Concrete Sidewalks Calgary

Concrete Sidewalks Calgary

Concrete Sidewalks Calgary

Having a great concrete sidewalk in Calgary isn’t just about aesthetics, or how something looks, but it is also about safety, durability and function.  In Calgary, we have EXTREME  weather on both ends of the spectrum.  We get -30 cold and we get +30 heat, and your home has to be built to withstand these things. A concrete walkway can be a great addition to your exterior renovation plans.

Calgary presents unique challenges for concrete services, particularly in the face of temperature fluctuations. From the scorching heat causing expansion and shifting to the icy winter frost inducing movement through freezing and shifting, it’s essential to have a local contractor who understands these dynamics. You need a professional who can not only plan exceptional concrete projects but also deliver top-notch workmanship that can withstand Calgary’s climate challenges.

Concrete steps transcend mere utility; they offer an opportunity to embrace innovation and aesthetics. With advancing technology, the design and appearance of concrete walkways and concrete driveways have significantly evolved. In Calgary, you have a myriad of design choices at your disposal, including exposed concrete and concrete stamps, allowing you to enhance both functionality and visual appeal.

Concrete Sidewalks - Bedrock Construction (1)

Doing Concrete in Calgary isn’t Just about the Final Result.

Regrettably, many contractors tend to focus solely on the end product, overlooking the comprehensive considerations essential for creating exceptional concrete projects. At Bedrock Construction, we adopt a different approach. We believe in collaborating closely with our clients throughout the entire project journey, ensuring that every aspect, from design to the final outcome, aligns precisely with the needs and expectations of homeowners and business owners alike.

Whether it’s refining the project’s design or pouring wet concrete for a brand-new sidewalk, we are deeply committed to our approach. Our work is guided by four core values that consistently define our commitment to excellence.

Our core values define us.

Accountability: We emphasize accountability for every project team member, ensuring adherence to schedules and budgets.

Cleanliness: We are firm believers in maintaining project sites that are consistently ready for a photoshoot.

Meticulousness: We understand that the essence of a successful renovation lies in the meticulous attention to every detail.

Organization: With over 35 years of industry experience, we are unwavering in our commitment to delivering a heightened level of organization in each project.

Images from one of our recent projects

sidewalk concrete calgary
concrete calgary sidewalk

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Concrete Done Right 

Bedrock Construction is a leader in the construction field, and we have been at this for a while.  Since 1991 Bedrock Construction has been building in Calgary.  We are a full-service residential and commercial construction company.  We pride ourselves on superior craftsmanship and we work with the client to make sure everything is as it should be before we complete a job.  

Here is a testimonial from a satisfied client.

“There are thousands of home renovation contractors in Calgary but Bedrock stood out for us from the beginning. Their contracts are extremely detailed & their communication is transparent. Our home renovation couldn’t have gone any smoother & I’d recommend them to any Calgary homeowner.”


How Much Should a Concrete Sidewalk Cost

Each job is a little different and will require different plans and finishes to accomplish the desired outcome. Having said that there are some industry standards that we can use as a ballpark for a concrete walkway cost.

For most standard installations you are looking in the $10-$15 range per square foot, again depends on a few factors like accessibility, pre-pour work and weather. Exposed aggregate concrete is generally a little more per square foot due to the labour involved and you’re looking at $14-$17 per square foot. Stamped concrete, which is when the concrete has a pattern and looks like tile or brick, is usually a little higher at $17-$25 a square foot.

Sometimes you can get it a little lower than that depending on the factors, but again the final price depends on its shape, thickness, design, finish and amount of prep work needed.

Do you Need Gravel Under a Concrete Sidewalk?

No matter what you are pouring the concrete for, either a concrete walkway, patio or concrete garage pads, a strong gravel base is required to prevent the concrete from cracking and shifting. Gravel is even more important in clay soil because it doesn’t drain well. This results in water pooling under the concrete slab and slowly eroding the soil as it finally drains.

At bedrock construction, we have been at this for a long time, and we have been at it for a long time here in Calgary.

We understand the issues that surround construction in this City.

What does that mean for you?

Great Concrete Projects at a Great Price.

Concrete Sidewalks - Bedrock Construction

Concrete Sidewalks and Walkways FAQ

Can I Pour My Own Concrete Walkway?

Yes, you can definitely pour your own concrete walkway. The reason, however, that you would hire a concrete contractor like Bedrock is because of their experience and expertise in the area of concrete. There are a lot of small details and best practices that go into having great concrete that lasts a long time. Do-it-yourself projects can work, but often these types of concrete projects are best done by a professional.

The most important thing about a concrete walkway is its durability and safety. You don’t want your concrete walkway to become a trip hazard, or for it to crack and break a few years after installation. The idea behind getting a great concrete walkway from a reputable concrete contractor is to make sure everything is done right.

A concrete walkway can be a defining piece to your home, and can greatly increase your resale value because of the increased curb appeal and overall look. A concert walkway needs to be seen as an investment.

A benefit to having a contractor do it for you is that there is no excess concrete to deal with after the pour. Contractors will come with a ready mix truck and pour concrete exactly where it needs to go, and they will be able to match the square foot requirements for the entire project.

Is 2″ of Concrete Enough For a Sidewalk or Concrete Walkway?

A 2-inch thickness of concrete may not be sufficient for a sidewalk, as it could be prone to cracking and might not be able to withstand the typical foot traffic, weather conditions, and occasional heavier loads.

For residential sidewalks, the recommended minimum thickness is 4 inches. This provides a durable and stable surface capable of withstanding regular foot traffic and occasional heavier loads, such as bicycles, garbage cans, or small wheeled equipment. In commercial or public areas where there may be more foot traffic or heavier loads, the thickness may need to be increased to 5 or 6 inches or more, depending on the specific use and requirements.

When constructing a sidewalk, it’s essential to consider other factors in addition to the thickness of the concrete. These include:

  1. Properly preparing the base, which typically consists of a well-compacted subgrade and a layer of gravel or crushed stone.
  2. Using the appropriate concrete mix design that meets the requirements for strength, workability, and durability.
  3. Installing reinforcement, such as wire mesh or rebar, if necessary, to help control cracking and increase the structural capacity of the sidewalk.
  4. Including control joints at regular intervals to help manage the natural shrinkage and expansion of the concrete.
  5. Ensuring a suitable surface finish for slip resistance and aesthetics.
  6. Properly curing the concrete to achieve the desired strength and durability.

By adhering to best practices and following local building codes, you can ensure the construction of a long-lasting and safe sidewalk.

Do Concrete Sidewalks Need Rebar?

Rebar is not always necessary for residential a concrete sidewalk, but it can provide additional strength and help, along with control joints, control cracking in certain situations. For typical residential sidewalks, the use of wire mesh (reinforcing mesh) or fiber reinforcement may be sufficient, along with curing compound. However, if the sidewalk is expected to experience heavier loads or challenging conditions, rebar can be a useful addition.

Here are a few scenarios in which rebar might be considered for a concrete sidewalk:

  1. Heavy loads or traffic: If the sidewalk is expected to support heavier loads or frequent use by heavy equipment, such as in a commercial or industrial setting, rebar can help improve the structural capacity and reduce the risk of cracking.
  2. Poor soil conditions: If the soil beneath the sidewalk is prone to settling or movement, rebar can help bridge potential weak spots and maintain the integrity of the concrete.
  3. Expansive soils: In areas with expansive clay soils that swell and shrink with moisture changes, rebar can help hold the concrete together and minimize damage from soil movement.
  4. Steep slopes or uneven terrain: When a sidewalk is built on a slope or uneven terrain, rebar can help provide additional structural support and prevent cracking caused by differential settlement.
  5. Freeze-thaw cycles: In regions with harsh winter conditions and frequent freeze-thaw cycles, rebar can help prevent damage caused by the expansion and contraction of the concrete.
  6. Local building codes or regulations: Some jurisdictions may require rebar or other reinforcement in sidewalks as part of their local building codes or engineering standards.

It’s essential to consult local building codes and engineering guidelines to determine the appropriate reinforcement for your specific sidewalk project. Properly designing and constructing a sidewalk with the right reinforcement will help ensure its longevity and durability.

What is the Best Kind of Concrete for a Concrete Sidewalk?

The best kind of concrete for a concrete walkway is one that provides durability, strength, and resistance to wear, cracking, and weather-related damage. Generally, a well-designed concrete mix for a sidewalk will have the following characteristics:

  1. Compressive strength: A concrete walkway needs a minimum compressive strength of 3,000 to 4,000 psi (pounds per square inch) is typically recommended for residential sidewalks, while commercial or public sidewalks may require higher strength, depending on the expected loads and traffic.
  2. Air entrainment: Incorporating air-entraining admixtures into the concrete mix used on a concrete walkway is essential, particularly in climates with freeze-thaw cycles. The entrained air creates tiny air pockets in the concrete, allowing it to expand and contract without causing significant damage. An air content of 5-8% is generally recommended for freeze-thaw resistance.
  3. Workability: The concrete mix should be workable enough to be easily placed, compacted, and finished without compromising its strength and durability. This often involves a balance between the water-cement ratio, the use of admixtures, and the aggregate gradation. The concrete team will use a bull float to make the concrete look professional, they will also use natural stone in the mixture.
  4. Proper aggregate selection: For a concrete sidewalk choose well-graded aggregates that are free from deleterious materials, as they affect the workability, strength, and durability of the concrete. The aggregate size should also be appropriate for the thickness of the sidewalk.
  5. Admixtures: Chemical admixtures, such as water reducers, accelerators, or retarders, can be used to modify the concrete’s properties to meet specific project requirements, such as improving workability, reducing water content, or accelerating the setting time.
  6. Curing: Proper curing is critical for achieving the desired strength and durability of the concrete. Curing can be done through various methods, such as wet curing (keeping the surface moist) or applying curing compounds to seal in moisture.

When selecting the best concrete mix for a sidewalk, it’s essential to consider the local climate, soil conditions, and intended use. Consult with a local concrete supplier or engineer to design an appropriate mix that meets the specific requirements of your project and complies with local building codes and regulations.

How Long Does Wet Concrete Need to Dry?

The drying time for wet concrete depends on various factors, such as the mix design, ambient temperature, humidity, and the desired strength of the concrete. However, the term “drying” is not entirely accurate; instead, the concrete undergoes a curing process where it gains strength and hardens over time.

Here are some general guidelines for the curing time of concrete:

  1. Initial set: Concrete typically reaches its initial set, or becomes firm enough to hold its shape, within 2 to 4 hours after placing. This time may vary depending on the mix design, temperature, and use of admixtures. This is usually right after the guys using a bull float are finished with the fresh concrete.
  2. Final set: The final set occurs when the concrete is hard enough to walk on without causing significant surface damage. This is generally reached within 24 to 48 hours. However, it’s essential to be cautious when walking on the concrete during this stage, as it’s still gaining strength and may be susceptible to damage.
  3. Minimum curing time: To achieve its desired strength and durability, concrete should be allowed to cure for a minimum of 7 days. During this period, proper curing methods, such as keeping the surface moist or applying curing compounds, should be followed to ensure adequate hydration of the cement.
  4. Full strength: Concrete typically reaches about 70% of its design strength within 7 days and continues to gain strength over time. Most concrete mixes achieve 90% to 95% of their design strength after 28 days of curing. However, the curing process continues beyond this period, and the concrete can continue to gain strength for months or even years.

It’s essential to follow the recommended curing practices and allow the concrete to gain sufficient strength before subjecting it to any significant loads or traffic. The specific drying or curing time for your concrete project may vary based on factors such as the mix design, environmental conditions, and the desired strength. Control joints (expansion strips) and curing compound will also be necessary when creating the concrete walkway