There are many things you can do when you want to add or replace a sidewalk on your property. A long time ago, many sidewalks were made of stone slabs that lasted quite a while. Even those, however, broke after a time from wear and tear and overall exposure to the elements. As time progressed, new materials were used for sidewalks. Some of the most common today are cement sidewalks. These can have a long life if you know how to make them and care for them the right way. You do not want to have to replace them all of the time. Do it right the first time.
You are not going to get a cement sidewalk that lasts forever, but you can have one that is going to last longer than some that are made quickly and cheaply. Cement is sold by the square yard in many cases, or by square foot, so people try to save money by using the least amount that they can when they are deciding how think they want to make their slabs for each section of the cement sidewalk . If you only use an inch or two, you are not going to have a very strong sidewalk and you can expect to replace it rather soon.
Instead, make your cement sidewalk thick. Go at least six inches deep if you can. That requires more work and a lot more cement, but you are going to save money in the long run. If you are getting your cement from a truck, you may save a bit per square foot or yard if you are buying more. If you are mixing it on your own, make sure you get enough, and find out what the best mix would be for a long lasting and strong cement sidewalk. This is more important for along the street if you live in town, as others are going to use your sidewalk as well as you family.
Once you have your new cement sidewalk laid down, watch out for those that want to come along and add their own special touch. They may leave hand or foot prints in your new cement sidewalk, or they may add their initials. If you do not mind this, there is nothing to worry about. However, if you do worry and want your sidewalk to be as you laid it down, keep an eye out and smooth over anything that you see pop up in your cement. This is a bigger problem in high traffic areas, but your own children many find the temptation too strong to resist.
For the longevity of your cement sidewalk either existing or new, watch out for weeds. If there is a tiny crack in your cement, a plant will find a way to grow up through it. If that weed continues to grow, it can and will make the crack bigger. Once that happens, water and other weeds are going to find their way through your sidewalk and the damage will quickly build up. Pull any weeds you see as soon as you notice them, and then seal up any cracks that develop to avoid further damage to your new cement sidewalk.