If you have a side yard that's long, narrow, and a pain to keep free of weeds and grass, consider building a side yard patio. The concrete slab could even be used for parking a car, boat, or RV if your yard is wide enough. You might add raised garden beds so you can grow vegetables and flowers, or just use the slab for relaxing in lawn chairs and grilling outdoors.
With concrete over the side yard, you'll eliminate the need to weed and mow in a tight area. Here are some tips for using ready-mix concrete to make a side yard patio yourself.
Understand The Steps Before You Start
Learn everything you need to do to make a concrete patio. You might need a permit from your city, so you'll want to take care of that first. You'll also want to ensure the slab drains properly, and this might entail putting in a channel drain so water doesn't drain toward your home or on your neighbor's property. Also, learn about reinforcements you may need and how thick to pour the concrete. If you'll just use the patio for relaxing, you may not need to take the same steps as you will if you want to park a heavy RV on the slab.
Get Everything Ready Before You Get The Delivery
Ready-mix concrete is delivered by a mixer truck to your home, so you'll need to make room for the truck to park. You might need to move cars so they don't get splattered by wet concrete. It's also important to make sure the weather is dry on the day of your delivery. If rain is expected, you may need to reschedule.
The soil for the base of your slab should be compacted and ready for the concrete pour. The frame should be in place, and friends standing by to spread the ready mix concrete before it gets too stiff and dry.
Decide If You'll Move The Mix With Wheelbarrows
If the truck has to park far away from your side yard, talk to the company about using a pumper truck to pour the concrete into your yard. However, it's likely you'll use wheelbarrows instead. If so, have a path for them so you can transfer the ready mix concrete easily. Ready-mix concrete should usually be used within a few hours, but temperature and humidity play a role in how long you have to get the work done.
Protect The Surrounding Area
If your yard area is small, you may need to put plastic tarps against your fence and the side of your house so you don't accidentally get the wet cement everywhere. In addition to protecting your fence and home, remember to protect yourself by wearing the appropriate work clothing to keep wet cement off your skin.