Even though we like to DIY as much as possible, it is sometimes best to hire a professional. We had a local concrete company, Conco, help us with this portion of our backyard renovation. They framed and poured all the concrete. More than the just the labor they provided invaluable services such as suggestions regarding seat wall height, step dimensions and slope ratios. Seeing water pool on a concrete slab or water that doesn't drain away from the house can turn a good looking project into an expensive mistake. It really is best to spend the time and money to do concrete right the first time. Here is what they did.
First step: Frame concrete seat wall and steps for door passage ways.
2nd step: Pour concrete into seat wall forms and steps, then finish. We chose a light broom finish and used a bull nose edge to give it a custom look.
3rd step: Frame up remaining concrete pads and walk ways. They used rebar to strengthen the concrete and prevent future cracking.
4th step: Pour flat work and finish.
For our finishes we chose to do a light broom finish on the steps, concrete seat wall and boarders. In between we used a slate stamp and placed a 4'x4' tooled joint pattern (this gives it the horizontal look). We used a colored concrete called sandstone.
We are beyond pleased with the result. I am so happy we did a horizontal pattern. Even though it cost a little bit more in labor, I think it made the back yard look more personalized. It is important to plan ahead and think this process through because once the concrete is placed, you can't make changes.
To see Part 1 (Planning & Preparation) go here. To see Part 3 (Irrigation, Electrical & Sod) go here. To see Part 4 (Fountain and Landscape) go here.