Lay The Sleepers And Predrill For Concrete Screws
The sleepers don’t have to be level they can follow the slope of your patio. But they do need to form a flat plane. If your patio is in good shape, you’ll get a flat plane automatically. If your patio has ridges and sunken areas, you’ll spend lots of time fussing with shims.
To preview the situation, lay a straight board across the patio in a few spots. Look for the highest hump in the patio and fasten your first sleeper there. Then work outward from the high spot, adding sleepers and checking for flatness along each sleeper and across them. Add shims to raise low spots.
Drill through sleepers, spacers and into the concrete with a hammer drill, then drive in concrete screws. Overhang the sleepers along one edge of the patio and trim them to exact length later.
How To Finish A Concrete Patio Slab
Theres a limited amount of time to finish your concrete patio slab before it dries. The most important thing is to have plenty of experienced help on hand because drying times will vary based on outdoor temperatures, humidity and other factors.
Here are general instructions for finishing your concrete patio.
- Pour the concrete inside forms area
- Use a screed board to level concrete and remove excess
- Continue leveling the concrete using a bull float
- Cut control joints with a concrete jointer tool to help prevent cracking
- Run a concrete edging tool around the perimeter to give the concrete a finished look
- Smooth finish the concrete using a float made of aluminum or magnesium
- Apply a textured slip resistant finish using a broom
- Remove form boards when concrete is dry
- Schedule final inspection with your city office.
Cost To Replace Concrete Patio
If you already have a concrete patio in place, dont forget to include the price to remove concrete in your estimate. This will add about $550 to $1,575 to your overall budget. The size of the slab you need to remove and the associated disposal fees will determine where in this range your project will fall.
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What Materials Did I Use
You might be wondering what materials did I use? Many were in the pricing chart at the start but not everything. So here is a list of everything I needed and used during this DIY project. Yes, this is a DIY project because I did this all by myself.
Here is every item I needed and used to build a concrete paver stone 10×10 foot patio:
|A lot of water|
Mixing By Sight Alone
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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An Easy Stone Project Without Mortar
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Estimated Cost: $3 – $5 per square foot
Laying flagstone patios in stone dust or sand, as opposed to mortar or concrete, is known as dry-set or sand-set. Dry construction is much easier for do-it-yourselfers because you can build directly on the ground, while mortared stone requires a concrete slab foundation to prevent cracking in the mortar. For a lasting installation, a dry-set stone patio does need a foundation, though. It’s best to start with several inches of compacted gravel, followed by a layer of stone dust, also called decomposed granite, or DG.
The DG is pulverized stone and contains small pieces along with gravel-size and sand-size particles. The variation in particle sizes allows the material to compact well. And while it is still loose, you can use it to level the stones, just as you would with sand. You can buy flagstone and DG at local stone yards and landscaping materials suppliers.
When choosing stone for the project, select the largest stones you can maneuver by hand, and choose them for consistent thickness and appearance. The stones should be at least 1 1/2 inches thick for strength 2 inches thick is better. Note that “flagstone” merely describes the stones’ wide, flat shape flagstone comes in many different types of stone.
How To Install Edging Pavers Around A Concrete Patio
- Written by Piyush Jain on Feb 28, 2011To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience.Reviewed by
Installing edging pavers to your concrete patio adds some character and also accentuates its design. More importantly, pavers can also increase the overall durability of your patio because it forms a perimeter around it, making it more secure and intact. Installing edging pavers is not that difficult and you dont really need to hire a professional to do the job. All you need are the right materials, some time, and patience.
Step 1 – Plan
Before starting or even purchasing your pavers, make a plan as to how the pavers will be placed and how they will look by the edge of your patio. Remember that they interlock with each other. Note also that the edges of the patio are not perfectly straight and even, so you will need to purchase the appropriate pavers. Measure the length and area where the pavers will go and use a hose or string to determine the curves of the edges where the pavers will go. Your home improvement person will then be able to recommend the best edging pavers for your application.
Step 2 – Dig a Trench
Step 3 – Set the Foundation
Step 4 – Lay the Edging Pavers
Step 5 – Finish
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Install The Gravel Base
Fill the excavated area with 2 inches of compactible gravel. Rake the gravel smooth, then compact it thoroughly with the plate compactor. Add 2 more inches of gravel, and rake it smooth. Measure down from the layout strings and use the 2×4 with a carpenter’s level on top to make sure the gravel is level side-to-side and slopes end-to-end to follow the strings. Compact the second layer of gravel.
Cement Patio Pricing And Installation Cost Checklist
- Get at least 3-5 estimates before hiring a Cement Patio contractor estimates are typically free, unless its a service call for a repair.
- Expect the Cement Patio prices to fluctuate between various companies each and every company have different operation expenses and over-head.
- Try to get prices in late Fall, early winter you should expect aggressive pricing discounts by waiting for a contractors down season.
- Try to budget and additional 7-15% more on top of what our calculator gives out I.e difficult configurations, patterns, the additional complexity of your home will add to the Cement Patio costs.
- Visit every supply house that sell your particular brand of Cement Patio and try to negotiate a better price with each supplier I save on average 20%.
- Remember, there are multiple styled homes in the U.S from: Contemporary, colonial, cape-cod style, ranch, bungalow, victorian, etc. So keep that in mind and try to budget a little more, before starting your Cement Patio project.
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Solve Water Problems First
This corner of the patio had settled by more than 2 in. over the years. That meant a big reservoir after rainand water in the basement. So we filled the reservoir with exterior-grade self-leveling compound. After the first batch hardened, we poured on a thin coat and gave it a slight slope so water would run away from the house.
Self-leveling compound hardens fast, so you can get on with the project. But it’s also expensive. If you’re not in a rush, you can get similar results for less than one-third the cost with concrete topping mix such as Sakrete Top ‘n Bond or Quikrete Sand/Topping Mix.
We also took a couple of other water-fighting steps. To prevent water from seeping down along the foundation, we caulked the gap between the patio and the house. At the other end of the patio, a corner of the slab had sunk slightly below the level of the soil and rainwater pooled there. To correct that, we shaved off the sod with a spade, dug out a couple of inches of soil and replaced the sod.
Tips For Working With Sleepers
Screwing down sleepers with concrete screws is simple, but there are some things to keep in mind:
- Screws should penetrate the concrete by at least 1 in., so 3-1/4-in. screws are perfect. In low spots, where we had to stack up shims, we switched to 3-3/4- in. screws.
- As you drill, dust compresses around the drill bit. That slows you down, strains your drill and overheats the bit. To clear the dust, pull the bit completely out of the hole once or twice while drilling each hole.
- Drill the holes 1/4 to 1/2 in. deeper than the screw will reach. Extra-depth provides a space for dust and grit, so screws are easier to drive.
- Have extra drill bits on hand. As a bit wears, it doesn’t just drill more slowly it also bores a slightly smaller hole and screws become harder to drive. We replaced each bit after about 40 holes. When all the sleepers are screwed down, take a few minutes to double-check for flatness. Set a 4-ft. straightedge on each sleeper, both across it and along it. If you find spots that are 1/16 in. or more out-of-plane, back out the screw and add or remove shims.
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How To Install Pavers Over A Concrete Patio Without Mortar
I have a small poured concrete patio, and that Id like to cover with brick pavers. Can I do this without using mortar?
According to several paver manufacturers, paving blocks can be installed on top of concrete without mortar if you first lay down a 1/2 to 1 bed of coarse sand. The process is nearly identical to laying a paver patio over ground.
However, this type of installation should be done with caution, since drainage, settling, and cracking can be a problem. Keep these tips in mind when laying pavers over a concrete patio:
Overlaying Is Not Appropriate For Driveways
As a general rule, overlay is not usable for driveways. The underlying slab doesn’t allow for any give and as a result, pavers are more likely to rock or crack.
Overlaying concrete pavers is an excellent way to up your homes curb appeal and functionality. Pavers are durable, look great, and can add value to your home. Make sure to consider these tips before starting your project. Or speak with a hardscaping contractor to determine if an overlay is a possible solution.
If you’d like to learn more about overlaying pavers to improve the look of your Sonoma County home, give the experts at Bayside Pavers a call at 1-866-287-2837. We can help you design the perfect solution to meet your unique needs. Our knowledgeable team members are ready to help you create the outdoor living space you’ve been dreaming about!
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What Season Should You Install A Concrete Patio
Once you decide youre going to invest in a patio, your first thought is probably what shape you want to make it or what size youd like it to be, not what season you should install it. As a concrete paving company, were constantly aware of what the climate is like around us after all, were the ones who have to manipulate the ground.
So, in what season should you install a concrete patio?
Concrete is a composite material thats made of cement, aggregate, and water. When mixed together, they become pourable and will later harden to a stone-like consistency. Both the ground temperature and outside temperature can play a role in how long the concrete takes to harden and the way it hardens. Ideally, concrete will harden to its strongest state in about 28 days with an outside temperature of 72 degrees. This allows the water molecules in the concrete to settle and evaporate correctly.
When the outside temperature is 40 degrees or below, it means that nighttime temperatures will probably reach below freezing. This can be a problem because if the water molecules in the concrete freeze, theyll expand and most likely crack the concrete. If temperatures are cold but dont reach freezing, it will still take more time than usual for your concrete to set.
Mixing Mortar By Hand
On a mixing tray, thoroughly mix the dry sand and cement together. Using a shovel, make a hole in the centre of the pile and pour clean water into it. Carefully push the dry mix into the water, letting it be absorbed. Mix it thoroughly, adding more water as necessary. It’s better to add less water to begin with and slowly add more if needed.
The consistency of the mortar is important it mustnt be too dry or too runny. To test it, make a depression in the mix with a shovel. If this is easy to do and the mortar holds its shape, the consistency is correct.
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Using The Wrong Tools
Strong, heavy-duty tools are absolutely a must when working with concrete. Using the wrong tools results in a shoddy-looking concrete slab.
Before mixing the concrete, have these tools ready: a pressure washer, safety goggles, a large wheelbarrow, an electric concrete mixer, a bull float to flatten the surface, a magnesium float for bumps, tools to create the concrete form, a broom, a brush, an edger, a finishing trowel, gloves and buckets.
When To Build A Concrete Patio
You can pour concrete within a fairly wide temperature range, but for beginners it’s best to wait for dry, warm weather. Rain can ruin a concrete finish, and freezing temperatures can ruin an entire concrete slab. To slow the curing process in very hot, dry weather, use a shade to keep the concrete out of direct sunlight, and mist the concrete with water as needed to prevent premature curing, which weakens the finished product.
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Patio Costs Per Square Foot
Most patios are made by laying pavers, the cheapest of which are red or grey brick pavers. These cost $1.75 to $2.15 per brick, or up to $700 per pallet, which covers around 56 square feet.
Dry-laid brick, which is made using concrete, natural stone or brick pavers held together with dry sand, costs $4 to $8 per square foot.
Wet-laid brick is the most expensive and makes use of mortar or cement instead of sand, forming a permanent bond. The price for wet-laid brick runs from $6 up to $12 per square foot.
Poured concrete patios cost $4 to $12 per square foot, according to HomeGuide. For the full installation, you might pay about $1,200 on the low end and over $4,000 on the high end, depending on the size of the patio.
Will It Work On Your Patio
Even if your patio is in terrible shape, you can deck over it. Cracks, craters and seasonal movement along cracks are no problem. But beware of these three situations:
- If an area is badly cracked and sinks noticeably year after year, any decking you put over it will also sink and develop a low spot. In most cases, settling concrete stops sinking eventually, so delay this project until it does.
- This project raises the level of your patio by 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 in. . So any door thresholds adjoining the patio must be at least that far above the concrete. If not, this project wont work for you. If you live in a climate where the ground freezes, allow an extra 1/2 in. so that seasonal frost heave can raise the slab without damaging the threshold.
- Stairs connected to the patio can complicate this project. To keep step heights equal, youll have to raise the treads by the same distance you raise the patio . On concrete steps, thats a straightforward job: You can treat them just like the patio, screwing sleepers to the treads and risers and decking over them.
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Drying Concrete: Curing The Diy Patio
Patio slabs need to be moist cured to keep their surfaces from drying too quickly- especially in our high desert heat of Twin Falls, ID. If the surface dries too soon, it will be weak and may later become powdery or crumble away. Cure your concrete by keeping it wet. Cover the slab with burlap, sand, straw, or other material and wet it . Wet it down as needed until curing is finished.
Another option is to use plastic sheeting or a commercial curing compound. Water evaporating from the slab will be trapped, eliminating the need for wetting.
Whatever method you choose, curing should last a minimum of three days-longer in cold weather- but it’s best to let the slab cure for a week, just to be on the safe side. Don’t walk on it for at least 3-4 days, nor drive a vehicle until 10 days have passed.
Now it’s time to enjoy your new DIY cement patio!
Need More Help? Check back to our site as we will be adding the best “how-to’s” on concrete, and articles for do it your-selfers.