If you want to add a new concrete patio to the back of your home and you think you can complete the job yourself, then you probably understand that you need to prepare for the DIY project appropriately. This means buying more than just the cement and looking for the right mixer for the job. If you are serious about making sure that the patio comes out right the first time, then there a few pieces of commercial equipment you may want to rent.
Mixing concrete requires just the right mix of cement, water, sand, and aggregate materials. It is also wise to mix concrete on a flat surface, and a concrete mixer is a must if you are creating large amounts of concrete. While it may be convenient to mix concrete right next to the patio site, this means moving the heavy mixer as well as the concrete bags to your backyard and then looking for a level place to mix the concrete. Instead of doing this, mix concrete near your garage or the front of your home where it is most convenient for you, and rent a concrete buggy to move the concrete to your patio location.
A concrete buggy is a ride-on machine that allows you to place your concrete in a large and wide bucket that sits across the front of the device. Once the bucket is filled with concrete, you can stand on the raised platform on the back of the buggy. Steering controls allow you to move the device, and a foot pedal forces the bucket to dump the concrete. If you do decide to rent a concrete buggy, make sure to get one with the bucket size that meets your needs. While the bucket probably will not fit all of your mixed concrete at once, two or three trips with the buggy will be best.
To find out how big the bucket should be, start by figuring out around how much concrete you need to mix. Use an online calculator that allows you to input the length, width, and thickness of the concrete you desire. The calculations will provide you with the cubic yards of concrete you need. Since most concrete buggy buckets are measured in liters, convert the cubic yards into liters. One cubic yard is about 765 liters. This means that if you need two cubic yards of concrete, then you will need to move about 1,530 liters of the material. Renting a buggy with a bucket that holds at least 500 liters of material will be best.
While it is possible to create a level surface across your patio with the help of a wooden plank and a large steel trowel, it is not easy to create a strong and smooth surface over the concrete without the help of a power tool. This tool is called a power finishing or power trowelling tool. These professional grade tools feature a long handle and a variety of different blades that allow you to float and finish the concrete surface. You will need to use the finisher while the concrete is still partially wet. Typically, finishing should be started when your boot makes a 3 millimeter indentation along the top of the concrete. You will need to test the concrete to see when this is the case. It usually takes about one full day for concrete to dry, so start testing it after about 10 to 12 hours of drying time to see if it is ready to be finished.
When the concrete is ready, place the floating blade on the power finisher. Use the finisher in a side to side fashion across the surface of the concrete. This will level the surface and remove any air bubbles. Wait until the surface of the concrete dries completely and then place the angled finishing blade on the machine. Move the device side to side again to harden and smooth the surface of the concrete.
Check out a rental company like White Bear Rental to find the tools you need for your concrete patio project.