NSWW_4

Summer 2019:

I scavenged some stone from the foundation of an old outbuilding at my income property (more like "no income" property, but back to this project). The building was gone long before I bought the property in 2007 but the blocks were left piled in the back corner of the lot and I' had been tripping over them for the previous 12 years while doing yard work. While cleaning up the property to list it for sale the boss decided I should haul these home and make something pretty with them. At the time our walkway was 2'x2' paver blocks that someone installed over an existing concrete sidewalk, so an upgrade was definitely in order and would be a good use for something I would end up stepping over for the rest of my life anywhere else they ended up.

The planning phase of the project was over. According to my girlfriend, the hard part was over... for her at least....

First steps were to decide on a layout for the stone and to rent a jackhammer to break up the old sidewalk. After moving stones into new patterns a few dozen times and vibrating my hands off for an afternoons, I was ready to get out the shovel and start digging.

Pro tip: To sooth sore hands after running jackhammer wrap them around a cold can of beer until empty... Repeat as necessary until you no longer feel hands...

After another day of laboring, I had a foot of dirt removed, a good base of crushed stone chips spread and tamped, and a whole lot of stones set and shimmied into their final resting place. The foreman signed off on my design and it was time to lock it all into place. The gaps between the stones were filled with a mix of fine crushed stone and stone dustĀ  a few centimeters at a time and then sprayed down with water to prevent voids. Any gaps that form later from settling can become a trip hazard to tiny feet and uncoordinated significant others so taking the extra time is always worth the saved ER trip for sprained ankles later.

The finished walkway proved to be a huge improvement over the unlevel concrete pavers it replaced. It has been a big step up in the looks department as well. It's been just over 2 years since it was completed and there's been very little settling. The only real upkeep that has been done is a dose of week killer in the spring to keep the lawn from overtaking the stone. The remaining stoneĀ  was used to edge the flower beds around the covered porch and has helped to tie the front of the house together and make it look more kept up. But the most important part of any project is that the boss was excited to have something nice to brag about to the rest of her mom squad.