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Inaccuracies and Misconceptions

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Aug 31, 2013, 08:36 PM
Inaccuracies and Misconceptions
As I am forced to sit through numerous shows that my better half watches, with your 'so-called' experts, when it comes to doing projects around the house, it typically ends in arguments. First and foremost, driveways, sidewalks, patios are NOT cement, they are concrete. Cement is the material that binds the aggregate and sand, and when mixed with water hardens. Second, pouring dry bags of for lack of a more appropriate term Quickcrete into a hole and pouring water in after is NOT the accepted method, but your so-called experts do it all the time. Either show how to do it the right way, or edit those parts out.
Sep 01, 2013, 11:29 AM
You must realize that any TV show is there for entertainment only. Sure, they are showing things in a "how-to" format but there is just no way to include all the information needed to construct whatever project is highlighted for that episode. On top of that, any show that would try to get all the needed technical information in would soon be cancelled due to boring it's target audience to death.

Instead, the focus of a how-to TV show is to generate ideas and show what can be done. If a viewer gets inspired, then they will need to do further research to make their project happen.

You are correct in the misuse of the term - 'cement'. While incorrect, it's not that huge of a mistake since everyone viewing knows what they are talking about. Errors like this happen all the time in how-to TV - case in point all the times they talk about 'Sheetrock' on the walls. It's drywall - Sheetrock is a brand name. As a pro, I don't think I've ever watched a how-to show that doesn't have several of these mistakes but for the target audience of DIYers it doesn't matter that much.

Show editors are editing professionals who's job it is to make a great-looking show. Unfortunately, editors are not construction professionals so terminology mistakes can slip by them.

Sep 02, 2013, 04:47 PM
there are post-setting premixes that are labelled as suitable for dry pour and then flood with water. I would say "but I don't do that," except I did with two fenceposts in front of an egress window. but I put a third bag in, water, a third bag, water, etc because I don't trust the percolation rate all that much. it used sand and fine aggregate.

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Sep 02, 2013, 06:55 PM
There are a lot of inferred misconceptions in the landscaping areas as well, when the host and crew put in plants without addressing presoaking or root separation, but if they did that a lot of added time would be necessary. And typically, the homeowners aren't gardeners and probably wouldn't be interested in spending hours double digging and preparing the soil.

I think a lot of inference is required for the viewer to determine how much of what's demonstrated is actually enough, and how much more would be required.
Sep 02, 2013, 08:42 PM
sage advice of my late sainted mother... "you never plant in a dry hole. fill it, watch it drain, then fill it again and plant."

I have never lost a plant doing that, and neither did she.

failure to keep watering... yes, that has hurt a few.

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Sep 02, 2013, 09:31 PM
Swschrad, your mother was a true gardener.
Sep 03, 2013, 10:42 AM
Concrete will eventually take on enough moisture to cure without mixing. Concrete doesn't dry, it is a chemical reaction between the different ingredients. Years ago when I was living in England while in the USAF we did a canal cruise, at several places along the canals they built retaining walls 150 years ago with cloth bags filled with concrete. They stacked them up dry and the water worked its way into the mix. After a year or two the cloth bags disintegrated away leaving nice stacks of hardened concrete. Concrete will cure under water. The dry method works, though for most posts I'm not a fan of setting them in concrete. As the pressure treated wood dries out it will shrink. This will allow water to come between the concrete and the wood and if you put the concrete below the post you'll have a nice enclosed pocket to hold water against the post. If you're going to set posts in concrete it is best to set them on a gravel base and leave the bottom open from the concrete so any water that comes down will drain through. For deck posts I prefer to set the posts on top of the footing rather than encasing them in concrete. I prefer to set them using a Simpson post attachment to get the wood up off of the concrete footer.

General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Sep 03, 2013, 10:46 AM
that's how they did dock approaches in Texas, also, drop the Sacrete bags in Lake Fork and come back when the bass are biting. but that's "eventually," if you want to hang stuff on the post tomorrow morning (and that's not time enough to fully cure, but if you don't load the post and bang it hard, it should work) you do the job in portions.

and who hasn't had that bag of concrete turn into a rock over winter when you didn't quite get to that special project before the snow came? portland cement demands, draws, invents water if there is none around, totally hygrophyllic. it needs water to set up, even bonds with water after it's cured until every little molecule is burping with satisfaction. that can take several months in all.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?