Robert Lamoureux: Options for concrete motorhome pad

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected]
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Question No. 1

Robert,

I just bought a property in Acton and want to put a concrete pad in for a 36-foot motorhome. The contractor is suggesting a 6-inch-thick concrete with rebar, and this comes at a hefty price. Is there another alternative to this scope that is so costly? 

Also, I’d like to install a roof over the motorhome at some point, but need to be sure if I need permits for either of these scopes of work? The concrete contractor says I don’t need permits, but I’d like you to weigh in also, please. 

Roger M.

Answer No. 1

Roger,

There is nothing safety-related to the concrete pad, so no permit needed there. 

What you are describing with the cover is a carport and, yes, you do need permits for this because there are safety concerns such as wind shear, structure size vs. design and footings. 

Building and Safety is there for this very reason, to ensure that these things are properly installed for your safety. 

Regarding the concrete question, yes there is an alternative you may consider. You can install “runners” into this pad, where approximately 14-inch strips are placed for the wheels to travel on, the entire length of the pad. Form these out to accommodate the 6-inch thickness with rebar and integrate them into the remaining area that can be poured at the standard 4-inch thickness. This gives the area where the weight will be enough strength to handle the coach but the remainder of the pad is simply standard thickness because it will not be supporting the coach. This will save you a bundle. Just be sure that the two thicknesses are integrated properly, and that rebar is also set to the remaining area in the proper fashion. 

Please be sure to hire only a licensed and insured concrete contractor and get everything in writing. This is the only way you would have any recourse should there be an issue following installation. 

Good luck with your project.

Robert

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