Sidewalks & Walkways

One of the fastest and easiest hardscaping projects is a sidewalk or walkway.  The purpose of this type of project is to create an attractive, functional way to connect one element of your landscape to another – front door to driveway, back door to patio, side door to back door, bench in your garden to pool deck, and so on. Even though a simple project, sidewalks have a multitude of design and material options. 

When there are other hardscaping elements such as a patio or garden wall, you will want the material you use for the sidewalk to complement the materials in your other areas.  That doesn’t necessarily mean “match” – just fit in. When the sidewalk is your first project, you will want to consider whether it is likely to be a one and done project or the first element in a multi-staged outdoor living environment improvement program.

A sidewalk may be a solid surface, a series of stepping stones, or even loose gravel. The more granular the material used, the more maintenance is likely to be needed – weeding, smoothing, replacing the loose material areas.   When creating a solid surface, scale is an important factor.  The size of the pieces needs to make sense in the context of the length and width of the sidewalk.  Sidewalks vary widely in width.  For a narrow sidewalk, a large-scale pattern will not be visible.  Similarly, sidewalk width impacts whether or not and what kind of border makes sense.

Walkway to Patio

A sidewalk may be a straight connection or a meandering path.  (Observe the straight sidewalk to a patio as installed by CPM.)

The more curves, the more cuts will be needed for a solid surface, which means more labor and more cost.  In spite of potential cost, choosing the shape of the sidewalk should include all key factors: function, aesthetic, and cost.