10 Steps to solid
exterior flatwork

1. Design and Permitting

The Concrete Guys are involved with our clients from the first step to the last. We start by collecting the blueprints, plot survey and permits.  We then send one of our survey managers to work with the builder to precisely set exterior flatwork on the site. This first step in the exterior construction process assures that the driveway, walkways, and patios will be located where the owner wants them with the elevation best suited for the home.

2. Site Work

Before concrete can be poured, the site needs to be prepared to reduce the chance of heaving from expansive soils and frost.  Our team uses earth moving equipment to speed up the process. Then we place and compact a subbase of fill gravel, unless the soil is very compact and stable.

3. Forming

Once the subbase is prepared the forms are set. Our team attach the forms to the stakes with screws or special nails to allow for easy removal after the concrete has cured. The forms are set to provide the proper slope or grade for drainage and form clean corners where they meet each other or other structures.

4. Inspection

Before any concrete can be poured, our team calls the local building inspector and awaits approval to move forward.

5. Placing Concrete

We pour the concrete into the forms until they are full to the top edge. While the concrete is being poured, we use shovels, rakes and "come alongs" (special concrete rake) to move the concrete to make sure there are no voids or air pockets.

6. Early Finishing

Our flat work team then uses a large metal or wood board to screed the top of the concrete. Screeding helps compact and consolidate the concrete and begins the smoothing and leveling process. Next, we use a float to further even out any high or low areas, and create a smooth finish. Small hand-held floats are used for the edges and detail work, large bull floats are used for working large areas. At the same time, we work the control joints and edges into the concrete with special hand tools.

7. Troweling

If the concrete will receive a rough broom finish, no additional finishing may be needed. If the concrete will be smooth toweled or stamped, a steel trowel finish is needed. We let the concrete rest until the surface begins to firm up.

8. Final Finishing

Once all the troweling is complete the final finish can be applied to the concrete. The most basic type of finish is known as a "broom finish". A special broom is pulled across the concrete surface creating a rough textured surface. Other types of finishes include stamped, textured, or smooth trowel to name a few.

9. Curing

We then let the concrete rest and begin to cure (get hard). The curing process lasts 28 days, with the first 48 hours being the most critical. We apply a liquid chemical curing and sealing compound to help the concrete cure slowly and evenly, which helps reduce cracks, curling, and surface discoloration. Clients can start to use the concrete for light foot traffic 1 to 3 days after placement and can drive and park on your concrete 10 to 15 days after placement (certain weather can affect this timing).

10. Quality Control Inspection

A Concrete Guys project manager reviews the site to ensure that the TCG ‘Green Tags’ are issued, and the project receives final sign off. This brings our process to a successful conclusion.

Let's Build a Solid Foundation

Contact The Concrete Guys today!