Backyard Walkway

Preparing the way for a concrete path


I'm putting in a 50-foot-long, three-foot-wide, ready-mix concrete walkway in my backyard.
What's the best way to prep the yard? Should I use gravel underneath? How long should each
section be?

– Nick, East Mckeesport, Pennsylvania


Roger Cook replies:
Excavate all loamy or organic material from under the walk. Since you may want to install
irrigation or electric lines underneath the walk someday, you should dig down two feet deep and install a
7-foot length of four-inch diameter plastic. Next add 6 to 12 inches of gravel — compacted so
that it doesn't settle — under the walkway. I like to make the sections of a concrete walk
equal in length, so I would probably put a joint in every five feet.
Remember, before doing any digging,
contact Dig Safe or your local utility locator company to pinpoint gas and utility lines and
save yourself potential headaches and harm. (If you don't know where to call, use the national referral line — 888-258-0808 — to get your local number.)


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