Know Your Way Around Construction Equipment

DIY Backyard Patio: What You Need to Know before Your Ready-Mixed Concrete Is Delivered

Backyard concrete patios provide level and sturdy areas for grills and outdoor seating arrangements. Concrete patios can be formed as a DIY project, but you will need to have the concrete delivered. Big projects like patios require a large amount of concrete, which can be delivered by a ready-mixed concrete delivery truck.

Before you schedule the delivery of ready-mixed concrete for your new backyard patio, there are a few important things to consider. Here are a few ideas that can make things run smoothly.

Order more concrete than you think you'll need

When ordering ready-mixed concrete, you'll need to give the representative the correct measurements of the width, length, and depth of your patio. Since ready-mixed concrete deliveries cost per delivery, it's important to be sure you order more than enough to complete your project. That way, you won't run the risk of not having enough concrete due to spillage and you'll be able to fill any changes in the grade of the ground where your patio will be installed. When you place the order, ask the representative to add an additional 10% of the material to your order.

Use the leftover concrete for other projects

It's better to be safe than sorry and have more than enough concrete than not enough, but what will you do with the leftovers? Don't worry about any waste; you can use the excess concrete for other things. Here are a few ideas:

  • Bolster up unsteady fence posts with concrete. To do this, remove the soil from around the fence posts so you'll be able to immediately pour overage concrete into the holes around them.
  • Firmly set swings in the ground with leftover concrete. Prepare the swing set legs in the same manner as the fence posts.
  • Use leftover concrete to create various things like candle holders, bedside tables, and stepping stones.

Make room for the delivery to reduce your costs

Most ready-mix concrete delivery services allow for a specified time period to unload the concrete. Beyond that, there are usually additional charges and fees for the amount of extra time the truck is on the premises. Therefore, make sure you are ready for the concrete delivery. When you place the order, ask the representative how much room the delivery truck will need and how close it will need to be to the location of your patio. That way, you can prepare a path that will be suitable for the truck. For example, you may need to remove a section of the fencing prior to delivery so the truck can pull into your backyard. Otherwise, the concrete may be delivered to the patio in wheelbarrows, which can take more than the allotted time.

Be prepared with protective gear and a first aid kit

If you've never worked with concrete before, you may not realize how messy it can be. A splash on your skin, even through your clothing, poses serious injury risks. Concrete is extremely caustic, meaning it can burn your skin and eyes. Therefore, it's extremely important to prevent it from touching your skin and getting into your eyes. Wear thick, heavy-duty protective clothing, rubber gloves and boots, and eye protection.

The important thing to understand is that concrete will continue to burn into the flesh if it is not washed away immediately from the surface of the skin. In fact, the concrete industry refers to this as the sneak attack burn, because once it is under the skin and in the flesh the caustic substance becomes nearly impossible to wash away. This can result in burns that progress all the way to the bone, which would require amputation of the limb.

Your first aid kit should include water, a pH neutral soap, and pH neutral eyewash so concrete can be immediately washed away. Additionally, sterile gauze, scissors, and first aid tape should be in your first aid kit, just in case. If you do get concrete burn, you'll want to wrap the affected area with gauze after you wash the concrete way, then head to the emergency room. 

To learn more about ready-mixed concrete and how to handle it to build your pation, speak with a contractor from a service like Hanover Concrete Company.