Building a Concrete Patio Requires Few Tools and Simple Steps

Concrete patios provide the perfect outdoor entertaining space.

Concrete patios provide the perfect outdoor entertaining space.

A concrete patio can be the perfect addition to your yard and provide a solid, visually appealing area for entertaining friends and family members. It can also be a relatively inexpensive project that, given the end product, will be well worth the physical effort required to execute it. Use the following steps and tools to plan and create your concrete patio.

Choosing the Spot

Settling on a spot for your patio is the first, and sometimes most difficult, step to this project. Your site should be relatively level, with a slight slope away from your home to ensure proper rain drainage. Once you find your spot, use these tools to help ready the site:

  • Measuring ruler for choosing your dimensions
  • Stakes and string for outlining your desired area
  • Shovel for excavating three to four inches of the topsoil

SkilToolsBuilding the Frame

A strong, perfectly square wooden frame will provide the boundaries for your concrete patio. Here are the tools you need to build one:

  • Pressure-treated 2×4 lumber for the frame
  • Circular saw for cutting down the lumber to size
  • Hammer and galvanized common nails for connecting the lumber

Pouring the Concrete

Once you have framed in your patio area, you can begin pouring the concrete. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Premixed concrete
  • Portable cement mixer (easily rented from local hardware stores)
  • Wheelbarrow if you are mixing the concrete yourself

Smoothing the Surface

After letting your concrete firm up for about 30 minutes, it is time to smooth out the surface. This step takes time, so your most important tool may be patience, but here’s what else you will need:

  • Steel trowel for working evenly over the entire surface
  • Broom for lightly pulling across the troweled surface (for a non-slip finish)
  • Weighted plastic sheet to protect concrete from debris during curing process


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