How to Install a Concrete Patio and Leveling Concrete Surfaces

Concrete patio stamped from  fresh concrete Just about anyone can install a concrete patio on their own.  So, why do so many hire a concrete contractor to do the job?

Because it’s time-consuming and it’s hard, back-breaking labor!  You can do the work on your own, especially if you are the handy type already.  Learn how to do this in detail in the  rest of the article.

  1.  First, decide where you want your patio, what shape it will be, and how large it will be.  Consider whether you would like any special effects such as coloring or patterning.

    For this example, keep it simple and say you want a 10 foot by 15 foot patio.  Place the measurements on paper.

  2. Call the local city hall and see what permits are required for construction in your area.  Get the necessary permits now, because not doing so can be very costly later on.
  3.  Decide what type of cement you want, and consider whether or not you want to mix it yourself or buy it premixed.  Tell the company you are ordering from how large of an area you want to pour, and they will help you determine how much you need.

    Be sure not to order the cement mix until you complete a few of the following steps.

  4.  Now, it’s time to set your form.  You can place it on top of the ground, but most people dig to create the proper footing.

     Place your forms around the outside, and be sure to use straight pieces of 2×6 lumber.  Keep them in place with stakes.

  5.  The larger your patio, the stronger you will want your equipment to be.  In many localities, you need to have your form inspected before you pour your cement. Contraction joints are required for larger areas.  Place a 1×4 in your form every 5 feet or so.

     You can leave it in if you want, but be sure to use nice, straight lumber.  You can also remove the form while the cement is curing if you want.

  6.   Now it’s time to order your cement.  Tell the company the dimensions of your project and they’ll deliver the right amount of cement.  The truck driver will eventually arrive, and will help you pour it.

    Put your rubber boots on and stomp around in the cement to remove any air pockets.

  7.   Next, level your cement with a long 2×4.  It must reach from one end of your forms to the other.  Move it back and forth in a sawing motion and level all of the cement overlay with the ground. If you want a smooth finish, use a metal trowel or 2×4 to smooth your cement.

     One option to consider is to go over the cement with a broom.  This will make the surface rough, which makes it easier for people to walk on once it dries.

  8.  Finally, let your concrete cure.  It takes nearly three days before your concrete is hard enough to walk on.

     Keep the concrete damp the first and second day by quickly misting it with a water hose twice each day to prevent cracks and uneven drying.

  9. Enjoy your new concrete patio and commend yourself on a job well done!

Don’t forget to look at the premium concrete service jobs we have been involved with in the Los Angeles California area.

This entry was posted in Concrete Restoration, Concrete Tutorials and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to How to Install a Concrete Patio and Leveling Concrete Surfaces

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *