If you will be DIY-ing a concrete project in your own yard, then renting a cement mixer is sure to make the job a lot easier. You can rent this equipment from most rental companies, and some construction companies may also rent them out on the side. But while using a rented cement mixer is not terribly difficult, there is a bit of a learning curve if you've never done this before. Follow these steps to use one:

Step 1: Set it up.

If you rent the cement mixer, it should come mostly pre-assembled. However, you may need to put the drum on the stand one you get the mixer home. This should be pretty simple. Have a friend lift the drum onto the stand and hold it in place while you tighten the screws that hold it there.

Step 2: Turn on the mixer.

You may need to run an extension cord to the nearest outlet to plug the mixer in. Then, there should be a power switch that you flip to turn the mixer on. Always turn the mixer on before you add anything to it.

Step 3: Insert the concrete mixture.

Look at the concrete package to determine the correct water to concrete mix ratio. Measure out the water, so you have the proper amount. Then, pour a small amount of water into the mixer. Add about half the concrete mix, following by half of the remaining water. Let this mix for about five minutes until the mixture seems uniform, and then add the remaining concrete, followed by the remaining water.

Step 4: Empty the mixer.

You should not attempt to use concrete directly out of the cement mixer. It's too easy to bang up the drum opening with your shovel. Instead, turn off power to the unit, and then tilt it on its hinges to empty the contents into a wheelbarrow. Use the concrete out of the wheelbarrow as you complete your project.

Step 5: Clean the mixer.

Once you are done laying your concrete, turn your attention back to the mixer. Fill it part way with water from the hose, and turn it on again. The water will circulate and clean the inside of the mixture. Empty the water, and repeat this step a few times until the barrel is clean.

If you follow the steps above, your concrete project should go smoothly! Contact a concrete contractor like Bogner  Construction Co if you decide mixing your own cement is too challenging.