Of all the materials you can use to build a patio, concrete stands out as one of the very best. It is easy to maintain and clean, resistant to environmental conditions, you can make it yourself, and best of it all, it is cheaper in the long run than other materials. The versatility of concrete means your patio can be in any shape or form you like. If you’re thinking of building one yourself, we look at the things you should consider and the steps involved.
When to Build
One of the first things to consider when building a concrete patio is whether you are making at the right time. The best time is definitely during the warm and dry season when there is no rain or snow to ruin the process. However, the dry season is not without its problem. The weather that is too hot may prevent the concrete from curing, which is why you have to shade the concrete and maybe even mist it with water so that the curing is not premature.
Regulations and Codes
You must also consider the building codes and regulations of your area before constructing a patio. Most areas usually require homeowners to seek approval for a significant construction like a patio. Building codes may also include specifications and restrictions as to how the patio should be built, the design, type of material, quality of material, etc. You should ensure you make inquiries about all these details before you start building. Another important thing you should do here is call 811, the National Call Before You Dig number before you start.
All the equipment you will need for any concrete construction is required here as well. These include measuring tape, line level, hammer, Darby, trowel, concrete groover, steel rake, shovel, wood saw, plate compactor, wood float, concrete edger, etc.
Steps to Building Your Patio
Map Out the Area And Excavate: The first step is to map out the area you will use for the patio. You can do this with stakes and strings to mark the site. Once you have done this, you have to clear out the area. Clearing out usually involves removing all vegetation and then digging the soil, usually up to 8 inches’ depth. At this point, you should tamp the soil before pouring gravel and leveling it.
Install The Form: The concrete form is wooden or metal form, where you will pour the concrete. Ensure that all the measurements for building it are accurate. Upon installation, secure it to the ground with wood stakes.
Pour and Screed the Concrete: Pouring the concrete into the form is quite simple, but you also have to be careful and make sure that every millimeter of the form is filled. Once this is done, it is time to screed the concrete and level. This is a crucial stage, and you must ensure you are meticulous throughout. It is also at this stage that you should edge the concrete.
Finish The Concrete: This is the stage where you smoothen the concrete and properly texturize it so that it will be easy to walk on and slip-resistant. Once you have finished the concrete, you should let it cure for about two weeks, after which you can remove all the forms, and your patio is ready.
It is essential that you use the right concrete for your patio if you want it to last. If your building code has specifications on material, you only have to comply. Click here for more information on concrete patios!