Garden Paths and Hardscapes
Yankee Plus Dec 2015
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Good landscaping is about more than just plants. Paths, benches, walls, water features — they’re all part of hardscaping and can make or break the look of your yard and garden landscape.
In the competitive housing market, every feature of a home is crucial in attracting potential buyers. The home’s exterior makes the first impression, and hardscapes, as important elements of landscaping, play a critical role gaining a return on value. Along with helping a property stand out in buyers’ minds, a carefully thought-out landscape using hardscapes allows homeowners to express their creativity and personality through the variety of options available.
Create your own path
A well-made concrete walkway or garden path not only stands up to years of hard use, it enhances the natural landscape and complements a home’s exterior features.
Traditional walkway materials such as brick and stone can be pricey and often difficult to install. As an easy and inexpensive alternative, you can build a new concrete path using manufactured molds, such as the Quikrete WalkMaker building forms. The result is a beautiful pathway that mirrors the texture and appearance of brick or natural stone with all the durability and economy of poured concrete.
Here is a simple, step-by-step process for making your own beautiful pathway. This is a weekend project one person can easily complete for a minimal cost. Typically, the cost to install a 10-foot-long concrete path is about $50 to $60 for materials.
- concrete mix or crack-resistant concrete mix
- liquid cement color
- polymer-modified jointing sand (optional)
- excavation and site preparation tools
- building form
- wheelbarrow or mixing box
- margin trowel or finishing trowel
Prepare the project site by leveling the ground, removing sod or soil as needed.
Step 2: Mix a batch of concrete for the first section, following the product directions. Place the form at the start of your path and level it. Use a shovel or trowel to fill each cavity of the mold with wet concrete. Consolidate and smooth the surface of the form using a concrete margin trowel.
Step 3: Promptly remove the form and then smooth the edges of the section with a trowel to create the desired finish (it may help to wet the trowel in water). For a nonslip surface, broom the section or brush it with a stiff brush. Rotate the form one-quarter turn (90 degrees) with each section to vary the pattern. Place the form against the finished section and repeat steps 2 and 3 to complete the next section.
Step 4: Repeat until the path is finished.
With a variety of form patterns available (Basket Weave Brick, European Block Brick, Country Stone and Running Bond Brick), you can create a pathway, patio or walkway that matches your home’s style.