Concrete Flatwork to Beautify Your Metro Phoenix Home
Concrete remains one of the oldest and most popular construction materials on the planet. Whether you walk into big cities or simple residential neighborhoods, you’ll always come across concrete structures. Besides constructing residential/ commercial buildings and large-scale structures such as bridges and dams, concrete is a go-to material for outdoor flatwork. Moreover, some people use it in interior decorative projects such as fire cast places, planters, and wet bar countertops. But why concrete over other materials? This construction material is relatively affordable (depending on the project’s scope), versatile, and easy to work with if you get it right from the word go.
This article highlights how you can use concrete flatwork to beautify your Metro Phoenix home, including custom finishes.
What is Concrete Flatwork?
Concrete flatwork involves pouring the material on a horizontal plane, creating a smooth surface such as concrete slab, concrete sidewalk, or even patios. It may sound simple, but there is much work involved in building concrete flatwork projects than just pouring the material. For instance, you have to create a wire mesh or form and forming rebar to hold the concrete together after excavating the ground. Then, you’ll pour the base material before tying the mesh together to form a concrete skeleton. The last process of a flatwork job involves pouring the concrete into your prepared surface and finally troweling it. Generally, the preparation will take you longer than pouring and troweling.
How do you make the concrete? First, you can choose to do a simple DIY or buy it in premixed bags or a concrete truck. Preparing concrete at home can consume a lot of time, but the process isn’t that hard after all. It will also help if you buy various flattening materials to create multiple shapes and finishes. The prevalent tools for working a concrete flatwork include brooms, trowels, sponges, edgers, and even floats.
Prevalent Types of Concrete Flatwork
Concrete flatwork is everywhere; you probably see and use it every day. But what are some of the concrete flatwork projects you can do in your Metro Phoenix work without breaking the bank? They include:
The best thing about concrete patios is that they are relatively affordable to build and attract hassle-free maintenance. It can include a courtyard adjoining your residence. You can use this space for dining, entertaining, or even relaxation. In this case, the concrete’s thickness should be about 4.0-6.0 inches.
Do you know that a high-quality concrete sidewalk can last up to 80 years? This lifespan is relatively long to give back your money’s value, unlike asphalt that lasts for only two decades. You can also use concrete with interlocking bricks to achieve various aesthetic appeals. These walkways are for pedestrian use, and the concrete’s thickness should be about 4.0 inches.
Outdoor gazebos are increasingly becoming popular due to their attractiveness and convenience. you’ll never miss a design that matches your outdoor décor. You can add your gazebos to your concrete courtyard without drilling the floor. You only need to attach anchors at the corners of the pavilion, and you’re good to go. The additional weight prevents heavy winds from carrying away the structure.
Nearly every garage in Metro Phoenix has concrete flooring, thanks to the friendly weather ideal for long-lasting concrete structures. While the finishing is purely aesthetic, most experts recommend pouring concrete up to 6.0 inches. This thickness is enough to support the weight of small vehicles without cracking.
Concrete is a go-to material for pool decks because it allows textured finishing that suits various aesthetic appeals. Moreover, textured finishing doesn’t get wet to prevent slipping and keep everyone around the pool safe.
Concrete Flatwork Designs
Many homeowners go for concrete because of its versatility. You have endless design options for your outdoor court and many more structures. The prevalent concrete flatwork designs include:
Forms are probably the most common designs and shapes for concrete flatwork. Generally, most forms are wooden materials that come in 2.0×4.0 inches. Form designs are a go-to option for courtyards and sidewalks. You use the wood to build a form before pouring wet concrete into it. You can even use plywood to create curved forms. Then, after the concrete hardens, you can remove the forms, and the slab assumes its shape.
Stamped concrete courtyards are popular all over the country. Just as the name suggests, you use another object to create an impression on the slab by stamping. Of course, you’ll have to pour the concrete first and wait for it to harden for a while before using stamps. You can even add colors along with stamps to create vivid designs.
Sometimes, you can combine concrete with other materials to create bold designs. In fact, most concrete courtyards will have different edging materials such as bricks or even precious stones. Of course, the choice depends on your budget and decoration theme. However, you can also have other materials in the middle, say you want to create patterns.
Colors are not necessary for many homeowners, but you may want to be unique. You can add color to concrete flatwork in many ways, including surface coating after the slab dries completely or dyes after curation. Also, you can add the pigment to the concrete mixture when it’s wet. However, this will turn the color of the entire flatwork from up to the bottom.
Lastly, you can add colors into sealants or epoxy coats.
Tools Needed to Get the Job Done
Before learning how to mix and finally pouring concrete, you would want to prepare the tools needed for the job. Well, these tools are pretty basic, and you probably have them in your garage. You’ll need two sets of tools, including:
Preparation Tools:It will help if you have the following preparation tools:
- Wheelbarrow-You’ll find it helpful for moving gravel and dirt around. You can even use the wheelbarrow for mixing concrete after preparing the ground.
- Spade and shovel-These tools are ideal for excavating dirt. You’ll also use them to spread the gravel and concrete around.
- Leveling tools-Before pouring the concrete, it is necessary to create a flat surface. You can use strings, line levels, or even standard levels.
- Carpentry tools:If you’re using forms, carpentry tools such as hammers, saws, and screws will come in handy when building the structures. You can also use the bails and the screws as fasteners.
Protective gear- Concrete can be pretty much messy when it dries on your hands or feet. In that case, you would want to bring a pair of gumboots and heavy-duty gloves.
- Hose: Water is an indispensable commodity for concrete flatwork. You’ll need plenty of it for mixing the concrete and washing the tools after you finish the job.
- Pads: You may need pads for additional support as you walk on the poured concrete to trowel it.
- Broom and edgers: A broom will be necessary if you need a brook finish on your sideways. You’ll also need an edge tool to create flat edges around the concrete slab. Also, a joint tool will be necessary if you prefer joints between slabs.
What Is the Process of Doing Concrete Flatwork?
As noted, concrete flatwork is a simple DIY, and you don’t need to hire masons to do it. However, the choice of hiring professionals depends on the scope of the project. Here is a breakdown of a standard concrete flatwork process:
- Set mark outs to highlight the area needed for preparation. You can use a shovel to dig the dirt and load it onto the wheelbarrow. Typically, you should dig about 6.0 inches for 4.0 -inch concrete flatwork.
- Next, pour the base materials into the dug hole before compacting it. Most masons prefer gravel as the base material.
- After creating the base, build your forms. Again, you can use regular wood structures or plywood for curved shapes. However, ensure that you make sturdy forms to support the weight and pressure of wet concrete.
- Then, install your reinforcement on the forms. You can use rebar or wire mesh, depending on what is readily available.
- Mix your concrete, then pour it into the reinforced forms. You can add colors and other additives when mixing the concrete. You can also use stamps to create textured impressions as the concrete dries.
- Wait for the concrete to dry for a few days before removing the forms and installing edging materials. Then, you can install the sealer after 28 days.
Wrapping It Up
Concrete is the most popular material for flatwork, thanks to its easy workability and endless designs. Moreover, you can build anything on concrete if you reinforce it properly. That is why even the most expensive homes go for it. Besides the unparalleled durability, high-quality concrete flatwork will likely increase your home’s value. A beautiful concrete courtyard will be the stunning feature that attracts buyers to your property. And since concrete flatwork is relatively affordable, you’ll always get a positive return on investment.
Contact Intricate surface designs today to Beautify your home, We are happy to help you always.