There are many jobs in the home that even the greenest do-it-yourself-er’ can accomplish. One material that makes for a good starter project is concrete. It may seem that concrete is a difficult material to work with, but with a little practice and by following the manufacturer’s instructions precisely, it can be easy.
A good concrete project to start with is a concrete path. It’s like a sidewalk with style. The path can be stamped, colored, anything. It can be smooth, or be made to look like brick—most anything’s possible when you are working with concrete.
To create the path, it will be a process much like laying down a concrete patio. You will need to determine the correct grade for the concrete path. When your grade is set, dig a hole to the depth needed.
Remove the sod or dirt in the area where the path and forms will be built. If you are concerned with the stability of the ground, consult a professional. When the area has been prepped, add a layer of compactible gravel for the base of the path. Gravel will help the concrete to be both level and stable. It will also improve the drainage.
The amount of gravel will vary with the job, but consider five inches to be a good base. With your five inches of gravel, you will want to compact it to a depth of four inches–compacting the gravel removes any of the pockets, and makes the base much more stable. With your base in place, build and install your concrete forms around the area where you’ll pour the concrete. With the forms set-up and the area prepped, mix up a quality concrete—quikrete works well in these applications—and pour your path. You can transport loads of the cement in wheel barrels if you have to mix the concrete off site. With the concrete poured, use a float to smooth the surface of the concrete. This will remove any bubbles or high spots on the concrete. You can also finish the concrete in other ways, as well as stamp the concrete, etc.
Contact Shotcrete Montana for all of your concrete needs!