Putting in a patio can be an expensive proposition. If you decide to do it yourself but are challenged by pouring a concrete slab, consider buying patio paver moulds and making your own concrete pavers. They make a perfect surface for a patio, and you can vary the pavers by using dyes to colour the concrete or by painting the pavers after they have cured.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Patio paver moulds
- Mold release product
- Concrete mix
- Concrete trowel
- Concrete die or paint (optional)
- Wheelbarrow or pail
- Access to water
Choose a time of year when the weather is warm, sunny and dry. Concrete is made with water, and it takes a long time to set and dry when the weather is cold and/or rainy.
Buy concrete mix from a home improvement or hardware store. These bags are heavy, so you may need assistance at the store and at home to transport the bags. If you have just a few paver moulds and want to make the pavers over a period of a few days, buy the smaller bags. Concrete mix is like cake mix. The ingredients may shift in the bag, and you won't get a consistent product if you divide the product and make two or three batches out of it.
Get out your concrete paver moulds and spray or apply the mould release product.
Mix a batch of concrete in a wheelbarrow or other sturdy container from which you will be able to pour the concrete into the paver moulds. Follow the instructions on how much water you need.
Pour the concrete into the moulds after you have mixed it thoroughly; stir the wet concrete to make sure all the air bubbles are out. Use the trowel to smooth the top of the poured concrete before it starts to set. Let the moulds rest for at least 24 hours before you unmould them. The concrete will strengthen as it cures in the moulds. Once cured, remove the concrete from the moulds and repeat the process to make more concrete pavers for the patio.
Tips and warnings
- If you want to get started on this project in the spring or late winter, you can pour your pavers in the house or your basement if it's warm enough. Keep kids and pets away until the pavers have cured.
- Wash the tools you use to mix the concrete immediately after use. If you don't, the concrete will harden on them, and it will be impossible to get the concrete off.