A concrete patio is a welcome addition to any backyard. Like a decking, it gives you a whole new living space. Your patio turns an otherwise useless area of your house into an outdoor kitchen, an entertaining space, a place for relaxation and a place for alfresco dining. The best thing about a concrete patio is that they are surprisingly easy to create.
The team at Everlast Services have been constructing them for over 20-years, follow their step-by-step process, and you can’t go wrong.
Step-by-Step Process for Building a Concrete Patio
Step 1: Prepare the Area
This step is vital, and you need to devote time and energy to it. If you’re preparing for a large patio, you may want to consider hiring an excavator, or a dingo digger if access is an issue. You need to remove all debris from the area, including plants and rocks. You then need to level the surface, making sure that every square inch is even. It’s more important to focus on creating even ground, rather than level ground.
Step 2: Create the Form
You need to outline the form that the patio will take with wood on the ground. You can use scrap wood to do this. The form needs to stick out of the ground to the level that you want the patio to sit, so, if you want it to sit flush on the ground, have the form flush too. The form will be used to hold the concrete and gravel in place, so take your time to get the placement right.
Step 3: Create the Base
Once the form is in place, you can begin spreading gravel to make the base. You need to spread about 7.5 centimetres of base rock to create a strong foundation. If you’re using reo bars, these should be added in at this point too. To install reo, just place the bars on the gravel in a grid formation, using wire to affix them at any intersections. Using reo makes your slab a lot stronger, so we strongly recommend using it.
Step 4: Pour the Concrete
If the area has good access, try and get the concrete truck to pump the mix directly onto the form. If you can’t do this, just use wheelbarrows to bring the mix around. It’s a good idea to have one person pouring, and another using trowels and floats to keep the surface level and smooth.
You can also add filler rocks for texture as you go. The most important thing is to work as quickly as possible, if you’re working on a hot day, the concrete will dry quick, and any imperfections will be stuck there.
Step 5: Cut Control Joints
Use a trowel to cut joints in the concrete every 1.2 metres or so. Cutting these control joints prevents the slab from cracking in the future. The joints should be about 5 centimetres deep, and you can place wooden boards across the form to make the cuts straight.
Step 6: Add Design Elements
You can paint your concrete, use a broom to add texture or get it stamped or stencilled. That’s the beauty of concrete; you have so many design options at your disposal. Adding texture to your pour also has the added benefit of making it non-slip.
You can read our complete guide to concrete finishes here.
More Expert Tips
- Make sure you wear gloves, long sleeves, pants, a face mask and protective goggles. Pouring concrete is very dusty work, and you don’t want the wet concrete to dry on your skin.
- Make sure you have everything prepared and all your tools on hand when the concrete truck turns up, you don’t want to pay extra for the truck because you aren’t ready for its arrival.
- Always order a little more concrete that you think you need. There’s nothing worse than being caught short, as what has been poured will dry before you can add more.
- If you want to use stones in the finish, why not make use of all the rocks you dig up during the excavation process?
Finishing the Patio
You have so many options when it comes to finishing your patio. You could add a frame over it and wrap creeper vines around the frame. Or, you can add a structure and a roof to create a space you can use all year round.
When it comes to furnishing the area, less is always more. If you cover your patio with pot plants and outdoor furniture, it detracts from the patio itself and just makes it look messy and cluttered.
Of course, you could just get our talented concreting team to take care of everything for you! We get the pour right every time, so your patio will last a lifetime.