As a homeowner with DIY skills, installing your own concrete patio is doable. However, to do so, you must erect wooden forms to hold the ready-mix concrete. While building concrete forms may seem complicated, it is manageable and rewarding with the following detailed roadmap.
Know the Materials
Before you start this project, it's critical to understand the materials you're about to work with. As the name suggests, ready-mix concrete is a pre-mixed cement mixture. The ready-mix is delivered to your home in a large cement mixer, all ready to pour. Once your forms are complete, a concrete company will deliver the cement and pour it into the forms to make your patio.
Drafting a Plan
Before you start erecting your concrete forms, sketch your design on paper. This simple step helps solidify your vision, making working with the physical materials easier. Your draft should include the patio's shape, size, and location. Keep in mind perfect rectangles or squares make the process much easier, especially if you're a beginner!
Prepping the Area
Preparation is critical in ensuring a level, sturdy foundation for your patio. Clear the area of any debris, rocks, or grass. After you've cleared the space, it's time to excavate. You need to dig until you reach a firm, hard-packed layer of soil. Once you've achieved this, use a compactor to make it even more solid.
Setting Up the Forms
Now comes the heart of your project — setting up the forms. Using straight, sturdy lumber is essential for creating a precise, linear boundary for your patio. The width of your boards should equal the desired thickness of your patio. Use wooden stakes to secure the forms, hammering them into the ground on the outside of the lumber. Space the stakes a few feet apart to ensure stability. Always double-check your forms for level. An uneven form will result in a sloping patio.
Securing the Forms
While setting up the forms, ensuring they're firmly secured is essential. Remember, the weight of the concrete is substantial, so your forms need to withstand the pressure. Use screws to fasten the forms to the stakes, driving them through the lumber and into the stakes, ensuring the forms stay exactly where you want them while you pour your ready-mix concrete.
Finalizing the Setup
You're almost ready to pour once your forms are erected and secure. But first, apply a form release agent to the inside of your forms to prevent the concrete from sticking to the wood, making it easier to remove the forms once the concrete has cured. Now, you're ready for the exciting part – ordering the concrete!
Reach out to a local ready-mix concrete supplier to learn more.