Transforming Our Patio by Changing the Pavers to Concrete
After 14 years of pavers on our patio, we decided to switch to a concrete surface. The pavers looked great at first, but over the years became prone to mold and had weeds coming up between them.
This switch from pavers to concrete was part of our project to expand our screen room. In Florida, the weather is great for outdoor living, so we wanted a bigger space and one that was easier to take care of.
Follow along below to see what was involved in switching from the original pavers to a new patio of concrete. Although it took some time, we expect to enjoy our outdoor living space more now without spraying chemicals on the weeds or having to pressure wash to remove mold.
This photo essay doesn't include the removal of the screen room or the construction of the new one. It covers the removal and replacement of the patio surface.
Removing the Pavers
We started the removal ourselves, so that a friend could have some of the pavers for her patio. It was hard work with inadequate tools (a trowel, crowbar, and a shovel) | Source
Here's the worker from MD Construction doing a more expeditious removal of the pavers.
As you can see, he's using a mattock which worked well for bringing up the pavers.
The last batch of pavers, stacked for removal.
The time between removing the pavers and getting the concrete poured was several weeks. Rain every day delayed the project. Then we had several days of fine weather but the concrete companies were behind schedule.
Finally, our turn came and the rains held off. The concrete was poured in one day and smoothed for drying.
The Concrete Pour
It took a full crew to spread the concrete as it was pumped to the patio. | Source
For our size of patio, it took 3 cement trucks plus a small unit that pumped the concrete through large, flexible tubing to our backyard.
Here the workers are leveling the concrete as it was being pumped into the area. The edges were previously defined with boards and stakes to contain the concrete. The proper slope was determined at that time.
The workers wore rubber boots to move around in the liquid concrete.
Getting the Concrete Smoothed
As the concrete was poured into each section of the patio, a worker with a long, very long, pole smoothed the surface. | Source
Here's the long pole for that part of the job. It meant that he could stand outside the poured section and reach across to smooth it out.
The next step was hand smoothing. The surface isn't getting stepped on at this point, so the worker used a platform to distribute his weight while he trowels the cement smoother still. He went over the same area several times.
Next came a further smoothing with a machine that had rotating smoothers. This part of the operation went over the full surface several times. Additional helpers added small amounts of cement to certain spots as this man smoothed.