How to Make a Concrete Sidewalk – Do It Yourself
Bosch demo hammer: https://amzn.to/2zSqJuy still needs the shovel attachment: https://amzn.to/2z6CQnm
A well reviewed option for less than $200: https://amzn.to/3dD7pjC
Quikrete Concrete Expansion Joint: https://amzn.to/2A30IIX
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Installing a walkway can be a very labor intensive job, but if you do it yourself, you can save a lot of money over hiring contractor.
Before you get started, you’ll need the following materials.
-fiber reinforced concrete
-line level: https://amzn.to/2AxwsFX or https://amzn.to/3gYpxGL
-expansion joints: we used https://amzn.to/2A30IIX
-Bosch electric shovel: https://amzn.to/2zSqJuy or manual equivalent
-concrete mixing tools
First, determine how long and how wide you want your walkway to be. After you’ve measured the width, drive a stake into the ground on both sides of where you’ll begin, these stakes will be your reference points for the remainder of the project.
Then, attach a screw to the lower third of the first stake. Use a line level to make sure you’ve got the proper angle of drainage away from the house.
The line level is basically a long piece of string strung through a small level. The string fits through two holes on top of the level, so you can slide the level along the string.
Take one end of the string, attach it to the screw you’ve installed on the first stake, drive a second stake at the end of your proposed walkway. Attach the other end of the string to this stake and check to make sure that you will have proper drainage. In other words, you don’t want the bubble to show “level”,you want there to be a slight slope away from the house. (Failure to make sure water will drain away from your house could later cause foundation problems)
Next, use a shovel or the Bosch electric shovel, to dig out the area of your walk.
Once this is done, sink a stake about ever two feet on both sides of the cut out ground where your walkway will go. Then take 3” X 4’ pieces of plywood and attach them at ground level to the stakes. You can use a cordless screwdriver to hold the plywood to the stakes. These pieces of wood are your concrete forms which will hold the cement in place when you’re ready to pour the walkway.
But first, put in your expansion joints. Expansion joints are installed about every three feet and are used to keep your concrete from cracking during expansion and contraction in hot and cold weather.
Using fiber reinforced concrete, which we used in this segment, is a good idea. The hundreds of thousands of tiny fibers give the concrete extra strength as is hardens, thereby eliminating the need for wire mesh or re-bar to support ordinary concrete.
Mix your concrete in a wheelbarrow. Then pour the walkway into the forms. Use a trowel to smooth it out and make sure you have a nice even finish.
TIP: Before the concrete dries, use a broom to give the surface texture. Simply take a broom and lightly sweep across the concrete from side to side. This will put small grooves into the concrete surface as it dries and will reduce the chance of your walkway being slippery when wet.
After the concrete has thoroughly dried (usually five days) remove the outer forms and stakes and you’ve got a beautiful walkway.
WHAT WE USED
The material used to install the backyard sidewalk was Quikrete Fiber Reinforced Concrete.
Quikrete’s fiber reinforced concrete contains hundreds of thousands of tiny fibers which finish smooth, eliminating the need for wire mesh or heavy re-bar in many slab-on-grade applications like walkways, patios steps etc. Specially developed to minimize cracking, chipping and flaking.
Fiber reinforced concrete also dramatically reduces cracking caused by drying shrinkage.
Quikrete Expansion Joint Strips, https://amzn.to/2A30IIX protect concrete slabs from potential damage caused by expansion and contraction. Made from cane fiber, the five foot long strips are weather resistant, absorb very little water, and do not become brittle in cold weather.
Amazon Tool Deals: https://amzn.to/3eUkYLB
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Last update 2020-09-20. Price and product availability may change.