When you’re mixing concrete, chances are you’re about to make something permanent. That’s quite a responsibility, but it’s also fun.
Concrete is serious stuff.
It sets hard. So before a man slices into a bag of cement with his shovel, he needs to have a fair grip on what he's doing. Once that cement is combined with water and builder's mix, he better be ready to do something with it. It will only remain workable for two or three hours after it is mixed.
If you get distracted for long enough, you're going to come back to find you've made yourself a big wheelbarrow-shaped rock.
But concrete's permanence is also one of the things that makes it so satisfying to work with. Properly made, it will outlast any of us. It makes durable paths and driveways and provides the foundations for entire houses.
On big jobs, concrete will either arrive by truck or be mixed with a hired mechanical mixer. The only physical labour required is barrowing it to where it's needed.
For most handyman-level projects, though, you can mix it in a wheelbarrow, giving the upper body a serious workout as you stir the gritty ingredients together.
If you're using it for the piles of a deck, say, you can just slop it into the hole and cover it up once it's dry.
But if you're creating paths or steps, you get the satisfaction of really playing tradesman, working with your trowel to achieve a smooth finish. Fancy touches can be created with shells and glazed tiles and it’s always tempting to leave your initials in a discreet corner.
If your work is near the street, just watch out some neighbourhood delinquent doesn't scrawl an obscenity on your still damp concrete surface.
Because, whether your job is big or small, the aim is to creat something that will last and if you follow the instructions on the bag that's just what you'll get.
Mixing concrete for a worthwhile project seems to fulfill a primal male urge to build something really substantial.
Maybe a deck like this
Or you could use concrete to get really solid foundations for a pergola like this
Or for some fencing
Whatever you're building, just make sure to choose the right place to put it. You really don't want to change your mind after the event. Mixing concrete is hard work… breaking it up is a killer.
Share on Facebook: Share