creating a concrete patio can add new living space to the home and create a striking focal point in the landscape. Though a concrete patio requires more work than a simple brick or stone patio, an ambitious and capable do-it-yourselfer can manage the project with proper planning and the right materials. In this article, QUIKRETE explains how to prep the site, build the forms, pour and finish the concrete to achieve a long-lasting, eye-catching result.
Identify a location for the patio, taking into consideration any existing landscaping and other obstructions, like tree roots or utility lines. Consult local ordinances to make sure the patio complies with any building restrictions in place.
Prep the site by removing all vegetation and digging until 6 inches beyond the rough patio layout marks; this will provide some room for the setting concrete to rise above the ground. Check that the soil is level using a line level or a 2×4 and tamp the area thoroughly with a rented plate compactor.
Determine the dimensions of the patio and mark out a rough outline using stakes and string. Use a protractor or carpenter’s square to ensure the corners are at 90 degrees. Alternatively, you can use the 3-4-5 rule, which states that a triangle with sides measuring three, four and five feet will always form a 90-degree angle at the corner opposite the 5-foot side.
Purchase concrete mix and a mixer, or rent one to get the job done faster. You’ll also need enough wooden 2x4s to frame your deck, rebar and wire mesh; you may also want a few extra boards to brace the concrete forms.