Concrete Path Against Foundation without Expansion Joint
I recently purchase a newly built home in the Denver, CO area. I just had a contractor poor a 3 foot wide sidewalk from my front yard to my back yard. He poured it directly against the foundation without an expansion joint between it and the foundation. This path runs approximately 30 feet against the foundation. He said that it was better to pour it directly against the foundation as that would minimize water under the sidewalk and against the foundation. He said that for a sidewalk that this is a better approach than an expansion joint. Is this accurate? Should I worry about the expansion and contraction of the path? Thank you in advance.
P.S. I tried to find a similar situation to mine in these forums and came across this thread: http://www.diychatroom.com/f19/concr...-joints-49461/. I posted my own since the expansion and contraction of a 3 foot wide sidewalk should be less than a full patio slab.
Welcome to the forums!
Here is some reading while waiting for a pro to answer: http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=...5JDzFuGKgPMG6Q
I'm sorry to tell you the builder pulled one over you. It is defenitely NOT OK to pour the slab against something established and firm like a footing. As the path is floating on soil near the surface and subject to heaving, it will want to move up and down independently of the footing. If bonded properly to the footing, the path being a lot weaker and less massive than the footing will crack away and crack itself in the prosess, so what bulldust is he talking about. All fresly poured concrete looks good in the first 4 weeks, until cracking occurs. Once cracking developes, does he think water won't enter the cracks? He is either grossly ignorant or a clever con artist. I would sack such a builder on the spot, no questions asked. If you haven't paid him, don't until he rips it up and does the job properly by the following steps. (If he has laid the path as follows, I will eat my words,)
Next time you want a job done, for peace of mind and proper competition, get at least three quotes. Any cheap quote means shortcuts unless you can get him to itemise what work he will do. In fact, get him to prove he can do it cheaply and ask why. Even if he could get free concrete, you'll probably find its concrete that has failed tests and needs to be dumped out of the truck before it sets. Believe it or not this happens. Sorry if I didn't make your day, but you wouldn't have raised the issue unless you smelled a rat.
Cheers from an Architect in the land downunder.
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