If you are a beginner when it comes to pouring a concrete sidewalk, you might want to check out these tips to help yourself avoid any common mistakes and make the process go by smoothly.
Tip 1 - Keep It Level
One of the most important tips that anyone could tell you when it comes to pouring concrete is to consistently keep it level. This tip applies from the very beginning of the planning step to the end of the pouring of the concrete. You have to make sure that the area you are going to pour the concrete for the sidewalk on is clean and level. Any dirt or debris under can cause an uneven end product. The soil that is there can be leveled with a rake. While you are pouring you want to make sure that the cement is level everywhere and when you are finishing up you want to make sure that before it dries you are leveling the finished product.
Tip 2 - Measure and Mark
When you are planning what your sidewalk will look like you want to make sure you measure the shape and area several times. Then, once you know the design and layout with all of the measurements and are sure, you can take a can of spray paint and make the outline of the sidewalk that you desire. This is to make the process go as easy as possible for you.
Tip 3 - Add Gravel
One tip from the professionals that many people don't consider is to add a layer of gravel. This is done when the soil where you want to lay your sidewalk does not have the right amount of drainage. By adding the layer of gravel, you can allow moisture to drain from that area and your concrete will hold longer and better.
Tip 4 - Building a Frame
You can cut six or eight strips of Masonite with a circular saw. You want to make sure that you are inserting stakes into the soil about every foot or foot and a half so that the Masonite will stay put. Insert these stakes around the outline that you have drawn for your sidewalk design. You can make bends in the Masonite as you go along so that you make change it to the form of your design.
Tip 5 - Watch Your Time
Many people make the mistake of thinking they have more time than they actually do when completing this project. While you certainly have time to level out the concrete as you go, you also have to make sure that you are planning ahead and know your next move so you aren't wasting time thinking about what to do and ending up with dried concrete in the wrong spot. In this type of project it is much better to take more time planning to make sure you do everything right then to rush and make a mistake.
These tips should help you with your next project laying a sidewalk. Good luck!