A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Walkway

Everyone wants to upgrade their home. A home is someone’s living space and personal environment. How a home is set up can affect how one sleeps, eats, and lives. Making sure that one’s home is in the best possible state should always be a priority, but such an upgrade can be costly. Large scale home renovations can be particularly expensive, especially when they require the hiring of a contractor. Some home remodeling projects, such as installing a stone walkway, can actually be accomplished by the homeowner. But these tasks can often appear overwhelming and force the homeowner into hiring skilled labor. For homeowners looking to upgrade their properties on a budget, do-it-yourself renovation may be the perfect solution. DIY remodeling, when done right, is an affordable method of renovation that also lends itself as a learning experience. Examples of some easy home renovation projects in the Florida area include driveway coatings from Jacksonville, concrete coatings from Jacksonville, or even garage floor coatings from Jacksonville. Too often, interior projects like this take priority over garden or patio renovations. For that reason, here is a step-by-step guide to assembling a stone walkway without relevant professional experience.

Construction Parameters

Before a homeowner can start building, they have to properly evaluate what they want and how they want to accomplish it. Stone walkways can provide a nice cottage garden design that is ideal for a homeowner trying to elevate their back or front yard. The design of such a walkway, however, can vary greatly depending on the stone chosen for assembly. Things like these are important to factor in when planning for a mini-construction project. Some stone paths are laid in mortar and require experience with stone masonry. The choice for this particular project is a sandset path, which makes the process much more beginner-friendly.

Steps For Construction

Plan the Walkway

The first step is to establish the boundaries and pathing for a particular walkway. Using markers like flags or rocks is a great way to shape a path without it moving around. For pathways that are going to curve, string and stakes can be invaluable. This method of path planning also allows the marker to stay in place as one builds. The key to planning a successful path is to consider width in addition to length. A path should ideally accommodate two people walking side-by-side. While this sort of decision is up to the discretion of the renovator, it is something to keep in mind.

Prepare the Path

This step is often the most physically demanding, so any home renovator should make sure they are capable of performing this task. Assistance from family members and neighbors is often an underutilized resource. Using a flat spade or sod cutter, carve out the grass in accordance with the path boundaries set from the previous step. All of the grass and weeds must be removed before one starts to dig. This will make digging easier and make for more precise edges. The depth of the path should be about 5 inches in height per three inches of stone. The most important thing to remember when excavating the path is to create a smooth and flat bottom surface. This can be achieved by tamping the soil with a hand tamp or by walking over it.

Construct Edging

This is an optional step for installing a barrier along the sides of the path. Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions on the stone kit purchased, a homeowner can determine the type of edging that is used. Some of the different types of edging available include plastic brick paver, wood timbers, or galvanized metal. The reason why this step is optional is that the grass and soil around the path will keep the stones in place. Edging, in this case, is a stylistic choice instead of a pragmatic one.

Set Up Landscape Fabric

Landscape fabric often comes in sheets or rolls so that they are more easily used. These sections of fabric should be placed around the bottom surface of the dugout. This prevents other plants or grass from growing in-between the stones and dislodging the arrangement.

Create a Layer of Sand

Two inches of sand should be spread over the landscape fabric to leave the perfect amount of space for the stones to be flush with the topsoil. This is the base just below the stones, so make sure to make it smooth and level like the layer below it. Sand often can be purchased in bags, which makes them quite heavy. Every renovator should make sure they have some sort of method of transportation and dispersion for each bag.

Lay Out the Stones

This involves organizing the stones in their desired orientation before setting them on the sand. Laying out the stones is a very underrated part of the construction process. It helps to determine which stones fit and whether some will have to be cut down to squeeze into the path. Anytime a renovator or contractor is dealing with stone pathing, planning out the interlock is incredibly important. If someone skips this step, they could be looking at having to redo entire sections, if not all, of the stone setting.

Set the Stones

Setting the stones is one of the most straightforward steps in building a pathway. The three things a renovator has to remember when setting stone are stability, spacing, and leveling. With regards to stability, just make sure that all of the stone’s flat surface is in contact with the sand. Use a carpenter’s level or an iPhone to make sure that the stones are level and not crooked. If done improperly, the walkway could become a tripping hazard. Finally, keep a 2-inch space between every stone. This allows for movement without the stones sliding out of place.

Fill In the Gaps

Whenever there is a project that requires gravel or sand, the renovator or contractor should always purchase a little bit extra. This extra amount can be used to fill in the gaps between the stones and fix parts that become uneven later. The sand should be level with the stones. Just be mindful of moving stones that have already been set.