I divided the pour into 6 sections. One section at a time was leveled, packed and then covered with poly. Also to save material I placed many larger rocks on top of the poly. These are incorporated into the concrete. Adding large rocks actually weakens concrete but hey, it's a chicken coop and I wanted to save money so thats what I did. Each section took about 4 hours to mix, place and finish working by myself. Finishing time varied depending on the weather. Each section was reinforced with wire mesh and/or re-rod and pegged to the next section with short pieces of re-rod. The slab is also tied in at this point to the still exposed other half of the cement blocks. 1 full year later through a Minnesota winter and NO cracks whatsoever! 2x4 Screed boards and forms were scrap lumber from a local auction.
All the concrete work took up the whole summer on and off and I'm not foolin when I say work. An easier way is to order ready mix and hire a crew. That is if your not interested in saving money. As this is a labor of love and a quest for me I did it my way.
The pictures below show progress through the summer and the finished slab in October. Vertical construction started the following summer. The next page will show putting it all together. The fourth year I spent a lot of time in my winter woods cutting down trees and making lumber. I cut down around 20 popple trees around 14" diameter. These were cut into lengths of 8 or 12 feet. I made a special jack out of elm in order to hoist the logs up on a set of saw bucks (which I made). Getting them up off the ground makes slabbing them so much easier. For those of you not familiar with a portable chainsaw mill it is a attachment that fits on to the bar and has adjustments from 3/4" up to about 12 inches and will handle logs up to about 20 inches wide. for my purposes 14" was about as wide as I needed to go. Any wider would require a larger saw than mine and also create much more work. Now this attachment does a fine job but is a lot of work. It cuts at a rate of about 6 to 12 inches a minute depending on the width of the log and the sharpness of your chain. I know there are more and better portable lumber mills but mine cost me $75.00 used and I don't have to have a skid loader PLUS my woods don't get all tore up in the process. This all cost about 5 gallons of gas plus 2 cycle oil and $12.00 for two chain sharpenings.