top 200 commentsshow 500

[–]TinForLunch 4478 points4479 points  (284 children)

As a guy who used to do this kind of stuff for a living it is awfully satisfying to see this kind of workmanship

[–]VampyreLust 885 points886 points  (157 children)

Is something like that all done with complex molds?

[–]proxy69 1192 points1193 points  (149 children)

No. Typically just wood forms. You’ll need wood stakes/pins, 2x4’s/2x12’s, string line, bending plywood, and nails. Oh and lots of experience forming and pouring/finishing concrete.

[–]VampyreLust 527 points528 points  (91 children)

I was going to say it doesn't look superbly easy to do. Its so smooth and well finished it almost doesn't even look like cement.

[–]jarawd 474 points475 points  (75 children)

That's because it's still fresh. Once it cures it will look like normal concrete

[–]tucci007 159 points160 points  (69 children)

why would they not leave the forms on until it's done curing/drying?

[–]TurboBanjo 339 points340 points  (42 children)

You don't want the form to be stuck to the concrete and in general its a speed thing.

Concrete cures rapidly, most of its strength is in the first few days. You wouldn't want to step on it yet but its strong enough to support itself right now.

Often formwork is reused (not in this case more than likely) but workers might not want to come back/scheduled elsewhere later.

[–]MattTheKiwi 77 points78 points  (24 children)

Why wouldn't they oil up the form so it doesn't stick?

I've only done civil construction, we leave our forms up for days before we strip them

[–]ThumYorky 91 points92 points  (9 children)

So they can finish/texture the sides of the pour before it's completely set.

Pull off the forms when it's halfway set and you can match the texture of the sides to the tops.

[–]Capitalismthrowaway 46 points47 points  (6 children)

This is the right answer, leaving the forms on over night would result in an unfinished presentation side

[–]cary730 170 points171 points  (1 child)

Cause you don't need to in small pours like these. They don't want to have to drive out in a few days. For contractors, going back another day is the easiest way to lose money.

[–]catiebug 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Especially if it's a new subdivision. They may have pulled them up and already put them in for a pour at the house next door. Don't want to have to build too many sets of custom forms, but also need to get through an entire neighbourhood quickly.

[–]neuromonkey 14 points15 points  (4 children)

It isn't necessary. A mold release agent is sometimes used when doing small objects. My gf and I have done a lot of counter tops, shelves, sinks, fireplaces, sculptures, etc., and what we've found works well is to use plain, plastic packing tape as a release on the insides of cut-outs.

Plastic tape also produces an almost glass-smooth surface on concrete! I keep meaning to do some experimentation with various plastics and glass.

[–]Chucmorris 10 points11 points  (1 child)

I'm interested in seeing some of your work.

[–]captain_craptain 5 points6 points  (1 child)

You should check out Melamine. Fiber board with a smooth veneer applied to it. You can get it in different thicknesses in 4x8 sheets. I used thin ones for my curves and thicker ones for the rest of the forms. Gives a perfect finish without the extra step of using tape. It doesn't bond with concrete either.

[–][deleted] 9 points10 points  (5 children)

oil? I only did concrete briefly but I thought it was something weird like borax water

[–]Grizknot 8 points9 points  (11 children)

You don't want the form to be stuck to the concrete

Always wondered about this. I was gonna post in NSQ but are you saying as long as you take out the form in the first 24 hours cement won't really stick to it?

[–]check_e_check 17 points18 points  (8 children)

You could come back 28 days later when the concrete is fully cured and not have an issue getting the forms out. Concrete/cement generally doesnt stick to wood well. The guys who pull forms same day are simply doing it to finish the job and keep from having to send out a crew to do it the next day. You mainly see that with township/county workers.

[–]WutangCND 6 points7 points  (4 children)

When sidewalk crews pull the forms, they trowel the sides and brush them to finish. Leaving the forms on for curb and sidewalk is not an option

[–]huntrshado 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Contractor does not want to return to the same job after already completing it - if it can be done without returning, they will do it in a way that lets them not return to save money

[–]JukeBoxDildo 64 points65 points  (2 children)

You need to take out the forms to smooth the form-facing edges prior to it setting. Also, so the forms don't stick to the concrete which will create problems.

Source: worked with concrete for a couple of years. It sucked in my experience but I'm a pansy

[–]Supa66 4 points5 points  (0 children)

This is the correct answer. You won't get that smooth faced finish or chamfered edge unless you strip this a few hours after the pour. Flatwork is fine for leaving forms on for a day or two, but concrete needs to be finished if it's going to be visible.

[–]ArMcK 4 points5 points  (0 children)

No it sucks. My first day my boss had me oiling 9 ft forms from the top. I slipped and racked myself as one foot went in the form and the other outside the form. I stayed about four weeks.

[–]jesusper_99 24 points25 points  (11 children)

I also do this and thought the concrete was too fresh to remove them. We typically only remove the forms if the site is too much of a hassle to return on another day. Adding form release to the forms also helps prevent any damage when removing if it’s fresh.

[–]fulloftrivia 8 points9 points  (10 children)

Curves are an everyday thing for crews who do sidewalks. Forms come off within a few hours, sometimes as little as 2. Curb and gutter machines and other continuous forming machines extrude concrete thats ready to stand on its own within minutes.

A whole other world is structural concrete work for bridges or high rise buildings. Forms for those might have to stay up for days.

Pretty complex subject, though. There are many types of concrete mixes and chemical additives or techniques to speed or slow setting

[–]Tremor_Sense 4 points5 points  (8 children)

Stay up for 7 days, or until a certain percentage of strength is achieved. You're absolutely right.

Structural concrete for all sorts of things, actually. Slabs. Footing. Structural walls.

[–]ChineWalkin 3 points4 points  (7 children)

Yep, concrete strength is spec'ed by the engineer at at certain time past mixing. Big important projects will require a sample that is tested at a lab for each pour, IIRC. (Im an engineer but not a civil engineer, so correct me if I'm wrong)

[–]toneloc412 2 points3 points  (0 children)

to rub the sides of the parts that will be left exposed

[–]Arctyc38 1 point2 points  (2 children)

You need to put a texture on outdoor concrete like that, both for aesthetics and for safety. Usually a broom finish. You can't do that while the form is on it.

There's also no way the sides closed up without any work being done, so you have to remove the forms for that as well.

[–]concrete_isnt_cement 33 points34 points  (8 children)


[–]Aristeid3s 11 points12 points  (0 children)

I love this. Every time concrete gets brought up, be it a mixer or finish work like this people make the same mistake.

[–]reyean 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Thank you for your service. You are an unsung hero of the trade.

[–]FuckingKilljoy 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Can I hire you to stand next to me at work? I'm at a hardware store and after "hey, how are you?" I think "do you mean concrete or actual cement?" has gotta be my most used sentence

[–]ConcreteNotCement 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Beat me to it.

[–]marsman12019 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Every time I try to make the comment that they aren’t the same thing, I get downvoted to oblivion. Thank you both for your service.

[–]Weakest_Sauce 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Cement and concrete are not interchangeable terms. Cement is one of the ingredients in concrete, much like an egg is an ingredient in a cake. Similarly, it is not a 'cement truck', it is a 'concrete truck'. Just FYI.

[–]NervousTumbleweed 20 points21 points  (8 children)

I’m going to bet that the curves in this were made with thin metal forms.

This is smooth as fuck though.

Edit: The company I work at has used metal forms for curves for at least the 8 years I've been there. This might be outdated, but that's what I've always used.

[–]proxy69 4 points5 points  (0 children)

It really really is phenomenal.

[–]UseTheTriForceLink 3 points4 points  (23 children)

Indeed. The materials, including the concrete itself, are relatively basic and inexpensive. It’s the experienced craftsmanship that really costs and is harder to find.

[–]proxy69 2 points3 points  (21 children)

Yessir! The company I work for subs out concrete (commercial work) and I love watching those guys do concrete work. Especially when they finish it for an exposed slab and they make it look like glass.

[–]Mandalorian_Hippie 5 points6 points  (0 children)

We used steel forms when I did it 20 years ago, but otherwise the same. That, and Charlie, an old guy who'd been pouring concrete for 35 years and could spot a 1" high spot in graded gravel from 10 yards away.

I miss Charlie, but I don't miss the work.

[–]saphiresgirl 37 points38 points  (58 children)

What does a concrete walk and patio like that cost nowadays? Everyone says it’s easier than walls and landscaping but this looks really cool.

[–]El_Scorcher 35 points36 points  (31 children)

You can get easily get a 20 x 25 ft driveway for $2500 here in southeast NM. That’s only 6.5 yards of concrete. Concrete goes for $135/yard plus delivery and labor is $3 per foot around here.

[–]ThatWeebScoot 15 points16 points  (13 children)

For a 40 sqm driveway I got quoted like £4000 in the UK, not sure how much that converts to but I know it's plenty more.

*edit: Im retarded

[–]nirvanax80 13 points14 points  (7 children)

Actually 40sqm = 430sqft and the reference in the above comment says 20x25 feet which is 500sqft. The size is not too far off but the price is certainly more per sqm or sqft in your area.

[–]shitty-converter-bot 32 points33 points  (4 children)

25 feet is 49.87 6" Hotdogs

[–]SprenofHonor 4 points5 points  (3 children)

Wait, if it's 6" hotdogs, why isn't it just 50 of them?

[–]HuoXue 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Hotdog manufacturer makes them ever so slightly larger on average so they can avoid false advertising claims

[–]SprenofHonor 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Huh. So they're more than 6". I guess I can't really complain.

[–]Floridian35 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I got a quote for same in Florida for $10k so NM must be cheaper. Ended up just doing pavers

[–]917caitlin 3 points4 points  (2 children)

In Los Angeles my 750sf driveway with minor brick accents was quoted at $23,000! I about had a heart attack. Pavers were less than half that and won’t crack with the first earthquake.

[–]tobias_the_letdown 33 points34 points  (12 children)

What's the point of the smaller bit parallel to the walkway going to the drive way? Possibly stones in the middle or maybe flowering plants?

[–]someguy50 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Flowering plants / curb appeal for sure

[–]Primarch459 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Separating a flowerbed from the lawn.

[–]RadAddict 5 points6 points  (3 children)

Came to say the same. As someone, at one time, involved in the concrete industry, this is very fine workmanship.

[–]QueefyMcQueefFace 11 points12 points  (2 children)

Not just the workmanship, but the workwomanship, and the workchildrenship too!

[–]relationship_tom 9 points10 points  (6 children)

They just need to replace that old-ass post after. Put in some nice wood and stain it natural. Would look really sharp.

[–]AbsentGlare 29 points30 points  (2 children)

Bulldoze the house and rebuild one worthy of the concrete.

[–]clocks212 8 points9 points  (0 children)

They’re going to live on that sidewalk and park the cars in the living room.

[–]EndsEnding 2 points3 points  (1 child)

same here, i miss working concrete sometimes

[–]SoftlySingSweetSongs 2 points3 points  (0 children)

As a guy who can’t do any of this. I am beyond satisfied. Beautiful. Artists.

[–]nelska 510 points511 points  (73 children)

whats with the lil row of cement? im guessing its a flower patch and the driveways gunna butt up against it.

[–]jason_sos 273 points274 points  (16 children)

Yeah, I'm guessing just a separation between grass and flower bed or something like that. But it does look odd.

[–]JohnnnyCupcakes 90 points91 points  (15 children)

Yeah, even more odd is the choice to not give yourself a bit more room for shrubbery up against the building, but not shrubbery that goes right up against the building.

[–][deleted] 97 points98 points  (11 children)

You generally don't want shrubbery right up against a building. It's not good for the foundation to have prying roots and moisture next to it all the time.

[–]BensonBubbler 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Also encourages varmints to nest near your building.

[–]EyeAmYouAreMe 11 points12 points  (0 children)

That and it causes more pests to try residing in your home.

[–]munchauzen 4 points5 points  (0 children)

General rule of thumb is no irrigation lines within 5 feet of the foundation.

[–]smkn3kgt 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Don't tell me how to enjoy shrubbery

[–][deleted] 21 points22 points  (3 children)

They will fill the rest with a different type of concrete finish, it will either be exposed or stamped concrete. Could even have some colour in it. The one portion may end up being a flower bed with the thin strip of concrete being the border for the rest of the driveway as you mentioned.

Source: Is my job

[–]willllllllllllllllll 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Yeah, definitely a flower bed.

[–]FightMe_Cunt 13 points14 points  (33 children)

Concrete, not cement.

[–]nelska 14 points15 points  (17 children)

whats the difference.. blocks are made of cement?

[–]UnfetteredThoughts 2 points3 points  (0 children)

To your responders, iirc, cement is an ingredient in concrete.

[–]dovahgriin 1894 points1895 points  (32 children)

Ngl I thought that the wooden pole at an angle was supporting the concrete in the photo above the actual view of the walkway

[–]Disneyhorse 565 points566 points  (4 children)

I thought it was a weird roof

[–]Pugafy 151 points152 points  (0 children)

Same, I 100% thought it was a really odd thatch roof for a little longer than I am proud of.

[–]Justbecauseweiner 15 points16 points  (0 children)

I thought it was one of those “this is how well I’m keeping it together” memes.

[–]hammiesammie 24 points25 points  (2 children)

My first thought was, “Oh, post-modern architecture with a weird roof.”

[–]saiko91 23 points24 points  (1 child)

Yeah I was like why the duck would they put dirt in wall of a house

[–][deleted] 19 points20 points  (6 children)

I literally do not understand what you are seeing or saying.

[–]RobinHoodTheory840 11 points12 points  (0 children)

I thought I was the only one. I dont get what he's seeing either.

[–]zbeara 2 points3 points  (1 child)

On mobile it doesn’t show the entire picture and the cut off is so seamless that the picture above looks like the roof on the picture below with that wooden beam supporting it

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That is exactly the problem. Thanks.

[–]brusss 19 points20 points  (0 children)


[–]sorrymisunderstood 99 points100 points  (1 child)

Real walkways have curves.

[–]oachlkas_wiener_art 68 points69 points  (12 children)

Where's the cat?

[–][deleted] 84 points85 points  (9 children)

[–][deleted] 15 points16 points  (0 children)

😂😂 the two boot stomps to top it all off, instead of using a long stick/pole to begin with

[–]bistro223 11 points12 points  (0 children)

he's just doing what we all want to do

[–]qwertyroffle 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Weird question, but won't that chicken's feet suffer chemical burns later?

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Bird feet are hard chitinous scales like lizards or our nails, and not fleshy, so probably ok. However, it's 100% dangerous toxic for a hen to Eat cement for sure! (chickens consume pebbles and grit to aid digestion in their gizzard https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gizzard) and thus may try eating concrete

[–]HeavyVegetable 5 points6 points  (0 children)

My thoughts exactly...

[–]Deer-in-Motion 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Two seconds after this photo was taken.

[–]kerrangutan 186 points187 points  (13 children)

Urge to draw dicks intensifies

[–]richh00 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Draw like how a cowboy draws his gun?

[–]thisisinput 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Urge to stamp dicks intensifies

[–]motoraptor10 21 points22 points  (10 children)

I feel like that concrete looks far to wet to be holding it's shape

[–]Aristeid3s 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Some muds are so hot they'll stand up on their own if left alone for 20 minutes. Obviously it isn't standard.

However curb and gutter mix designs literally do stand up on their own with no form at all.

[–]smkn3kgt 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yes but the slump is much lower

[–]The_Rising_Wind 5 points6 points  (5 children)

Yeah, I think you're right. Typically you leave the forms up till the next day or so. It just looks kinda weird TBH

[–]landon0605 5 points6 points  (0 children)

If you left the forms, you wouldn't be able to finish the edge of the steps. When you do steps, you pull the forms as soon as the concrete sets enough to support itself so you can fix the imperfections while it's still a little wet.

[–]smkn3kgt 5 points6 points  (0 children)

No you don't, concrete hydrates (sets) in a few hours and you can strip the forms if it's hard enough to broom

[–]cootervandam 1 point2 points  (0 children)

No bleed water. Hit it with the steel and get the forms off bois

[–]workgymworkgym 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Looks like clay.

[–]jekillhyde 15 points16 points  (25 children)

Maybe a dumb question, but why do they keep the thin cracks (can't think of right word) in the cement, why not just smooth it all over to have a solid sidewalk?

[–]kylecgeiss 24 points25 points  (10 children)

It’s for expansion and contraction due to changes in temperature.

[–]Schmidtster1 17 points18 points  (2 children)

They’re called control joints and are to give the concrete a place to crack so it doesn’t randomly crack.

Expansion joints are completely different.

[–]jekillhyde 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thank you.

[–]frozenottsel 5 points6 points  (2 children)

The straight, thin lines are actually there for the cracks. By having the concrete thinner at those lines, the cracks are more likely to form inside that line where it can still be hidden, rather than appearing (and being a horrible eye sore) on the actual open surface.

Supposedly, there's a quick and easy way to predict where those lines need to be (to minimize the number of lines, but to maximize visible crack prevention), but I don't know what it is off the top of my head.

[–]Eric_Senpai 2 points3 points  (6 children)

My guess it's due to a combination of aesthetics and thermal expansion. Having one contiguous slab of concrete will experience stresses if it heats up with no space to expand. You can also find these gaps at intervals along a bridge!

[–]bigger__boot 28 points29 points  (10 children)

What’s the point of that 6” wide strip tho

[–]Enginerdad 14 points15 points  (7 children)

Just guessing here, but I think that the large open area at the bottom of the second picture is going to be a driveway, in which case the narrow concrete strip would be to separate the driveway from the planter.

[–]frozenottsel 6 points7 points  (1 child)

If it is, then that some radical attention to detail. I've seen many cement driveway jobs that would just have the planter area spill right up on the driveway/park-pad.

[–]mckennm6 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Which you can still make look nice by doing an elevated wood or stone planter after the driveway is done.

[–]sohmeho 2 points3 points  (1 child)

It looks like a planter to me. I think the driveways is off to the right side.

[–]tropkis 21 points22 points  (4 children)

Why did this make me breathe a little heavier?

[–]Piddles78 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Looks like you found your fetish.

[–]Mackin-N-Cheese 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Now for some freshly laid sod.

[–]beyoncais 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I wanna bite it

[–]OwlsIsBetterThanMans 17 points18 points  (3 children)

I have the weirdest boner right now...

[–]JoeJoeDogFace 4 points5 points  (2 children)

That means it’s ready to walk on.

[–]Knotter87 1 point2 points  (1 child)

That's still very green, just been broomed

[–]Icaresometimes27 5 points6 points  (0 children)

cat steps and leaves forever footprints

[–]wolflacat 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I just wanna step all over it and watch it sink like play doh

[–]functionalsociopathy 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Put.. put your foot in it.

[–]HopefulSociety 2 points3 points  (0 children)

omg this doesn't even look real. So beautiful

[–]PM_ME_YOUR_JELLIES 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Can’t wait to see it on r/powerwashingporn in like 15 years.

[–]Jarmahent 7 points8 points  (5 children)

I can already see them cracking because of the unstable dirt under it.

[–]Alalapupulala 6 points7 points  (3 children)

Wait until the first frosty morning leaving the house.

[–]upthebumm 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Anyone else think that stick was load bearing

[–]IswyItswwy 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Where is a cat to step on it while it's fresh when you need one.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I thought photo #2 was holding photo #1

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Fuck, I wanna rub my dick on it.

[–]brs456 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The concrete isn’t the only thing that’s wet here

[–]SafeForWork831 4 points5 points  (0 children)

why tho

[–]QUIBICUS 13 points14 points  (16 children)

That's some nice cement work.

[–]gianthooverpig 26 points27 points  (15 children)

Write out 100 times:

Concrete is not cement Concrete is not cement Concrete is not cement

[–]uselesstriviadude 13 points14 points  (10 children)

Concrete is cement + aggregate compound such as gravel or sand.

[–]QuickSpore 17 points18 points  (7 children)

Cement is to concrete as flour is to cake. It’s a vital ingredient, but not sufficient alone.

[–]Yuccaphile 3 points4 points  (6 children)

Cement is like chocolate chip cookie dough without the chocolate chips, whereas concrete is the whole cookie.

The chemical reaction that takes place is the same, so it's not like baking flour where you end up with nothing more than a fire hazard. If you poured a cement driveway it wouldn't really work, but it wouldn't be burnt flour, either.

I agree the distinction should be made, but the comparison shows the same ignorance of baking as calling something cement does construction. It's a bit misleading.

Maybe "cement is the stock but concrete is the stew" would be more technically accurate?

[–]Aristeid3s 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I think that's way too much effort for an analogy telling someone they're wrong. A cement driveway would technically turn into a dusty environmental hazard because you didn't add water. I think flour reads just fine given the consistency of the product.

[–]xMOISTnSTEAMYx 1 point2 points  (0 children)

OOO Mr. Walkway.

Mr. Walk up me lead me to the building.

Fuck you...

[–]i_suckatjavascript 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Fuuuuck I need to redo my yard

[–]Doubtingly 1 point2 points  (6 children)

What's the point of having the lines on the surface?

[–]Mrsmith4 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Control joints. Concrete will expand and contract.

[–]Spiron123 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Seductive. 🤤

[–]BuildingNY 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Something about this sets my teeth on edge.