Rather than going through the backbreaking work of laying paving slabs to construct a patio in your back garden, it is much simpler to pour liquid concrete which will then harden to create a durable surface. This is the sort of job that any builder will be able to undertake for you. However, pouring concrete patios is definitely something that many DIY enthusiasts will feel they can do without too much trouble for themselves. What do you need to do to create the perfect concrete terrace?
Firstly, it is important to prepare the ground. This means ensuring that the area where the concrete will be poured is sufficiently flat. If you are going to pour the concrete next to your home, then you may need to use a spade to remove a few centimetres of topsoil to get rid of grass and to make sure the area is level. Once prepared, you are ready for the next stage.
Construct a wooden frame at each of the sides of your intended patio area so that when you pour your concrete it does not run out over the sides. This is an essential step otherwise your concrete pour will not look neat once it has hardened. All that you need for this is a few sections of timber and a couple of nails to keep them connected to one another while the concrete is poured.
The next step is to reinforce the substrate of your patio. Laying down some hardcore – old bricks and pebbles - is a good idea if you have particularly sandy soil to work with because it will help to prevent the concrete from shifting around once it has hardened. In addition, you should reinforce the concrete patio with mesh so that it does not crack when you put anything weighty on top of it. Any mesh suppliers in your area will be able to advise how much do you need, depending on your intended purpose. If you are pouring concrete for a driveway instead of a patio, for instance, then more mesh will be needed because of the extra expected load.
With the ground prepared, the frame constructed and the mesh reinforcements in place, it is time to actually pour your concrete. You can mix this up by hand and shovel it in place or use a concrete mixer which is advisable if you have a large patio to make. A mixture of one part cement to three parts sand and three parts aggregate is ideal for most patios which will form a very durable surface that will last for years.