Key Points For Installing Concrete On Your Own
Your mistakes will be visible for years after you are gone.
Practice makes perfect. You won’t have a good looking job until you have done 5 or 6 jobs, so make sure to try laying concrete on other jobs first.
Concrete is a chemical reaction. It goes faster and faster as it gets hotter or drier.
Drier means stiffer, harder to work. Low slump is 2 or 3. If concrete gets ahead of you, you won’t catch it. You cannot simply add water to the mix as it will affect the finishing and strength of the concrete.
Concrete is extremely heavy. It will take more than you and your son to tackle it.
You will need 5 – 6 adults to help you install it properly. The bigger the job, the more help you need.
Click on an element to expand.
Measure the depth of your concrete form. Stretch a string line across the forms in several places and measure the depth. One cubic yard will cover 81 square feet 4” deep (recommended minimum), 72 sf 4.5” deep and 65 sf 5” deep. If you are deeper than you want to be add fill material and remeasure. Tell the dispatcher your dimensions and order heavy, at least ½ cubic yard. If you run short, you may never get it right.
- Use pea gravel for a base. This gravel will drain water that gets under the concrete and reduces the chances of frost heave.
- Thicken the edge that will take the most traffic on and off the slab.
- Make sure you are on your own property. Obey the building code where necessary.
- Do not pour over old paving or change the depth of the concrete suddenly, like 4 inches to 6 inches, or expanding a patio by simply placing over the old one intact. The concrete will crack at that point.
- nail stakes
- 2 x 4’s
- tape measure
- come along
- strike off (a long stiff 2×4 that spans the forms that you will use to get the concrete in the forms at about the right height),
- bull float (long handle 3 ft wide float that will help you reach out on the slab to start floating with out walking in the concrete),
- enough handle extensions for the bull float
- straight edge(a really wide bull float like 8 or 10 ft)
- joint tools
- hand floats
- edger tools
- broom for texturing
- rubber boots
- paint roller frame and roller cover for curing
- curing compound.
Placing the mix
Protecting the Surface
Questions About Self Installing Concrete?
Call our dispatchers (317) 782-3200.
They’ll get you the answers you need or direct you to the right person.