Asked on Jun 04, 2012

Building a wooden walkway on a sloped ground - any ideas.

Tina C
by Tina C
We are rookies. Trying to build a structure simular to a dock except on the ground. The structure will start at an existing staircase and end at a gazebo. The grade is really challenging and it's really not an option to grade level. Not even sure where to start.
Building a 44" wide wooden pathway to a gazebo is posing a challenge
The finished product... three long steps that end at a great propane firepit! Thanks for all the suggestions...
  16 answers
  • So based on the photo you shown it appears that your grade on the yard is a bit uneven. There are a few things you need to do in order to end up with a professional quality deck on grade. You need to find the high spot and the low spot where the deck is going to be located. Then you need to determine exactly how high you want your finished deck to be off of the ground. Some decks can be even with the soil around the deck, and some extend above the grade by the width of the joists used to fasten the deck on. What you choose to do here is dependent upon what your final look is going to be. Just be sure that you make the area level before you even being to construct your deck. Its not a hard project to construct, but if the soil below is not level, it will make it more difficult even for the experienced builder to construct this simple project. Also be sure to provide drainage, You do not want to dig down so the deck is even with the grade and trap water, Bugs, and things that go bump in the night will love their new digs if water is present. Remember if your more then eight inches off of the grade to the top of the deck, you will be required to have a railing installed. So consider digging down below the grade level so the final height is close to even with the finished grade around the deck. You can also plant shrubs and gardens around the edge of the deck also, but still will be required to install railings even if you plant. This link shows you how to build your own deck without to much effort to support it.
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Jun 04, 2012
    Are you trying to build a board walk structure over that pit thing in the middle of where your deck is and the gazebo?
  • Tina C Tina C on Jun 04, 2012
    Thanks for the quick responses. I am building a "dock" going out to this gazebo -- we have allready rebuild the deck with composite material .. so I am trying to post pics of the new deck .. can't find camera with new photo's .. but we are building a 44" wide - 36' long DOCK to that gazebo...
  • Tina C Tina C on Jun 04, 2012
    I need help with building a long dock from the stairs to the gazebo. 44" wide x 36' long
  • Tina C Tina C on Jun 04, 2012
    another pic from the top
  • Dock, deck, or walkway. They all get built the same. You need to level as best as you can the soil leading from the deck to the gazebo, place the footings frame the stringers and nail down the deck boards. If the finished height is higher then eight inches, you need a railing along those areas. This of course assumes you want a wooden walk way. I would look into pavers or slate and create a more natural walkway then more wood.
  • Tina C Tina C on Jun 04, 2012
    Thanks Woodbridge! Your name is so appropriate for this project... the biggest reason we aren't putting pavers is my hubby refuses to dig into the ground because there is too much granite. We hit this granite everytime we dig. Thanks for the info... we are attempting to recycle most of the old deck in the process as well...
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Jun 07, 2012
    Living in the mountains with granite a rock all around me I can see why you don't want to dig....but to build a "bridge" or "dock" you are going to need to do a lot of digging for the piers or footers...ideally to frost depth. which for me is 4 feet deep. Why not just lay a gravel path, a course of "edge" pavers would contain it nicely....and it would follow the minor contours of the yard. I used some crushed stone in my drive a last year and it worked like a charm to keep the mud down. landscape timbers could also be used to provide a the following link you can see how I built / filled a parking spot for my trailer.
  • Tina C Tina C on Jun 07, 2012
    Thanks KMS. That's two votes on my side...I am ALL FOR a stone walkway... the slope isn't THAT bad... and I think the wood will be too staunch -- rock is more relaxed... and your right, we can still meet the objective of getting the mud out of the picture without having to use wood..
  • Lot faster to use also. To make it more walkable you can use slate set on the gravel. The type of gravel you choose will determine how squishy the feel of the stone is under foot. If you use round sand stone for instance, this type of stone is round and soft on the foot. But it also does not compact very well and will move around when you walk on it. Crushed gravel is much harder on your feet with all the sharp edges. But it compacts well and tends not to move once its compacted down. The last option is to use a fine quarry dust stone. This compacts well and because of the tiny size of the stone your feet will not be quite as sore when you walk on it barefoot. Take photos of what you decide. I vote for gravel as well!
  • Lu T Lu T on Jun 07, 2012
    this is how I solved SOME of the incline of my yard trying to get to the dock hope it helps with ideas.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Jun 08, 2012
    Lu t....that almost looks like the deck to some commercial marinas I seen...well done
  • Lu T Lu T on Jun 08, 2012
    Tina I wanted to post this with my previous reply about a vision but you can't add a pix to a response I guess. Anyway this is how I started. Just a picture and used the Paint program on the pc. I'm actually amazed how close the final product looks to this now. Hope that helps.
  • Tina C Tina C on Aug 23, 2012
    Thanks everyone for the help... we finished it with RESTORE and so far so good !
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Aug 24, 2012
    Great finish Tina !