Patios are a nice addition to have to help create a relaxing and welcoming area to your yard. Concrete is a great material option for a patio, as it is very durable, long lasting and easy to maintain. If you are handy, you can even pour your own concrete patio. See below for tips and instructions on how to make your own concrete patio.
Tools Needed For The Job:
- 2" x 4" lumber (for the forms - the amount depends on the size of your patio)
- Concrete (the amount will depend on the size of your patio)
- Wheel barrow
- Garden hose
- Steel ties
- Plastic support chairs
- Metal wire (or rebar)
There are one of two ways you can do the concrete. You can buy bags of concrete and mix them yourself (which is fine for a smaller patio), or contact a concrete company and have the concrete delivered to you. Either way, you'll need to figure out how much concrete you are going to need. Figure out the square footage of your patio (length x width) then to figure out the volume, multiply that amount by the depth. To convert this to cubic yards divide the number by 27 to come up with that amount. You use the number 27 because one cubic yard is equal to 27 cubic feet, so the formula is (l x w x d) / 27)) = X cubic yards. This calculation is used when you place an order for concrete, as most companies deal in cubic yards. For bags of concrete, these are usually sold in bags that can be between 40 - 80 pounds. You can take your square footage and depth into your local hardware store and ask a professional to help you figure out how many bags will be needed.
- Once you have your concrete figured out (whether you are mixing it yourself or having it delivered), you'll need to dig out and level the area where you will be laying the patio. Be sure to contact your local utility companies before you begin digging.
- Using a shovel, dig out the area at least seven inches deep. You'll want 4 inches for the sub-materials (sand and gravel).
- Next, level out the area using a tamper and then lay out a thin layer of sand (1" deep). Tamp down the area again, then spread a 3" layer of fine gravel and tamp it down so you have 4 inches of area left for the concrete.
- You'll next need to build the frame for the concrete. Using your 2" x 4" pieces of wood, create a frame that is square and level around the perimeter of the patio area. Use 3" deck screws to hold it all together.
- Add the metal wire inside the wood forms. This helps to hold the concrete together and prevent cracking. Look for standard concrete wire mesh at your local hardware store. Measure out the wire (or concrete mesh) needed for the patio, minus two inches from each edge (you don't want the metal sticking out from the edges of your concrete). Place the wire inside the patio area (leaving 2 inches from the edges). Use plastic support chairs to hold the metal in place while pouring the concrete. You want to use enough to help hold the metal in place and level throughout. If you have several pieces of wire, attach the pieces together using steel ties.
- Next, have the concrete poured into the form. Use trowels or a long 2' x 4' board to help smooth and level out the concrete. It should be level to the top of the forms.
- Allow the concrete to dry and cure thoroughly before attempting to walk on it. This can take up to a week.
Installing your own concrete patio is fairly simple to do if your handy with tools; however, a professional concrete company, like Hi-Grade Materials Co, can have your patio built quickly as they have the know-how and tools to get the job done.