Pouring Your Concrete Patio

What You'll Need
Shovels and hoes for moving concrete around the form
Rubber boots for walking in the concrete
A screeding board (a 2 x 4 at least 6" longer than the width of the form - to level the concrete)
A tamper
Wooden or magnesium float
Finishing trowel
Pointing trowel
Old broom
Water hose

Finally it’s time to pour you new patio. You’ve done all the prep work, built your forms, installed your rebar, calculated how much concrete you are going to need and made arrangement for it to be delivered to your home. Now it time to pour the concrete and finish your patio.

Pouring the concrete

  • Before you start to pour the concrete into the forms, spray the entire area with your garden hose to wet it slightly then start adding the concrete. As the concrete is added use shovels and or hoes to move it into position and fill the form. IN fact it’s a good idea to slightly overfill the form to ensure the form is well filled.
  • After the concrete is spread evenly in the form, use the screed board to scrape off the excess concrete. This is a two-man job, one on each end. Start at one end of the form and using a side to side motion while pulling the screed board forward, move it across the top of the form. This process will get rid of any excess concrete and level off the pour.
  • The next step is finishing the concrete using a bull float. By sure you allow enough time for some water to appear on the surface and evaporate before starting to finish the surface. Hold the bull float an at angle with the front edge raised when you push it away from you and with the back end raised when you pull it toward you, to prevent making gouges in the surface.
  • After finishing the surface, use a pointing trowel and slide it along between the form and the concrete to separate the concrete from the form. After that I you should use an edger (a right-angled trowel) all around the edges of the pour, This will give the concrete a rounded edge that won’t crack or chip.
  • Now is also the time to cut your expansion joints every tow or three feet to prevent cracking of your new patio.
  • Finally finish the surface with a smooth trowel. You can kneel on a 1 x 8 laid across the top of the form boards while you are working to reach the middle of the pour.
  • Finish up by using a broom to make some tiny indents in the surface to provide traction for walking on the finished concrete.

Let it cure

  • Concrete needs to cure slowly. Cover the newly poured patio with plastic and spray it lightly with water every day for about a week before you finally remove the plastic sheet.
  • You can improve the look and help ensure your new patio keeps it new appearance by applying a concrete sealer to the surface about a month after you’ve built your patio.
Murray Anderson is an experienced freelance writer over 500 articles published on the web as well as in print magazines and newspapers in both the United States and Canada. He writes on a wide range of topics and is a regular contributor to DoItYourself.com. He can be contacted by email at - murand@lycos.com