When you need a concrete slab poured for a patio or another application around your yard, you face the decision of hiring a crew of contractors or tackling the job with a couple helpers. The latter can be supremely satisfying — and give you a solid finished product — if you take some time to read about the necessary steps and ensure that you have all the right tools. You already know that you'll need a concrete mixer, which you can typically obtain for the desired amount of time at a local rental center. Here are some other tools, however, that will make the job easier and leave you happy with the look of the slab once it dries.
Although you might be tempted to use your heavy garden rake to help prepare the surface before you pour the concrete, you'll get better results from a wide rake specifically designed to be used during this project. These rakes are not only wider than the average garden rake, but are typically made of lightweight aluminum so that they're easy to control. Additionally, the handles are much longer than standard rakes, which means you'll be able to reach across the concrete slab to distribute the concrete mix with ease.
Don't get into the habit of gauging the levelness of the concrete slab with a long piece of wood; it could be warped and won't give you a true reading. Instead, make sure to rent a long level. Levels are available in several sizes and serve a valuable tool for ensuring that the slab is flat or slightly graded away from your home.
Concrete step tools are a valuable ally when you're building steps, but they're also ideal to rent when you're pouring a slab. A simple, 90-degree step tool will allow you to square off the edges of the slab in a satisfactory manner. Without it, you'd be stuck using your trowels to attempt to square off the edge, or else having a rough edge that isn't exactly appealing to the eye.
When the concrete has nearly dried, you can give it a desirable finish with the help of a concrete broom. This wide broom with stiff bristles is ideal for leaving small imprints on the surface of the concrete. Functionally, this provides some degree of grip so that the slab isn't slippery when it's wet. If you have an artistic side, you can use the broom to create a swirling pattern to give the surface a unique appearance. Contact a company like Horizon Equipment Rentals for more information.