A private house will look complete only when the house adjoining territory is ennobled. It can be framed with the original ideas and modern technologies. You yourself can turn a garden plot into a cozy and well-kept corner if you complement it with garden paths. They act as one of the main design elements that are an aesthetic component and carry a functional load.
The described structures can be very durable and will look attractive if you approach their construction with full responsibility. For an experienced designer, it is not a secret that with the help of short paths it is possible to divide the territory into separate fragments, visually reducing the size of the garden. But if you make the track long, it will make the space more spacious.
At the initial stage, it is necessary to determine the functional purpose of the tracks and their dimensions. If they lead to the front of the house, they should be about 2 m wide so that two people can freely disperse. For technological purpose tracks, 90 cm will be enough. If you decide to make a track to move a car, then it cannot be less than the width of the machine itself.
On the modern materials market there is a huge variety of solutions. It can be a natural or decorative stone, tile or crushed stone. As one of the options, which has an optimum ratio of quality and cost, is concrete.
Concrete Path Making
If you decide to run a concrete track in the country with your own hands, then you should act according to a certain algorithm. At the first stage, the soil surface is marked. The soil is prepared, formwork is installed on it. It is important to take care of the presence of pillows and reinforcement elements. At the final stage, concrete is poured into the prepared trench space. In order for the design to please the owners for more than one year, it is necessary to consider each stage separately.
Concrete tracks in the country with their own hands today are performed by many home craftsmen. At the first stage, as mentioned above, it is necessary to make markup. These works are the most simple. The owners will only need to determine the location of the track and its size. The markings can be performed using pegs, which are driven into the soil at separate intervals from each other. Between them the rope is stretched. On this we can assume that the preparation of the area is completed, you can proceed to earthworks.
The essence of this stage is to choose a fertile layer of soil, going deeper by 7 cm. This is required to remove plant roots along the path of paving. If this is not done, the plants will rot, and water will accumulate in the resulting voids. In winter, it will freeze and increase in volume. After the ice begins to put pressure on the track below, as a result, these processes can lead to cracking of the coating.
Work on the formwork and pillow
Concrete track in the country with your own hands, you can do it. At the next stage, you can proceed to laying the formwork. It is made of boards. In order to give the track bends, you can use plywood or other similar material. The formwork is arranged immediately along the entire length of the casting. But if you plan to prepare concrete in portions, then the formwork can be installed on the zone to be equipped in a certain period of time. This will reduce material consumption.
Next, prepare the pillow, it performs two functions. One of these is to distribute the load, while the other is to drain. The pillow or base is made of a layer of rubble and sand, which should be well compacted. The sand does not retain moisture, so in winter the concrete will not freeze through. Sand is a fine fraction material, it is typical for it to go into the ground.
If the sand is laid on the gravel, then after a while it will seep into the soil with water. In order to avoid such trouble during the construction of a concrete walkway in the country with your own hands, you can lay the material for waterproofing on the ground. As it acts agrofibre, geotextile or roofing material. Agrofibre or geotextiles are more preferable, as they are not subject to rotting and perfectly pass water.
Once the rubble is laid, and the sand is filled, the layers are well compacted. When using dry sand, it must be wetted, in which case it will settle more tightly, and voids will not form between the elements. Sand pillow leveled to the thickness of the concrete layer was uniform. Instead of sand for preparation, you can use a thin concrete screed. Sometimes builders use flat stones. However, the trench will need to be deepened by the thickness of the screed or stones.
At the next stage, you can proceed to the installation of reinforcing elements. Before placing the reinforcement or mesh in the formwork, polyethylene is placed on the sand pillow. This is required so that the concrete does not dry, but hardened. The latter reaction is a chemical process.
Then you can proceed to the laying of reinforcing elements. To do this, sometimes even used mesh for screed. When mixing the solution, sand and cement are used, which are taken in a ratio of 1 to 3. You can purchase a ready-made mixture, which is water shut. If people walk along the path, the thickness of the cushion and the layer of concrete should not be less than 5 cm. When more impressive loads are expected to be applied to the coating, the additional and concrete layers should be 7.5 cm thick.
If you are faced with the question of how to make a concrete track, then you should know that as you pour concrete, you need to level its surface. As soon as the finished portion is poured, the base is leveled by the rule, the material is compacted until the cement jelly appears. Once the solution grabs a little, it can be trimmed with a spatula. At the same stage, decorative elements are seated in the solution, if any.
In order to harden the concrete, it should be covered with a film or periodically moisten the surface with water. After 3 days you can remove the formwork, and after a few more days the track can be used.
Options for the manufacture of concrete tracks: the use of stencils
Before you pour the concrete track, you should be familiar with several options for the device of such a coating. One of the modern solutions is the use of stencils. They allow you to create the effect of paving stone or cobblestones.
Stencils are designs with partitions that form rounded cavities or sharp corners. Preparation consists of marking and leveling the soil. There is no need to arrange a pillow, because the construction will consist of small fragments that are not under stress. Formwork is also not needed, because stencils will play the role of a concrete limiter.
Working with concrete
The solution is prepared according to the same recipe as for regular concreting. A stencil is installed on the ground, it is completely filled with mortar. The latter must be tightened and smooth. The stencil should be removed after about an hour, when the solution is already grabbed. Then the form can be reused. This garden concrete path will consist of fragmented slabs that are arranged in a row. Stencils can be not only purchased in finished form, but also made on their own from hoops from barrels, wooden slats or other items. The first bend to your liking.
The form for a garden path can be executed by you independently. For this you can use the materials at hand, for example, sheet metal. Sometimes even wooden bars or pipes cut in a special way are used. However, the best option is a matrix of silicone. Such forms have durability and elasticity.
Silicone stencil is rather difficult to make, but such products have an advantage. With their help, you can create an imitation of other materials, among them:
- a rock,
- natural surfaces with a recognizable texture.
Silicone formwork can be made to produce tiles or paving stones from concrete for paving garden paths. At the first stage it is necessary to select a sample that will be used for making the mold. It is better to take several options as a basis for the appearance of the track to be diverse.
Prepare formwork from pieces of plywood or cardboard and place them around the selected samples, creating a sealed contour. The prepared formwork and the sample must be greased with grease so that the finished form moves away from the adjacent surfaces. Then the silicone, which is realized in tubes, fills the prepared space. It is important to calculate the amount of raw materials and purchase material with a small margin.
When executing the form for a garden path, the silicone is distributed with a brush, which should be moistened with detergent. Silicone mass is leveled, you need to control that the layer of silicone is not less than 20 mm. The final leveling can be achieved with a spatula dipped in soapy water.
To harden the silicone should take up to 28 days, the final value will depend on the type of raw material. After the curing of the silicone, the formwork should be removed and the stone removed from the resulting matrix. Such self-made formwork for tracks can withstand about 1000 fill cycles.
How thick should the track be?
The thickness of the concrete tracks can be selected by you. This was partially discussed above. The distance from the cushion to the level of the soil depends on the planned fill thickness. It is important to take into account the fact that the track surface should rise about 5 cm above the ground level.
The concrete slab will have a thickness that is also affected by the reinforcement. If it is provided, then the thickness of the concrete can reach 10 cm. When metal reinforcement is not assumed, the thickness is made equal to 10 to 15 cm. When performing a concrete path, the technology of the work must be studied. Having familiarized with it, you will be able to understand that the reinforcement will eliminate the cracking of the material. But the reinforcement casting does not guarantee this. Save time and money, if you plan to make the track for more than one year, it is not necessary. Therefore, it is better to perform reinforced concrete construction.
Concrete Track Materials: Combined Solutions
The construction of concrete tracks may involve the use of a combination of materials. After pouring on the surface, some masters put natural stone. This allows you to save and make the appearance of the structure more attractive. Such a surface is environmentally safe, and it will be ready to serve for quite a long time.
Sometimes the concrete surface is decorated with wood, which is represented by saws. It looks very attractive, especially if you use cuts of different sizes. After pouring the concrete walkway, it can be paved with special materials such as paving slabs, as well as paving stones. Among the advantages of such solutions:
Coloring track from concrete
If you, too, were among those who thought about the question of how to paint a concrete path, then you should take a closer look at the technology. First you need to carry out training. It consists in removing tar and oil stains from the surface, as well as other contaminants. As a tool, a brush is better suited, then the composition will fall into all irregularities and fill the voids.
Method of work
For cleaning sand and debris, use a hard brush or broom. You can apply a high pressure washer. It is necessary to begin works on coloring after drying of moisture on the surface, this is necessary to increase the adhesion of the material. The first layer will act as a primer, so the paint should be slightly diluted. Each subsequent layer can be applied only after complete drying of the previous one. The minimum waiting time is 12 hours. Works should be carried out at a temperature not lower than +10 ° C.
Concrete is one of the most practical and durable materials: it can be given any shape, color, relief surface, it does not crack, does not crumble, it is frost and waterproof. For batch need the following materials:
- water, cement and sand,
- gravel, crushed stone, pebbles,
- stones or decorative items
- pigment (if you need to give color) and plastic film (several m2).
You will need a wide range of tools:
- a concrete mixer or a tank for mixing the solution,
- a sieve for sifting sand or a tank for washing it,
- shovel, paddle, board or formwork,
- hammer, nails to create formwork,
- rubber hammer, stakes and cords for marking,
- long rule building level
- tamper, trolley, trowel, buckets,
- Bulgarian, steel sheet, fittings, steel mesh or fiber,
- knee pads, gloves.
Some tools and devices may not be needed. For example, if the sand is clean - no sieve is needed.
Proper foundation is important. So, for clay soils and under heavy load, a depth of about 50 cm is recommended for the foundation and a cushion of sand is 30 cm. For a heavy soil, a sand-gravel mix of 30 cm is suitable, there is a sand layer in it 15 cm. Each layer of gravel, rubble , sand is well tamped and watered.
The bottom of the trench is compacted and laid geotextiles. It is also placed between the layers - this increases the strength of the base and its useful life, since the material is specially created for construction in permafrost conditions. It is very strong and prevents sand leaching, subsidence, eliminates the growth of weeds and well passes moisture.
For tracks made of concrete slabs, sand is taken for the foundation with a fraction of 0–7 mm, it is filled with a layer of 5–7 mm and leveled. If you need to make a gap of 2-3 cm between the plates, they are covered with fine-grained sand, tamped with it and shed with water. Concrete tracks must be sloped so that water does not linger on them. To do this, make the base with a slightly convex profile - it is enough to make a slope of 1–2 cm per 1 m axis of the track. Also make a special drainage. To determine the size of the steps, there is a rule: two steps heights plus a depth equal to a step of 60–70 cm. A path can be created from 40 × 40 cm plates at a step distance between the centers of the plates.
Concrete must be put correctly, that is, on a sand and gravel layer. Although sometimes, when there is sandy soil, it is simply laid on a well-compacted cushion, while the consumption of materials decreases. Work starts by creating markup. Pegs are driven in along the perimeter of the future walkway, and the cord is tensioned. Removed topsoil. For walking paths, 20 cm is enough if cars will drive on it - 30 cm, for heavy and loamy soils - 40 cm. Then the geotextiles are laid on the bottom and on the slopes.
Half of the trench is covered with sand. If several layers - then a third. In any case, for the sandy layer, preferably not less than 5 cm. It is well rammed, shed with water. The ideal option is to deepen the trench and use several layers: sand / gravel (crushed stone) / sand. Each layer is shifted by geotextile.
If there are several layers, then the next one should be gravel. It takes gravel with a fraction of 10–20 mm., Which must be well compacted. In order to properly concrete the track, its dimensions or slabs are calculated in m2 and the approximate proportions and consumption of the constituent concrete.
Form for concrete slabs, formwork
For the manufacture of plates with their own hands sold special plastic molds. If not, you can do it yourself. Plates are often made square with sides of 30–50 cm. For them, wooden forms are made of 50 × 50 bars and sheets of steel. In sum, their volume should be equal to concrete in one batch. Bars are knocked out with nails, polished from the inside and put oil paint - so the plate will not get stuck.
Simplified production method: form without bottom on a plane covered with film. Concrete tracks can be made using formwork - a temporary wooden structure that gives shape to the solution. It is made of board 15–20 mm wide, which is equal to the height of the track. The path should be slightly higher than the ground (4–5 cm) and inclined by 1 cm on one or two sides.
Boards are fixed at the edges of the trench - they are pressed against the walls and attached to the pegs of the marking, the latter should be from the outside. Кромка досок снизу фиксируется посредством колышков, а верх — поперечными перемычками, они прибиваются к кромкам сверху – это исключит распирание конструкции.
Нужно разделить плиты — слишком большие растрескиваются. Для этого через полтора метра монтируют разделители: металлические пластины, обрезки сайдинга, деревянные или пластиковые планки. If they need to be removed, they are lubricated with any kind of grease (used engine oil) before installation.
Calculation of the amount of concrete
The calculation is done on this technology. The area of one plate (in m2) is determined. The value in m2 is multiplied by its height. The result is multiplied by the required number of plates. When filling the site with a single mass, the area in m2 is multiplied by the thickness of the fill. If the plates are stacked with gaps, then 5–10% is subtracted from the result.
The standard width of a walkway in the country will be 0.8 m with a thickness of 5–7 cm, for a walkway under a car you need 3 m with a thickness of 10 cm. With this in mind, it is easy to calculate that for 1 running meter of the walkway the mix consumption is 0.5 m3, for the track under the car consumption - 0.3 m3 of concrete. From this it follows that 1 m3 of the solution is enough for a 20 m2 walkway or 3.3 m2 for a car.
Calculation of the composition
Measure out the components and proportions in buckets. A standard bag of cement has 50 kg or 38 liters. The best water consumption will be in proportion 1 part of water to 4 cement, but as you stir, you can add a little more water to the composition for better plasticity. Mortar and consumption of ingredients for tracks without heavy loads (ordinary path in the patio at the cottage): ½, 5/4 (cement / sand / gravel). In buckets, the proportion will look like this (for 1 m3 of mixture): 18 - cement (4.7 bags), 45 - sand, gravel - 70.
The path for the car: 1 / 1,5 / 2,5 (cement / sand / gravel). Consumption in buckets: 28 (or 7.3 bags) / 40/70. A plasticizer is also added, for example, SP-1, a dye (1–2% by weight of the solution). There is another composition of the solution of durable concrete:
- cement M500 and above - 1 part,
- sand - 3 parts
- crushed stone - 1 part,
- water repellent additives.
If there is a small cement mixer - it simplifies the work. If it is not there or the amount of concrete is small, then it can be mixed by hand. Concreting tracks is carried out in several stages. To knead the solution, you need a trough, a steel box or just a flat asphalt platform, an iron sheet. You can use a construction mixer, a perforator with a nozzle.
This technology is standard. First, gravel and sand are mixed, then cement is added - a gray mass is obtained. At its top, a dimple is made and water is slowly poured in (half of the calculated volume), raking the dry mixture from the edges into the middle. The mixture will become wet. Then again make a recess at the top, and pour out some of the water. Do this several times until the composition becomes the desired consistency.
For the manufacture of the mortar is recommended cement brand is not below M300. It is best to use river sand - it is clean. Career is desirable to rinse and filter through a sieve. Gravel can be taken in the size of 10-20 mm, the best - granite, it is frost-resistant and durable. For large loads, a large fraction of 40 mm is suitable.
The thicker the composition, the stronger the concrete, but then it must be tamped well. An excellent solution is to add a plasticizer - it will make hard concrete more plastic and fluid with less water consumption, which makes it less durable. This solution will fill all the cracks.
Reinforcement and fill
The garden or yard walkway of concrete should rise by 3–5 cm. If there is a desire to impart particular strength to the slabs, then reinforcement is used:
- the form is filled in half,
- put the armature. Its role is performed by steel rods with a cross section of 5–8 mm or a finished mesh. Fiber with polymer is also used, which is added during the mixing of concrete.
The solution is leveled and held for 3-4 days, regularly watering it with water or covering it with a damp cloth. When reinforcing, you can limit the slab thickness of 6-10 cm: this device eliminates cracking. Otherwise, the slab thickness is at least 10–15 cm.
Filling and tamping tracks with concrete occurs in stages from the separator to the separator. The solution must be poured all at once to the edges of the formwork, the prepared mixture should not be left for later - this is a guarantee of its cracking.
The top layer is leveled by a rule or flat board, which rests on the edges of the formwork and drives along them. The rule is to make a movement along the path, removing the excess mixture. When leveling, remember the slope (1 cm by 1 m). It will also require a manual tamper, which should be carried out before the appearance of the cement jelly.
Then the mixture is punctured with a pin, pipe section - this is necessary for removing air and increasing the density. To do this, also use the vibrolath. If the stones are twisted, they are rolled with a roller. After the concrete is covered with a film of debris, rain, to preserve moisture (quick drying leads to cracking). So, the concrete path dries for 4 days, on 5 - the formwork is removed. Before complete drying, it is poured over with water, and after drying, the sharp edges are polished with a grinder.
If the track at the dacha will be subjected to heavy loads (bicycles, cars, trolley with cargo), then it is advisable to leave a gap of 2-3 cm between the plates. You can also leave a gap of 5-6 cm. You can also place the plates with an interval of 1 step. The process of laying in stages:
- pegs and cords do the markup,
- remove the soil layer by 10 cm.
- the trench is filled half the depth with sand,
- Plates are laid on a flattened, rammed base. It is important that each slab lies on a sandy pillow with its entire plane and is at the level of other tiles,
- knock the slabs with a hammer across the board for a good fit,
- sand is poured in the gap. You can arrange and decorative.
Look good at the cottage slabs, between which grows lawn grass. Such a path is made on the finished lawn: turf is cut, the bottom of the fossa is filled with sand, so that the stove is flush with the grass.
For the track in the country a beautiful view is very important. To make it beautiful, decorative, they use pigments (ocher, umber, etc.), polish it with impregnation, apply a pattern with sharp objects.
You can decorate using pebbles, fragments of tiles, even buttons. They are embedded in the surface of the concrete. To do this, put a paper sheet on the bottom of the form, glue decorative elements onto it and pour it with a solution. From the finished plate, the paper is washed off with water.
Impregnation with liquid glass (fluoride, sodium, adhesive) is also popular, which gives a spectacular shine. All impregnations are applied with a brush or spray. If desired, you can make large streaks and fill them with turf, create roughness with a stiff brush or other devices. Tile or marble cladding is in high demand.
Advantages of coatings
Concrete is a strong and durable material that is resistant to any environmental influences, so the track from it will be the best choice.
It has the following positive qualities:
- High durability which remains throughout all term of operation,
- This is a durable structure, the life of which is calculated for decades,
- Laying is simple in its execution, and does not require special construction skills, so it can be done with your own hands,
- The price of consumables is affordable.
- The main material adequately withstands moisture, low temperatures and other aggressive natural phenomena,
- It is able to withstand mechanical stress, and has high wear resistance,
- Thanks to the formwork installation method, the surface can have the most bizarre configuration,
- A large selection of decoration methods allows you to fit them in absolutely any landscape.
Among the shortcomings it can be noted that during the seasonal mobility of the soil, cracks may appear on the surface.
What to consider when designing
Important! Such a surface at the dacha is a capital structure, therefore, the choice of its location should be approached with great responsibility. If it is wrong to design it and not take into account the main communication directions on the site, then it will be inconvenient to use. And to change its location and configuration, in connection with its capital, it is almost impossible.
It is important to choose the right width depending on the destination. For main roads that carry the most important communication load - from the house to the main objects on the site, the width is taken at least two meters. This is done so that two people can freely disperse on it.
The path of secondary importance is walking or decorative, it can be narrow and even have a discontinuous canvas that looks very decorative and does not visually load the plot.
Before you make such coverage in the country, you must perform a sketch on paper. The sketch should indicate the location of the house, the main objects.
The main ones are placed on communication routes that pass along the way from the house to the main objects - to the gate, gazebo, pool and others.
They can be direct - they provide the shortest path from one functional area in the area to another. Also have a direct configuration of the coating around the house.
As seen in the photo above, the track is made of a block with a rough surface. This is done for the safety of movement on it in the winter. For the drainage system is arranged drainage system.
Types of concrete tracks
These tracks are arranged formwork method.
- From decorative tiles of different shapes and textures,
The tile can have a different shape and method of laying.
Such coatings are arranged using forms in which the solution is poured.
What to consider when installing tracks
Regardless of which method of installation is chosen, it is necessary to take into account a few rules, the observance of which will allow you to create a quality coating.
The most important rules for styling:
- For the installation of a rigid base structure, it is imperative to perform the addition of rubble or sand,
Important! The filling will save the structure from damage during seasonal swelling of frozen soil saturated with moisture. The thickness of the drainage bedding depends on the intensity of use.
- For natural drainage, it must have a one-sided slope or central bulge,
- If in spring during the melting of the snow mass or in the summer after the rain there are places on the site where puddles form, this indicates a close flow of groundwater. Installation at this place should take place above the ground, due to the high bedding of rubble. Or, along the drainage system should be arranged, due to which the fluid will be removed in the rainwater catchment basin.
Below is an instruction on how to make the surface in question in the country itself. The mortar contains a sandy-gravel base and, reinforced with reinforcement, cement-sand layer with rubble.
Tools and materials
For the work will need the following materials:
- Building cement marked with M400 and more
- Construction sand,
- Grid and wire,
- Waterproofing additives,
- Formwork boards,
- Pegs, strife, bars.
From the tools you will need:
- Shovels - bayonet and sovkovaya,
- Small spatulas,
- Sand tamper,
- The hammer for the device of a timbering.
The device of a monolithic construction includes several stages:
- First you need to decide on the design and location, following the sketches,
- Then, on the territory of the land plot they arrange the marking in the place where the path will be located. Given the size and configuration, fix its location with the help of pegs and cord.
Where the cover is rounded, additional pegs are driven in,
- Perform soil preparation
At this stage are determined with the height of the bedding and location relative to ground level. At the same stage, the top layer of soil with plants and their roots is removed so that they do not cause the concrete structure to collapse in the future.
The soil is removed to a depth that can accommodate four layers - 10 cm of sand and crushed stone, another layer of sand of 5 cm and a solution of 7 cm.
- Mounted formwork, fixing the boards to the pegs,
Important! In order for temperature expansion of concrete to be compensated, the presence of seams is necessary, which will ensure smooth regulation of heat exchange processes in concrete. For this formwork perform fragmentary.
The outer side of the formwork should rest against the lateral inner edge of the trench, or vice versa, the boards can be attached to the pegs using self-tapping screws. To create expansion joints, transverse boards are installed every 50–60 cm, which should not be higher than the longitudinal formwork boards.
- The sand cushion device is necessary for timely natural drainage. As a result, the solution will not be destroyed from the inside as moisture expands,
Important! So that the sand after a time, due to its properties, does not go along with the moisture into the soil, a nonwoven material (agrofibre) is laid under the sandy pillow - it is waterproof and not susceptible to rotting processes.
When filling sand it is necessary to carry out its tamping - for the formation of an even dense layer without voids.
Important! The use of wet sand will facilitate the process of quality tamping sand cushions.
For the device of a high-quality base, first place crushed stone, or crushed stone with sand, a geotextile material, and then another small leveling layer of sand - about 5 cm.
Important! In order to avoid the subsidence of the monolith and the formation of voids in the structure, it is not necessary to pour the solution on the day of the device of the drainage layers.
First, polyethylene is placed on the sand cushion to ensure high-quality hardening of the concrete, due to which the cement milk will not be able to go to the ground.
- The solution is kneaded in the ratio of one to three, where for 1 portion of cement there are 3 portions of sand,
With a shovel, the solution is laid and spread over the trench.
Then, using a trowel or level, level the mixture.
With the help of a grater or a wide trowel, the surface can be made perfectly smooth.
Important! Before the concrete gains its strength, it must be kept under the film. Dry concrete should be moistened periodically.
Advantages and disadvantages
Making concrete paths has positive and negative sides.
Consider first the advantages:
- Simplicity of arrangement of paths in comparison with paved materials of similar quality.
- The composition of the concrete solution includes materials that can be purchased at a low price.
- The durability and reliability of the tracks allows you to maintain their intended purpose for 20-30 years.
- When using special construction additives, the paths become frost-resistant, which increases the service life.
- Moisture protection properties, which is especially appropriate in case of close groundwater deposition.
- In the process of pouring concrete, you can embody original ideas for the design of garden paths.
Concrete paths have small imperfections:
- The high complexity of the preparatory work, especially in the construction of formwork.
- Great dependence on weather conditions when casting tracks. Even a few days after the completion of works, precipitation may affect the life of the paths.
- When the ground moves, cracks appear on the surface.
- The quality of the manual mixing of concrete may be insufficient. For such work it would be advisable to use a concrete mixer or other devices.
- Eliminates the possibility of transferring the finished track.
Basic rules of construction
For the reliability of garden paths you need to follow a clear sequence during construction and carry out the work correctly. Making the tracks will require the following steps:
- design work
- marking of the territory
- excavation of soil
- formwork installation,
- device of the underlying layer
- making reinforcement
- pouring mortar.
To perform the work will require sand, cement, gravel and metal mesh for reinforcement. From the tools you need to prepare:
- several different shovels,
- carpenter tool kit,
- measuring devices
- drill with a special nozzle or concrete mixer,
- trowel, trowel.
Site marking and soil preparation
Using the step-by-step method, we consider all the stages of the work:
- First of all, you need to complete a project in which the tracks will be drawn and their purpose will be indicated. For the central passage, a width of 1.5–2 m is taken, the remaining paths will be 0.8–1 m in size. The need for concreting passes between the beds will be limited to 40–50 cm wide.
- With the help of a rope and pegs you need to mark up future tracks. The width of the planned lines do 10-15 cm more - to install the formwork. All interferences occurring on the marking path must be rounded, while maintaining the transverse size of the path.
- We dig out the soil inside the markings with a shovel - 15 cm deep. If the soil is sandy, then you can dig no deeper than 12 cm.
For the manufacture of formwork need boards of small thickness (2-5 cm). The width of these wooden slats should be no less than the height of future paths (15–20 cm). We equip straight sections with the help of such bars, and plywood or other similar flexible material is used for turns.
Stick to the following action algorithm:
- Formwork boards need to be knocked down with the help of additional slats, which are placed on the outside of the structure.
- Next is the installation of timber on the contours of the track. Высота верхней плоскости реек должна быть на 3–5 см выше грунта и соответствовать проекту.
- Плавные формы закруглений необходимо сделать по месту, используя подсыпку из песка.
- После установки продольных досок их закрепляют самодельными распорками выше уровня тропинок на 2–3 см.
The bottom of the resulting trench is covered with agrofibre or roofing felt. Then they fall asleep with fine gravel and sand 3–5 cm thick. The underlying layer should be moistened and compacted. To prevent the track from cracking during seasonal fluctuations in temperature, it is necessary to install transverse dividing bars 15 mm thick every 2-3 m. After concreting, these slats are removed.
If you wish to have a relief tropic in the garden, it is made from individual concrete slabs of various shapes. To do this, you can repair the old wooden boxes and use them as shapes for future rectangular plates. Or construct an original stencil for the manufacture of a separate section of the track. Such a stencil can be purchased at a specialty store.
Concrete paths give an elegant look to the countryside. Their production has a low cost, and decoration will emphasize the style of a residential building and the surrounding buildings.
Advantages of concrete paths
What are the advantages of concrete tracks over the rest? Concrete, as everyone knows, is the most common building material. Its main advantage lies in durability and strength.
Among other advantages can be identified:
- easy installation
- low material cost
- It is well resistant to adverse weather conditions.
It is because of these positive qualities of concrete that it is used for the construction of the foundation of many construction projects. As for the application for the garden, this material can withstand heavy mechanical loads. At the same time, the service life can reach tens of years.
In addition, they can be made the most simple, without frills, but this will not lose their functionality. And you can get down to business creatively. On the market there are a variety of pigments and compositions that are able to replace the dull gray color of concrete to any other shade. In this case, the entire dacha can play with colors, giving the whole area a bright personality.
You can purchase various patterns to give the tracks originality.
Manufacturing technology can include several stages, each of which is important, and it is undesirable to neglect it. There are ready-made stencils of tracks of various shapes. Using multiple templates will significantly save time filling tracks. If you have a small family budget, you can be content with one template, but work can be delayed indefinitely.
Just as in the construction of any object, there is also a need to conduct training, which will include the development of a future project. It is necessary to take into account all the features of the landscape and the overall style of the dacha. Based on this, you can create a convenient route for moving around your villa. At the same time, the well-trodden paths to the most frequently visited summer cottages can serve as a good template.
After that you need to prepare the tools.
To fill the concrete tracks will need:
- capacity for kneading mortar (if there is a concrete mixer even better),
- hammer (only rubber),
- wooden boards
- ready-made plastic templates (optional).
You also need to take care of stocks of sand, cement, water, gravel. Cement is desirable to use the brand M400, and the sand should be without admixture of clay. It is still desirable to clean and dry. If you wish, then pre-purchase dyes for concrete.
After preparation, you can proceed directly to work. First you need to mark the boundaries of future tracks. It's straightforward with straight paths - arrange a few pegs and stretch a cord between them. But with winding paths, you will have to be a little plop. It is desirable to arrange the pegs according to a pre-arranged pattern, with a smaller distance, but they will need much more.
After the wooden form of the tracks is ready, you can proceed to the preparation of the solution, which may be of the following composition. Mix one part of the cement with 1.5 parts of sand and 2 parts of gravel. Water is needed before the formation of sour cream consistency or a little thicker. It is easier to work with a liquid solution, but with a thick composition the concrete is stronger, although it will take more strength. Therefore, everyone here decides for himself exactly which composition to give preference.
It is necessary to knead the solution in that quantity so that it can be consumed all within an hour, maximum three. The number of batches for concreting depends on the length of the tracks and their number.
If you want to make bright tracks, it is better to use dyes and add them when preparing the cement composition. You can paint already prepared concrete with paint, but in this case it will not last long. Dye though it will take a considerable amount, but the resulting effect is worth it. You can choose different colors for sectional plates, but for giving it is best to look after yellow, blue, red shades or even ocher color.
The beauty of the paths can be brought not only with the help of ready-made standard templates. You can use other special patterns (stencils-matrix), allowing you to get an amazing structure that can simulate the surface of various natural materials.
Just need to wait a few hours to grab the concrete a little, and then apply a toning fixer.
The final stage
After the tracks are poured, they must be covered with polyethylene so that they freeze gradually. In hot weather, concrete needs to be wetted with water. About readiness prompts color concrete. If it is dark, then it is still early. It usually takes about 5 or 6 days to completely dry the concrete. After that, you can remove the formwork. Cross-pieces can also be removed, and the seams forming at the same time are covered with sand or earth.
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List of required tools and materials
In order to construct a concrete path, it is necessary to prepare the following tools and materials:
- boards or plywood (for formwork),
- reinforcement (A3, thickness 12 mm is the best option),
- Master OK,
- pointed shovel,
- capacity for solution,
- pegs and cord (for marking),
- sand (preferably river).
Formwork, curbs and thermal joints
Formwork is the basis for the future path, as its appearance will determine the appearance of the structure. It is a temporary wooden structure that helps to give the necessary shape. For formwork will need boards with a thickness of 1.5-2 cm and a height of 3-4 cm above the height of the trench. They are attached to the pegs.
So that the coating does not crack, it should be separated by expansion joints: transverse dividers, for example, boards, metal or siding, should be placed every 1.5 m. The more such sections will be, the stronger the track will be.
To prepare the solution, you need to mix cement and sand in a ratio of 1: 3, respectively. The amount of water should be such that a thick plastic consistency is obtained - about 2-2.5 liters per 1 kg of cement.
If the solution is thick, then there will be difficulties with its distribution. And if the mixture is liquid, it will crack when dry. It is best to use a portable concrete mixer.
It mixes the ingredients well, thereby improving the quality of concrete. If such a device is not available, you can use a powerful punch with a nozzle "mixer". It is recommended to add fiber-glass and water-repellent additives to the mix.
Do not refuse to add rubble - this design will be much stronger. The prepared solution is poured into the formwork.
Options for decorating concrete tracks
Concrete tracks can be left gray. But in order to give beauty and accuracy to the whole area, the paths can be made spectacular and extraordinary with the help of decor.
There are two ways of coloring gray paths. The first is to add color to the concrete mix. This method is more expensive, but in this way it will be possible to achieve a better result. It is necessary to use a special pigment that is soluble in water to give concrete color. To achieve the desired result, only white cement will have to be taken as a basis.
When mixing gray cement with a dye, a very dull and distorted shade may turn out. The second way to give the desired color of the path - painting the surface.
To do this, use special compounds that penetrate into the concrete by a few millimeters. To obtain a saturated color, it is necessary to paint the surface several times.
The use of forms and stencils
Very often decorate concrete products using stencils and forms. This method allows you to create the illusion of cobblestone or stone paving. Stencils are designs with partitions that form corners or rounding. To create such a track, you need to make a markup and level the soil. Reason not to doas the stencil consists of separate small parts and does not feel the load. Decking is also not required. - the stencils themselves are the limiter of the concrete.
The solution is prepared in the same way. Then put the form on the ground and pour the composition, ram and smooth. After approximately 60 minutes, when the concrete hardens slightly, it can be removed. Stencils are sold in specialized stores.
Or they can be made independently of wooden slats, barrels, giving the desired shape.
Stamping is another way to decorate concrete paths. With the help of stamps you can create almost any surface that will imitate cobblestones, paving stones, boards, bricks and other building materials. Stamps come in the form of animal figures, dinosaur footprints, and leaf shapes. The easiest way to buy stamps in stores. When choosing, it is worth paying attention to the degree of rigidity: the larger it is, the easier it will be to print a drawing on concrete. Also stamps can be made independently.
To make a printed surface, it is necessary to fill in the usual concrete path. When the mixture begins to set, and it becomes viscous like clay, you can begin to engage in creativity. The first thing to do is to apply a hardener for 2 times, with an interval of 10 minutes.
It can be of any color. Hardener paints the surface, gives hardness and contributes to the quick setting of concrete. Then a separating component is applied, which eliminates the adhesion of concrete to the dies during printing.
This substance can be liquid or loose. Most often used the second option. Apply it by shaking off a wide brush. The next stage is stamping. At this point, the concrete must be plastic. If it does not stick to the hands, but is pressed to a depth of 5 cm, then you can lay out the form. They are rammed with their feet. Stamps must withstand human weight and not fall into the composition.
Track design can be very diverse and in harmony with the style of the garden:
- Drawing patternsimilar to pieces of flagstone stone. 24 hours after the fill of the track, broken closed shapes are made using a screwdriver, similar to the contours of slab. The width and depth of the slots should not be less than 5 mm. Soil will accumulate in them, creating a complete illusion of masonry.
- Mosaic. Pieces of old ceramic tiles or plates, rhinestones, broken glass, a mirror, and beads are laid on the grasped concrete. All materials should be approximately the same size. They must be laid on the surface in the desired shape and gently pressed into the concrete.
- Prints. On top of the solution that has not yet seized, prints are made. You can use burdock leaves, large shells. You can also leave an imprint of the hands or feet, after having smeared them with Vaseline.
Care of the tracks
That the path from concrete served long and had respectable appearance, it should be kept always clean. The footpath needs to be swept, vacuumed and cleaned from a watering hose.
Weed grass can be removed by hand or herbicide treatment. Cracks may form on the concrete tracks. Small and isolated flaws can not touch. But growing cracks must be wiped with a solution to avoid complete cracking and destruction.
The advantages of concrete tracks
Consider the advantages of concrete tracks:
- durable composition
- long term use
- it's easy to make a concrete structure yourself
- low cost of materials
- moisture and frost resistance
- resistance to mechanical stress
- the ability to make a path of any shape
- a combination of almost all decorative materials
- the ability to make their own decor.
The disadvantages of concrete tracks
Concrete structures also have disadvantages:
- surface cracks may occur due to ground movement,
- tracks made of concrete are capital structures that are impossible to move and difficult to dismantle,
- it is necessary to pour concrete only in good weather, and there should be no precipitation for a few more days after the date of completion of the concreting,
- kneading the solution with a shovel is difficult, so you need a concrete mixer,
- formwork is a very time consuming process.
Concrete tracks on the summer cottage - it is not only beautiful, but also very convenient. Therefore, if you decide to make such a structure in your garden, get down to business. Quickly and with minimal financial costs you can give your site a beautiful image and elegant appearance.
Advantages and disadvantages of concrete tracks
Concrete tracks have many undeniable advantages:
- The life of the paths of concrete is about 25 years, the material is durable and durable. Reinforcement gives them even greater resistance to stress.
- Concrete belts have a low cost; in the composition of concrete there are simple components that you can easily buy in construction markets.
- Filling alleys with cement mortar is easy and fast, it is much easier than building tapes from tiles or other similar materials.
- If there are closely located underground waters or problem soils in the garden plot, then tapes of concrete, protected from moisture and poured to a great depth, are the only solution.
- Frost resistance can be further improved by adding special chemical additives when mixing a mixture of cement and other ingredients.
- In the process of building garden paths with your own hands, it is possible to do design and decorate the site, ebbing footpaths of various unusual shapes and colors.
However, such passages in the country or garden area are not without flaws:
- Due to the movement of the ground, cracks may appear on the surface.
- Massive garden paths made of concrete are becoming capital elements of the general plan of the site. You can not move them anywhere, and dismantle these structures is very time consuming.
- Filling should be carried out only in good weather, and the forecast should not be a couple of days ahead after the completion date.
- Self-mixing of concrete with a shovel does not give the desired quality, so you need a concrete mixer to fill.
- The preparatory stage includes the laborious process of creating formwork.
Concreting the track according to all the rules ↑
Constructing concrete garden paths with your own hands should be no less serious than laying the foundation for a house. Act on the plan, strictly following the sequence of actions.
Scheme and design elements
Marking passages on the site ↑
Site planning and markings of passes are performed in the following sequence:
- Pre-invent and draw on paper a plan of the site with buildings and mark the places of future paths. So you can find the best options for the location of the aisles. After pouring the move the concrete tape will not work.
- Prepare a rope and pegs.
- To find possible obstacles on the way, for example, in the form of trees, stones or other obstacles, in the places of rotation, install pegs and connect them with a rope.
- After checking, evaluate the feasibility of pouring on the selected path. If there are overall and difficult to dismantle objects, replan the location.
- After final marking, remove the soil. The width of the pit make more than a concrete tape, 30 cm, for the subsequent installation of formwork.
- Dig out the pit. Depth choose, focusing on the structure of the soil:
- If there is a lot of sand in the soil, then the concrete can be poured directly on the ground and there is enough depth of 10 cm. Before filling, pre-tamp the soil.
- In a situation where the soil is wet and the winters are frosty, prepare a cushion of crushed stone 10–12 cm thick. This will save the frozen solution from the effects of freezing of the freezing soil and the appearance of cracks. Deepen the pit to the height of the pillow, added to the height of the tape. Seal the soil before dumping rubble.
- Also consider whether cars will pass through the aisle. At this point make a little more than 15 cm. When casting this area, add more cement to the concrete mix for strength.
- Plan the concreting of the walkway so that it rises 1.5–2 cm above the rest of the ground. This will save from soil contamination and damage, as well as simplify movement around the site.
- Если бетонная лента будет пересекать поливные трубы и через нее будет проходить водосток, то заранее подготовьте монтажные гильзы.
Как сделать опалубку для садовой дорожки ↑
Бетонные аллеи на садовом участке могут быть как обычной прямоугольной формы, так и закругленной. You can achieve this if you make a formwork of bending materials that will withstand the pressure of a concrete mix, such as plywood or plastic. If you make a curved construction of the boards, then the steeper the bend, the shorter the length of the boards you use.
Do not make formwork for the entire length of the tape, you still need to fill it with parts. After the concrete has set, move the formwork further along the pouring process. So you will save on the boards.
There are special forms for filling tracks in the country. You can go to the store and buy templates, or make stencils yourself from wood or sheet metal, fastened together in the desired form.
The initial stage of the construction of curved formwork
- Take the boards 2,5x10 cm or 5x10 cm.
- Sew the boards. To do this, put them on a hard surface one by one, fasten vertically from the outside with sturdy planks.
- Try to keep the surface of the boards from the inside of the formwork box smooth. Invert the resulting structure and bend the protruding hardware, if any.
- Place the boards in the pit on a pre-packed soil or rubble cushion. The height of the formwork should be equal to the height of the future path. Check the horizontal position of the installed boards by building level.
- The distance between the boards should correspond to the planned width of the garden path of concrete. Choose it at your discretion. Usually, in the country, pavements 60–90 cm wide are poured. Pull the formwork, locking it with transverse planks, packed over the installed boards.
The construction of the track using the stencil
Thermal seams and insulation pad ↑
Be sure to make a "pillow" under the concrete. Put a waterproofing material - roofing material, agrofibre or geotextile at the bottom of the pit. Pour gravel with a diameter of 19–25 mm in an even layer in the pit. Wash the coarse sand from above, pour water and tamp it tightly.
Due to the change in temperature, concrete may go cracked. To prevent this, make preparations for thermal joints. To do this, after 1.5–3 meters along the entire length of the track, place perpendicular to the installed formwork of the slats all the way to the ground. Use strips 15–20 mm thick.
If you plan to remove the strips after pouring and hardening the concrete, apply any lubricant to them. If you decide to leave the separators in the solution, make them the same height as the longitudinal formwork.
Thermal seams prevent cracks
Reinforcement for strength and durability ↑
Concrete poured at 24-hour intervals cracks much faster. Reinforce the garden path to avoid cracking and tighten the construction. As components for the reinforcing layer, you can use a netting net, metal pipes, pieces of thick wire and other hardware.
The best reinforcing layer will be a welded mesh with 10x10 cm cells and a rod diameter of 8 mm.
- To reinforce concrete, prepare the necessary amount of mesh.
- Install pieces of brick in the trench to support or make legs-clamps of wire.
- Lay the net on the prepared base, departing 3–5 cm from the longitudinal edges of the trench.
- If possible, attach the net to the base so that it does not move when the trench is filled with the solution.
Reinforcement for strength
Reinforcement paths in the garden will make a smaller layer of concrete.
Preparation of concrete solution for track ↑
To fill the concrete path, prepare the solution by hand or using a concrete mixer.
Preparation of concrete using a concrete mixer consists of the steps:
- Turn on the unit. Pour water into the mixer, leaving 10-15% to be added. This will simplify further mixing.
- Pour the cement in and wait one minute, then add sand. Mix the resulting sand-cement mixture for garden paths for 2-3 minutes until a homogeneous mass is formed.
- Pour in the filler and pour in the remaining water. Stir the cement mortar until smooth, but not more than 7 minutes, otherwise the cement may begin to grip.
- Pour the mixture into the car or directly into the formwork. If the whole mixture is not immediately moved to the pouring place, leave the concrete mixer with the remaining solution turned on.
If there is no concrete mixer, knead manually. Prepare an old bath or deep tub. It is convenient to mix the solution in them.
- In the manual method of preparation, place all bulk components of the solution in the mixing tray and mix them very well with a pick.
- Pour in water and mix vigorously. Hook the mixture from the bottom and turn it over with a shovel, not forgetting the corners. Stir until a thick and even consistency is obtained. The concrete mass should crawl off slowly from the spade and not stratify.
Manual method of making concrete
Filling the garden path with a solution ↑
After preparing the concrete solution, fill the path with your own hands. Place it in the prepared formwork segments separated by lintels.
Pouring the finished solution in the prepared formwork
- Seal the concrete, piercing it vertically with a trowel or piece of reinforcement. Lightly tap the formwork with a hammer, this will remove the air voids formed during the pouring of the mortar.
- Align the surface with a rule or rail with the level of the formwork installed. Move the solution, directing it to yourself and to the side.
- To let the water go, make a small slope, 10 mm per 1 meter of width is enough.
- Wait until the water comes out, and finally smooth the surface with a trowel or trowel.
- Cover the filled surface with a thick film so that the water from the cement mortar does not evaporate quickly and the concrete does not crack.
- The next day, check the smoothness of the ribbon, make unevenness with a sharp tool, such as an ax.
- For thermal seams after hardening the mixture after 1-2 days, carefully remove the separating strips. In place of the removed rail, install a thermal gasket.
Concrete track layout
- If the tape to be cast fits end-to-end to another concrete base, lay a thermal gasket between them and seal the joint so that both the walkway and the other concrete structure can be deformed under the influence of temperature separately and do not exert mutual pressure.
- Until the concrete is fully seized, make a special trowel to cross the surface to a depth of ¼ of its thickness. This seam is needed to prevent the tape from cracking.
How to decorate concrete paths ↑
In order to make the paths of concrete in the garden not look like gray pavements, they can be made embossed with imitation of stone or bright, painted in different colors. The combination of materials, for example, a combination with pebbles or lawn grass, will be effectively drained.
Step by Step instructions for painting ↑
Coloring helps to create a unique landscape composition on the site, but only adherence to technology ensures the result. The most practical coating is obtained by painting concrete for garden paths in the process of mixing. It is enough to add special colored pigments that do not dissolve in water, do not fade in the sun and do not fade under the influence of chemicals.
When choosing how to paint concrete paths, give preference to polyacrylic paints for exterior work. Their composition allows concrete to breathe and does not allow moisture to destroy its structure. This coating does not fade in the sun and endures mechanical stresses.
Latex, polyurethane and polyvinyl chloride compounds protect against damage. Oil paint is not suitable for, it absorbs into the pores and leads to cracks.
Use of forms and pigments
If you need to refresh the old structures, follow the procedure for painting concrete tracks with your own hands:
- Before painting, remove dust and dirt from the surface. If you are going to paint a tile-shaped path, remove all the grass from the seams.
- If the surface was previously painted, use a metal brush to wipe off any remnants of the old paint and dust off the substrate.
- If the surface has chipped and other damage, cover them with putty or sealant.
- Degrease the surface with an orthophosphate solution or other chemicals to remove stains.
- Treat with a two-layer deep penetration primer. Before you apply the second layer, wait until the first one is completely dry.
- Apply a thin layer of paint to a prepared base with a break of 12 hours for complete drying.
Primer of the concrete base before painting
Features of staining with different tools ↑
To work, you can choose one of the tools for painting the track:
Paint with a brush
When painting with a brush, you can paint over all the irregularities, but with this method there are stripes from the pile.
Roller is convenient to paint smooth surfaces. Do not take the tool with a foam coat, it leaves air bubbles. Paint the joints of the plates with a brush.
If you decide to paint the tracks with a sprayer, then pre-practice. If you overexpose a working device in one place, there will be run-offs and spoil the result. In addition, you need to find the distance at which the “speckled” stains will not work.
Bright path in the garden
Keep the painted coating free from sand and similar abrasive materials. Wash the aisles from the hose and wipe with a voluminous sponge.
Filling concrete tracks with your own hands is an interesting and simple process. To make beautiful alleys, you will need few available materials and tools, and you will admire the result for many years. If self-pouring seems to be difficult, then contact the masters, they will be able to make paths on the site according to your desire and project.