Whether you want to pave your patio or give someone cement shoes, here's how to mix concrete like an expert. Learn how to mix concrete by hand with this instructional video.
You Will Need
* Portland cement
* A hose
* A wheelbarrow or mixing trough
* A shovel or hoe
* A Styrofoam or paper cup
* Bags of premixed dry concrete ingredients
* A bucket
* A gasoline or electric power mixer
Step 1: Make the dry mixture
Basic concrete is made by adding water to a mixture of gravel, sand, and a kind of cement called portland cement. To make the dry mix, combine 1 part portland cement, 2 parts sand, and four parts gravel (also called coarse aggregate) in a wheelbarrow or trough. For smaller jobs, you can purchase bags of premixed dry ingredients.
Step 2: Add water
Take a hose and slowly add water to the mix. If using premixed concrete, consult the directions on the bag for the amount of water needed — then measure it into a bucket, and add it to the mix. Tip: Too much water will result in weak concrete, while too little water will make the concrete unworkable. It's better to start with less water. You can always add more if needed.
Step 3: Begin mixing the concrete
With a hoe or a shovel, begin mixing the concrete. Make sure all the ingredients are uniformly mixed. Tip: For large projects, use a gasoline or electric power mixer. Concrete mixed by machine will typically be more consistent — and require a lot less elbow grease!
Step 4: Check the consistency
After mixing thoroughly, check the consistency. Punch the bottom out of a Styrofoam or paper cup and fill it with your concrete, as if you were making a sand castle. Remove the cup and watch the pile slump down — ideally it should sink to about half the height of the cup. Add water to the mix to adjust the consistency as needed.
Step 5: Pour concrete
Now pour your perfectly mixed concrete quickly, as it will begi