There are plenty of DIY home projects to tackle throughout the year, and it’s always nice to have a new home upgrade to enjoy. Plus, it can be a lot of fun to complete the work on your own. If you’re deciding between a DIY concrete patio or whether to hire a contractor, this article can help. Doing a little research before you get started is always smart!
Can You DIY a Concrete Patio?
The following problems can happen whether you’re an inexperienced concrete contractor or a handy DIY-er. Know your strengths, and don’t be shy to call in the professionals when you need them. The last thing you want is to create a bigger problem down the road.
1. Bad Ground Prep
From concrete basement pours to your new concrete patio, starting with a good foundation is everything. You’ll want to confirm that your soil has the right composition and that it’s properly compacted. If the sub grade doesn’t fully settle until later on, then there’s a good chance that your concrete slabs will start to sink.
2. Frost Heave Risks
Paying attention to your soil condition is also important because your climate may affect its moisture content. Coarser material like sand and gravel helps make soils more stable, whereas having more clay means your soil will retain more water. Depending on where you live, that can be a problem as the seasons change. When the ground beneath your concrete freezes and thaws, you may end up with frost action damage. That can lead to some costly repairs!
3. Crooked Concrete Forms
Another place where DIY homeowners can go wrong is with constructing the forms for their concrete patio. You want your lines to be perfectly straight and any curves to be controlled when you get ready to pour your concrete.
4. Poor Drainage
Setting your forms at the right height will help with how your patio drains too. If the grading isn’t managed correctly, water can pool in certain sections. Or worse, the water could flow toward your house and run down into your basement or crawlspace. Proper planning helps concrete contractors avoid these problems. Those designs aren’t always easy to figure out.
5. Concrete Cracks
Adding control joints into your concrete slabs and the structure’s overall design will help prevent splits and cracks. Cutting these control joints may sound strange at first if you’ve never worked with concrete, but it’s a crucial part of getting a long-lasting result. When the soil inevitably begins to shift, potential concrete cracks will be more likely to show up along the control joints—not in the middle of your patio.
6. Missing Aesthetic Details
Lastly, your DIY concrete patio may have some trouble looking too bland or boring. Concrete is incredibly versatile when you know how to use it correctly. You can make plans for a stamped concrete patio, work with different concrete colors, or even add a unique texture.
Making the most of your backyard living area means embracing your personal style. Try to enhance your patio so it complements your home’s exterior and your landscaping. And if you need a hand, just call on the experts. The right local contractor can help make your design live up to all of your expectations.