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August 25th, 2011

Features and benefits of a concrete walkway:

»High Integrity Color

»Slip & Skid resistance

»Low Maintenance

US Aluminum Services is providing you with 9 simple steps on how to install a concrete walkway. You can also view these steps at doityourself.com

concrete walkway is an inexpensive and durable addition to a home’s landscape. This project requires thorough planning, simple tools, some elbow grease and a few days to complete. But the results can be well worth the effort.

Tools and Materials

  • Chalk dust or spray paint
  • Shovel
  • Gravel
  • 10-inch stakes
  • Twine
  • Tamping Tool
  • Mixed concrete
  • 1 foot x 4 inch x 4 inch-boards (for the forms)
  • Screws
  • Drill with a screw bit
  • Rake
  • 2×4-inch board (for smoothing the concrete)
  • Concrete float
  • Stiff Broom
  • Plastic tarp

Step 1 – Plan the Walkway

Decide the position of the walkway and mark the ground with chalk dust or spray paint. Then pound the stakes in along the excavated path so that they are 2 inches above ground. Then string them together with twine between them as a guideline.

Step 2 – Dig Out the Walkway

Remove the turf and then dig down until you have reached a depth of 8 inches. Level the soil and remove any stones. Now lay a 4-inch layer of gravel. Pack the gravel down and be sure it is level.

Step 3 – Build the Concrete Forms

Use the lumber to build forms to pour the concrete into. Screw the boards into the stakes that you placed along the path earlier. If you have planned curves in your plan you may need some laminated wood that bends more easily to create the curves. Use a level to be sure that the forms are level. The stakes should be below the top of the forms.

Step 4 – Pour the Concrete

Pour the concrete into the forms. Once it is poured rake over the concrete to level it.

Step 5 – Smooth the Concrete

Take a board and run it over the concrete resting it on the forms to smooth and level the concrete. Once it is fairly level then go over it with a concrete float held at an angle to do the final smoothing.

Step 6 – Edge the Walkway

Leave the concrete to cure for a couple of hours. Then separate the forms from the concrete by using an edging trowel.

Step 7 – Score the Expansion Joints

Expansion joints should be scored into the concrete every 4 feet. Use a board to create a straight line run the trowel along it. These joints allow the concrete to expand and contract and reduce cracking.

Step 8 – Cure the Concrete

Texture the concrete by sweeping with a stiff broom leaving a light texture on the surface. A texture keeps the concrete from being too smooth and slippery. Then the concrete should be covered with plastic tarping for at least two days. Rushing this process can interfere with the setting and durability of the concrete.

Step 9 – Remove the Forms

Once the concrete is dry and cured take the covering off. Carefully remove the forms and stakes. Fill in any soil needed next to the walkway and pack it down.

You may want to consider stamping the concrete or adding coloring to make the walkway more distinctive. A carefully installed concrete walkway will last for years and provides a useful and attractive part of your landscape.

Read more: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-to-install-a-concrete-walkway#b#ixzz1Tn7E6cO1

Below are a few pictures of finished jobs done in the Central Florida Area by US Aluminum Services:

Concrete walkway done by Us Aluminum Services

Concrete driveway done by Us Aluminum Services

July 15th, 2011

If you are thinking about building a walkway or a pool deck in your yard, pavers are a great idea to use to complete the job! They will make your pool deck or walk way look beautiful!

US Aluminum Services has provided you with 10 steps in installing a screen door! All supplies can be purchased at Home Depot or Lowe’s. You can also view these steps from DIY network.

Features and Benefits of Having Pavers:

  • Belgard PaverSystems paver products
  • High Integrity Color
  • Slip & Skid resistance
  • Low Maintenance
  • Easy Paver Replacement
  • Hundreds of Shapes, Sizes, and Colors to choose from

Materials

  • concrete
  • masonry sand
  • pavers
  • cinderblocks
  • shovels
  • wheelbarrow
  • rubber mallet
  • straightedge
  • hammer
  • cold chisel
  • diamond edge wet saw
  • trowel
  • vibratory plate compactor

Tools

Step 1: Clear the Area

Before starting any excavation project, contact local utility companies to identify gas and water lines. Using shovels, wheelbarrows and good old-fashioned muscle, begin hauling out dirt and debris.

Step 2: Spread Crushed Concrete

Once dug to the right depth throughout the courtyard, fill the area up again. Start by spreading roughly two inches of crushed concrete evenly over the soil. The crushed concrete is an aggregate.

Step 3: Screed Sand

Lay out the conduit poles about two feet apart (Image 1). Since you will not be able to walk on the sand once it is screeded, work in small sections (Image 2).

Step 4: Lay Pavers

Lay the pavers down with the rough surface facing upward. This will give the courtyard more of a natural stone look. Place a straight edge along the length of the pavers just laid. By tapping gently with a rubber mallet, you are able to keep the pavers nice and flat.

Step 5: Continue Screeding and Laying Pavers

Continue screeding the sand bed one section at a time before laying the next area of pavers. Once laid, the pavers provide an excellent area to work without upsetting the newly screeded sand bed. Continue screeding and laying pavers, leaving the area for the fountain open.

Step 6: Lay the Fountain Foundation

Position four cinderblocks where the fountain base will sit, making sure they are level. These foundation blocks will help distribute the weight of the fountain and prevent uneven sinking or wobbling. Using a hammer and cold chisel, score the pavers along the line. If there are large areas where pavers need to be cut to size, a more modern technique can be used with a diamond blade wet saw.

Step 7: Add a Restraining Wall

Add a small DIY restraining wall along the flowerbeds burring the pavers in an upright position. This is an inexpensive, effective and attractive way to keep dirt and water from spilling over into the courtyard.

Step 8: Place the Fountain

After placing the fountain on its new foundation, add a row of pavers to serve as a small retaining wall for the plants.

Step 9: Spread Masonry Sand

Making sure to fill the spaces in between each paver, spread masonry sand across the entire surface. Leaving surplus sand across the top of the pavers helps cushion the surface when you use the plate compactor. The vibration of the plate compactor also helps to fill the joints in between pavers.

Step 10: Re-Sweep the Area

Finally, re-sweep the surface with the remaining dry sand. This process may have to be repeated over the new few days as the sand settles and rain compacts it.

Below are a few pictures of finished jobs done in the Central Florida Area by US Aluminum Services: