How to Install a Concrete Patio

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Swimming pool surrounding by landscape.

A patio is an outdoor space used for recreation and dining that adjoins a structure. Concrete is the most suitable patio option because it’s cheap, versatile, and has the ability to withstand adverse weather conditions. In addition, concrete patios are durable, and they require low maintenance. You can easily install a fire pit, pergola, pool deck, outdoor kitchen, and seating area on your concrete patio. Most homeowners engrave, brush, and paint a concrete patio to improve its aesthetics. There’s an array of materials that you’ll need to install a concrete patio that can be provided by a paving company. Some of what you will need to begin is prepping materials, materials to pour concrete, and materials to finish concrete. Prepping materials include string, a handsaw, a hoe or shovel, measuring tape, wire mesh, and gravel. A concrete mixer is the best equipment to pour concrete, especially if you’re filling a large space. Finally, a plastic tarp, a bull float, and an edger are essential materials to finish your concrete patio.

Below are comprehensive steps on how to install a concrete patio:

1. Lay the Base

Set a standard foundation to pour concrete. The foundation is an essential factor that determines the integrity of your patio. In addition, it provides a smoother finish, covers skin blemishes, and provides a healthy glow. After compacting the roped-off section of the earth, lay an even layer of gravel to support drainage.

2. Create a Form

There are several things to consider when designing an architectural form: scale, mass/size, shape, articulation, rhythm, proportion, light, colour, and texture. In order to create a good form for concrete, place a perimeter of new stakes around the construction site. Ensure that these stakes are slightly outside the boards. The form boards should be sturdy and heavy to withstand the weight of weight cement. Therefore, nail the right boards into the perimeter stakes.

3. Remove the Top of the Stakes

The stakes should play a significant role when it comes to pouring concrete. However, saw off the top of the stakes to prevent them from protruding after project completion. You can use a handsaw to level off the stakes.

4. Coat the Concrete Forms

There are three properties of a good concrete form:

  1. Provides a hard and non-powdery paintable surface.
  2. Leaves the form free of concrete residue. It also extends its lifespan.
  3. Provides a clean release from the hardened concrete.

You can either use vegetable oil or another agent to coat the wooden forms. The solution should be able to prevent the forms from sticking to the concrete. Therefore, ensure you evaluate the suitability of the agent before using it.

5. Lay Your Mesh Reinforcement

A wire mesh frame plays a remarkable role in preventing your patio from cracking. Add some mesh on the gravel base to support the patio weight. In addition, ensure the wire mesh sits in the middle of your slab’s thickness.

6. Mix the Concrete

The size of the patio is a key aspect that determines whether you can use an industrial mixer or hand mix your concrete. Concrete comprises a mixture of cement, sand, gravel, and water. These ingredients should be mixed in a ratio of 1:2:3:0.5, respectively. Therefore, whether you’re hand-mixing or using an industrial mixer, ensure you stick to this ratio.

7. Pour Concrete and Apply a Finishing Touch

Pour the concrete into the dig site. Use an appropriate tool, such as a shovel, to distribute the concrete evenly. Fill low spots on the edges of the form with a sufficient amount of concrete. Run a screed over the top of wet concrete to eliminate excess concrete. In addition, you can either use a sawing or a side-to-side motion to attain an even surface. Use an edger to round the edges of your patio.

8. Let the Concrete Cure

The concrete patio can dry within two to three days, depending on various aspects like the grade of concrete, type of curing method, atmospheric temperature and climatic conditions, grade and type of cement, the shape of the patio, size of the structure, and location of the concrete patio. You should cover the wet concrete with a wooden tarp to protect it from debris and other pollutants.

Conclusion

There are various steps to prepare your yard for a concrete patio: select a suitable location, measure the construction site, stake the area, and dig the site. Concrete patios are more popular because they’re durable, versatile, require minimal maintenance, and are inexpensive. Installing a concrete patio requires professionalism; therefore, consider hiring the right paving company to do the job.