Concrete patios are the perfect addition to the backyard. They are durable and, with proper landscaping and planning, can increase the usability and function of your backyard. Concrete patios can be done by the homeowner; however, it takes a lot of hard work and planning.
Start the excavation by determining how large of a patio you want. Many homeowners prefer a patio to be large enough for a few pieces of outdoor furniture and a grill. Use a can of spray paint to define the layout the patio. Then, begin excavating the area with a garden shovel. You will need to dig down 6 inches to ensure your patio is thick enough to prevent cracks. In addition to the depth of the concrete, you will need to slope the patio away from the house. For every 4 feet, you need to have a downward slope of 1 inch. For example, on a 12 foot by 12 foot patio, you will need to the side closest to your house to be 3 inches higher than the furthest point from the house.
Build a Form
Once the area is excavated, you will need to build a form to hold the concrete and gravel. Place boards along the inside edges of the excavated area and hammer the boards into the dirt to ensure they are flush with the ground.
Install the Gravel and Rebar
A two inch base of gravel should be placed inside the form and tamped down until level. Once the gravel has been installed, place rebar on top of the gravel in a grid pattern. The rebar will help unify the slab and give it extra strength. The rebar should be placed approximately two feet apart and should be wired together.
Mix and Pour the Concrete
When completing a large project, such as a patio, it is best to rent a concrete mixer. This will help ensure the concrete is mixed properly. To use a concrete mixer, add some water to the mixer and then your bags of concrete, following the package direction. Allow the mixer to tumble the concrete until has a uniform gray color.
Start at the furthest point away from the concrete mixer and work quickly to ensure concrete does not begin to dry. Level the concrete by sliding a long board across the top of your forms. Cut joints into your patio by placing a board along the top of your form and using a mason's trowel, cut a 2-inch deep joint. As the concrete begins to dry, use a pushbroom to rough up the concrete slightly to make a slip-resistant surface.
Place concrete over the patio for 1 week to help slow down the curing time. After one week, remove the plastic and allow to cure for 2 more weeks before placing your grill and outdoor furniture on your new patio.
Building a new concrete patio can be done by the homeowner; however, many decide to leave this job to the professionals. If you attempt to build a concrete patio by yourself, ensure the patio will not be subject to a lot of runoff. It it will, you may will need to install a drainage system to your yard before you install a new patio.
For professional construction work, contact a company such as Kwiatkowski Construction Co Inc.