Despite the variety of materials from which you can make paths in the country, concrete mortar, prepared by hand, remains one of the most popular methods. The fact is that this option for creating paths is distinguished by the low cost of materials and ease of delivery to the garden plot. It is no less important that concrete paths in the country house are made by hand without the use of special construction equipment. For their casting, any available materials can be used. On the other hand, concrete paths are very unpretentious and have a long service life. They can serve as the basis for any subsequent decorative finishing of garden paths.
You will arrange concrete garden paths in a certain way. They consist of several layers: drainage, cushion and cover. Each layer provides a different function. Drainage prevents the formation of excess moisture in the pillow, it is usually made of crushed stone, the layer thickness is 10-15 cm. The pillow allows you to drain water from the path cover and distributes the load from its weight, thereby preventing the coating from cracking, it is made of sand, layer thickness 5 -15cm. The topmost layer is concrete, at least 3-5 cm thick.
Concrete Paths In The Country
Concrete paths in the country can be made on any type of soil and concrete molds, while drainage is not always necessary. This is an important circumstance, since the absence of drainage reduces material costs and labor intensity. Drainage is necessary only on clayey soils with a high level of groundwater. In all other cases, the water will not linger in the sand cushion, which is required for any soil, and the sand will perfectly cope with the drainage function.
They use river sand to create a sand cushion. We don’t advise you to use quarry sand, as it contains a large amount of clay, which strongly retains water. This can lead to the fact that in winter the accumulated water will freeze and increase in volume, which in turn will lead to the formation of cracks in the pathway.
Do-it-yourself concrete paths can be made from concrete or cement-sand mortar, also made independently. This is usually what they do. They make mortar from a mixture of cement and sand in a ratio of 1: 3. To obtain a more durable solution, 5-10 parts of crushed stone can be added to the mixture. Adding rubble will reduce the cost of making paths.
Site Marking And Formwork Installation
Creating a path in the garden with your own hands from cement begins with marking the site. To mark the path, it is enough to pull two ropes that will mark the boundaries. After that, according to the markings made, it is necessary to remove a layer of fertile soil to a depth of at least 10-15 cm. This is necessary to remove plant roots and other organic matter that helps to loosen the soil.
The size of the removed sod can be more than 15 cm. It depends on the number and thickness of the underlying layers. So if there are only two layers of concrete and cement, then it is enough to remove 10-15 cm, if it is still necessary to do drainage, then at least 20-25 cm.
At the stage of marking and preparing the site, we recommend you to ask the question of how wide the path should be. Here are some tips to help you navigate the site comfortably:
The width of the central paths should be at least 70 cm so that two people can easily disperse.
Make the secondary tropics at least 50 cm wide.
Auxiliary passages to the greenhouse or between the beds should be at least 30 cm.
Formwork And Sand Bed Installation
Do-it-yourself formwork for garden paths can be made from almost any material. It is designed to hold the mortar in place until it hardens and to level the footpath during the pouring process. For the manufacture of formwork, board, plywood, slate, DSP and any other sheet materials can be used.
The formwork can be removable or non-removable. You should apply the removable one after filling. In this case, any materials can be used. Fixed option if not removed. There are limitations here. In this case, only moisture-resistant and durable materials such as slate, DSP, etc. can be used for formwork.
Paths can be straight or curved. For straight lines, formwork can be made from any materials, for curved ones, plywood is the best material. Formwork for garden paths made of plywood bends easily and can be given any shape. Plywood is a versatile material for filling garden paths.
You should make the formwork for the tracks in the following sequence. First, cut the plywood into strips 10 – 15 cm wide. Set these strips according to the markings made earlier. Attach the strips to wooden stakes driven into the ground. When securing the strips, it is important to carefully check their level position, otherwise the track may turn out to be uneven. It should be noted that regardless of the material used, the formwork installation technology remains unchanged.
Sand Cushion Device
As mentioned earlier, concrete garden paths should be poured onto a sand cushion. To create a sand cushion, lay agrofibre or covering material on the ground between the formwork or on the crushed stone drainage. Agrofibre is a durable synthetic material that does not rot and conducts water perfectly, but retains sand. Thus, over time, the pillow will not wash out and sink into the ground. Lay agrofibre in such a way as to prevent sand escape from both the ground and the formwork.
Pour a layer of sand onto the agrofibre and press it. There are various ways to compact the sand, but the most effective and least costly way is to spill the pillow with water. After you press the sand, it must be carefully leveled. When leveling the surface of the sand cushion, it is necessary to ensure that the thickness of the future fill is at least 5 cm, and the thickness should be uniform over the entire surface of the track.
Laying Reinforcement For Concrete Walkways
Place a plastic wrap on the leveled and compacted sand. The film can be used in any thickness. The film is necessary for waterproofing the walkway pavement and for retaining the mortar during pouring. Without a film, the cement milk will leave the solution into the sand, the cement track will lose its strength, and the pillow will part of its drainage properties.
Pouring concrete path
Fill the path in parts. Divide the path into parts 2-2.5 m long. Leave a gap of 0.5 cm between the parts to compensate for thermal expansion.
Begin pouring with the preparation of cement mortar or concrete (cement mortar with the addition of crushed stone). You should make The cement mortar in a ratio of 1: 3. To prepare the solution, dry clean sand should be used.
You can prepare the mortar in a concrete mixer or using a construction mixer and drill or hammer drill. Plus you can also knead the solution in a special container with a shovel.
You can make the mortar for the cement track in the country in the following sequence. First, pour three parts of sand and one part of cement (by volume) into the container, then thoroughly mix until you obtain a homogeneous mixture. Then add water in a ratio of 0.7 and mix thoroughly until smooth, i.e. the proportion for the preparation of the solution is the following cement: sand: water – 1: 3: 0.7.
Place the resulting solution between the formwork, compact and level it. It is convenient to level the mortar with a building rule 1 m long. If the smoothness of the path surface is not important for you, then you can use a piece of board or level it by eye with a spatula.