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Old 11-03-2010, 11:12 AM   #1
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Location: Kansas City, MO
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New Concrete Walkway along side of house


I have a project I'm planning for now and I want to seek some ideas and some responses to ideas I already thought of with respect to having a successful completion.

Ok... subject: 2 year old house with walkout basement. I want to do a concrete walkway on one side of the house which will go from the basement door to the driveway thus providing a safe and convenient path that will fully enable the basement door to be used regularly for entrance/exit. The walkway will have 8 steps in it, spread across, each segment in the walkway between steps will be flat. There's an 8 foot drop from the front of the house to the back.

The builder did not compact the ground after they backfilled the foundation. Sure, it's been two years but I will be doing all this concrete work on top of fill dirt which will continue to settle and will probably experience accelerated settling once I put all that concrete on it.

So, how do I do this to ensure my investment does not settle in a few years and the walkway cracks or sinks unevenly? No concrete contractor will guarantee the work for more than 2 years in my area.

Here's the approach I was looking at taking:
-Use concrete with fibers and put rebars 12" O.C. both ways
-Rent a soil compactor and compact down the soil as much as I can before the concrete forms are done.
-Attach the walkway to the foundation every 24" with rebar. I was told by a concrete contractor to not to use more than this number of rebar because more will make it more rigid and less flexible possibly causing the walkway to push into the foundation and possibly crack it during expansion
-5" gravel base

An idea I am toying with now: putting two piers, each 3 feet deep, and doing a monolithic pour of the piers and the walkway to help hold it up. I don't know if this will help me though because the piers will be in disturbed soil. I'd have to go probably 8 feet underground to hit undisturbed soil and I don't plan to do that much work!

I plan to do the work myself. I've poured two concrete driveways before and even poured the foundations for home additions and garages so I am not new to concrete. I am new to working on disturbed soil though and would appreciate all feedback. Thanks!
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