Preparing to Lay Concrete Sidewalk Blocks

What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Spray paint
Landscaper's fabric

Concrete has many uses such as sidewalk blocks to support columns and even decorative art. Sidewalk blocks can be made in various sizes but no matter the size the preparation is always the same. You can use sidewalk blocks to create a stunning sidewalk complete with design work or you can make it very simple and basic. Sidewalk blocks can costs hundreds of dollars to thousands to create and install. The information below will show you how to prepare the area yourself in order to install sidewalk blocks.

Step 1 - Plan the Sidewalk

Planning to install sidewalk blocks is as important as mixing the concrete block itself. The first thing you need to accomplish is finding the area where you wish to have the sidewalk blocks. An area that is flat is preferred as there is less work involved. Utilize a scrap piece of paper and a pen to draw out your sidewalk pattern. This is important if you want to have curves in the sidewalk. You will also want to note the thickness of the sidewalk blocks as this will be the depth of the excavated area. Use the tape measure to determine the amount of space you have to work with. This will also tell you how much concrete you will need as well as wood to create your forms.

Step 2 - Paint Lines

Once the plan is finished you can use it to create your lines for the sidewalk blocks and their placement. Use the measurements and the tape measure to create the lines for the sidewalk by painting them on. If you are creating spaces between each block, you want to note that when you paint your lines.

Step 3 - Excavation

Prior to pouring concrete for sidewalk blocks you need to excavate the areas you painted. You already noted the thickness of the sidewalk blocks and this is the depth of the site. Use the shovel to begin removing the earth between the lines you painted. Use the yardstick to measure for depth around the edges as well as the center.

Step 4 - Preparing the Area

Removing the dirt is the start of laying sidewalk blocks but you also need to remove any rocks or roots present in the area. Once the depth is accurate and all debris removed you can begin to finish the site. Use a tamper to press down the earth left behind and use the yardstick to confirm the depth making sure all edges and the center are not ignored. Once all the dirt is compressed use the level to ensure it is also even. Remove any soil you have to in order to fully meet the depth and the evenness that is required. When the area is completely ready lay down a layer of landscaper's fabric which will prevent weeds and other vegetation from being a problem to the sidewalk blocks. Nail together pieces of 2x4 to create a box inside the perimeter of each excavated area.