Concrete is often a reliable choice for various creations, including neighborhood sidewalks. Building a sidewalk requires a durable concrete mix and a stable gravel foundation.
Typically, the solution consists of aggregate, sand, and cement. Portioning everything is critical for the sidewalk’s stability. That said, you can DIY your sidewalk or enlist professional help, depending on your project’s size.
Read on to learn more about the kind of concrete you can use for a sidewalk, its costs, and the amount you need.
Stamped concrete is usually the best option when building a sidewalk. It offers multiple design options and versatility since you can mold and color it.
You can also opt for regular concrete or asphalt. The latter is exceptionally durable and skid resistant.
Regular concrete is composed of crushed gravel and sand fused by fluid cement. Over time, the mixture hardens and can withstand high pressure ranging from 1450 to 5800 psi.
On average, a 12 x 12 ft sidewalk can cost anywhere between $850 to $1,730. If you measure per square foot, each can go from $5.89 to $12. That said, several factors affect its pricing.
Besides the size of your concrete sidewalk, its shape also factors into its cost. A straight-edged sidewalk will likely cost a standard price.
Nevertheless, if your sidewalk is twisted or has a more elaborate design, labor tends to increase in price.
Concrete grade identifies the solution’s compressive strength and quality. With sidewalks, you’ll need a strength of at least 2,500 psi or higher.
The indicator is usually measured 28 days after the concrete sets. That said, the stronger the material, the more you’ll have to pay.
The finish type can impact the sidewalk’s price. Whether you’re looking for a polished, colored, or stamped finish, they can increase your bill.
Plus, a sealant finish will set the price higher. If you use an epoxy seal, you can get charged around $4.75 to $10.25 per square foot.
You may want to remove concrete to create a new sidewalk or change its appearance. In this case, you’ll get charged extra for the removal process.
The process can cost anywhere between $2 to $6 per square foot.
The location of the sidewalk also affects its pricing. If it’s in a hard-to-reach area, it’ll make it more challenging to access and require extra labor effort.
This will translate to a higher price since professionals will likely use specialized tools like a pump truck to pool the concrete in the difficult-to-access region.
The cost to install a sidewalk doesn’t include land preparation. When building the sidewalk, it needs to be on leveled land.
Otherwise, if the terrain is sloped or uneven, you’ll need to call a professional to even out the land area.
It can cost as low as $1 to as high as $10 per square foot, depending on the project’s size.
As a general rule, sidewalks should be around four inches thick. The thickness is ideal for handling foot, bicycle, and cart traffic.
Meanwhile, if the sidewalk supports vehicles, double its thickness to eight inches. That said, to get an accurate measurement, you’ll need to calculate the volume of the sidewalk.
To do so, multiply the structure’s length and width by 0.33. The latter is the 4-inch thickness converted to feet.
Afterward, divide the measurement by 27 to yield the cubic yard amount of concrete you need to pour.
To illustrate, if your sidewalk measures 4 ft by 10 ft, the formula will be: (4 x 10 x 0.33)/27. It will equate to 0.49 cubic yards.
We suggest adding a 5%-in-case amount of concrete to your purchase. In turn, your total amount is 0.51 cubic yards of concrete.
Sealing your concrete sidewalk is a critical step. It’ll maintain the structure’s appearance and avoid damage issues.
Additionally, sealing the sidewalk will cover the surface’s pores and cracks. In turn, it’ll reduce any harsh weathering effects.
Besides that, an unsealed concrete sidewalk can cause crumbling, cracks, or warps. When left, the region can develop multiple bacterial health hazards, such as mold and mildew.
What kind of concrete do you need to build a sidewalk? In most cases, regular or stamped concrete mix is the best solution.
One of the prime requirements for sidewalk concrete is its compressive strength. As long as it ranges between 2,500 and 3,000 psi or higher, it should suffice.
After figuring out the type, you’ll want to know how much is needed by measuring the sidewalk’s cubic yard or feet.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience working in IT. As a homeowner, I love working on projects around the house, and as a father, I love investigating various ways to keep my family safe (whether or not this involves tech). I’ve also played guitar for almost 20 years and love writing music, although it’s hard to find the time these days.