New concrete driveway, patio, and walkways


I am looking to replace a home driveway, patio, and connecting walkways, and am gathering quotations. I am posting here to ask for help with several items:
1. Is a concrete job ok to perform at this time of the year in the northeast U.S., starting next week, where daily temperatures are in the 60's and night-time lows can be possibly be in the low 50's, maybe high 40's? The job supposedly will be completed by the end of next week.
2. Is a 4 inch thick, 4000 PSI, 6-1/2 bag mix with 10/10 gauge mesh a reasonable method? Should I consider asking for 5" or thicker, more cement bags per yard, heavier mesh, etc.?
3. Expansion joints using 1/2" fiber "as needed" are being offered. Should I insist on expansion joints every "X" number of feet instead? The climate here is well below freezing in the several months of winter and in the high 80's in the warmest months of the summer.
4. The job calls for about 2600 square feet of concrete, about half for the driveway and the remainder for a large patio and 3 walkways. A rough guess is 27 yards of concrete to be installed after removing existing concrete, compacting the base, pouring gravel as a sub-base and then installing the new concrete. Any wild guess as to what a job like this should cost?
I would very much appreciate any other thoughts or suggestions as well.
Thanks very much for help and suggestions.
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IMO- This is the best time- especially since it has been so dry. As long as it doesn't freeze for a week or so you're golden. And when you see the heat it will throw off you'll quit worrying about a light frost.

Plenty for the sidewalks & patio- but I'd lean towards 6 for my driveway. With fiber- and air-entrained. Things can be fine for 20 years- then that delivery truck backs in one day & you'll be glad you spent the extra now.

Local codes likely spell that out-- I'd at least have each contractor spell out how *they* interpret 'as needed'.

I get 32 yards if you go with 4" throughout-- but the concrete will be the least of your expenses. How rough a job it is to tear out- and how/where it gets carted away will probably be the biggie.
You might want to ask your favorite concrete contractor for a quote without the tear-out. That's just plain bull work. The replacement is an art.

Give a call to the local concrete supplier. The one whose trucks you see all the time. Tell him your thoughts and ask for suggestions. I've found those guys to be real talkative, and nobody knows the concrete business better. They probably won't be able to suggest a contractor, but they can certainly give you some of the right questions to ask.
I'd consider pricing stamped concrete. We stay at a place in Stowe, VT that has a bunch of stamped & stained concrete that is absolutely gorgeous.
Jim
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Jim gave you great answers.
Time of year - best.
4" concrete is adequate. I would go to 5" on the driveway. Mesh is NOT reinforcement, it only serves to keep concrete together after it cracks. There are many engineers that feel that fiber mesh is equivalent to mesh. If you want to reinforce the drive, consider #3 bar on 18" centers. The biggest issue is compaction and quality of the subgrade. Very important depending on how much tearing up occurs with removal.
Expansion needs to be wherever the concrete is trapped such as between buildings or between the garage and the street, and at least every 30'. Saw cut or joint T/4 all concrete into squares, i.e. if the walk is 5' wide, joint every 5'. If the drive is 10', joint every 10. Make sure that if they use a jointer, it has a deep keel, at least 1" deep. If these are saw cuts they should be made the same day as the pour. Make sure there are plenty of cuts at re-entrant corners. NEVER pour more than 12' in any direction without a joint, if the drive is over 12' wide make sure to cut in down the center, even though this adds more cross cuts to keep the sections square. Joints are crucial, but I feel the contraction joints are more important than the construction/expansion joints.
2600 SF @ 4" thick is 32.5 CY. A thicker drive will increase the yardage. Concrete costs and labor costs vary extremely around the country. Ability to access the site for demolition and replacement may add a substantial cost.
Where I live, I would expect $1 to $2 for demolition and haul off and +/- $5 per SF replacement. Decorative would run at least $9.
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DanG
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DanG wrote:

Thanks VERY MUCH Jim and Dan for your excellent help. I have a couple guys coming out later today to give me quotes and I now know a bit more about how to request / spec the job.
I am extremely favorable to decorated / stamped / colored concrete but my wife is pretty strong opposed on the grounds that the snow plowing and shoveling done here on almost a daily basis will quickly ruin the surfaces. She and I are also concerned about traction since we are "golden agers" and want to have nice stable surfaces under-foot during the icy and wet weather.
Are traction or plowing damage really big issues?
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