Backyard patios have become an almost universal feature in American homes. They provide outdoor living spaces that are not only practical but also aesthetically pleasing. Whether you want to add some privacy, a place to entertain guests, or just a spot to relax under the sun, a concrete patio is one of the most popular ways to achieve this goal.
Concrete patios come in wide different varieties. You can create a garden-style patio with small plants around the edges, a large area where you can enjoy a barbeque, or simply a place to relax on a hot summer day. Whatever kind of patio you choose, there are several benefits to consider before you build one. From creating a space to host parties to simply adding value to your property, a concrete patio will add to the value of your home.
Whether you decide to build a new patio or repair an old one, read this guide to learn more about what goes into constructing a concrete patio. We’ll give you tips and tricks to help you construct and maintain a backyard patio that adds value to your home.
A Concrete Patio: What Is It?
While many types of patios are available, they all share some common features:
- They are made of concrete. This means that the elements are durable and won’t get damaged easily.
- They are usually built using a combination of brick, stone, or pavers.
- They are open-air structures providing plenty of space for people to enjoy their surroundings while being protected from the weather.
- The advantages of having a concrete patio include durability, ease of maintenance, versatility, and cost efficiency. If you plan ahead, you can customize your patio to look like the inside of your home.
- These are just a few of the reasons why people love concrete patios.
Benefits of building a Concrete Patio
There are multiple benefits that a concrete patio has over other kinds of patios. For starters, concrete patios are more durable than wooden ones. While wood may be considered a classic choice for patios, it isn’t as resistant to harsh weather conditions because it rots faster than concrete. Another benefit to concrete is that it comes in many colors and styles. So, you can find it at your local hardware store if you want a traditional white patio or something a little more unique, like pink or blue. The same applies to paver stones, which you can find in various patterns, shapes, and sizes.
Another advantage of concrete is that it is easy to clean up after a party. Unlike wood or stone patios, concrete doesn’t trap dirt and debris. Instead, it gets washed away easily with a hose. This makes it ideal for hosting large parties.
Finally, concrete is relatively inexpensive. You can buy a simple concrete slab for about $30 per square foot. In contrast, you would pay between $150-$200 for a similar size piece of wood.
The disadvantage of owning a Concrete Patio
Of course, no matter what kind of patio you choose, the biggest downside is that it requires a lot of effort and time. Building a concrete patio involves a lot of work. There are numerous steps involved in building a concrete patio.
- First, you need to figure out exactly what you want to do with it. From deciding if you want a patio to extend outside the kitchen door or a patio that connects two rooms in your house, you should consider what you want to put on it and how big you want it to be.
- Once you know what you want, you’ll need to prepare the site. Depending on how much digging you need, you may need to hire professional landscapers or contractors.
- Afterward, you will need to mix the concrete yourself.
- Then you will need to lay down the mortar.
- Finally, apply the finish coat.
As you can see, building a concrete patio takes a lot of work and time. However, it is well worth it in the end. Not only will it make your yard look great, but it will also boost the value of your house.
What Supplies Are Necessary to Construct a Concrete Patio?
Before you begin building your patio, you’ll need a few key supplies to get started.
First, you’ll need to purchase the following materials:
- Concrete (the base)
- Brick (optional)
- Paver stone
- Concrete Finishing products
Depending on the type of patio you want to build, you’ll need different amounts of these items.
Here is a breakdown of what you should expect to pay for each item:
1 cubic yard of concrete: $60/cubic yard
1 bag of sand: $6/bag
3 bags of brick: $45/bag
1 bag of paver stones: $10/bag
2 bags of mortar: $22/bag
5 gallons of mortar sealer: $15/gallon
3 gallons of finishing sealer: $12/gallon
This isn’t necessarily the exact amount you will spend since prices vary depending on your location. But the above list gives you an idea of what you will need to start. Of course, you will need to add additional supplies such as trowels, brushes, and the necessary tools to complete the project.
Making Your Yard Ready for a Concrete Patio
When you’re ready to start building your patio, you’ll need to take care of any construction that needs to occur on your property.
For example, if you plan to use the patio space as a driveway, you’ll need to dig a trench to properly lay the concrete. Otherwise, you may run into drainage issues.
Once your excavation is done, your next step is to lay down the base.
To do this, you’ll need to spread a layer of gravel followed by a layer of sand.
When you’ve finished laying down the base, you’ll need to tamp it down firmly until everything is level.
If you don’t do this correctly, you could end up with uneven surfaces.
After you have laid down the base, you’ll need to pour the concrete. You can do this with either a hand tamper or a vibrating plate. Either way, the process is the same. Fill the hole with water first, then add the concrete. Once you’ve added all the concrete, let it set for 4 hours. Then, you’ll need to tamp it again to ensure the entire surface is flat. Again, you should avoid doing this too hard, or you might damage the surface.
Next, you’ll need to install the bricks or stones. This is when you’ll need to ensure you have enough room for all the materials. You should also figure out where you’re going to place them. Some people prefer to stack the stones vertically, while others prefer to go horizontal. After you’ve decided how you’re going to arrange the materials, you’ll need to mix up the mortar. Using a trowel, apply mortar liberally onto the joints. Use the back of the trowel rather than the front. Then, smooth the joints with the side of the trowel completely covered. Apply another coat of mortar to fill in any gaps.
You’ll repeat the same process for the paver stones, except this time, you’ll need to use a bristle brush instead of a trowel. Once you’ve applied the mortar, leave the materials overnight to dry. Then you’ll need to apply the finishing sealer. This will protect your patio from moisture and fading.
Building a Concrete Patio: With Instructions You can Follow
Before you begin putting together the materials you need for your concrete patio, you should check with your local building codes. This will allow you to determine if you can build your patio without getting permission from your city government. However, you shouldn’t have any problems building your patio in most cases.
Once you’ve determined who you’ll need to speak to regarding construction, you should call them to schedule a date for construction. It’s always a good idea to schedule the project early, especially if you need to rent equipment such as a crane or excavator. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to get started.
Once you have scheduled your project, you’ll need to gather the construction materials. To keep costs low, you should try to gather as many of the materials as possible at once. Remember that concrete costs less per square foot than other materials, and you’ll save money if you order everything at once.
To begin the actual construction process, you’ll need to dig the trenches for the base and concrete. If installing an existing patio, you’ll need to remove any obstructions to dig a trench without hitting anything. After you’ve dug the trenches, you’ll need to lay a base for the concrete. Then, you’ll need to pour the concrete.
Pouring a concrete patio involves several major procedures, such as marking and excavating, putting together and leveling forms, mixing and pouring concrete, finishing the concrete, and more. For more details, follow the link to get your full professional instruction.
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