Concrete is a material commonly used in projects around the home. From driveways to patios, concrete can easily provide a sturdy base for usable outdoors spaces for your home. When planning a big project, you must choose if you are going to do it yourself or hire a professional. For the most part, a professional will be able to complete the project faster as well as have more know-how to complete the plan without problems. But what can you do to help? There are ways to prep the area before the concrete will be laid to cut back on cost as well as completion time.

Clearing the Area

Before an outdoor project can begin with concrete, the area must be cleared. If you are creating a driveway or patio, the section of land to be concreted over will need to have grass and debris removed. You can do this yourself to save time and money. First, get busy moving items such as branches, large stones or other items that are in the way.

Next, you can remove the sod with a tiller or other tools to prepare the ground for leveling. When using concrete, you need a solid base ground to start with. The ground needs to be level and free of debris so a sub-grade can be laid which will consist of gravel, crushed stone or sand.

Even if you only get the area cleared somewhat, it is better than starting from scratch for the contractor! Ask what you can do to prep the area before the project begins.

Setting up Frame

If you are planning to lay concrete for a slab or sidewalk area, among other projects, a frame will be needed. If you feel confident that you can set the frame yourself, then you can start this section of the project. For many DIYers, the prep work such as leveling the area and the frame are laid down and then a concrete company comes in with a mixer and adds the concrete. This is a great way to complete the majority of the project yourself and call in the big machinery when its time to pour in the concrete!

Additional Help

So, what else can you do? If you are hiring an individual to do the work for you and not a company, you can save time and money by purchasing the supplies and providing tools yourself. You can have the area set up and ready to go when the helper arrives so they can quickly get started on the project. This could be setting up lumber for the frame and having concrete bags and mixing materials on hand.

When hiring anyone to help you with concrete work, ensure they are experienced and knowledgeable in the material. Ask plenty of questions upon hiring the individual or company, including what you can do to help. You may find that even the simplest of tasks will help to push the project along so that you can enjoy your new concrete area in no time.

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Meet Lance Davis


Lance Davis is a third generation Concrete Contractor with over 10+ years experience in concrete repair and slabjacking. His company Davis & Sons Concrete has proudly served all of North Central Illinois, Rockford and the outer suburbs - and he would love to hear from you!

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