Masonry includes patching cracks in your foundation and creating a nice concrete walkway to your front door. There is a bit of science to it, but other than that, you could do some basic DIY masonry projects in a weekend. If you are seriously considering some concrete DIY work to keep busy and get projects completed on your time, here are all of the supplies you will need to pick up from a home improvement store.
You will need a variety of trowels. A flat trowel, a corner trowel, a smoothing trowel, and a pointed trowel are just the basic ones. If your project is more specialized, ask the store associate about other kinds of trowels you may find very useful and helpful for completing your project.
Grout, Concrete, and/or Cement
People often confuse these three related products, but they are actually very different. Grout includes cement in its recipe but is grittier because it also includes sand. Concrete tends to be chunky, with bits of gravel thrown in to help strengthen and solidify the concrete. Cement is a binding powder; think of it as the "glue" in concrete, grout, and mortar (which is very similar to grout). If you are filling in cracks between bricks on the side of your house or a brick wall, you will need powdered grout and sand. If you are creating a walkway, you will need concrete. Extra cement may be added to make these substances dry harder.
Five Gallon Pails and a Blending Drill Bit
It helps to mix smaller batches of concrete or grout so that you do not get stuck with dried out, hard as rock materials before you can even use it. Some people think that mixing up really large batches of this stuff will make the project go quicker. The truth is, you will only have to make even more because what you are not using and leaving to stand becomes hardened while you are working with a smaller batch in another bucket. Just start with small batches. Pour the powder with the correct amount of water in a five-gallon pail and use a drill with a large rotary mixing bit attached to stir up the concrete or grout.
A Portable Stand Mixer
You could also rent a portable concrete stand mixer from construction equipment rental stores. They mix up slightly larger batches at a faster rate than the drill and mixing bit. However, you may only want to rent such equipment if you are working on a much larger project (e.g., pouring a slab, creating a driveway, etc.).
For more information, contact your local masonry supplies shop today.