Stamped Concrete installation can be challenging for the nonprofessional, and concrete is also very difficult and costly to repair if a mistake is made (Once concrete is dried its difficult to remove and replace concrete without showing a seam). But with careful practice, a seasoned DIY vet, with an attention-to-detail approach, can tackle the project. While the information needed to be successful in building your own pad fills the pages of books, here is an overview of what such a project would entail.
To begin the project, prepare the subgrade. The subgrade may not be showing at the end of the process, but it is critical for performance and structural integrity. The sub grade needs to be compacted. Well-compacted soil will help to prevent drainage, and a tightly pack subgrade will also help to prevent soil erosion under the slab.
Build the forms. The forms should be in good condition and can be built from wood, plastic, or metal. These forms should be set to the appropriate grade for drainage. Install reinforcement on the forms (Such as rebar posts) and then pour the concrete. When the concrete is poured, make sure to screed and finish the concrete well; the surface should be level. There are numerous ways in which you can add color to the concrete, and, after you have applied the coloring to the concrete (If you are using one), the concrete can be stamped.
The amount of time in which you can effectively stamp concrete is relatively short, and it is a good idea to determine your pattern before you have begun the process. Diagram the project ahead of time so that you are prepared for the short window in which you can add your pattern.
When the concrete has been stamped, you will need to cure the concrete. The curing process will enable to concrete to dry out, becoming stronger and more durable. When the concrete has cured fully, you can seal the concrete. The sealer makes the concrete shine and it can be purchased in sheens much like paint, from satin finishes to high gloss. The sealer also brings out he color of the concrete pad. The sealer also prevents most penetration from stains, and it will better repel things like dirt and chemicals.
Stamped concrete pads can make a beautiful addition to any home. If you do choose to build one, make sure that you follow all of the manufacturer’s recommendations.