You don’t need many tools to create a simple walkway for your home. The tools you will need consist of a level , hammer, tape ruler, shovel, wheel barrel, about three to four concrete trowels, and a broom.
With a little hard work you can have a new walkway up to your house or anywhere on your property you want. The total cost of this home project was around $255.00. Price of concrete plus delivery of one yard of concrete was $190.00, the two extra trowels no one had was $30.00, and the wood stakes, wire mesh and pine wood was around $35.00
Start by deciding where you want the walkway to be located, how wide, how deep, and if you want to add features to the left and right of the walkway. For example in the picture below the area was dug up by hand with a simple shovel to a depth of about 5-6 inches. The width is five foot wide to accommodate rocks, or wood chips, lights, water sprinklers on both sides of the walkway later. The actual width of the walkway will be around 30 inches, and the depth will be 3 inches.
The picture above shows pink tape on both sides of the new walkway. This was used as a way to line up and make the dig, square before hand digging. Chalk could have been used or regular rope type material. It just depends on what you have handy.
After smoothing and leveling the dirt with your shovel and feet you can begin to form for your concrete pour. You will need some stakes, and some wood to the height that you want. For example: if you want 3 inches of concrete you could use 1X3 inch pine wood, or 2×4 inch wood to get to your 3 inch bench mark of 3 inches high. When you measure the 3 inch pine you will notice that it really isn’t exactly 3 inches. For this simple walkway this will work out fine and pouring two and five eights of and inch will be enough. See the picture below.
Adding some wire mess to help strengthen the walkway is a good idea. When you order concrete you will get assistance from the concrete company in regards to yards, strength of the concrete which for something like this would be 3000lbs. At this weight or psi it is sufficient to carry loads of about anything except vehicles. The higher the weight the greater the strength of concrete.
The concrete truck will arrive and you will have to fill the wheel barrel up and take the concrete to the furthest end and work your way back to the street or where ever the truck is. It is not a good idea to have the weight of the concrete truck on the sidewalk.
As your pouring the concrete, its nice to have at least two other people to help pull the wire mess up into the concrete and begin leveling the concrete to both sides of the wood frame with a three foot two by four, troweling the concrete and begin making the edges with a trowel and the center lines with another trowel. Lastly you can either use a broom to make a pattern like the one you see in the picture or make it smoother with a trowel of your choosing.
In about twenty four hours or so you can remove all the framing wood around your new walkway. In the next picture you can see that a two inch PVC pipe was placed under the forms to make a sleeve for the sprinkler pipe and wiring for the lights. See picture.
In two days you could have your own walkway. Don’t forget to check with your building department for permits if needed.
Hopefully you have some relatives, friends, or neighbors to help with the pour. Offering free food and beer helps.