Tips for Building Concrete Walkways

Concrete walkways are a cheap and easy alternative to more expensive materials such as natural stone or brick. With the innovative concrete technology solutions that are available today, it’s also easier to mimic the look of these traditional materials without spending as much.

If you are planning to build a concrete walkway around house, below are some essential concrete sidewalk construction tips to keep in mind.

 

Plan your concrete walkways properly

Graphic of concrete walkway construction

Make sure that you have a definite plan before you start the project. With a material like concrete, the fewer mistakes you make, the better. Here are some important things to remember during this phase: 

  • Always draw up a budget before you start purchasing anything. To save money on building or purchasing concrete forms and molds, consider using manufactured forms or making your own DIY concrete walkway molds.
  • If you’re doing things on your own, make sure that you have enough experience in smaller projects before you decide to undertake large-scale ones. Check videos and online resources to have a better idea. Remember that it’s definitely better to hire skilled concrete walkway contractors to ensure that you’ll get your desired results.
  • When planning how to build up concrete sidewalk, make sure that you have all the necessary tools at the project site so you won’t have to scramble around for them later on.

 

Prepare the subgrade

When you prepare and compact the subgrade properly, you can avoid a lot of problems later on. Make sure that the soil is well-compacted and even to prevent erosion and drainage issues in the future. Uniform compaction will also help you avoid differential settlement and crack development.

Keep in mind that even if it’s possible to place the concrete directly on the subgrade, it’s still a good idea to include a granular layer between the compacted subgrade and your concrete slab. This creates more uniform support for the structure and a more even concrete sidewalk thickness. This also helps prevent moisture depletion, freezing, and shrinkage. 

 

Pour the concrete well

If you are wondering how to pour concrete sidewalk next to wall, remember that the success of your project will largely depend on the weather and how quickly you move. If you are pouring during the colder months, ensure that the newly poured concrete walkways are protected from freezing.

On the other hand, if you are pouring the warmer months, move fast and start the curing process as soon as the finishing is done. This is because concrete dries faster in warm temperatures. You can facilitate the curing process by applying a liquid membrane-forming curing compound. This will ensure that the structure retains enough moisture and doesn’t dry out too quickly.

 

Pay attention to tree location

One of the biggest mistakes that people make during the concrete path construction process is neglecting the placement of trees. The root systems of large trees can cause considerable damage to the concrete slab. When this happens, repairs are challenging because you need to remove the problematic roots and damage or destabilize the tree.