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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of doing a concrete pathway around the area where my grass is going to be in my backyard. Money is kind of tight so I'm wondering if I could do this myself in sections? Anyone done this or think it is possible or practical for that matter?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated,

thanks, JB
 

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This is definitely DIY. It can be done in stages using expansion joint separators. With a few of the correct tools, I'm sure someone with some common sense and good planning skills can achieve a good outcome.
Ron
 

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I did a pathway out back from the new deck to the pool area
I found a local company that was closing out last years pavers & got a deal. It was much easier - to me- to use pavers

I did the concrete landing for the stairs myself
A concrete walk is a good DIY project
What width & length?
Mixing concrete is the biggest pain
And its caustic - so be careful it will cause yer skin on your hands to peel off - no lie
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies....

This would be about 180' x 3' I'm figuring from the plan that I have drawn up. It would be a curvy walk around the grass area then extend straight along the side of the house to the gate. I thought I would start from the gate that way it would be all straight walkway and I would get plenty of practice before doing any of the curved areas...
 

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That will be a lot of work
It needs to be poured on a compacted base
From what I have read 4" thick seems to be min?
I would do 3'x3' sections at a time to make it look like blocks

That's 180 cu ft of concrete, 300 80 lb bags
Each 3' x 3' section is 5 bags
That's not counting thge base material
That's a LOT

I mixed up 20 bags & it was a PIA
 

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That is about 7 pallets of concrete mix, more or less. You will be a lean, mean, fighting machine after you mix all of that by hand.

It is certainly doable though, just do not underestimate the sheer physical labor of staging, mixing, and placing 10+ tons of concrete, plus the labor of removing sod, prepping the subsurface, placing and removing forms, etc.

180x3 is not a weekend project. It is maybe 6 weekends, if you hustle, and have plenty of help.

Edit:

And by hand, I mean with a concrete mixer. Plus moving and placing 20 tons of gravel/base if you live in a frost zone, and don't forget the 6 cubic yards of topsoil you will have to excavate and put somewhere.
 

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Concrete pavers are probably a better choice. Over the last 9 years in this house, I have laid approximately 2800 SqFt, here and there, and have another 200 SqFt going down this spring for my outdoor bar area. The work is just as hard, but they do lend themselves to a slower approach to the development of your plan. Plus, they can be moved if you don't like it (some of my pavers have been moved 3 times until I was satisifed).
 

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I did 280 linear feet of Belgium Block curbing at my first house. By hand. Had someone do the trench with a backhoe, but the forms, concrete, block placement, mortared joints, backfill, and reseeding I did by hand. Still looks beautiful. Didn't cost me a whole lot of dough. I lost a lot of flab doing it. I'd do it again, but now I have my own crew, and they did the curbs at my present house. I had three guys knock off in two days what took me 5 weeks of evenings and weekends.

If you've got the salt to do it yourself, go ahead, you'll save some money. But you might end up saying "never again."
 

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Another plus is that pavers will not crack, they will move
If a tree root pushes them up, or something else - you dig it up & reset the paver
If you are in a frost zone water can get under concrete & push it up

180 x 3 = 540'

I put down 400 sq ft of pavers last summer
A lot of work

300 bags *$4 a bag = $1200

We spent about that on pavers
Much better looking then plain concrete
 

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Here is what I had after 2 years. I started with dirt, and no steps from the rear yard. I put in the curved walls to stop the erosion, and built the steps out of the same SRW with a poured concrete cap/landings.



My long term goal was to be able to go side to side and back to front on the yard without touching grass.

This is 2005. By now, I have added pavers to the right of the photo, and created a small seating area (later removed):



Next, I built this area, from reclaimed bricks, and connected it to the already paved area. At the top of the photo, the pavers I had used for the patio were used to make a curving path to my toolshed:



I took a break from pavers in 2006 and stuccoed the T-111 siding:



And in 2007 built a pergola:



Last year, I extended the pavers to the pergola:



This year, I will extend the pavers to the final section of the rear, build another pergola and begin my out door bar area. The moral of the story is that if you want it done NOW, prepare to lay out the bucks. If you want it done cheap, that means you will exchange money for time and hard ass labor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nice work T...Thanks for posting the pics your backyard is awesome:thumbup:

Well it's looking like pavers may be a better alternative for me...It would allow me to work at my own pace and there doesn't seem to be as much prep work. I live in S.W. Arizona so freezing is not a concern. the one thing I am concerned about though is the Bermuda grass I'll have...This is the main reason I wanted a cement path to keep the grass from crawling into places I don't want it. So now I'm thinking maybe cement borders and using pavers for the path?
 

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Properly sanded grass should not grow
I get a few bits here & there on my walkways & patio
But they are fairly easy to pull up - early -
Just don't let them grow for a long period
There is plastic edging you could use on the sides to prevent grass from growing in
 
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