Easy $50 Walkway

4 Materials
$50
2 Hours
Easy

We removed a broken old concrete walkway in the front of our house with this lovely stepping stone and pea gravel walkway. Here's how we did it for $50 and no concrete pouring involved.

Completed walkway

I wanted a new walkway that I could do 100% myself. I didn't want to mess with pouring concrete so I decided on a stepping stone and gravel approach instead.


Here's how our walkway looked when it was complete. I've gotten so many compliments on it already!

Old walkway

The first owners of our house used landscaping timbers as a form and poured concrete into it for the front walkway.


Over time (and with delivery trucks driving over it again and again) the concrete cracked and was coming up in pieces.


First I used a sledgehammer to break up the old concrete even more into manageable pieces. I was amazing at how easy it was to break it up (my first time using a sledgehammer).


Then we threw the pieces into the back of my husband's truck and hauled it off to the dump. I used a garden rake to remove any large rocks and get a relatively smooth dirt layer for the new walkway.


It doesn't have to be perfectly level since you'll use leveling sand but get it as level as you can in this step.

Measure to determine how many stones to buy

I measured the length and width of my walkway to figure out how many stones to buy.


Since my walkway was rather wide I decided to use these large 16 inch by 16 inch stepping stones that were available at my local Home Depot.


I figured that with an inch or two spacing on all sides I would need 10 stones. You could add more or less space for filling with gravel to make the stones work.

Lay down weed fabric

Next I put down some weed fabric to make sure I never had to pull weeds out from between the stepping stones and gravel.


I made sure it went underneath the landscaping timbers and secured it with fabric staples.


Level with sand

Next I put down a bag of leveling sand and used it to create a flat surface for setting down the stones.


Use a piece of wood or level and drag it along the surface to make it flat. If there are craters fill them in with sand and drag your level across again until no more craters appear.

Lay down stones

Next lay your stone out exactly where you want them. Once you put the gravel in there is no moving them around!

Distribute gravel

To put the gravel down I dumped little piles on each stone. Then my daughter used a broom to brush them into the spaces between the stones.


When we needed more to fill in the spaces I just dumped more on the stone and let her broom it in.

Complete

And here it is when complete!


I love that if the delivery truck drives over a stone and breaks it all I have to do is replace that one stone.


And it looks lovely and Zen. What do you think?


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Leah Althiser

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Ellen Bertelsen
    Ellen Bertelsen
    on May 20, 2020

    I like the walkway. But I’d also want to reconfigure where the drive is if possible to avoid trucks coming over the walkway. Is that an option?


    • Leah Althiser
      Leah Althiser
      on May 25, 2020

      There might be a way? It's a circle drive with two sections and the part closest to the house is very close to the walkway

  • Melvyn. Weisberger
    Melvyn. Weisberger
    on May 21, 2020

    You say that UPS drives over it.Doesn’t the walkway go to the driveway . How does he drive over it .

    • Leah Althiser
      Leah Althiser
      on May 25, 2020

      It is a circle drive and the driver pulls up right next to the walkway that leads to the porch (and sometimes on to the walkway)

  • Marta
    Marta
    on Jun 11, 2020

    When you need to sweep debris and leaves off the walkway won’t the gravel sweep away too?

    • Leah Althiser
      Leah Althiser
      on Jun 11, 2020

      I have swept the rocks off a few times and no more than a few little bits of gravel have come off. If I was more careful i’m sure none would be disturbed.

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