How to pour concrete sidewalks and outdoor pads. Step by step with photos.
We set up a laser transit that we purchased last year to use at the Momplex to help us determine how deep to dig. It's pretty simple. The transit shoots a line exactly level 360 degrees around. You use the receiver on a measuring stick to measure up or down from this line to find your desired height.
We know where the concrete pad starts and stops on the garage, and we know the garage is square. And we know how big the pad is going to be - 28x20. So we can calculate the diagonals out with Pythagorean's Theorem - you know the A squared + B squared = C squared one? - and use all this information to find the remaining two corners of the pad.
So first we find those garage side point and mark with a Sharpie.
And then using all those things that we do know, we find the points and pound stakes in.
We can adjust the stakes a little later on to make sure we are exactly square before we pour.
Because we will need a whole truck load of concrete, we are not handmixing today. The concrete truck pours in the first section.
And a screed board is used to level the concrete.
Along we go ... one section at a time ....
We have help today - Grandpa Tim and the Ram's cousin Jared. When you pour, plan on having 3-4 people to help out.
The screed board is two 2x4s put together.
When all the sections are poured, the dividers are removed.
And the void is filled in with a smaller 2x4, working backwards.
Once the concrete is poured, it's time to finish. First up, the concrete is bull floated.
And the edges are scraped clean
Followed by a special edging trowel used to create those smooth sidewalk edges.
Up here in Alaska where ice is a problem, we did not want a smooth finish. So we broomed the top of the concrete.
NOTE: If you are pouring sidewalks, consider also creating break lines in the sidewalks - we will have to cut ours in because of the size of the garage pad.
And of course we have to sign the concrete!
Littlest to biggest ....
And Grace wanted to add one more thing to the concrete.
We had just watched the American Girl Movie about Kit Kittredge - which we enjoyed greatly. And Grace had an idea.
The hobos during the Great Depression had a special language they used to help other hobos made up of different signs. One house had a fish bone scratched on it's fence - meaning good garbage. Other signs were used to warm of danger.
And a cat meant a nice family lived there.
It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.