• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shows how to lay a beautiful and long-lasting pathway.

    Steps:
    1. Use a shovel to dig 8 inches of soil from the walkway area.
    2. Cover the excavated area with about 3 inches of ¾-inch stone mixed and stone dust.
    3. Spread the stone evenly with a garden rake.
    4. Use a gas-powered plate compactor and a hand tamper to tightly compact the stone base.
    5. Use a laser level to establish the height of the pavers at each end of the walkway. Subtract to find the difference between the two dimensions, then divide the remainder in half. The resulting dimension is the midpoint height of the walkway.
    6. Insert a wooden stake into the middle of the walkway and use the laser level to find the midpoint height on the stake. This represents the paver height in the middle of the walkway.
    7. Cover the compacted stone base with about 4 inches of sand.
    8. Compact the sand with the plate compactor and a hand tamper.
    9. Stretch a mason's line along each side of the walkway to represent finished height of pavers.
    10. Measure down from each line a distance equal to the thickness of the pavers. Press a metal pipe into the sand to represent the bottom of pavers.
    11. Pull a 2x4 screed across the metal pipes to remove the excess sand and establish the finished height of the sand bed. Remove the pipes and fill in the resulting grooves with sand.
    12. Starting along one edge of the walkway, set the pavers down onto the sand bed. Be sure to stagger the joints to form a running-bond pattern.
    13. When necessary, cut the pavers to size with circular saw fitted with a diamond-impregnated blade.
    14. Install plastic edging around perimeter of walkway to hold the pavers in place. Secure the edging with 12-inch-long spikes.
    15. Cover the pavers with ½ inch of sand, and then run the plate compactor over the walkway to drive the sand down into the joints between the pavers.
    16. Use a push broom to sweep the excess sand from the walkway.
    17. Wait one to two weeks, then sweep more sand across the walkway to fill any voids between the pavers.
    • Difficulty: Hard
      Laying even a short walkway is strenuous work
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    Video Directory

    Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • wheelbarrow
        Wheelbarrow
      • pointed shovel
        Shovel
      • metal garden rake
        Garden rake
      • plate compactor
        Plate compactor
      • tamper
        Hand tamper
      • circular saw
        Circular saw with diamond-impregnated blade, for cutting concrete pavers
      • laser rotating level
        Laser level
      • sledge hammer
        3-pound sledgehammer
      • push broom
        Push broom
      • 2x4
        Long, straight 2x4, used as a screed to level sand layer

      Shopping List

      ¾-inch crushed stone mixed with stone dust (a.k.a.: pack)

      Sand

      Concrete pavers

      Mason's line

      3-foot-tall wooden stake

      Two ¾-inch-diameter x 10-foot-long galvanized metal pipes

      Plastic edging