Is A Concrete Patio a DIY Project?

Jun 28, 2021

As with millions of Americans, the summer of 2021 is another summer of staying home for families and having, or choosing, to forgo vacations. With so much time being spent at home, many families want to make this the summer of outdoor fun in their backyards. Extending an existing patio or creating a new one altogether is an excellent option for creating a highly functional outdoor space. However, is a concrete patio a DIY project? Before you start mixing and pouring concrete yourself, there are practical, aesthetic, and safety concerns that come with any DIY concrete project.

You may be thinking, “Well, I’ve watched a few YouTube videos, and it doesn’t seem that hard.” Yet, pouring concrete requires more knowledge and know-how than many people understand. Careful planning must be involved before you even start mixing the concrete mixture. Without the proper materials and tools, concrete will be weak, unsafe, and will require the entire project to be redone.

The most common mistake DIY’ers have when pouring a concrete area is not being thoroughly prepared. The spot where you want to pour concrete must be suitable before concrete can be laid. Failing to use a plate compactor to compact the soil, not leveling the surface, or not setting up proper forms will negatively affect how smooth and even the concrete is poured.

Failing to set up proper forms will result in a very wonky-shaped concrete area. A concrete form is a wooden frame into which fluid concrete is poured. These forms must be strong enough to hold wet concrete (which is very heavy) until it is fully dry and hardened.

Another mistake DIY’ers make is not knowing what type of concrete to use and how much of it they need. The minimum thickness of any concrete surface is 4 inches. However, if a concrete patio will bear heavy furniture or receive high foot traffic, the concrete slab needs to be 6”-8” thick. This slab is in addition to the 2”-3” base that is required.

There are many other areas of concrete pouring that must be understood:

  • Sufficient safety precautions
  • Weather conditions
  • The water-to-cement ratio
  • Using the correct tools
  • How to prepare concrete properly

If you don’t want the stress of knowing how to create a concrete patio properly and beautifully, contact MD Residential. We are the experts.

 Posted on behalf of MD Residential LLC