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S19 E3: All About Walkways

In this special episode of Ask This Old House, Roger Cook, Jenn Nawada and Mark McCullough explain best practices for installing or repairing a walkway; Mark helps a homeowner install a new walkway using natural stone.

Previous episode: S19 E2 | Next episode: S19 E4

In this episode:

Roger Cook, Jenn Nawada and Mark McCullough explain best practices for installing or repairing a walkway.

Mark helps a homeowner install a brand new walkway using natural stone.

Jenn heads to Phoenix to recreate the desert in a homeowner’s front yard.

Roger helps a homeowner repair a crack in an asphalt walkway. He cuts the asphalt with a cold chisel and removes the tree root underneath.


How to Install a Rustic Stone Walkway

Mark installs a front walkway for a homeowner using natural stone.

Where to find it?

Because natural stone is a naturally-occurring substance, it will not always be possible to match other natural stone in a landscape. Mark suggests identifying the nearest stone and masonry yards first to see if they have what you’re looking for.

The natural stone stepper Mark used is called a “New York Paver”, which he got from Cavicchio Greenhouses.

The plastic edging is Vigoro No-Dig Landscape Edging Kit, and can be found at most home centers.

The compacter Mark used can be rented from most home centers. The other materials Mark used for this job, including the mallet and edging, can also be found at the home center.


How to Create a Desert Landscape

Jenn heads to Phoenix to recreate the desert in a homeowner’s front yard.

Where to find it?

In any landscape design, Jenn recommends looking for natural cues in the surrounding area to recreate in a controlled way in your yard. In this case, she identified an abundance of small stones coating the ground, plants spread far apart from each other, and undulating hills. Those cues informed the design in the homeowner’s front yard.

Jenn installed boulders, red yucca, lantana, bougainvillea, a few variety of cacti, and a Chilean mesquite tree. These can be found at nurseries, particularly in the Southwest region of the US and in zones 9 and 10.

Expert assistance for this segment was provided by Rod Pappas and Xeriscapes Unlimited, Inc., A-1 Materials Phoenix, All Season Nursery, and Horizon Irrigation.


Repair Asphalt Walkway

Roger helps a homeowner repair a crack in an asphalt walkway. He cuts the asphalt with a cold chisel and removes the tree root underneath. He then makes a clean saw cut with a diamond blade saw and patches the walkway with asphalt “cold patch.”

Where to find it?

Roger used “Latex-ite Super Patch” to fill the crack. It is manufactured by Dalton Enterprises.


Generation Next | Repairing a Paver Walkway

Roger teaches his apprentice how to identify and repair a walkway that’s been damaged by chipmunks.

Where to find it?

All the materials Roger used, including the rubber hammer, stone dust, and concrete, can all be found at home centers and landscape supply stores.


How to Replace a Concrete Walkway

Mark replaces a concrete walkway with brick pavers.

Where to find it?

Depending on the size of the walkway, Mark suggests that it’s easier to break apart the concrete using a pickax and a sledgehammer. For larger walkways, it’s possible to also rent a jackhammer from most home centers.

To dispose of the broken-up concrete, Mark used Bagster. These can be purchased at home centers, and then the pickups are scheduled online at their website. The website also includes guidelines for what can be thrown away in the dumpster and where it needs to be placed in order for pickup.

The clay bricks Mark installed on the walkway are City Hall Pavers, which can be found, alongside the other masonry materials used to install the walkway, at most brick yards.

The rest of the tools used for the installation, including the level, mallet, and plastic edging, can all be found at home centers.


Repairing a Broken Stone Walkway

Roger helps a homeowner repair a cracked stone walkway.

Where to find it?

Roger used thin ¾-inch bluestone to replace the broken pieces, which he purchased from Martignetti Enterprises Inc.

Roger set the bluestone in a mix of stone dust and water. He then filled the joints with polymeric sand to prevent weeds and discourage insects. Stone dust and polymeric sand are available at masonry supply stores.

Roger demonstrated cutting stone with a 4-inch grinder with a diamond blade and a 7-inch worm drive saw with a diamond blade and a water attachment. These tools are available at masonry supply stores and hardware stores.


Repairing a sinking brick walkway

Roger helped a homeowner with a brick walkway that was uneven and sinking in several spots. The walkway had been installed on a base of sand, so the only way to repair it was to remove all of the brick, remove the sand beneath, and prepare a new base. Roger made a new base made up of “pack” and stone dust. With the new base prepared, Roger created the edge of the walkway by installing a “sailor” course, in which the bricks stand upright, side-by-side. With the sailors in place, Roger filled in the field with the remaining bricks in a “running bond” pattern and swept stone dust into the gaps to lock the bricks in place. To keep the sailors firmly in place, Roger troweled a “wedge” of concrete on the outside of the walkway, just below grade.

Where to find it?

Stone dust and “pack” are available at some home centers, garden centers, and masonry yards. Power compactors can be rented at some home centers and many power tool rental centers.

Original Air Date: Oct 18, 2020 Season 19; Ep.3 23:43


Products and Services from this Episode

New York Paver:
Cavicchio Greenhouses

Edging:
Vigoro No-Dig Landscape Edging Kit

Expert assistance:
Xeriscapes Unlimited, Inc.
A-1 Materials Phoenix
All Season Nursery
Horizon Irrigation

Asphalt repair:
Dalton Enterprises

Concrete disposal:
Bagster

¾-inch bluestone:
Martignetti Enterprises Inc.