Advice on replacing concrete sidewalk?
Question:I'm replacing 3 sections of my front sidewalk and have very little DIY experience (as you'll soon find out). The 3 sections are independent: #1 is approx. 1.1 cu yds, #2 and #3 are both .6 cu yds each. To minimize hauling/lifting, I plan to get mixed concrete delivered. Despite that, (assuming all the forms are already in place) I've been warned it's too physically demanding to pour any of those individual sections by myself, and completely impossible to do all the pouring at once. I need help figuring out how many people and hours I will need if:
1) I want to do all the pouring at once (single concrete delivery)? or
2) I do each section as a separate project?
Also, any labor-minimizing advice on how to get rid of all the old concrete? I don't own a pickup truck so I planned on renting a dump trailer for 14 days and loading a little each day.
concrete delivery is very expensive, find a way to do it all at once; since having this delivered 3 times would cost you hundreds extra. They should pour into the forms for you and it is up to you to smooth out and shape.
Concrete starts to cure and becomes difficult to shape relatively quickly so 1 person for each section, try and recruit friends and family to help you out and save some money.
Make sure you have all the tools and wire mesh pre-cut to insert halfway through the pour. Talk to your local hardware store person, they will sell you the float and/ or concrete broom and other stuff you need to make your project look great.
As for the old concrete. You have to haul it to your local dump, they charge by the ton. Again try to haul it all at once, instead of renting a trailer for 2 weeks, just pay a hauling service to take it away, I think it would be cheaper.
an experienced finisher could do the job by himself seems like about 200sq.ft but a helper would make the job easier 1 day to remove and form 1 day to pour and finish if inexperienced people do the job 4 people would be good any more and people get in each others way, as far as concrete removal, its just hard work sledge hammers or jackhammers and elbow grease break up concrete in small enough pieces to handle easily by hand your dumpster idea is ok just don't overload it as the refuse company may not take it if overloaded.
Make sure you are calculating your material correctly, it sounds like a really long sidewalk. Also, remember expansion and contraction joints, otherwise you are going to end up with a mess. I would use #4 rebar instead of the mesh reinforcement. The only thing that mesh is good for is making removal a pain. Also, a higher slump mix will make the concrete more workable (4"-5").
Do it all at once, multiple trips with a concrete truck are expensive and being such small loads will result in poor quality concrete. If the truck has access to the site, I wouldn't hesitate pouring it myself. If you have a really long haul and have to do it by hand, definately get some help.
One final note, DO NOT let anyone talk you into adding water to the surface of the concrete to make the finishing easier. It will result in a lower water-to-cement ratio on the surface. (Once the finishing is complete, water may be added or the concrete may be covered with plastic to aid in hydration...but this it used to cure the concrete, not finish it.)
As for the demo, a sledge hammer is the best for a DIY project. You could always go rent a jack hammer for a day. Once you get it busted up, rent a trailer and start hauling.
I think you should do it all at once...allow it to cure for a week, and then use a concrete saw to create your control joints. Burt first...remeasure your area and calculate how many cubic yds of concrete you'll need. How thick will the sidewalk be? Length of section? Width? And...NO, it is NOT impossible to do it all at once. A sidewalk is easy to "screed" (process by which a 2"x4" or other piece of lumber is dragged slowly in a sawing motion over the concrete and forms...creating a "bridge" over the concrete, and ensuring an even distribution of concrete) because it isn't that wide. This process would be easy for 2 people to do...one on each side of the form. And once that's finished, you'll probably have fun "finishing" it...either with a handheld float, or a bull float...whatever your preference. You can use a piece of 4'x8' plywood to lay gently on the slowly curing concrete...and you can crawl onto that without damaging your slab...to continue finishing those hard to reach places. (If there are any on a sidewalk)...Also...YES, once the concrete is placed...and smoothed...and begins to cure...DO add a thin layer of water...and cover with plastic if you have it. This will prolong the curing process, called "hydration" and will improve the strength and longevity of your slab. The longer it takes water to leave the concrete...the stronger it will be...remember that. You won't need rebar for a sidewalk...since mostly foot traffic will be on it...the fiberglass mesh will be sufficient.
Most ready-mix plants have a three yard minimum if your not a contractor that uses them all the time. So I would definitely pour it all at once. I would have two other people there that can push a wheel barrel. One guy wheelin if you have to wheel it and you and someone else moving it around. Its not rocket science. If your really worried about it mix your own and pour it individually. That bag stuff takes forever to set up no air in it. bleeds up pretty good.As far as tearing it out. Rent a jack hammer one of those electric ones would be fine dont really need an air hammer for something that small. If you have any questions about pouring or forming e-mail me. Good luck
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