When renovating our home, we added beautiful French doors leading from the living room to the patio. What a waste. They were like ornaments. Nobody ever used them, except over weekends to access the braai on the paved area outside.

I simply could not pinpoint the flaw, until a little accident on the patio changed my perspective. Daughter needed space for her Jerusalema steps. I moved my chair backwards and the chair and I tipped slowly over the edge.  As I lay there, I knew what had gone wrong. We had concentrated so much on remodeling the interior of our home that we had neglected planning for our outdoors lifestyle. The patio was cramped. We needed an outside space in which we could move chairs willy-nilly. Space for family, friends, dogs. Space to dance.

In the home renovating process, we had saved on our budget by tiling over existing tiles. We had patio money!  We would replace the drab and uneven paving and enlarge the area. After some research Spouse decided on a concrete slab. He provided proof that it was definitely the most economical and the most durable. “That is why the Mafia believe in concrete boots,” he added. “They last forever.”  He even had a moment of delirium and declared that he could pour a concrete slab, that there was nothing to it.

I kicked and screamed (gracefully). Concrete is just so ugh. Grey and gritty. Uninviting.

Research of my own showed some super-stylish concrete patios. I capitulated. It could be concrete, but only if we hired a building contractor. It is not a task for a novice. Without a bag of cement in sight yet, our contractor tested our soil type – to determine the need for reinforced steel design and for substructure compaction – and calculated the gradient of the slab to ensure proper draining. Gradient I understood.  A DIY job would probably have had rain seeping in under the French doors.

The actual work on the slab was fascinating. The contractor poured the slab and then it was vibrated to remove any air bubbles. Not a one-man-without-the-right-tools job. It wasn’t over yet: the concrete was “floated”  for either a smooth or a non-slip finish. Finally came the curing and sealing.

And there we had a brand new, spacious extension to our home. We chose a colour (yes, you can tint cement) close to the colour of the indoor floors and now the patio offers a seamless transition from the inside to the outside.

The concrete is wonderfully resilient, and I can drag potted plants across the surface without damaging it. I do not go into a spin when the dogs tread mud all over it; it cleans so easily. No more guard duty in the street while Boychild and friends skateboard; they love the patio’s smooth surface. And I just love the modern, spacious look.

I have planned a surprise for our first braai on the new patio. We are going to open the French doors, move the furniture to one side, pump up the volume and all learn the #Jerusalema dance. The President did ask us, after all.

If you are looking for a Building Contractor who can install a proper concrete floor slab, contact Handy Family.

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