A concrete patio can offer a homeowner a wide range of benefits from having a simply modern and relaxing area to sit and enjoy your garden, to the more practical elements of allowing kids to play on their bikes and scooters in a safe area close to home. Low maintenance much like a concrete driveway, and easy to install, we here at Oxcrete Ltd have put together a step by step guide to help you lay a concrete patio. Be sure you have the right tools for the job before you start!
Prepare your patio space
Decide where abouts you want to place your patio and figure out the exact dimensions. The size of the patio will affect the amount of concrete needed to bring this project to completion, so you want to make sure you’re doing it right! Try to choose a mostly even area so that you won’t spend too much time leveling out the ground. Ensure that there is nothing below the ground where you want to place your patio (such as pipes).
Mark out your patio
Using wooden stakes, plot out the area you wish to place your patio. Use string to tie it between each stake to help you visualise how the patio will fit in your garden.
Remove grass, debris and topsoil within the marked out area
Using a mixture of garden tools like a hoe and shovel, remove the top layer of grass and surface debris, as well as the top layer of grass and soil so that you have a clean open space to work with when creating the base.
Dependent on whether you want your patio raised or to sit neatly flushed against the ground, you need to dig down to help create a base for your concrete.
Add gravel and compact the earth
This is an important step when it comes to creating the base of your patio. Adding gravel to the base will help stop your patio from cracking or shifting as well as for drainage reasons. Once the gravel has been laid it is important to make sure that it is compacted and laid evenly.
Create forms to make a frame
This frame will be used to hold the concrete in place. Remember that the form will be removed when the patio has been finished, so be sure not to count the frame into your dimensions as your patio could end up being a bit smaller than originally planned.
Line up the forms with the stakes
The forms themselves should be lined up with the stakes you’ve driven into the earth. This way, the forms are acting as the outer walls for your patio! Nail the forms to the stakes for support so that they don’t bend due to the force of the concrete.
Saw off the top of the stakes
These should be below the forms and not visible above the concrete. Be sure to be careful where you will be pouring the concrete. If it’s next to a structure, you will need to place an isolation joint between the concrete and that existing surface to minimise cracking.
Lay the concrete
If you need any help with this, here at Oxcrete we do a volumetric ready mix concrete surface which means that you only pay for what you lay! Get in contact with us now and see how we can help you bring your project to completion.
Level the concrete
Ensure that the concrete is level throughout the patio. Using a flat piece of wood and the help of another person, drag the wood along the top of the surface to help push out any lumps and bumps!
Allow the concrete to cure
Once you are happy with your patio concrete, you need to allow it to cure for a couple of days. Be sure to cover it with a curing compound so that the concrete stays moist.