Making a path with concrete molds
Has anybody had any luck using the plastic 2 X 2 concrete molds available on the market? I know Quikrete has a couple different styles as do Lee Valley (they typically resemble brick or cobblestone).
I have a 650 s.f. path and patio job to do and was quoted $10/s.f. for stamped concrete. I figured I can do this for MUCH less if I buy a few of the molds for $25/ea., rent a mixer and buy the bagged concrete myself @ $5/bag.
I appreciate there is a difference between stamped concrete and using these molds but it might be a decent alternative to the high cost of hiring out a stamped concrete outfit.
Anyway..if anybody has experience with something like this I’d like to hear how your project turned out.
I have used them, made a nice level path for log home, she had real stones originally but they were not level and hard to mow or clean snow. after the cure, leveled black dirt in and grass, looks ok, like stepping stones. A Buddy borrowed my mold and did his patio. Only thing is color diffrence between pours, have low slump mix, you have to flip mould back and forth for pattern, and it is SLOW. Buddy bought me another mold ( on sale for $17) now have two so that would speed things up. On original job I also made up some extra's on piece of plywood so if wanted to replace or add.You could be inventive and add color if you want to the mix . I think it makes a more attractive walk way / patio and not much more work than laying flat patio blocks .
IF IT WAS EASY, EVERYONE COULD DO IT !!!!!!!
thanks artworks...I like your suggestions.Mike
If you have experience with concrete then I'd say go for it yourself, plus one other friend. If you've never placed concrete before, then get at least two other friends to help out and get ready for adventure.
The price of bag materials and rental of mixer all sounds much more cost effective but then there's the labor factor and when it comes to concrete flat work, personally, I'd think about getting another bid before even considering doing it myself.
The guys that do it all the time make it look easy but I've never experienced 'easy' anything when the word CONCRETE is used as a descriptive adjective.
Thanks for the feedback. It does seem a bit slow going doing it myself but for the $$ savings I'd buy 4 of the molds to speed things up. I know some will argue with this but the labor cost of doing it myself on days off is ZERO. The only other quote I received was at $8.50 per s.f. + 13% tax. That still comes in at over $6000. I can buy alot of $5 bags of concrete for that plus I already have the excavation done when I hired a bobcat to regrade my front yard. I'd probably need to haul in some sand though as I have about 4" of base gravel. The only other concrete projects I've attempted myself are 2 counter tops that turned out rather well I thought. I'm certainly not a finisher but this project seems manageable. I did read somewhere the suggestion of laying down hardware cloth under the molds to keep all the pieces together once cured. What do you think?I guess my big question is....would a $6000 stamped concrete job look "3 times" nicer than a $2000 DIY job. The other big thing is that I don't think I'll be in this property for much longer....Mike
would a $6000 stamped concrete job look "3 times" nicer than a $2000 DIY job.
I'd say yes, probably 95% of the time.
Done well, stamped concrete is quite good looking and done poorly is forever crap. Even if you get the physical concrete to look good, it takes a bit of touch and knowhow to get the colors just right, which are spread over the mud right before the stamp is put in place.
Some rental yards also carry rental concrete stamps, as might some other sources.
Buy a few bags and make a test patch before deciding.
You can always make your own molds, cast irregular shapes and create your own custom Concrete Garden Art.Joe Bartok
One way to do it really cheap, given that you're going to sell, is to get broken concrete from a demo job, and put it together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Yeah cant you poly up some 3/4" ply and make your own molds ?You could even make them like a Escher print so they lock together.
One more item I forgot to mention:
Remember, if problems arrise, break up the concrete into small chunks before it sets completely. Do not wait till the next day!