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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

help with front walkway

tjmacsJune 7, 2012
Thinking about using pea gravel and large pavers combined with existing sidewalk and cement steps.
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The existing flagstone path was lower than sidewalk and driveway (on the left outside photo). Water and dirt drained to center and we kept tracking sand into the house. I'd like to retain the existing cement sidewalk and driveway if possible and level with pea gravel then add large pavers. Looks like I need another poured concrete step onto the porch. I don't want to tear out sidewalk if I don't have to.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 8:57AM
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HI -- Give some thought to using some composite decking to make a new step and a wooden sidewalk. More charming . This could all sit on top of the old sidewalk. Or you can have brick pavers layed over top to raise things up to the proper level.
    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 9:11AM
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Manon Floreat
Hi, tjmacs. I love the idea of pea gravel and pavers for your new walk! Although these aren't porch entires, they give you and idea of how it could look. Good idea and good luck!

Ron Herman Landscape Architect · More Info

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 10:02AM
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Do you mean composite wood, like on a deck? That would give me more flexibility in shaping around landscaping, and make it easier to combine different areas and adjust height up to porch. Thanks for the suggestion.
    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 10:06AM
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I love the combination of pavers and gravel! One more inspiration photo, this one slate and river rock, just for variety in size and color:
Leslieville curb appeal · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 10:11AM
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Love that look too....so modern and cool!
    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 10:22AM
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You DON'T have to change the concrete porch or concrete side walk. Use them because they are stable and properly built. Adding wood on top of the concrete porch will lead to rotting issues with your home's porch columns.

What you do have to do is understand is that something laid on an un-compacted or loose soil with bad drainage will settle in a short time. When it is well laid it will last a long time. Doing right is mind and labor intensive.

Search for videos on PBS "Ask This OLD House" or "This OLD House" Your walk project has been a subject of these shows many times over the years.
2 Likes    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 11:56AM
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Mint Design
I agree with houssaon. I would have the flagstone walk replaced....but raised to the correct level and sloped. I do not think the apparent style of your home lend itself to pea gravel and you will have too many different elements going on there.
    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 12:07PM
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Kathryn Peltier Design
I see the photos you have posted on your page, and I agree that the pea gravel/paver combination that you have in mind would look nice. As houssaon says, preparation for whatever material you use is key. Personally, I think replacing the flagstone would look the best, Another thought: do you live in a cold climate? Because if you have to clear snow, the pea gravel will be a nightmare.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 7:50AM
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Depends on your budget. A visually creative and well designed entrance would create curb appeal, visually extend your porch and solve your water/walk problem. Adding some deck lighting to the deck/walk to highlight your lovely landscaping at night. It will be beautiful - visually extending the porch with low maintenance TREX raised decking walk to the driveway. (with or without pergola). This could be lovely if planned and designed well. Take extra care and time to plan the support base and any other electrical requirements (for lighting) early on the project. Then it can be completed in stages as money permits. The flagstone can be reused easily in step down and planting areas..
    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 8:19AM
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When we redid our front sidewalk, we thought of pavers too but I've seen from others that over time they become uneven. We went with stamped concrete. You get the look of pavers without the future headache. I also agree with Mint Design on sloping so water doesn't collect in the future. Good luck
    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 8:36AM
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From past experience, pea gravel can be a nightmare for several reasons - one, since it's round, it tends to move around and accumulate on top of your pavers/stone. Two, even with weed barrier, it's a weed magnet. Three, it gets messy looking quickly with leaf/plant debris all over it. I'd think pavers alone would be a much nicer look, esp. for a front entrance.
2 Likes    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 8:38AM
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Ann Smitt
Your ideas are all solid. Just make sure you prep the area properly, slop away from the house, and don't use pea gravel if you have heavy snows. Looking forward to seeing pictures of your new walkway.
    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 4:20PM
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If water drains to this area, why not try pervious concrete? You could even stamp/color it if you like.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 4:34AM
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The sidewalk and drive of our 1955 ranch was cracked, uneven, and unsightly. We considered several solutions...to "cover" the problem. We really didn't want the "pain and expense" of tearing it all out and re-pouring, but at the end of the day we did just that. We chose concrete with exposed aggregate finish and although it created a mess to completely re-do, we are so glad we did. We receive compliments all the time from neighbors and walkers in the neighborhood.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 11:50AM
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Hello, the problem with pea gravel is it will go in the house, and if you have hardwood floors, don't recommend it. I would go with the other suggestions,, trek for some step and make a small deck to enjoy or a stamp concrete with color with look nice. I would leave the rest alone, why break that up and spend more money that you don't need to. Spend the money where it counts on a Professional and get 3 estimates to compare and how professional they are and interested in the job. That always helps and go with your gut. The guy with the best van or website sometimes does the worst job. Check references as well. Good luck.
    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 3:21AM
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Take a look at some tumbled belgian block. I think it would suit your garden area very nicely, If done right, meaning a bed of gravel then tamped sand (you will have to rent one) there shouldn't be any puddling and the sand gives good drainage to the area. Concrete has a habit of cracking, I'd stay away from that.
    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 3:46AM
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Monarch Stone International
Good suggestion from etsy.com/NewJersey/Accents... our recommendation is to consider full height cobbles. Granite cobblestone will withstand all the weather temps...never cracking, and will look lovely with your home exterior. Definitely lay on natural base to allow for permeability/drainage.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 1:51PM
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