When it comes to walkways for the home, you have several options. One of the most popular options is the stone walkway. These types of walkways offer a certain rustic charm that one does not get with brick or other types of materials. Stone walkways add warmth and character to a home as well. Here are some tips on how to install a stone walkway to your home.
When you select the stone for your project try to get the largest and thickest stone that you can handle. Heavier stone means more stability. You also want to get stone is flat rather than too bumpy. This can help prevent tripping and falling.
When choosing the path for your walkway, try to avoid placing it too close to large trees. Over the years, the tree roots might upend the stones.
After you have a mental picture of your path, you will need to set it out and mark it. Straight walkways are much easier to work with and mark. You simply stand on end of the path and using string, mark the projected path. Mark each side of the pathway with stakes. You will then need to decide on how wide the path will be.
A rule of thumb is to make your path wide enough for two people to walk along it without crowding each other. You can, of course, make the path any width you wish. Once you know the width, mark it with string and stakes.
If you are going to make a curved path, use garden hoses instead of string for marking the path. This allows you to make those graceful curves that you are after, something that string simply will not do.
Once you have your path laid out and marked, use a spade to remove about five inches of earth within the entire area that you marked off. After getting this layer of soil out, you need to smooth down the bottom of the area, making it as flat as possible. Spray some water onto the bottom of the area and tamp it down tightly with a tamping tool.
Place landscaping fabric into the area. This will help to prevent weeds from growing up through your stone. Add about two inches of sand over the fabric and tamp down. You now have about three inches of unused area, which is just about right for most stones that are used for walkways.
Begin placing your stones at one end of the area. Use your imagination and have fun as you continue to add stones. Try to keep the spaces between stones small but also remember that smaller stones will be used to fill these spaces as well.
Use a level to make sure that your stones are as flat and level as possible. Once you have the stones in place, fill in the gaps with sand and tamp down as firmly as possible. You will need to add sand to the pathway over time, so any left over sand that you have you should keep for this purpose.