A brand new patio or driveway will increase the beauty and value of your home. If you've decided to pour the concrete yourself, you will save some money, but be prepared and knowledgeable before you begin. Most of the equipment you need is available from construction rental stores.
Recruit enough help to do the job. Pouring concrete takes a lot of muscle and endurance, as you work against the clock to smooth it before it hardens. Be sure to have plenty of people available.
Adjust the moisture content of the concrete. When the driver arrives on your property, ask to see the texture of the concrete. He will release a small amount down the chute for your approval. It will be on the dry side. He will add shots of water at your request. You want it wet enough that it does not harden too quickly.
Pour the concrete into the formed area. Push the chute back and forth to allow the concrete to reach the edges. Ask the driver to pull forwards or back up to accommodate you.
Shovel and pull the wet concrete to the edges of the form. All assistants must now help. Instead of using the shovel in a digging manner, reach out with it and allow it to fall on its backside on the concrete, sinking in slightly and then pull it towards you.
Screed the wet concrete after you obtain a rough level. With at least one person on each end, position the screed at the highest end of the pour and work downwards. All concrete has a slight slope to allow for drainage. Repeat one to two times to achieve a level finish.
Float the concrete with the bull float as soon as it has hardened enough to allow the float to move easily over the surface without sinking in. In a straight forward and backwards motion, push and pull the float across the wet concrete. When the concrete is relatively smooth, switch to the finish float to fine tune the surface.
Use hand trowels around the edges to tamp the concrete securely against the forms. With the edge trowel, work it back and forth between the form and the concrete to create a clean, rounded edge.