Build a Better Backyard
Summer’s in full swing, bringing with it an abundance of sunshine and long days, and homeowners are naturally eager to spend time outdoors and to improve their exterior living spaces. While some outdoor improvements, such as installing a swimming pool, require the assistance of professional contractors, others are DIY projects that can be done in a single weekend using one of the most durable construction materials around: concrete. If you’re looking for ways to increase your backyard’s appeal and entertainment value, check out these six projects that you can do yourself.
Create A Custom Trellis
Climbing roses and flowering vines add color and texture to the landscape, but their long meandering stems can become quite heavy so they require robust support, such as a sturdy trellis. These trellis construction plans walk you through the process of constructing an attractive trellis that will last for years. The trick to building a successful trellis is to use weather-resistant materials (treated wood or steel) and to cement the posts in the ground with Quikrete Fast-Setting Concrete Mix to keep the posts vertical no matter how heavy the vines eventually become. With this easy-to-use Quikrete product, no premixing is necessary, just set the posts in the holes, pour in the dry concrete mix, and then add water. In 20-40 minutes, the concrete will begin to harden, and after as little as four hours, you can begin constructing the lattice portion of the trellis.
Fashion an Outdoor Bar
Nothing says summer quite like outdoor entertaining, and nothing makes outdoor entertaining more enjoyable than being able to serve up food and drinks on your own outdoor bar. While it may seem like a lot of work at first, building an attractive outdoor bar is a doable DIY project when you construct the shape from concrete blocks, coat the sides with Quikrete Concrete Quikwall Surface Bonding Cement, and then top the whole thing off with a slick-looking concrete countertop. The building process is straightforward, and this video provides step-by-step instructions that will walk you through it, from selecting an optimal location and choosing the right materials to sealing your finished bar’s countertop so it looks great for years to come.
Pour A Pathway
Good landscape design takes all the different areas of a yard into consideration and creates a natural flow from one to next, either visually or through the use of walkways that connect the spaces. Depending on length, installing a traditional sidewalk often requires the assistance of a professional concrete crew, but don’t let that discourage you from creating your own attractive DIY pathway. With the Quikrete Walkmaker—a heavy-duty plastic, 2-foot-by-2-foot concrete form—you can create a path in a brick or cobblestone pattern at your own speed—one section at a time. The form is positioned directly on the ground and then filled with Quikrete Crack Resistant Concrete Mix; a single 80-pound bag of mix is required for pouring each 2-foot-by-2-foot section. Color can be added to the mix for a custom look, and you can create a wider 4-foot path by pouring two rows side by side. See this video for complete details and instructions for how to use the Walkmaker.
Build a Border
Creating crisp boundary lines between lawns and perennial beds will keep the landscape orderly and give the yard a finished look. A solid concrete border is a better long-term option than a brick or stone border, which tend to shift and settle over time. Concrete edging also creates a mowing line and reduces the necessity of weeding to remove grass that creeps from the lawn into areas where it isn’t welcome. If you know your way around some basic tools (drill, circular saw, and measuring tape), these instructions will help you build a solid concrete border in a single weekend. The process involves constructing a form to hold the concrete and then filling the form with Quikrete Crack Resistant Concrete Mix. A handy video walkthrough demonstrates the process from start to finish.
Resurface a Worn Patio
Concrete is one of the most durable construction materials around, but over time a concrete slab can become discolored or develop cracks and surface flaking, leaving it looking dull and drab. Luckily, you don’t have to tear out a worn concrete patio and pour a new one just to improve the look of your property. With Quikrete Re-Cap Concrete Resurfacer you can give that old patio (or sidewalk) a brand new look, and you can do it in a single weekend. The key to this DIY project is to meticulously clean and prep the concrete surface, which will allow the resurfacing product to securely bond to the existing concrete. This video tutorial will walk you through the process and give you some tips and tricks to help ensure a successful project.
Up the Ambience with a Fire Pit
Create a campfire feel and maximize your summer and autumn evenings with an attractive and functional concrete fire pit. This video tutorial demonstrates the steps to DIY a fire pit. The process involves constructing a fire pit form, excavating a few inches of soil, filling the area with sand or gravel to form a sturdy foundation, and then using a combination of fire bricks and Quikrete 5000 Concrete Mix to create a durable and attractive fire pit. While this project may require a second weekend to complete, you’ll be rewarded with a fire pit that will serve as a treasured gathering spot for years to come.
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!