Philip, is the owner of Denver Decks and the managing member of Denver Decks, LLC - He is your Deck Answer Man, so please give him a call at 303-730-9642 for the accurate answers to a deck or patio questions.
He has a real passion to serve our Lord Jesus and your family well; and also to facilitate this same opportunity for these other men to serve your family too.
Questions to consider when pouring an incorporated stamped concrete sidewalk
Add Beauty and Value to Your Home With Stamped Concrete Sidewalks
Most importantly what we want you to know and to keep in mind when considering Denver Decks, when installing this sidewalk, is that we're going to install it with the same mindset that we have when we put in a decorative patio. What that means is that we still will want to use a premium grade concrete, even though it’s a utility walk, we still want to use a premium grade 4000 PSI plat-mised concrete.
How thick does a concrete sidewalk need to be?
As Patio Builders, we understand the importance of properly constructing a stamped concrete sidewalk that is incorporated with a patio. That's why we recommend that sidewalks be at least 4" (100mm) thick. For small foundations and bases, we suggest that sidewalks should be between 4" and 6" (100mm to 150mm) thick, depending on the load they must bear. Additionally, sidewalks should be sloped away from buildings to ensure proper drainage.
And as important, we're going to put in a full #3 rebar reinforcement. So with sidewalks, you’re going to have control joint every 3 to 4 ft, that are telling the concrete where to crack. Concrete cracks, we know that cracks, so we are telling it where to crack. In most sidewalks, you find that the installer isn’t putting in any sort of a rebar, it's just more expensive so they don't put it in. So what ends up happening, is as that ground moves in that sidewalk, you’re going to find that it's going to pull a part, or it’s going to want to shelf and you have these little trip hazards. So even though it’s a utility walk, it’s a conveyance, we still want to make sure it’s going to hold up well over the long term, so we are always put in the #3 rebar, all concrete we pour, we put in a #3 rebar 24 inches on center, whether it’s a custom decorative patio, or a utility walk, or a driveway.
Do you use concrete or cement for sidewalks?
Portland cement is the go-to material for many. It is a generic term for the type of cement used in most concrete projects, much like how stainless is a type of steel or sterling is a type of silver. It's important to note that there is no such thing as a "cement sidewalk" or a "cement mixer"; the proper terms are concrete sidewalk and concrete mixer. Portland cement is an ideal material for deck building, offering a durable and lasting foundation.
Also, whenever we are doing a stamped concrete sidewalk, if you have a walkout basement, we’re going to incorporate step landings, typically 3 to 4 feet so it makes it more comfortable to carry your mower down or if you take a step and then a stride and then a step. But if it’s of course, if it’s a Ranch home, you don’t have any elevation changes. These are things we would go over with you while on-site and you’ve got some options.
What PSI should concrete be for a sidewalk?
When having a concrete sidewalk installed that is incorporated with a concrete patio or deck, it is important to use concrete with a minimum strength of 3500 to 4000 PSI for the sidewalk slabs. The concrete should be a mixture of 3/4 sand, stone and cement, and should include 6 to 7% air. Expansion joints should be placed every 25 to 30 linear feet to allow the concrete to expand and contract without cracking.
You certainly have the option to do a decorative stamped concrete as well. Typically you're going to want to make a decision on if you want to match the driveway or do you want to match the patio. So what a lot of homeowners will do, is they will have us the driveway in the front, where the sidewalk attaches to the driveway to the actual fence gate and then at that point, we will transition to a decorative stamp that carries back to the patio, so you do have a few different options there. We have some good photos to see the different options there.
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