Paving stones offer an inexpensive and durable way to improve the exterior appeal of your home. The look can be classic or modern, and can be attractive as long as you use adequate tools and planning to achieve a quality installation. Whether you are upgrading your walkway for your own benefit or to improve the curb appeal of your home, you should plan your project and use the best materials available.
Things You'll Need
- Interlocking bricks
- Base rock
- Geotextile fabric
- Jackhammer (optional)
- Work gloves
- Leveling board
- Wood planks
- Brick set
Planning and Design
Decide on a design . There are many options at a range of prices. Generally, interlocking bricks cost between $2 and $6 per square foot. If you are using multiple sizes or shapes of brick, determine what the finished pattern will look like to ensure that the bricks will fit together snugly.
Decide where to install your walkway. If there is an existing walkway you can install the new one right there.Otherwise you will need to roughly lay out the installation.
Measure the dimensions of the planned walkway. This will give you an idea of how many bricks to buy and how much other material you will need. Generally, the length multiplied by the width of the planned walkway will indicate how many square feet of bricks and base rock you will need to buy. Multiply that number by the depth of the space you will need to fill (usually about six inches) to estimate the amount of sand or gravel you will need.
Make a list of all the supplies and material you will need. Decide what you already own and what you will need to purchase.
Gather your supplies and materials.
Clear the space for the walkway. If there is an existing walkway, use a shovel or jackhammer to remove the existing brick or concrete.
Mark off the walkway by driving stakes along the edge of the planned walkway. Then run the twine between the stakes to indicate where the border of the walkway will be.
Dig out the hole where the walkway will be installed. The depth of the hole will depend on the depth of the bricks you will use. Six inches is a good estimate. Dig an extra four inches down to clear room for base rock and sand or gravel.
Lay out your tools and materials.
Install Walkway Base
Lay down one layer of geotextile fabric along the bottom of your hole. This will prevent the materials that you will put on top of it from mixing with the underlying dirt.
Fill in the hole with base rock. This is just cheap, rough-hewn rock that will give the walkway a little more strength and stability than if it were laying on dirt or sod. Fill the base rock to a depth of about four inches.
Lay down sand or gravel on top of the base rock and level it out with the leveling board. This material will fill in the cracks in the base rock to make a solid, level base for the brick.
Install Brick Pavers
Lay out the pavers according to the pattern you prepared. Begin at one end of the walkway in a corner and work outward radially.
Fill the large, open areas first. Don't be afraid to leave gaps in the walkway. You will fill these during the next step.
Measure the gaps that are left over once you have roughed in the open areas of the walkway. You will need to cut the remaining bricks to fill in these sections. Mark out the measured shapes directly on the bricks in pencil.
Score the bricks along the lines, using the chisel and hammer. Chisel at a slight angel to avoid fracturing the brick. Once you have scored the brick to a depth of about 1/16-inch, use the hammer and brick set to split the brick along the scored lines.
Fill in the gaps in the walkway with the cut bricks.
Pour a layer of sand on top of the bricks to fill in gaps between the bricks and solidify the installation. Sweep off excess sand with the broom.
Tips & Warnings
- The more you plan, the less trouble you will have installing the walkway. It is a good idea to draw out your planned walkway to scale before buying materials.
- Be careful when working with heavy equipment and materials such as brick and rock.
- Don't wear yourself out. Ask a friend or family member to help you with the installation.
- Photo Credit brick walkway image by PaulPaladin from Fotolia.com
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