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I’ve never handled concrete before, except in the small amounts required to set a fence post, but I’d really like to pour a short walkway extension in my back yard.  A little Googling this morning turned up this how-to over on DoItYourself.com.  It looks pretty thorough, but I wondered if maybe any of you had found better information.

Am I wrong in thinking that planning is going to be one of the most difficult parts of this project?

(Thanks to rkimpeljr for this great CC-licensed photo.)

How To Pour Concrete [DoItYourself.com]


7 Responses to How To Pour Concrete

  1. Ray says:

    For jobs like this metered concrete is nice. (This was not listed in the options in the DIY article) A truck comes to you house with all the components for concrete housed in separate bins on the truck. The material is then mixed and dispensed as you need it. This is nice for small jobs because you are paying for what you use. Around here transit mixers (the trucks with the big rotating drum) charge you for a full truck minimum price (10 or 12 yards). Transit mixers (at least in my area) will also want to dump any excess and wash down the truck before leaving your site. This is one thing at a construction site but can get a little messy in your back yard.

    A google search of metered concrete in your zip code will likely turn up local suppliers.

  2. Roscoe says:

    I’ve never heard of the “metered” option, but it sounds interesting.

    If you’re going the traditional route, I highly recomend enlisting a buddy with experience to help day of pour. You’ll want to know what you want and how much of it when you call for a truck. Also, most plants are only open Saturday mornings in the summer. Don’t wait for fall and try and get concrete on the weekend.

  3. Michael W. says:

    Planning is very important if you’re going the transit route. Nothing sucks more for everybody involved than having a truck that can’t reach the pour site (because of location, cars in the way, etc.).
    I ditto the suggestion to find a knowledgeable friend. Having more help is better than having less help.
    If you take the time to make some simple forms you can snag any extra concrete (you’re paying for all of it anyway) in a more usable form. 2’x2′ by 4″ makes a nice size paver (can be placed under an outdoor faucet to keep the area from getting muddy, also can be used under wood lawn furniture to help keep the rot down).

    Last, but not least, take video – that way if something goes horribly awry you can YouTube the resulting footage! 😉

  4. Jim Mauser says:

    Haven’t looked at that site, but a short extension you should just pour yourself…prep and form and you are halfway there…rent a drum mixer, get portland cement (about 6 bags per yard) sand and gravel…we usually do 24 shovels of gravel, and 18 sand per bag, but you may tweak that a bit…getting Sakrete or like may be easier, but I don’t care for that so much….remember to use the edger on the edges, and a groover for control joints every 4′ or so, and brush, or wood float for a non-skid surface….that part is mostly timing…….It’s a piece of cake….good luck

  5. TL says:

    The Quikrete site isn’t bad:

    My advise is to first figure out how much you need, that and accesibilty toe the site should determine your concrete source. If you’re working with the dry stuff, do yourself a favor and wear rubber gloves. If you are doing more than five or six bags of the premix, spend the $50 to rent a mixer.

  6. TL says:

    One other thing. When buying concrete in dry form, ALWAYS buy at least two bags more than you think you need. The big box home centers are very good about taking returns and nothing sucks worse than running out in the middle of the concrete project.

  7. SHOSHO says:


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