June Housebuilding Tips how to build a sidewalk
I’ve received a few requests on how to build a sidewalk or patio walkway from my site visitors. Concrete work isn’t my specialty, but I’ve done plenty of it. The trick to making a good sidewalk is to get the cement forms straight and even.
You won’t need to dig very deep into the ground to set the forms. Most residential sidewalks are made with 2×4’s. It’s actually best to plan the sidewalk to be above ground about 1/2-inch so water doesn’t puddle up in the rain. If you build the sidewalk below the ground level you will have a pool where you don’t want one.
You can also slope the sidewalk surface if you want the water to shed faster, but it’s not necessary unless you want the water to run away from a house foundation or something like that.
There is a mesh screen that is used instead of rebar for sidewalks. It holds the concrete together once it is dry. Mesh is important because sidewalks are only 3 1/2-thick and the possibility of cracking is high without mesh netting.
You can mix your own cement, but it’s really best to order it from a cement company. They will be able to calculate the amount needed when you give them the sidewalk dimensions.
Also, sidewalk cement is a finer aggregate than foundation cement. The cement company will know what mix to use.
A 2×4 works as good as anything for a screed to level out the cement and make everything even.You can use a trowel or a cement float to get a smooth surface.
Once the cement has set up a bit, you can make traction marks with a broom so the surface isn’t too slippery in rain or snow. Let the cement dry for at least two days before you take the forms off.
Over 4 million visitors to this site since it was born!
My newsletter keeps you up to date on home construction and design ideas.
I just wanted to say that I love your website. My husband and I followed your instructions on building our own home. Most of the work we did ourselves, but not all. We saved $90,000 in labor costs and now have a beautiful home that we own.
--Sue and Les Carrigan, Draper, Utah
I built my own home doing all my own labor. My house costs me around $70,000 for materials. It took me 8 months to build and is about 2,000 square feet. I didn't think I could do it, but your house web site encouraged me. I used all the info you had.
Benny Luis Lopez,
I can't thank you enough for your free information web site about home building. I was looking for Electrical wiring diagrams when I found your site. It was very helpful.
Little Rock, Arkansas
My wife and I lost our home to foreclosure but we kept a plot of land to start over. We are halfway through the construction of our house. Your website gave us hope to start over and build a house with low payments. We are in our late 60's but we find it rewarding to put so much effort into a project that will reward us for years to come.
Name respectfully withheld