How Much Do Concrete Walkways Cost?
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Walkways are a great way to add character to a home. Many different materials can be used to build walkways, which can reflect the homeowner's taste and create a unique look. If homeowners want the walkway to last, however, the best choice is cement. Due to the fact that cement can be laid in many different styles and formed to a homeowner's specifications, cement is seen as one of the best types of walkways that can stand up to the test of time.
- Minimum: $6 per square foot
- Maximum: $12 per square foot
Just like any other home improvement project, there are different factors that affect the overall cost of laying a cement walkway. These are a few of the factors that homeowners need to keep in mind when they plan a cement walkway project.
The length of a cement walkway plays a big role in the overall cost. The more cement needed, the more the project is going to cost. Elaborate cement walkway designs cost more than straightforward ones. Also, contractors are likely going to charge more because straight edges are much easier to construct than curved edges.
A certain amount of prep work is required before laying cement. The cost of the project will increase depending on the amount of preparation a contractor is required to do before laying the walkway. This may involve smoothing out the ground or removing debris.
The shape is not the only factor that can increase the price. Colors, boards and complex patterns will also add to the cost. The finish that is put on top of the cement will vary the cost. A broom or rock salt finish will cost a lot less than engraving the cement.
Homeowners who are looking to keep costs down should keep these factors in mind. By cutting back on the design of the project, homeowners may be able to find a cement walkway that fits into their budget that they still can be satisfied with. This may involve giving up some of the features they had originally planned on including in their walkway, but it will keep the entire project inside their budget.
Depending on the style of cement walkway homeowners wish to have, there are a few different materials that are needed. For a textured finish, homeowners might decide to have sand or textured rock salt added to the top of the cement when it is laid. For homeowners who wish for a certain design, cement stencils can be used. These types of stencils can be purchased for as little as $30 to as much as $400. Other materials that may be used include hand-applied chemical stain to change the color of the cement and wood to create borders. The borders can be helpful when forming a cement walkway to fit a desired shape.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Just like any other type of walkway, cement walkways have their advantages and disadvantages. By weighing these pros and cons associated with cement walkways, homeowners can easily decide if a cement walkway is right for them.
Unlike other walkway materials, cement can be purchased for a relatively low price. Even when adding textures or colors, cement is usually cheaper than alternatives. Cement is also extremely easy to clean. Most of the time it can be cleaned with just an outdoor cleaning solution and a brush. Homeowners can also rest assure that cement is a tough material that can hold up to the test of time. Long after other walkways would have broken down, cement holds its ground.
Cement has a tendency to crack over time. As a result, it is not always recommended in areas where earth movement is very common. Sometimes cement can be kept from cracking by installing it on top of compact gravel or sand that helps to absorb movements of the earth. Also, color that is added tends to fade over time. Although new color formulas last longer than they used to, there is no guaranteed way to stop cement from losing its color. Homeowners should also remember that cement takes a while to set, and the walkway cannot be used during that time. This is seen as a major drawback for high-traffic areas.
Laying a cement walkway is a lot of work and something that should be done by a professional. Failure to lay a cement walkway correctly could lead to premature cracking. Labor costs will differ from company to company, but all will factor in the size of the walkway and the time it will take to complete the project. As covered in the cost factor section, the amount of prep work needed will also increase the price of labor. Contractors will clear, stake out, excavate and lay the form for a walkway before they even pour the cement.
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Last updated on May 19, 2016