A Guide To Building Brick & Stone Pathways
As a DIY task, building a custom walkway for your home can be accomplished in a weekend
Creating a custom walkway for your home can be a creative and fun task for do it yourselfers everywhere. Combine paving with bricks, natural stone and accents to create your own walkway.
A new walkway is a great way to update the look of your home or property. It can also be an easy solution. Walkway building is a fun project for all skill levels and with a little bit of skill and muscle your path will come out looking professional. You will be moving materials and spend time hunched over or on all fours so be prepared for a little pain at the end of the day. A few tools are required including: a hand tamper, plate contractor, wheelbarrow, shovels, dolly, brick hammer, chisel, diamond bladed cutting tool and a trowel. These are all available from home renovations stores or from Canadian Diamond found at: http://canadiandiamondproducts.ca/
Step 1: Materials & Design
First you’ll want to map out the area where the path will run and choose the materials out of which it will be constructed. It is easiest to work on a gradual or flat slope so digging out or leveling the ground is a good first step. First layout the area your path will follow and then use soil or sand to build up areas or a tool to dig out or scrape until your area is fairly level. Dig the walkway down until you can add a gravel base of six inches and then your brick, with the resulting height being level with the surrounding ground. Make your walkway at least 4 ft wide and choose paving brick that is meant to be set into the ground and is rated for outdoor weather use.
Step 2: Build The Walkways Base
You’ll want a firm base on which to build you brick walkway. Once your path is dug down and leveled, add your gravel base. Here you can use a tamper to speed up the settling process. Use gravel in grades from course to fine in layers to ensure proper settling and support. Lay stabilization fabric beneath the gravel to avoid seepage.
Step 3: Laying The Stone Or Bricks
Lay down a level 1-inch layer of sand before you go to lay your bricks. Take care not to walk on this area, as you want it loose and level for setting your bricks. Measure beforehand to know which way to align your bricks and then begin methodically placing them into their positions. Leave areas where brick needs to be cut to fit until last because it is much more efficient to cut all the bricks at the same time. Keep your head up and ensure your path is laid straight. Gaps of under 1/8 inch are acceptable and can be filled by sand.
Step 4: Cutting Odd Sized Bricks
Use a diamond cutting tool to easily size up bricks for their respective placements. Wear a dust mask and ear plugs, as this step tends to be messy and extremely noisy.
Step 5: Install Paver Edging
Take your paver edging and fasten it to the brick along the perimeter of your walk. Nail it in place so that it won’t move as you tamp in the next step.
Step 6: Tamping Your Brick Walkway
Run one pass with the tamper as is. This first pass will spread the bricks evenly and bring sand into the gaps in-between bricks. For your next pass, spread sand over the surface of the bricks and tamp again. This step acts to lock the bricks together tightly. In total you should run four passes over your walkway, beginning with the edges and working to the center.
After this step your project is complete. A simple cleanup with a garden hose and your homemade custom walkway is finished. Enjoy the fruits of your labor.