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Do you hear that sound? I think it’s the angels singing. Hallelujah! After weeks of mud and sand being tracked into my house, our concrete patio extension is finally done. We’ve been in our home for one year now and have had this sad and overflowing little 10×10 concrete pad outside our back door.
We got some estimates to have the concrete extended and holy moly! Who knew concrete, as non-glamorous as it is, could be so expensive? I sure didn’t. So, dad to the rescue. I am so thankful and lucky to have my dad because my husband and I, as DIY savvy as we are in some ways, are not so good at major construction.
We decided to add 22 feet by 12 feet which meant extending the current pad out but would give us a total of 32×12 feet of space. The first step was digging out the grass and moving sprinklers. Luckily about half the space was already a gravel area so it wasn’t too terrible. I say this because I didn’t have to do any of it. 😉
The next step was setting the forms. These have to be perfectly level to ensure the concrete is level once poured. These were leveled and staked so they couldn’t shift around.
After setting the forms, my husband paid my brother in law (because he didn’t want to do it lol) to dig out the remaining grass. The next step was to build a solid foundation for the concrete. We purchased road grade, a combo of dirt and sand to cover the existing dirt and then rented a plate compactor to level the entire area. This is really important to avoid cracks in the concrete over time. Before pouring the concrete, my dad laid down wire mesh. This also helps to prevent cracking over time.
Finally, it was time to pour the concrete! Since this was a large amount of concrete, 4 yards, we had a company bring the concrete versus mixing it ourselves. They poured and my dad, father-in-law, and husband loaded it into wheelbarrows since the truck was just shy of reaching the area. Talk about a scary moment when a truck this size is driving into your backyard!
As they were filling and spreading the concrete, they also had to do a process called screeding. This is where they used a wide plank of wood to create a flat surface. My dad also rented a Float to help further compact the concrete. It’s also important to add joints to help withstand cracking. We had an obvious joint where the existing 10×10 patio was and need another in the middle. Unfortunately, the concrete set super fast so my dad will be bringing a saw over to cut the final joint. The final step was using a broom to sweep across the surface to create traction. Tip from my dad! Always sweep away from the house. After 24 hours it was dry but will be about a month to fully cure. We are continuing to spray the concrete down with water as this helps to slow down the cure time and results in a stronger slab.
I’m so happy that we finally have an outdoor space to sit and enjoy. Next, we need a patio cover but that’s going to be a much bigger and more expensive project!