How We Install Concrete Backyard Patios – A Visual Illustration

One of our landscaping customers in Mississauga was tired of mowing their lawn and decided to replace their grass backyard with a modern concrete patio. The photographs below outlines our process for installation of a concrete backyard patio using specialized landscaping crew (which includes the excavation crew, framing crew, cement pouring crew and cleanup crew) to ensure our services are delivered in an efficient manner.


After the customer finalizes the design of the backyard patio we provided them, the next step is to bring in the excavation crew. Our dedicated excavation crew comes in with a mini excavator and lots of plywood to protect all grass and anything that could possibly be damaged by our mechanical wheel barrows or excavators. The lead man on site will have a copy of the drawing and will first mark out the areas they will be digging. Once that is done, they will use their laser lever to see what our heights will be. It is very important that we have at least 6″-8” of compacted gravel in any backyard or side path. It is also very important that you water and compact at least 4 times. This project was 1400 square feet and took the crew 1 day to complete.


Once the excavation is complete, we bring in our dedicated framing team. On this particular backyard concrete patio project, we did the concrete pour in two phases. The first phase was to pour concrete border with a light grey accent. Once all the borders have been poured, we then remove the forms and pour the inside. The framing team has a very important role to make sure all forms are square, plum, and sloping away from the house at a 1%-2% grade. Framing a project of this complexity took two days to complete.

Concrete Pouring Day 1

For the first day of pouring concrete, the framing team builds ramps for the wheelbarrows to get to all the borders. We like to use wheelbarrows as opposed to bringing in a pump truck as there is a lot less likely hood of any of the frames being damaged or moved. Pouring the borders and stairs took half a day to complete.

Concrete Pouring Day 2

Our dedicated pouring team comes on site and starts stripping all the forms to get ready to pour the inside pieces. Our pouring guys also install 10M rebar 16” OC with a minimum of 4” thickness of 32MPA in backyards and pathways. Anything that will have a vehicle or heavier load will have a minimum of 6” thick. This project had a modern smooth finish, which means we do two rounds of a magnesium finish to allow all the bleed water to come up. Once it’s hard enough and we know all the bleed water is gone, we do a final pass with the aluminum trowels to give it that clean crisp look. This part took pouring team 1 day to complete.

Trowel Finish of Concrete Patio

For the final trowel finish, we first screened and place all our concrete using a magnesium float, allowing the bleed water to rise for better workability and ensuring we have no trapped water. After waiting about 30-45 minutes for the concrete to harden up, we then go on boards and trowel by hand with the magnesium to take out any previous trowel marks. We repeat this process until all lines are gone. We make our final pass using a aluminum trowel to give the concrete a nice sheen.

Cutting Stress-Release Cuts

Next day our dedicated clean up crew comes in and strips all the forms and cuts all the lines on the concrete. The cuts are primarily there to relieve the stress of the slab moving up and down, but it can also be done in a way to give the patio a more attractive look.

At Markstone Landscaping, we love working with customers who are willing to look outside the box and try something creative. For this concrete patio project, we created 45 degree cuts to look like diamonds with tile shape cuts in the middle of the patio. We thought it would be a great idea to break up the patio in different sections so that it doesn’t look like a parking lot, and I think we achieved this. It is always important to cut ¼ of the depth of the concrete slab, so 1″-1.25″is recommended. This step took the clean up crew one day.

A Modern Concrete Patio for your Backyard

Making the decision to putting a patio in your backyard is an important one — it is not as easy as changing paint in your family room. That being said, we highly recommend customers work with landscape contractors that have a true understanding of the scope of work to make sure that the project is not only structurally sound, but that is also has a beautiful finish that you can be proud to show your friends.