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Around outer edges of your cottage build a form as shown in picture at side. I assume that you didn't knock walls of your trench in; if you did, be sure to clean them out again. You are now ready to lay reinforcing down. The usual procedure is to use wire mesh weighing 40 pounds per 100 square feet.
If you can't get it, best substitute that I have seen is heavy turkey wire (welded type). Roll out mesh. Put some small rocks under it so that when concrete is poured, mesh will be in slab. Along bottom of trench use two %-inch reinforcing bars. You're actually building a concrete beam around perimeter of building.
You are now ready for big pour. By this time you will probably be willing to call for transit mix. When you ask for this prepared mix, tell them you want kind that reaches a minimum compressive strength of 2,000 pounds per square inch in 28 days. If you are going to mix your own concrete, use I part portland cement, 2 parts sand, 4 parts coarse aggregate, and enough water to make it sloppy.
The actual water content should not exceed 7|/2 gallons per bag of cement. The table will help you to figure how much you will need. The thickness of concrete slab should be a minimum of 3 inches. After you have framing up, you will want to add one more inch of smooth concrete for your final finish (I part cement, 3 parts sand).
You can also add color to this batch if you don't like natural gray of concrete. There you are. Except that you should also put some 6-inch stove bolts along outer edge of slab, about 8 feet on center, starting roughly I foot from corner, to fasten your sill. If you are going to use cottage year-round and are building in northern states, insulate outside perimeter with Fiberglas boards.
If you use slab described, be sure that soil is porous. Heavy clay or stiff soil will require building of foundation walls to frost line to prevent heaving.
About the Author: Jack Hudson is a writer for http://www.log-cabin-plans-n-kits.com and http://www.best-house-n-home-plans.com/. These two sites work collectively as a resouce for the planning and building of log cabins as well as choosing from different house plans. Visit one of these sites for informative articles as well as free TIPS for building a log home or choosing a house plan.