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HomeBuildHow To Pour A Concrete Patio

How To Pour A Concrete Patio

Cost Of Diy Concrete Patio Installation

How To Form, Pour, And Stamp A Concrete Patio Slab

Pouring concrete yourself can save you between $2.50 and $9 per square foot in labor costs. For a 100-square-foot DIY concrete patio, you could save between $250 and $900.

If you dont have experience working with concrete, its best to hire a professional for this home improvement project. Pouring the concrete yourself could lead to expensive mistakes, unprofessional results, and possible damage to your skin.

Pouring concrete is also a labor-intensive and time-consuming project. A concrete contractor can help take the burden off your hands. Otherwise, asking a friend for help can make the job less complicated.

The bottom line: Even if you have experience pouring concrete, hiring a professional saves you time and helps you avoid expensive mistakes. If you dont have any expertise pouring concrete, its wise to call in a professional and not attempt the project yourself.


Fewer Years Of Service

A well-poured concrete slab with a deep, sturdy foundation can last for 30 to 40 years. Pouring concrete over old concrete instead of directly over a new gravel foundation limits your ability to maximize the slabs lifespan.

The condition of the existing slab is the primary factor that determines how long the new concrete will last. If the foundation beneath the slab is not sound, the new concrete could sink or develop deep potholes.

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How Much Does It Cost To Put In A Concrete Patio

The best way to determine the cost of your project is to get quotes from concrete patio contractors near you. But, you can use the ranges below as a starting point when figuring out your budget.

Plain Design


*Calculated using: Plain – $4.50 per square foot Simple – $8 per square foot Custom – $12.50 per square foot Elaborate – $18 per square foot.

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What Determines Whether Or Not You Reinforce Concrete

There are pours that will require reinforcement in concrete, but many situations are left up to your judgment. If you decide youd like the added strength and expense, good if not, no worries. Here are some situations where reinforcing the concrete slab is either required or recommended:

Thick Pours

If the concrete slab thickness is greater than 5 inches, it is a good idea to use rebar or at least wire reinforcement mesh. It is required in some building codes. Before pouring a slab thicker than five inches, consult your state and local building codes!

Structural Pours

If the concrete slab is supporting the weight of a hot tub or building, wire mesh and rebar can be required by local building codes.


Concrete Beams

Beams and columns made from concrete will usually require rebar to function properly and safely.

Slab on Slope

When pouring on a slope, in addition to pouring thicker on the lower part of the slope, it is a good idea to use wire mesh to add tensile strength to the slab. This will prevent cracking due to uneven weight placement and shifting soil.

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How To Add Concrete To Existing Concrete

Broom Finished Concrete Patio in London Ontario

This article was co-authored by Gerber Ortiz-Vega. Gerber Ortiz-Vega is a Masonry Specialist and the Founder of GO Masonry LLC, a masonry company based in Northern Virginia. Gerber specializes in providing brick and stone laying services, concrete installations, and masonry repairs. Gerber has over four years of experience running GO Masonry and over ten years of general masonry work experience. He earned a BA in Marketing from the University of Mary Washington in 2017.There are 17 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 15 testimonials and 94% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 574,231 times.

No matter how strong a slab of concrete seems, it will wear out over time. Imperfections form when concrete hardens or sinks into the ground. Adding fresh concrete is a common way to level out old slabs and patch damage. If you plan on pouring a lot of concrete, build a wood and mesh barrier first to ensure your new slab is strong. Finish the work by priming the surface and pouring a mix over it, giving your concrete foundation a fresh, new coat.


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Concerns About Fire Pits On Decks

A wood fire pit on a deck increases the risk of sparks and flying embers igniting neighboring surfaces. Even after youve extinguished the fire pit, an unnoticed spark landing on dry leaf bits stuck between deck boards or hanging to the roof can start a massive wildfire. Many fire pits are placed low to the ground, generating enough radiant heat to damage the deck surface beneath.

Another major consideration is whether your deck is strong enough to hold the fire pit, especially if you are making a custom gas-fitted pit. If youre doing the work yourself and are unsure, consult with a local contractor before starting construction. Look for someone who specializes in fire pit design. You may need to contact a structural engineer depending on the complexity of your plan.

How To Prepare The Ground To Pour A Concrete Patio

Concrete is strong and heavy once dry, so take your time when preparing the groundyou will only want to pour the concrete once!

Here are some step by step instructions for getting the ground ready to pour.


  • Secure the necessary permits with your city
  • Excavate and compact the area so you will be able to achieve a minimum of 4 of concrete
  • Grade the excavated area with a slope for water runoff away from home or structure
  • Install form boards and form stakes
  • Install rebar on 18 centers with rebar ties and rebar chairs
  • Schedule initial inspection with your city office.

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Broom Finished Concrete Patio Cost

This is a concrete surface finish that is broomed before it dries. An easy and cheap way to add a decorative edge that is slip resistant. Add on $0.40 to $1 per square foot.

  • Appearance: With this finish, you can see the brushstrokes left behind when a stiff yard brush is dragged across the almost set concrete. The resulting finish is safe in all conditions because it is very difficult to slip on.
  • Pros: Affordable, fast to complete for the installer, slip resistant
  • Upkeep: Gentle pressure washing, and, like most sealed patio surfaces, should be resealed every couple of years to keep it in top condition.
  • Summary: Great way to add an interesting and safer finish to concrete slag. Fast to complete and very affordable.

Do You Need Rebar For A Concrete Patio

How to Pour a Concrete backyard Patio Slab [Beginner Guide]

All concrete is susceptible to cracks with no exception. As such, you should use rebar to drastically reduce the chances of cracking when pouring concrete to an old patio concrete surface.

Rebar also helps in keeping the concrete even.

Rebars comprise steel wires and work to strengthen and aid the concrete under tension.


Without rebar, the chances of experiencing wide cracks and unevenness on the new concrete surface are quite high. That means that the lifespan of the concrete becomes short, leading to repairs and replacements on the horizon.

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Pricing Guide: How Much Does A Concrete Patio Cost

Pouring a concrete patio can cost $2,532 on average, with most homeowners spending between $1,533 and $4,740 or between $4.40 and $16 per square foot. These prices include the costs for the materials and labor required to install the concrete patio.

Small concrete patio installation projects average around $650, while an extensive concrete patio costs $8,050 on average.

Why add a concrete patio? Concrete is an affordable material for many homeowners, and it has many benefits, too. Its tolerant of harsh weather conditions, easy to maintain, and can replicate the look of brick and stone.


While most homeowners pay between $4.40 and $16 per square foot for a new concrete patio, many factors can affect the total price. The cost per square foot might fall below or above the average range depending on the patios size, shape, finish, and location.

Want to add an outdoor kitchen or fire pit to your patio? Read on to find out how much those popular patio features will add to your bill.

Massive Cracks Or Unleveled Old Concrete

If the existing cracks on the old concrete surface of your patio are too big or the slab is severely uneven, it may be best to do away with the old surface and start afresh completely.

While it may sound and appear tedious, it would be the best option in such a case for the sake of better integrity and longevity for the new concrete surface.

Pouring a new layer of concrete to a surface that already has such structural issues guarantees that they will carry over to the new surface. Doing so is counterproductive and will not solve the problem as the cracks will still appear in a short while.

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Fire Pit Seating Idea: Teak Lounge Chair

This modern lounge chair sits low to the ground so you can fully enjoy the warmth from the fire pit. The reclining angle and thick cushions just beg for you to sit down and never leave. Plus, its built to last. Made from durable teak wood and weather-resistant fabric, a few of these lounge chairs will last a long time outdoors with minimal maintenance.

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Failing To Take Weather Into Account

How to Pour Your Own Concrete Patio Slab

Warm days without rain are perfect for concrete pouring. Forecasts of extremely hot weather, freezing temperatures or rain are the worst times for a concrete pour. Heres why:

Weather that is too hot will cause the cement to dry too quickly, ruining the curing process. If its too cold, this weakens the overall strength of the concrete. Rainy days are not advisable because the extra water interferes with the proper water-to-concrete ratio of any good concrete mix.

Bottom line: If the weather isnt right, dont try to squeeze the project in. Reschedule.

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Of : Prepare For The Job

The preparations for this job is the most important step. Because concrete is very strong and heavy. So, youâll want to do it once and not multiple times.

You need a proper permit to pour a concrete patio. Start off by securing a permit from the city authorities.

Then markt the new patio area with some paint. Turf paint should do the job just fine. Youâll need these guidelines to carry out the rest of the steps.

So, letâs head on to the next step here.

Measure The Area You Will Work On

Do you intend to pour concrete over the entire old concrete patio or just sections of it? You need to mark and measure the area you will work on. Doing so will enable you to estimate how much new concrete you will need to get.

Your measurements should include both the surface area and height the concrete should reach. Do bear in mind the height of your ceiling or roof. Also, consider the height of your existing doors. If you raise the patio surface too much, it may not be easy to enter through the doors, especially if you are tall.

Once the measuring is complete, you should install the braces to form a mold for your new concrete. These are usually made of wood, and you install them by digging trenches around the patio base perimeter. It would help if you used a level to ensure the braces would form a new even concrete slab or surface.

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Compact Each Layer Of Concrete Base

Use a vibrating plate compactor and pass over the base three or four times. Then add another two inches of base and go over the plate compactor again.

Make sure you use a compactor that is for compacting a base. Compactors, such as rammers or jumping jacks, are for backfilling trenches. Thats not what you need when prepping for pouring concrete.

Remove Soil And Plants From The Area

How To Pour New Concrete Over Old Concrete | Stamped Concrete Patio

You should remove the topsoil, grass, and roots. For this process, you can use regular gardening tools. Also, we advise you to create a minor slope away from the house to avoid possible flooding when the rain occurs. After that, dig an area and surround it with wooden boards. The depth should be between 4 and 8 inches. If you choose to dig 8 inches in depth, you will get the same scale as the ground around the patio. The depth is determined by personal choice.

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Cost Of Concrete Patio Vs Concrete Pavers

A concrete paver patio is slightly more expensive than a poured concrete patio, costing between $8.67 to $16.67 per square foot.

Concrete pavers take longer to install than poured concrete, but no setting or drying is involved, which means you can use your concrete paver patio almost immediately.

Splice Boards Together If Necessary

On sides too long for a single board, butt two boards together. Cut a strip of ½-inch plywood and nail it across the joint. Drive a 2-stake at each end of the plywood strip and nail it to the form with duplex nails.

Place a 1/2×4-inch expansion joint against the foundation of the house and any other existing concrete that meets the patio. This will prevent the pad and foundation from bonding and then cracking if they settle at different rates.

Coat the form boards with a coat of commercial release agent or vegetable oil to prevent the concrete from sticking to the form boards, motor oilan early substitute for the release agentdoesnt work as well and contaminates the ground.

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Can You Pour Concrete Over Concrete

This is a common question among contracting teams as well as DIYers.

Both groups may be surprised to learn that you can, in fact, pouring new concrete over an existing concrete structure. Not only is it possible, but such a procedure is routinely performed in situations where an individual does not want to spend the time and money necessary to fully rip out and replace an existing concrete slab.

Instead, these individuals simply need to take certain steps to prepare their existing damaged slab before pouring on the new wet concrete. However, just because this can be done does not mean that it is a perfect solution to repairing concrete.

Using this method tends to have a shorter lifespan than expected, for example. That means that youll likely need to repeat this process before long, especially if your concrete surface in question sustains a lot of wear or pressure on a regular basis.

Permanent Fire Pits And Concrete Cracking

How to Pour a Concrete Patio

Permanent fire pits generally will cause concrete to crack over time. This means that every few years the concrete will need to be replaced in that area. There are specific additives that can be incorporated into your concrete to help prevent premature cracking. You can also add some fire resistant rock as a barrier between your concrete and pit. You will want to consult with a concrete professional before installing your fire pit to find out all of your options when it comes to installation.

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How Thick Should A Concrete Patio Be

While the average slab thickness for a patio is 4 inches, you may not want to simply pour a four-inch slab and move on. Why not? The answer is simple: not every patio is built in the same conditions or holds the same amount of weight.

For example, if your patio will be holding up a heavy hot tub, jacuzzi, or outdoor kitchen, you may want to pour the concrete thicker in those spots. Similarly, if you are pouring concrete on a slope, youll certainly be using a higher slab thickness at the lower part of the slope.

Will you be decorating with simple, average furniture like chairs, an outdoor sofa, and an umbrella? Or, are you building an outdoor kitchen, complete with a brick pizza oven? Is your slab going to be on a hill or have a lot of water draining beneath it?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you calculate the right slab thickness for your concrete patio! The type of ground youre pouring over doesnt matter too much, since youll prep the ground before your pour. What does matter, however, is how much weight your concrete patio will need to support!

Prepare The Bonding Surface For The New Concrete

While cleaning the old concrete patio helps the new concrete adhere to the old surface, it is usually not enough to create a strong bond. And without that bond, the two concrete layers will stay as two separate layers, and the new surface may soon form cracks.

Two significant ways exist to improve the bond between the old and new concrete surfaces:

  • Using a bonding adhesive
  • Installing a rebar

Using a Bonding Adhesive

It would help if you had a concrete bonding adhesive to improve the bond between the old and new concrete surfaces. In such a case, all you need to do is follow the given mixing instructions before applying it to your old concrete patio. But generally, it is mixed with the concrete you intend to pour if you want to add a concrete layer that is three inches thick or less.

For a large patio area, you may need to spray the adhesive. But for smaller patio concrete surfaces, you can use a broom, roller, trowel, brush, etc.

You can also create an additional physical bond for your concrete patio by mixing water and cement. Then you can apply it on the old concrete surface all over. For this mixture, you can use water to cement in the ratio of 1:7 to create a slurry. Consider that your primer coat to help improve adhesion.

Install Rebar

You can also use reinforcement mesh instead of pins to strengthen the bond between new and old concrete.

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