If you’re thinking of handling your sidewalk or patio project yourself, make sure you know what you’re doing and have the best tools for the job. Do-it-yourself projects can be very rewarding and they can save you money, but you must be prepared! Pouring concrete is hard work, and requires the proper planning, tools, and considerations.
Permit – check with your local building inspector
Room and safe passage for mixer truck
Masonry and carpentry tools
Lumber for 2x4’s, stakes, and hardboard siding
Gravel or sand for project bed
Protective gear – rubber gloves, boots, and protective eyewear
Helpers – at least 2, up to 6
Remember that placing and finishing concrete must be accomplished within a limited time frame. If you do not have the time or enough helpers to finish the job, consider hiring one of our skilled contractors to get the job done.
WARNING! Wet concrete is a caustic material! Avoid chemical burns by always handling with care and wearing the proper protective clothing!
Make sure your do-it-yourself project goes smoothly and safely!
When you're ready to order your concrete, try to do so with 2 to 3 days notice. You should aim for a day when rain is not expected and be sure that you have about 3 to 6 hours to devote to every five yards of concrete poured.
Take advantage of our experience with these helpful tips to make sure your do-it-yourself project is a success!
Prepare the site by digging out the area and removing tree roots, stones, and heavy clay.
Erect your forms placing stakes every 3 feet to prevent blowout.
Prepare your base using sub-base materials, steel fiber, or mesh if warranted. Put in expansion joints every 30 feet and where you meet other masonry surfaces, to prevent heaving, cracking, and buckling.
Make sure there is room for the heavy truck to arrive without causing ruts in the ground or damage to existing walkways. If the truck cannot access the job, plan on using a pump, conveying company, or transporting the wet concrete via commercial grade wheelbarrows.
Always wear your protective clothing while handling wet concrete. Avoid working in concrete-soaked clothes, and be sure to wear eye protection. Rinse immediately and thoroughly with soap and water if wet concrete gets in contact with your skin or eyes.