Thursday, June 9, 2016

Walkway Project

what our parking area and walkway used to look like

I've never liked the walkway, despite it being a fairly recent addition when we bought the house (it was even mentioned in the real estate listing). It doesn't work with the driveway, it seems out of place, and the pavers get slippery when wet- we've all slipped on more than one occasion.

We used to park parallel to the walkway but we want to put in a car port and it wouldn't look right in that spot above. It would be too close to the house and it would block access to the shed.

After thinking about it for awhile, I decided to change the orientation of our cars so that we're parking perpendicular to the walkway. The cars are a bit further from the house, but the positioning makes a lot more sense for a carport location and the shed remains easily accessible. However, we have to drive over the walkway to get to the parking spots. This isn't a huge problem though, since it gave me the perfect excuse to finally do something about that icky walkway.

the new parking arrangement

I started working on the landscape timbers that delineated the walkway. One came out easily because it was rotten. The rest were a lot more difficult to remove. After some prying and digging I discovered there was actually another row of landscape timbers below the visible row, which is why it was so hard to remove them.

After removing the landscape timbers around the end of the walkway we raked gravel into the void left by the timbers. The timbers closer to the house were being stubborn, so we left them for the time being. I left the pavers in place until I could remove them another day.

After driving over the pavers for a week or so they loosened up and I decided it was time to pull them out so they didn't become a hazard to the car.

The pavers were seated in and surrounded by pea gravel which we raked smooth. We also raked in some of the driveway gravel onto the grass since we're now driving on the grass and that grass is not going to stay there.

As I pulled out the pavers, I had to decide where to move them. While I don't care for them, I don't want to just chuck them. I also want to tackle the landscaping around the house over the next year or so, so I decided to use the pavers to round out the flower beds since the corners are impossible to mow with the ride on mower and our weed whacker doesn't work (probably clogged fuel filter or some such). The corners also collect leaves and stay muddy. Putting the pavers in the corners gives us an idea of what shape the future flowerbeds need to be and what other changes we might want to make. The pavers won't stay there, they'll probably end up down by the garden/chicken coop or treehouse, but for now they're helping us visualize what we can do in this area of the yard.

Those icky corners with no grass (or moss) growing.

Corners filled in to give a better shape. We've mowed once since putting the pavers in place and the curves make for a much smoother mowing process.

We left it like this for a week or so, then finished ripping out the walkway when my dad was here. He pulled out the remaining landscape timbers and then Sunshine and I moved the rest of the pavers and raked the gravel smooth. 

timbers out

pavers out

my helpers

smooth gravel where the walkway used to be

The walkway gravel doesn't match the driveway gravel and there's not enough gravel to cover the grass that we're now driving on. We'll have to bring in a load or two of gravel before the car port goes in, so we'll worry about filling in gravel then. We'll leave everything alone for awhile while we decide what we do and don't like about this arrangement and determine what to do next. It's not high on our list of projects, so we have time to make up our minds. For now though, I am liking the changes.

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