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
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Frequently asked questions

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3 of 9 questions
  • Kathi Kathi on May 20, 2021

    Very nice! I've been trying to decide what to do with ours, this looks like a great idea!!!. Has anyone tried putting the sand that hardens (polymeric??) over the pea gravel to have it stay in place?

  • Jane Hurl Jane Hurl on May 20, 2021

    While the gravel looks lovely, wouldn't sand work better, in that it would be less prone to being swept away when you need to sweep for leaves and debris?

  • Kathy Chojnacki Kathy Chojnacki on May 29, 2021

    It’s a beautiful look, but I would have to buy and lay the wood for framing first. I’m thinking the price of the wood could make this project much more expensive. And I think I’d have to half bury the wood so it wouldn’t be able to move around. Any suggestions?

Comments

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4 of 45 comments
  • Rosemary Rosemary on May 20, 2021

    I too was fed up with people cutting corners and driving over my grass and gardens when turning into my laneway. My solution which worked 100%...strategically place large, decorative rocks at these locations. They are back far enough that snow removal is not affected.

    • Ellie Ellie on May 23, 2021

      I did do that. And now I don’t have anyone running over my bushes.

      Guess they pay attention now as those large boulders would really hurt their delivery truck. 😊

  • Cindy Cindy on May 20, 2021

    Good job, I tried this but found the gravel ended up in the lawn only to be slung by the lawnmower

    • Glenda Glenda on May 20, 2021

      I used pea gravel under a play center and it was ok under the lawn mower since it was smaller than regular size gravel.

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