Porch floors are commonly covered with a concrete cap, which renders the floor almost indestructible and certainly resilient. These caps must be formed and finished like a normal concrete pour. However, there are tried-and-true methods that make this job manageable for do-it-yourself homeowners who choose to save money by completing it themselves. You can expect to finish the job in one to two days, depending on the size and scope of the project.
Things You'll Need
- 2-inch-by-8-foot lumber
- Concrete edger
- Concrete trowel
- Hammer drill
- Concrete screws
Install 2-inch-by-8-foot lumber around the outside perimeter of the porch floor. Attach the lumber to the side of the porch wall, allowing it to extend past the top of the porch floor 4 to 6 inches. The thickness of the cement cap will depend on the height of the lumber above the porch floor. Drill through the lumber and into the porch side wall with a concrete drill bit and hammer drill. Insert concrete screws to hold the form lumber temporarily.
Secure the lumber where it meets the porch corners, using 3-inch wood screws. The form lumber should be tied together to resemble a wooden box that sits just over the porch floor and down over the sides.
Pour fiber-reinforced cement over the porch floor and inside the 2-inch-by-8-foot form boards. Use a hard rake to push the cement around. After pouring 2 inches of cement, tap the form boards with a hammer to remove any bubbles from the cement and settle the cement gravel. This will ensure a smooth finish on the cement cap once the boards are removed. Pour the remaining cement, tapping the 2-by-8 form boards as you fill the porch floor with cement. Smooth the cap with a cement trowel, making sure that all cement gravel has been floated away with the trowel.
Smooth the edges of the cap with a concrete edging tool. The tool slips between the cement and the form boards and rounds the edges of the cement, producing a finished cap edge. Lightly drag a broom across the surface of the cement after two hours to produce a broom finish on the porch floor cap.
- "Foundations and Concrete Work"; Fine Homebuilding; 2003
- "Ultimate Guide to Masonry and Concrete:Design, Build, Maintain"; Creative Homeowner Press; 2006
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