I just had a contractor come and give me an estimate. He insisted that
what is required is to dig six inches down and pack the opening with
I was hoping to just build up to the grade that I wanted with fill and
tamp it down. Here's what I have so far:
Do you agree with the contractor or will I get satisfactory results
with my approach?
Depends on whether the ground ever freezes. If not, slap the stones on
compacted soil. If so, the substrate must be a drainage bed so freeze-
thaw cycles don't upset the paving. Both ways are right for specific
We live in SoCa and have no freezing problems. We poured 4" concrete over a
dirt base. Worked fine, no cracks after 15 years. The walk is 5'wide to
accommodate two persons walking next to each other.
I would not recommend separated, ungrouted flagstones in the main walk
leading to the entry. People will not be able to walk next to each other in
unison, they will be hopping around. Have you considered solid concrete with
some enhancement in the top surface? Can also lay tile on top, looks great.
If you insist on flagstones, make sure they are grouted together. But,
without a solid base of concrete, you will get cracks along the grout lines.
We have an area that looks just as yours does, but this is Florida (no
freezing). We leveled the soil, put down good landscape fabric, then
the pavers and river rock. We used larger rock so that we could clean
it with a leaf blower and not disturb the rock. Graded the soil beneath
it all so that there is a bit of slope to keep heavy rain (downspouts
drain on rock) from accumulating. Eventually, enough soil/silt deposits
on the stone area that an occas. weed takes root, but very easy to pull
the few that grow. With enough slope to the soil, can use a hose to
help keep the silty stuff from accumulating. We used heavy duty black
plastic edger (the stuff that looks like a hose lying on the ground,
with flange that is buried), as you want to keep rock out of the way of
On Mon, 14 Sep 2009 06:49:34 -0700 (PDT), Aaron Fude
Your way will look nice when you're done. A couple feet of snow & a
freeze-thaw or two, and it will start to look ragged & there will be
nothing you can do about it.
Dig down 6 inches, cover with landscape cloth, *MACHINE* compact, add
a good barrier between that grass & your stone, treat each spring with
an herbicide that lasts all summer, and you've got a beautiful walkway
for 25 years.
BTW-- I was thinking you were doing this in a garden or something.
IIRC you're in the frozen north? If you're going to clear snow from
that walkway in the winter you might want to rethink the whole thing.
Gravel is impossible to shovel and makes swell missiles from a
snowblower. . . . which you'll re-launch with a mower in the spring.
Makes you real popular with the neighbors.
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