noddaz
Noddaz PowerDork
4/30/24 10:42 a.m.

Or maybe

Noddaz
Noddaz PowerDork
4/30/24 10:43 a.m.

Noddaz
Noddaz PowerDork
4/30/24 11:08 a.m.

Something simpler?

I like this one.  lol

Purple Frog
Purple Frog Dork
4/30/24 11:11 a.m.

I would build the floor of the pool higher than the surrounding area to facilitate easier draining.

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/30/24 11:21 a.m.

In reply to Noddaz :

Those are cool, but I think that adding another vehicle or parts of one to the yard will not make everyone happy.

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic SuperDork
4/30/24 12:21 p.m.
Purple Frog said:

I would build the floor of the pool higher than the surrounding area to facilitate easier draining.

Use 2" stuff as found at Menards or similar.

Noddaz
Noddaz PowerDork
4/30/24 1:24 p.m.
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Noddaz :

Those are cool, but I think that adding another vehicle or parts of one to the yard will not make everyone happy.

I understand! 

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/30/24 1:40 p.m.

Moving along... I plan to lay the outer course of 4x8x16 blocks today. The pool is a guide for both circle and level. Planning to lay the blocks in dry to see how they fit, then do a shallow 'wet footer' of concrete to set the blocks on. Get that one outer single block height set by tonight. 

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/30/24 4:32 p.m.

First set of blocks are going in. Too late for anyone who knows anything to say, "I told you so."

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones UltraDork
4/30/24 7:51 p.m.
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Noddaz :

Those are cool, but I think that adding another vehicle or parts of one to the yard will not make everyone happy.

Is this about everyone or about you? I don't see "everyone" here. 

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/30/24 7:55 p.m.

Today is over. Let's call this the foundation for the basin.

Swimming pool dolphin approves.

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/30/24 9:39 p.m.
Steve_Jones said:
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Noddaz :

Those are cool, but I think that adding another vehicle or parts of one to the yard will not make everyone happy.

Is this about everyone or about you? I don't see "everyone" here. 

The fountain is not for me. It's a gift for my wife and I want it to look nice for my neighbors. They all put up with a lot of my noise and clutter and never complain.

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/11/24 2:14 p.m.

I'll post some updates as things slowly progress. I have decided that my next major step is pouring just the slab for the basin bottom. Thirty 80lb bags of High-Stength Concrete mix to do it. Hand mixing in a wheelbarrow would take forever and wear out my old disc-less back. A 1.6 Cu Ft mixer will arrive next week and I'll plan a day to pour.

The solar panel, battery and pump are working well using a plastic tub for testing.

If making the fountain doesn't kill me, I may convince Mrs AAZCD that we need a mini excavator to build some walkways and slabs around the house.

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