In just a few months, the warmer weather will be creeping in and yard projects will take center stage. One project that makes a big difference in a backyard is a patio. A patio is a great place to spend warm evenings eating dinner or socializing with friends. If you have always wanted one, this is the year to do it. Whether you are redoing an existing patio or creating a new one, save yourself some money and do it yourself.
1. Create the outline. Decide how big you want your patio, then mark it with spray paint or staked string. Next, start digging out the sod and breaking up any existing concrete in the area. Even out the area to be as flat as possible, so the entire area is approximately five to six inches deep.
2. Lay down a border. This is most easily done with 2x4 wood pieces around the border. This will help you to have an even, clean-edged patio.
3. Lay the cement. The easiest way to lay a large amount of cement is to get a concrete mixer for rent. You will most likely only need it for one day if you rent it after you have the area totally prepared. Put the cement mix and required amount of water into the concrete mixer until ready. If you are going to color the cement, make sure that you add the coloring agent during the mixing process to make sure that it is evenly distributed. Once you begin pouring the concrete, start in one corner, working systematically from side to side to make sure you completely cover the area. Make sure you are using a shovel to even it out as you go.
4. Let it dry. Follow the instructions on the back of the cement mix bag for drying times, but it typically requires at least a day for drying. If you are going to stamp the concrete or add some sort of decoration, this needs to be during the drying stage, when the concrete is still able to be molded, but not so wet that it can't hold the design. It should require little force to stamp the concrete and you must work quickly. It is advised that you have someone there to help with this process if you are covering a really large area.
5. Finish preparing it. Once the concrete has had enough time to completely dry, power wash the concrete to remove any loose debris. Be very careful to not do this step too soon or you will mark up the cement. If you did any kind of decoration or stamping, it's a good idea to do a sealant as well.
For more information, consider contacting a professional like those at Horizon Equipment Rentals.