• Steps:

    1. Pull up the old bricks and stack them neatly beside the pathway.
    2. Use a pointed spade to dig out all the sand from the pathway. Shovel the sand into a wheelbarrow and discard.
    3. Dig a 6-inch-deep trench along both edges of pathway for soldier courses of bricks.
    4. Adjust the orange grade line so the pathway will slope away from the house ¼ inch per foot.
    5. Run a plate compactor back and forth over the excavated pathway to compact the soil.
    6. Spread a 2- to 3-inch-deep base of ¾ inch crushed stone mixed with stone dust over the pathway.
    7. Run a plate compactor over the crushed-stone base. Use a hand tamper to compact corners and other areas missed by the plate compactor.
    8. Add another 2 inches of crushed stone and compact again.
    9. Use the claw of a mason's hammer to dig a shallow trench along both sides of the pathway for installing form boards.
    10. Install a composite decking form board, aligning it with the yellow line; secure the border with wooden stakes.
    11. Raise form board to the orange line and secure it to the wooden stakes with 2-inch screws.
    12. Install the second form board in the trench along the opposite edge of the pathway.
    13. Cut 2x4 spacers equal to the inside width of the pathway, and set them between the two form boards.
    14. Raise the form to the orange line and screw it to the stakes.
    15. Spread about 1 inch of stone dust over the excavated pathway and compact it flat.
    • 8 to 10 hours for a 20-foot-long pathway
    • About $200 to $300 for a 20-foot-long pathway
    • Difficulty: Moderate
      requires spending quite a bit of time on your hands and knees, but the plate compactor speeds the process immeasurably.
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    Video Directory

    Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • plate compactor
        Gas-powered plate compactor, used to tamp down the ground and stone bed
      • tamper
        Hand tamper, used to compact areas missed by the plate compactor
      • trenching spade
        Pointed spade, used to dig out old sand
      • metal garden rake
        Garden rake, for smoothing stone base
      • sledge hammer
        3-pound sledgehammer, used to pound in wooden stakes
      • mason's hammer
        Mason's hammer, for excavating shallow trench for form boards
      • drill
        Drill/driver, used to drive screws through form boards
      • wheelbarrow
        Wheelbarrow

      Shopping List

      ¾-inch crushed stone mixed with stone dust, used as a base layer

      Stone dust, used as a setting layer

      Metal stakes and yellow nylon string, used as guideline for establishing the soldier course of bricks Bright orange nylon string, used as guideline for establishing the finished height and pitch of the pathway bricks

      Composite decking, used as form boards along edges of pathway

      1x4 wooden stakes and 2-inch screws, for supporting form boards