DIY concrete patio pour

DIY concrete patio pour

You might have dreamed of a place to hold your BBQ, but never could afford the labor needed to have it done. Or maybe you have just bought your house, but something is just missing and the pockets are empty. Or you might be a capable homeowner who can do these kinds of things yourself.

No matter what’s the reason, DIY concrete patio cost is on the affordable side so there’s not much excuses not to have it. I might be little affected by the fact that I enjoy spending my evenings on my patio so don’t mind it too much.

A poured concrete patio is sturdy, can handle many kinds of weather, and is relatively easy to achieve even for beginners. This article will help you to have guidelines if you want to tackle this project. I’ll try to keep everything simple.

Here is also article about concrete forms and texture.

Preparing for the DIY concrete slab

Before you start your DIY concrete patio pour project, the first thing that you need to do is to prepare the area that will later be the patio. Measure the area outlining the stake. Measure down from the bottom of your doorway 71/2″ and make a mark on the siding. This will be the top of your patio.

You will need 10″ of the gravel and concrete mark. If you have more than that, you’ll have to add steps in 7 1/2″ increments. Once you’ve set your height, you’ll hit a stake in the ground at the height you’ve set.

Go to the edges of your patio and attach a string line loop around one end and pull it across to the other parallel end. Do it so that it goes over the stake by the door you used to set the height.

With both ends attached, pound in at the same time as you help until the line touches your reference stake. Use the string level to adjust to the level.

With your reference height set, nail one end of a 1×6 board to match your height. Have your helper nail the other end to the stake as you hold it.

Next, do the same for the side perpendicular to the one you just did to set a square corner. Measure 3′ up one of the boards to make a mark and 4′ up the other board to make a mark. The distance between the marks should be exactly 5′.

Repeat this step on the opposite side. First, you attach the form boards to opposite sides and check you’ve got square corners. Then you can make sure that the front and back measurements are the same. At last, you can put the forms together.

Now it’s time to set the pitch. Code requirements are 1/4″ per foot. Use the level you want to determine this pitch. Your partner can adjust the height of the shape as necessary. Make sure the outside corner stake is pounded in front of this step.

Once a pitch has been established, nail the shape to the stake. Now all you have to do is keep the level of the front shape as you nail the shapes to the stakes. Once the patio shapes are in place, go back and place the stakes every 2′ to prevent the buckling.

Gravel makes the concrete patio drainage when compacted

Concrete patio drainage

Now is the time to add gravel for our concrete patio drainage. The clear stone 3/4″ or 7/8″ should be used. The quarry or landscaping company will estimate how much you need. Always get 1/2 ton more than you would recommend. Make sure the measurements you give are accurate.

Once you’ve got all the gravel between your shapes, make sure you’ve got about 3 1/2″ to 4″ from the gravel to the top of the form. Now you’ve got to compact the gravel with the rented plate compactor. This will prevent a settlement. Make at least 2 passes and make sure that the gravel is evenly spread before compacting.

Now lay some 2×4’s about half the width of your patio. Use your string line to make sure that the board is exactly the same as your forms. Repeat for the length of the courtyard.

Is rebar necessary for concrete patio

For our poured concrete patio to be able to handle pulling forces, I’d add rebar in before the pour. Pouring concrete slab article might help with that one so check it out if you’re considering it.

Now to pouring concrete patio

Finally, it’s time for pouring the concrete patio! Call your local concrete distributors and give them your measurements. They’re going to bring out enough concrete for a job.

Make sure you’ve got the boat float, the mag trowel, the steel trowel, and the edge trowel, and the 9′ 2×4 before you order the concrete. Depending on how you set up your yard, you may need to roll out the concrete to the back yard.

You’ll have the option of what kind of concrete you want basing on the finish you want. Generally, because of its added strength, you should always have fiber mesh concrete.

As the truck pours out the concrete, you’re going to have to be quick and shovel and rake the concrete as best you can between the 2×4’s. Use 9′ 2×4 to smoothly screed the concrete.

Basically, you move the board back and forth as you pull it across the top to make the concrete smooth. All you have to do is run the board at the top of your reference boards and follow the string line in the house. Repeat for areas where you can’t always use 2 of the reference points to screed off.

When you’re done pouring the concrete and screed it, pull out the 2×4 that you used as a reference in the middle of the patio. Fill the holes with a tossing shovel full of concrete from outside of the shaped and poured patio. Use the boat to level out the concrete.

While one person cleans the concrete off the tools, the other should take the edge trowel and go around the entire perimeter of the patio. This is going to create a nice, smooth edge. Once this has been done, use the boat float to smooth out any areas you see are high or low.

When the concrete has cured for about 20 minutes after you pour it, you should be able to finish it. I’ve chosen a broom finish for this example. Drag the bristle broom across the patio in the direction of the pitch to make a broom type texture.

Once the concrete has cured for approximately 12 hours, the concrete forms can be removed. Then you should buy a concrete sealer to protect against the flaking of a concrete face. This concludes the DIY concrete patio guide, hope it will help.


Pouring a concrete patio isn’t impossible, even for beginners. You just need to prepare every stage carefully to succeed without trouble. After 4 weeks, after the concrete has fully cured, you can consider decoration for the slab. If you’re working on cold weather, check this guide for cold weather concreting.

Here is a guide on how to paint a concrete patio to give direction. It can also be polished or stained.

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