A project made with concrete is so permanent that it could become a lasting
monument to your lack of planning! Make sure you know exactly what
you’re going to do and who’s going to help you before
the concrete arrives.
Use 2″ x 4″ planks set on edge. Hold the 2″ x 4″ in place with stakes driven into the ground every 18 inches. The stakes must be on the outside of the forms and must be even with the top of the forms.
Gather your tools
Tamper,Garden Hose, Bull Float, Rake, Steel Trowel, Hand Float, Wheelbarrow, Stakes, Soft Bristle Broom, 2″ x 4″ Screed Board, Square Nose Shovel. Most of these tools are for rent at Sandee’s Soil and Rock.
(Make sure you have several people to help you–at least three people for three yards or less of concrete.) Wet your area several times the night before you pour your concrete and sprinkle the ground once before the cart arrives. This insures a good cure and also keeps the ground from drawing water from the concrete which means you will have more time to work the concrete before it sets. Pour concrete out of the Cart-Away trailer or wheelbarrow. Begin at the far end of the forms and dump each load close to the last. Use square nose shovels and rakes to spread the concrete evenly to the top of the forms.
Finishing and Curing
- Have two people use a 2″ x 4″ screed board to level the concrete, moving back and forth in a sawing motion as well as across the concrete.
- You can use a tamper to bring moisture and sand to the surface and to move large aggregate down into the concrete. Don’t be afraid to step out on the concrete but make sure you always move in a backward direction covering your foot prints as you go.
- Run an edger lightly around once following the tamping to establish a groove. This will simplify final edging.
- Next, use a long handled bull float. Back and forth strokes will smooth the ridges left by screening and tamping.
- Use the hand float with flat strokes in an arch motion. Do not apply pressure or you may cause a rough, sandy finish.
- Use the edger again following the hand float to produce a rounded edge that will not chip easily when forms are removed.
- When the concrete can hold a man’s weight and not make an impression and when it has lost its surface moisture, use a steel trowel to finish the surface. Kneel on a piece of board as you move across the concrete. Use firm, flat, even pressure in an overlapping circular motion.(OPTIONAL: you may create a broom finish after the steel trowel by dragging a broom with very soft bristles in one direction across the concrete.)
- To cure your project, dampen the area daily for 5 days.
- After you are finished and cured, remove the forms and enjoy your handiwork for years to come.