Out of all the materials available to build a patio area, concrete is one of the most versatile choices.
The finishing effect is smooth, clean and can even come in a variety of tints. In addition to this smooth finish, you can form it into geometric or curved shapes. On top of the classy look, it’s durable and inexpensive.
If you want to make it extra budget-friendly, you could DIY. Over the past decade, there has been a 42% increase in Brits doing DIY projects. So, why not try it yourself?
But where can you find inspiration for DIY concrete patio ideas? How can you actually build a DIY concrete patio? Read on to find out.
DIY Concrete Patio Ideas
A DIY cement patio may not conjure up a luxurious look in your mind. But with a little imagination and some complementary landscaping, a concrete patio can look very chic.
Instead of the classic light grey, opt for a desert colour instead. For instance pinks, purples, greens, reds or yellows will give your backyard a cool Mediterranean look.
Instead of a full slab, why not create an urban look. You can do this using large concrete blocks with evenly spaced with grass or gravel between them. Or add a strip of another texture in the middle of the patio, such as a piece of decking.
Create a rugged concrete by using a stiff broom over the wet concrete. This will not only create an interesting texture, but it will also roughen the surface and stop slips and trips.
You can also create your DIY cement patio in a different shape. It doesn’t have to be square or rectangular, try triangular or circular instead.
The opportunities are endless when it comes to concrete! But you may be wondering: how to make a concrete patio? Keep reading for a step by step guide.
How to Make a Concrete Patio – A Step-by-Step guide
Before you begin, you need the right tools for the job. Each project will vary, but here is a list of the essentials:
- Garden Hose
- Stakes and String
- Scrap boards (for the form)
- Concrete Mixer
- Masons Trowel
- Rebar (steel reinforcing rods for the concrete)
- Line Level
- Concrete Float
- Concrete and Sealant
- Protective clothing
Once you know what equipment you need, it’s time to make those plans concrete.
Step 1: DIY Concrete Patio Planning
Get planning permission if you need it. There’s nothing worse than having to tear down your hard work after finding out it doesn’t follow local regulations.
You may have an idea of where you want to construct the patio. But now you need to determine the exact dimensions.
Drive stakes into the corners of the proposed area and tie a string between them. This will help you to visualize the final look.
Step 2: Start the Excavation
Before you grab your shovel, make sure you won’t damage any utilities. For instance, septic tanks or underground lines.
Use gardening tools to remove the weeds, grass, and roots from the patio area. If you come across any small stones, set them aside, you might be able to mix them into the concrete later. Large flat rocks can also be set aside for use in the foundation.
Dig down to a depth of about 6 inches. Two inches will be for the layer of gravel, and the other four inches will be for the concrete.
Make sure you create a grade (steady slope away from the house). You can do this using stakes and line level.
Step 3: Build a Form
Build a form from scrap pieces of wood. The purpose of a form is to hold in the gravel and concrete. Sink the lumber into the ground along the edges of your patio area.
If you want your patio floor to be flush with the ground, you need to make sure the upper edge of the form is level with the ground. If you want the patio to rise above the ground, adjust the form.
Step 4: Create a Solid Foundation
Pour gravel into the area and compress it firmly. Then add any flat pieces of rock you set aside earlier.
Next, add rebar to reinforce the slab. Place them every two feet into a grid-like pattern (left to right, front to back). Then connect them where they cross over each other.
Step 5: How to Pour a Concrete Patio
Mix concrete in a cement mixer. Add water, concrete, and mix. Keep doing this until you make a consistent texture in a shiny, medium grey colour.
Pour the concrete from the furthest end and work your way back. You need to do this as quickly as possible.
Step 6: Smooth the Jagged Edges
Use a screed to level the surface (usually a flat piece of wood). Pull it from one end to the other. This will remove excess concrete.
Use a masons trowel to cut 2 inch deep joints into the patio. You should do this every 3-4 feet. This will reduce pressure and prevent the cement from cracking when it’s dry.
Wait until the watery layer of your concrete disappears. Then use a float to even out any lumps.
Step 7: The Finishing Touches
Lay a plastic tarp over the patio to allow it to cure. The key is not to let it dry too quickly. By laying plastic over it for a week, you can retain the moisture.
If you want to apply a sealant you will need to refer to the instructions. As various sealants have different waiting times.
Concrete Patios – Do It Yourself Tips
There are many benefits of doing a DIY cement patio, but there are also many things that could go wrong. Follow these extra tips for a smoother experience:
- Wear work clothes that cover your skin.
- Wear safety items (such as gloves, safety glasses, and a mask).
- Always be ready with a hosepipe.
- Place the concrete mixer close to the project so it’s easy to transport the concrete.
- Buy extra concrete (in case you run out and the shop has closed).
- Keep the mixer off the grass or use a tarp to protect your grass.
- Before pouring the concrete, wet the gravel (this helps it not to cure too quickly while pouring).
- Leave the patio to settle for a week before putting furniture on it.
If you follow these tips, your DIY experience won’t be as hard as the concrete itself.
Not Your Cup of Tea?
When will you be building your DIY concrete patio? Of course, some DIY projects are not everybody’s cup of tea. Where can you go if you want someone to do the job for you?
We at Gyvtec Ltd can help you to build your patio in a speedy timeframe. Find more about our revolutionary services here.