Concrete can be used in many ways for the home, both indoors and outdoors. In the backyard, homeowners can easily create a DIY concrete walkway, but it is important to know the steps in which to take to ensure the project is completed in the right manner. How deep do you need to dig to prepare the area for concrete? How long should the concrete cure? These are questions you need to know the answer to before getting started.

Preparing the Site

First, you want to prepare the site. You will need to plot the course of your path. Mark the area you will be removed with spray paint for a guide. The path will then need to be excavated at an eight-inch depth. You will need to remove all grass, roots, and debris to prepare a clean area for the concrete to be laid. Tamp down the soil to create a flat base for the concrete.
Once the area is flat and prepared, you will then need to pour gravel into the path at a depth of four inches. You will then need to level this area.

Building the Framework

Once you have the base area ready, you will need to build a framework for the pathway. You will need one inch by four inches by four-foot boards. Use the boards to create forms for the side of the walkway. This is how you will be able to pour the concrete and it will create your pathway. Use four-foot intervals and place wooden stakes along your path. Use these stakes to attach the boards to create the framework for your concrete path.

The Concrete

Once the path is dug out and flattened, gravel is laid and the framework constructed, you are ready for concrete. Use a pre-mix concrete and follow the instructions to prepare it. Start from the lowest point of the pathway working your way to the highest point. Pour the concrete into the form. You a rake to roughly level the area after you finish pouring.
Before the concrete hardens, use a two by four board to level the concrete material. This is done by laying the board across the top of the forms and work with another person to move the board along to smooth off the surface.


The concrete will need to set for about an hour and then a trowel used on the inside of the board framework to separate the concrete from the finished edge. This will allow the concrete to expand and contract as it cures. Once 48 hours have passed, you will be ready to remove the wooden forms.
This process takes some time but is something you can do yourself if you feel comfortable and have time to do all the prep work involved. If not, hiring a professional will ensure the job is completed in a timely manner and set correctly. Only complete the project on your own if you feel confident in all the steps needed to complete the concrete pathway for your home.

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Meet Lance Davis


Lance Davis is a third generation Concrete Contractor with over 10+ years experience in concrete repair and slabjacking. His company Davis & Sons Concrete has proudly served all of North Central Illinois, Rockford and the outer suburbs - and he would love to hear from you!

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