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.

making a sidewalk

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.

sidewalk cement

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.

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