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How to Fix Up an Entrance (page 4 of 4)

Concrete stairs and walkways can chip and wear away over time. Learn how to repair concrete steps then reface them with new stone. Then see how to lay a new paver walkway.

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Step 11: Prep the Walkway Base

First, figure out how wide you want your walkway to be. One factor determining the width of your walkway may be how long it extends. You want to make sure that your walkway is not out of proportion to the yard or front of the house. Center your walkway off the middle of the steps, and then use marking paint to mark the edges.

Starting from the outside in, use a shovel to dig down six inches for the entire length and width of the walkway. Next, lay down three inches of 3/4-inch crushed gravel to make sure that your pavers will have an adequate grade. Use an iron rake to spread the gravel out.

Set up a string line to use as a guide for the height of your walkway. Nail down an iron spike at one end of your walkway, to mark the top of your pavers. At the other end, tie down the string line so that it is flat against any pavement that the walkway will be lining up to. This will mark out the final height for your walkway. Use a compactor to compact the gravel until it is uniformly three inches down from your string.

The final step in prepping the base is to put down a 1-inch layer of concrete sand. Lay down some metal 1-inch pipes along the edges of your walkway to use as guidelines while you fill in the sand. As you fill in the sand, work backwards from the front stoop to the street, and remember to check the level as you work. Then run a screed board over it, to smooth and level the sand.

Step 12: Lay Down Pavers

Now it's time to lay down the pavers. Keep in mind that you can save time by setting your pavers down along the walkway to save time. Figure out what sort of pattern you might want for your walkway pavers. A good pattern will avoid any cross joints in your pavers. You may want to also be sure that the pavers add up evenly at the end of each row, so you won't have to make any cuts.

Before laying down pavers, measure out the center point on your steps, and measure halfway over, to where you want one of your walkway's borders to end. Then square a string so that it runs all the way down the walkway to the street. You'll use this as a guide for laying out your pavers.

Starting at the steps, lay down your first paver adjacent to the string line, and lay down your first row. Keep adding rows of pavers until you've reached the end of the walkway. Work from the sides to avoid disturbing the screeded sand, and remember to keep the joints tight.

Step 13: Install Snap Edging

After the pavers have been laid in, you can put down snap edging. Snap edging are strips of plastic that you place along the walkway borders, and will hold the pavers in place and keep them from moving. The snap edging is generally set below grade, and secured with landscape spikes.

Step 14: Complete the Project

Run a compactor over the pavers to push them into the sand base. This process helps secure the pavers. Remember to wear ear plugs while using the compactor. Use a broom to spread concrete sand into the pavers' joints, to give the walkway a finished look. Then spread loam to fill in the edges along the walkway. Hose down the steps and walkway, and you're finished.