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1st things 1st: What to do with 10x16 Sloped Patio Area?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 12:15 pm
by RiverRun
I have a big blank slate of a backyard and cannot wait to get something other than what the squirrels randomly plant along the fence growing in my backyard....but, I have to be patient and work on my patio first.

I need some suggestions. The area is about 10x16 and is already covered by a DIY patio cover my brother-in-law and father put up for me. I have people telling me to do pavers and people telling me to pour cement.

Here are my issues with the area...one: money is short, two: the yard slightly slopes TOWARDS the house, so drainage is an issue, three: money is short, four: I need something quickly

I, personally, do not mind either option. I just want something that will be worth my money.
My concerns about pavers(from experience) is that if you don't get it right...you end up cursing the darn things until you make yourself do it all over again. Also, I feel that I will spend just as much money on supplies that will only work if I know what I am doing vs spending same amount of money on cement professionally poured.
I have NOT obtained any quotes from cement companies yet due to time restraints with my job, so I can't say anything for certain on the price.

So what is better for the money(and which would be more expensive?); cement or pavers?

Re: 1st things 1st: What to do with 10x16 Sloped Patio Area?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 12:29 pm
by Dillbert
>>My concerns about pavers(from experience) is that if you don't get it right...you end up cursing the darn things until you make yourself do it all over again.

if concrete is not done right . . . tearing it up and doing it over again yourself may not be an option.

Re: 1st things 1st: What to do with 10x16 Sloped Patio Area?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 12:36 pm
by RiverRun
very true, but I do know a few professional concrete companies that do very good jobs. My mother has used them to pour driveways for her and will be using them to pour an separate patio at her house also(where we previously laid pavers, which have now turned into an awful eyesore)

Re: 1st things 1st: What to do with 10x16 Sloped Patio Area?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 1:54 pm
by tomf
You need to deal with the slop to the house issue, can you level it? There should be some kind of drain in place, right? If not do you get water backing up to the house?
Pavers can become a trip hazard if the moles push them up, or not done right.
The area 10 x 16 is not very big so even if it is behind the house where a truck can't get to it can be wheel barreled in. I have seen some nice looking stamped cement jobs done, but it cost extra.

I take beck the bit about a truck, your patio is about 1 yard of concrete, a regular truck will not bring that small of a load. In some places you can get a small concrete trailer that will carry about one yard.
It is not that hard of a DIY project to pour a small patio that size.
I have done tons of concrete work so if you want more information let me know.

Re: 1st things 1st: What to do with 10x16 Sloped Patio Area?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 2:07 pm
by RiverRun
the slope isn't bad, it is just enough that it makes digging(for me alone) very difficult when I tried a few months ago to dig out a spot for pavers. With help it would probably be easier, but for the most part I am doing this alone. The water WAS coming into the house before we got the cover finished, but now that the rain does not build up right at the back door, it no longer is an issue with flooding into the house.
My plan to help level it out was after doing either the cement or pavers for the actual patio, I was going to do a small trench of rocks around the perimeter of the area so rain and mud don't pool right by the patio. Once you actually get out in the yard, it levels out on it's own.

My end goal is to have the patio under the cover, fence it off with a simple decorative fencing, and attach a separate fenced area for a 'potty yard' for the dogs. My reason for the fencing is so that the dogs can come and go outside while I am away at work. My yard itself is very large with a damaged fence, because of that the dogs cannot stay out while I am away due to fear they may get out under holes I may not know about. I would love to replace the entire fence, but like I said the yard is huge(for a house in the city) and would cost so much in the end to replace it at this point.

Re: 1st things 1st: What to do with 10x16 Sloped Patio Area?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 2:09 pm
by RiverRun
tomf wrote: It is not that hard of a DIY project to pour a small patio that size.
I have done tons of concrete work so if you want more information let me know.
I would love more info on this! I have not considered doing the concrete myself because I didn't really think it would be an option for a DIY project.

Re: 1st things 1st: What to do with 10x16 Sloped Patio Area?

Posted: Mon May 06, 2013 2:10 pm
by tomf
First the water issue is a bad one, water backing up to your house can float and damage the foundation. Ground water will also damage your patio. If you have a place to drain the water to, look into making a french drain. A french drain is a pipe with holes in it covered with cloth that keeps the dirt out, this in turn is buried in gravel. Then a normal pipe takes it to some place to drain the water off. I once had to make a dry well as I had no place to send the water. A dry well is a hole filled with rocks so the water can be diverted away from the house.

Now as to the cement work; if you have a pick up truck or can get one then you can get ready mix in the amount you need, it comes in a trailer. You can rent all the tools you need to do the work as well. You will need a large float on a pole and a small mag float, and an edger to round off the edges. You will need some 2x4's for the forms, and you will want a 12' 2x4 to smooth the concrete with. You will want some plastic to cover the concrete with, this keeps it from cracking in the heat. You may need a wheel barrel to move it to your patio. You will need some shovels to move the concrete around with.
I figure it will take about 1.75 yards of concrete to do it, so 2 yards should be a safe bet, better to have too much than not enough. You can plan to use the rest some place, I know people make stepping stones out of the extra. You could call and see if some one will bring that small of an amount; 2 yards, but the also charge for the time they sit as you work. You could do it with bags but that is a lot of bags and a lot of mixing, rent a big mixer if you do.
The concrete should be 3 and 1/2 inches thick, you can go as high as 4", 3 1/3" is the hight of 2x4's so this works out good. Lay the 2x4's out in the shape you want. Make sure they are level, square them off by measuring side to side, then measure diagonally like in an X pattern, corners to corners, when both measurements are the same you are square.
Pound stakes into the ground on the out side of the 2x4,s to hold them in place and nail a board across the corners, not over the cement area.You can use 8' ones, just nail a cut off chunk of 2x4 to the out side of where the meet.
I recommend putting in the wire mesh to keep the patio from breaking up, you can get it at any big box hard ware store in the size you need. They sell little blocks to set it on.
You will want some help if you can get it. I start from the back and work to the front. When the concrete is poured take a the 12' 2x4 and with the help of some one smooth the concrete until it is level. Then take the float with the long pole and work the concrete until it looks good, smooth the corners with the small float, and the go around the edges with the edger. Let sit and until it sets up, cover with plastic. If you want the brushed look. when it is set up in about one hour or less take a push broom and go over it. Use a strong plastic kind as you do not want the bristles to come off in the concrete. In a day or two you can remove the forms, stay off of it for a week if you can.

I typed this with a keyboard and my iPad, next time I write so much it will be on a real computer, it is hard to see and get things right on the iPad. :oops:

Re: 1st things 1st: What to do with 10x16 Sloped Patio Area?

Posted: Mon May 06, 2013 3:16 pm
by hendi_alex
I like the idea of concrete the best. Later when money is more available, you could always lay decorative tile, slate, flagstone over the concrete to give a better look.

It doesn't sound to me like the water issue is a significant issue related to the patio itself. It appears to be a separate issue, that may or may not need to be addressed, depending on how much water is actually channeling to the foundation.

This past week I bought a new fabricated iron entry gate. We have small dachshunds, so we decided to pour a concrete pad about 2 feet by 14 feet under the gate, to narrow the opening between the gate and the ground, and to remove the possibility of digging under. I'm quite handy and have done all significant remodeling jobs on a house, so am not intimidated at all by a DIY project.

For me, I thought that laying the concrete strip/pad was a chore, and your area is so much larger! Our concreting task took all afternoon, and floating to get a clean surface is not that easy for a novice. We mixed about 16-18 eighty pound bags of concrete to pour about 4 inches thick. That was a lot of mixing. Depending upon how finished you want the job, personally, I would pay the extra to have the concrete delivered. All of that handling, carting, and spreading the concrete puts very little value on your own labor. If you want to hold the cost down, then rent a float and finish the concrete yourself. Just get a straight 2 x 4 to use as your screed, that is long enough to reach across your form boards, and giggle back and forth (one person on each end) while pulling across the length of the frame. After getting the concrete spread pretty evenly and level, then use your float to get a smooth surface.

Last time I checked, the finisher charged about the same a the per yard price of the concrete, but that has been many years ago.

Re: 1st things 1st: What to do with 10x16 Sloped Patio Area?

Posted: Fri May 10, 2013 2:16 am
by RiverRun
thank you for the help! I do believe I will go with the concrete, but I think I may have to spend more money and pay someone to bring it in. Not sure if I can tackle that myself!