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Do It Yourself Concrete Patio

Other Factors That Affect Cost

How To Pour A Concrete Patio (Do It Yourself)

The size of your patio wont be the only cost factor. Some patios are more complex than others, leading to various costs. Your patio may have an intricate stained finish, curves, or additional reinforcements to enhance its strength.

If youre planning a plain concrete slab patio with no bells and whistles, expect to pay much less than $16 per square foot.

Other factors that affect cost include:

  • Thickness: The thicker your concrete slab, the higher your bill.
  • Shape: Rectangular patios are the easiest to install. Patios with custom shapes are more challenging to install, leading to higher labor costs.
  • Reinforcements: A patio with reinforced concrete will have enhanced durability but will drive up costs.
  • Type of Finish: Want to give your concrete an added splash of color, a special texture, or an elaborate design? Decorative concrete will increase the bill.
  • Grade of Concrete: High-quality concrete mixes will cost more than lower-quality concrete mixes.
  • Location: Costs will rise if your patio site is hard to reach or its soil conditions are poor.
  • Concrete Removal: Need to remove an existing patio before you install the new one? Concrete removal will be an additional cost.

Secure Forms For Patio Framing With Stakes

Build Forms for the Patio Area

Spray-paint an outline of the desired patio shape onto the ground and build a wooden form matching the outline. Since the patio for this project had dramatic curves, the crew used sturdy bender boards to capture the outline. Secure the forms with stakes pounded into the ground with about one foot between stakes.

How To Pour A Concrete Patio

Get your landscaping features with this DIY concrete patio that comes with a solid concrete texture. Our all concrete patio ideas are long-lasting and economical and will require low maintenance too. For this DIY concrete patio, you need a concrete mix, gravel, acrylic cure, and seal as the main ingredients to build this solid concrete patio. Details here bobvila

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Calculating Area And Ordering Materials

The existing grade of our back yard sloped about 18″ from our back door to the gate. This is good for drainage, but not very nice for a patio. In order to make up the grade change, I had to calculate not just the area of our patio, but the volume. After taking some measurements , I found the area to be approximately 220 square feet.

I used bricks that were 1.75″ depth, and knew I wanted there to be a 2″ step out of the house onto the patio. I wanted at least 4″ of crushed stone and 1″ of bedding sand. That, plus building up the area by the fence to the same level, required about 4.33 cubic yards of base material. and about 20 cubic feet of sand. A screen shot of my calculations is included, but this is pretty specific to my backyard and design, so you will want to create your own. I also way overestimated the amount of bedding sand I would need – the stone yard sold it by the ton, not by the cubic foot or cubic yard, so I had to buy way more than I needed.

I took the area of my patio, and divided by the square foot coverage of each brick square feet to arrive at the estimate of 1250 pavers . I added a 10% overage to account for breakage, and then divided by the number of bricks per pallet to arrive at 3 pallets. I knew I would have a lot of bricks left over using this method, but I wanted all of the bricks to match, and not have to buy another batch later that may be slightly off.

Mixing By Sight Alone

Dream Do It Yourself Concrete Patio 21 Photo

You dont want to estimate the water-to-cement ratio of your concrete mix. If this delicate balance isnt correct, youll undermine the concretes workability, setting time, strength, and durability. And as stated already, you really only get one shot at this, unless you want to spend twice the money and time.

Too much water in the mix leads to cracking, while too much cement can result in the concrete being impossible to pour and smooth out. Understand and precisely follow the instructions for the mixture you choose.

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Cost Estimator By Size

Your patios size will have a significant impact on your total bill. Most concrete patio contractors charge between $4.40 and $16 per square foot, depending on thepatios shape and finish.

The larger your patio is, the more you can expect to pay the pros for labor and materials. A 400-square-foot concrete patio will cost four times more in labor and materials than a 100-square-foot patio.

Below youll find the average cost estimates for installing a concrete patio. Keep in mind these average costs cover only the materials and the labor needed to install a concrete patio. The prices do not include land preparation costs, such as grading or resloping the site, nor high-end finishes.

$1,760 to $6,400

Edging Laying The Polymeric Sand

I had to rent a concrete saw and blade from Home Depot. This was my first time using such a monster, and it was not easy to keep a straight line. This part of the job was done a week after the first part, and I had moved my excess sand and bricks on to the patio and out of the common space so my neighbors wouldn’t complain. I then had to work around these obstructions with the concrete saw, and that made the results a little sloppier than I’d hoped.

The concrete saw was electric, and had a hose attachment to reduce dust. If I could do it over again, I’d have tried to rent a gas powered saw. The cord was always in the way, and the water dripping from the hose erased the chalk line I was trying to cut. There’s probably a better way to mark a cut line than chalk, if water is going to be used.

I used bricks in a running bond pattern around the edges of the patio, 2 rows in some areas, and 1 row in other areas. I mix and matched some of the cut-off bricks to make sure that there was enough room and to compensate for the obstructions. This was pretty time-consuming, but resulted in a much nicer finished product.

I had built some minor retaining walls to support the base material and also to define the two steps to get from the drainage swale behind the house to the level of the patio, so I built those steps as well.

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Reasons Most Do It Yourself Concrete Patios Fail

Everyone loves saving money when it comes to concrete patio installation, but not all DIY concrete patios turn out right. A majority of concrete patios end in shambles due to the concrete not being properly prepared, failing to set up proper forms, overworking the concrete, and many other reasons. If you have an upcoming concrete patio project which youre considering undertaking by yourself, youve come to the right.

At Artistic Concrete Designs, weve compiled the common reasons most DIY concrete patios fail.

  • Failing to Set Up Proper Forms

A concrete form is a solid barrier that holds fluid concrete in place while it dries and hardens. A common mistake that do-it-yourselfers make is building uneven forms or using concrete forms that are too big. Ideally, concrete forms should be of the right size and allow the concrete to dry evenly.

  • Errors in Mixing or Pouring

Most concrete patios fail because of a number of mistakes that do-it-yourselfers make when mixing or pouring concrete. For instance, pouring concrete that is too wet diminishes the strength of the whole structure. Concrete that is too dry is also not recommended as it wont be able to cure with full strength. You should also avoid pouring too thin to ensure your concrete surface can stand up to heavy vehicle traffic.

  • Pouring Concrete During Bad Weather
  • Shoddy Technique
  • Using The Wrong Tools
  • Not Adding Texture

Mixing And Pouring The Concrete

How to Make a Patio from Concrete Pavers

First thing that we had to do was get the gravel wet. Once that was ready we started to mix.

This is the big mixer that we rented. This bad boy was on all day long. We only had to fill the tank once with about a gallon of gas, during our lunch break.

It says that the mixer can hold up to 16 bags at a time, but we decided to do half, about 8 bags to get the texture just right. We added one bag at a time while spraying in the water. It took about 15 min. to get it to the right texture. Once it looked good, we loaded up the wheelbarrow and started pouring it in place.

Here is the repair that we had to make to the wheelbarrow. This was a good old wheelbarrow. Um, VERY old, but it was very sturdy. We loaded about a third of a batch in the wheelbarrow, then wheeled the mix to the spot. We started with the farthest end of the patio, away from the mixer and worked our way toward the mixer.

Most of the morning we were pouring in the shade, which was right up against the house. When pouring concrete, pouring in the shade is best. As the day went on though, it got sunnier and hotter, which made mixing and pouring concrete more challenging to beat the heat, and finish it before the set had set the cement.

Here you can see it roughly leveled out and the control joints started. We were getting close to half way at this point.

Lots a mixing and lots of trash!

I was glad for the mask on a day like this.

We hope that you like the project! Let us know what you think.

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Diy Stone Stamped Concrete Patio

Difficulty Level Hard

This is a 4-day project that requires you to drag heavy stones, mix cement, and stay on your knees for long durations. On the contrary, expect elegance at its best. Youll be surprised to see traces of perfection in your final product.

For the heavy-lifting involved, consider making a garden cart before this project. It will benefit for present and also future backyard projects.

In case youve been evading the usage of a wheelbarrow or garden cart due to storage problems then these backyard wheelbarrow storage solutions may help change your mind.

Diy Concrete Patio Step One: Preparing The Site

Start by placing four stakes to mark the four corners of your patio.

Run a line of string around the four stakes and level to see how much the ground your building on slopes. You want to build your patio on even ground that drains well to avoid any cracking.

If you have sandy soil, just remove the topsoil to allow for three inches of gravel and four inches of concrete.

If you have harder soil then remove enough to allow for eight inches of compacted gravel and and four inches of concrete.

Read Also: Sloped Yard Concrete Patio On A Slope

Not Being Properly Prepared

The most common issue do-it-yourselfers have when pouring concrete is not being thoroughly prepared. The process takes a lot more than getting the shovel out of the shed and clearing a spot. How ready that spot is to receive a ton of concrete determines everything.

Inexperienced DIY-ers tend to overlook many thingssuch as failing to use a plate compactor to pack the soil, not leveling the area adequately, or not setting up proper formsthe blocking that allows for a smooth, even pour. There are a lot of steps to pouring concrete property.

Retail Concrete Patio Costs


Here is a list of the materials and tools needed to frame, pour and finish a concrete patio.

  • $2 $4 per Square Foot | Concrete by the bag costs more than by the truck, but unless you pour a large concrete patio, a full truck load likely wont be required
  • About a $1 per Linear Foot | Lumber to frame the perimeter of the patio for pouring the concrete lumber prices remain volatile, so this is subject to change
  • $12 $15 per Box | Duplex nails used to fasten the framing together
  • $15 $25 per Cubic Yard | Youll want about 4 inches of it, unless youve had to dig out more topsoil. One yard of gravel covers about 80 square feet 4 inches deep.
  • $.25 $.33 per square foot | Steel or Fiberglass concrete reinforcement
  • $15 $30 | Edging Trowel for working the concrete along the edges
  • $25 $40 Finishing Trowel of Float | Required for finished concrete to give it a smooth surface
  • $35 $40 per Gallon or $170-$200 for a 5-gallon Pail | Concrete Sealer with 200 square foot per gallon coverage
  • $300 $500+ for purchase $50 $100 per day Rental | Concrete Saw with Diamond Blade

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Gather All The Necessary Tools And Equipment

Yuka Kato from Fixr explains that the tools needed to break apart a concrete patio all depend on the structure. Most concrete patios are un-reinforced, meaning that there is no rebar. So, in that case, a jackhammer is the best method to break the concrete into smaller pieces that can be shoveled away. If the area is very small, and the concrete is already cracked, a sledgehammer could also get the job done.

However, if you do have a patio that has been reinforced with rebar you will need some heavy equipment. This includes things like a hydraulic lift to raise large sections at a time, or an excavator to dig up and lift the pieces.

If your concrete patio is not reinforced with rebar, heres how to remove it.

Tools to Have On-Hand:

Pro Tip: Only use a jackhammer if your concrete patio is more than 4 inches thick. Otherwise a sledgehammer can get the job done. You will also only need bolt cutters if your concrete is reinforced with mesh.

How To Lay Out & Excavate A Patio Site

1. Lay out a rough project outline with a rope or hose. Use a carpenter√Ęs square to set perpendicular lines. To create the actual layout, begin by driving wood stakes near each corner of the rough layout. The goal is to arrange the stakes so they are outside the actual project area, but in alignment with the borders of the project. Where possible, use two stakes set back 1 ft. from each corner, so strings intersect to mark each corner . Note: In projects built next to permanent structures, the structure will define one project side.

2. Connect the stakes with mason√Ęs strings. The strings should follow the actual project outlines. To make sure the strings are square, use the 3-4-5 triangle method: measure and mark points 3 ft. out from one corner along one string, and 4 ft. out along the intersecting string at the corner. Measure between the points, and adjust the positions of the strings until the distance between the points is exactly 5 ft. A helper will make this easier.

3. Reset the stakes, if necessary, to conform to the positions of the squared strings. Check all corners with the 3-4-5 method, and adjust until the entire project area is exactly square. This can be a lengthy process with plenty of trial and error, but it is very important to the success of the project, especially if you plan to build on the concrete surface.

8. Lay a subbase for the project . Pour a 5″-thick layer of gravel, and tamp until the gravel is even and compressed to 4″ in depth.

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Factors Influencing The Cost Of A Patio

  • Patio sizeTypically the price per square foot goes down as the patio gets bigger. Alternatively, for small patios, some contractors charge a minimum total rather than a per square foot price.
  • Property conditionIf you need grading, demolition or other site work, the price will go up. Also, if your property cant be accessed with the necessary equipment, requiring a pump or additional labor, costs will rise.
  • Complexity of designAdding texture, color, borders or other design features will add up. A basic shape with straight edges is easier to form, while curves are more complex and more expensive.
  • New patio vs existing patioIf you are looking to install a new patio, it will cost an estimated $3 – $15 per sq ft, and sometimes more. If you have an existing patio and are looking to refresh the look, or have repairs made to any damage, you may not have to start over. The costs of patio resurfacing are less than that of replacement, ranging between $3 and $10 per square foot.

Tip: Since the cost of your patio can vary with the size of the surface and the detail of your design, it is important to find a contractor that will give you the best result for the best price. You can find a patio contractor by using the Concrete Network directory. View portfolio pictures, contact contractors directly, and even request free estimates.

Planning And Preparing For Your Concrete Patio

How to Build a Patio – An easy Do it Yourself Project

A isnt something that can be easily removed or replaced so if youre thinking about in your yard, taking some time to plan and prepare properly is time well spent. Heres some ideas about things youll want to consider before you start pouring that .

Upfront Planning

  • Check you local and state building codes to find out whether you need permits to build your patio and ensure you have the proper planning, zoning and home owners association permission before you go any farther.
  • Consider buying some 3D construction planning software that will allow you to actually see how your patio could look in various shapes and configurations before you invest any money or effort in actually building it.
  • Think about how you are going to be using your patio. For example if it is going to have another structure built on top of it , you will to provide extras support where the barbecue will be located. Are you going to want to run electrical, sound or possibly CATV cable out to your patio? Consider installing some 3 PVC pipe in the base so you can easily add those cables . Its a lot easier to provision for a potential need now, rather than having to figure out how to get those cables out there in a few years.

The base is very important.

How deep do you go?

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