You probably don’t think about your front walkway very often. In fact, when it comes to the different pieces that bring your home’s curb appeal together, after the gardens, porch and front door, the walkway is probably last on your list. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t important. Not only does it lead your guests to the front door, but it also leads the eye up toward all of those other elements.
In this installment of Intro to Reno, we’re going to take a look at everything to do with the path less thought of. We’ll concentrate on three main elements you’ll need to consider when renovating your front walkway: width, materials, and accents.
If you plan on simply repaving your existing walkway, then you may be able to skip this step. However, if you’ve discovered that your existing walkway is not wide enough for a stroller or multiple people to traverse, then you may want to reconsider the width.
The width of your front walkway is extremely important, in terms of walking comfort and safety. At minimum, it should be about 5-feet wide, or large enough for two people to walk along at the same time. You should also consider the aforementioned stroller situation. If you ever plan to take a stroller to or from your front door, you should ensure that your path is wide enough and also has a large enough turning spot (unless your path goes straight down to the sidewalk).
When renovating your front walkway, select paving material that can endure your region’s climate, compliment the look of your home and allow your family and guests to confidently make their way toward your front door. Here are the most commonly used front walkway materials.
Flagstone is the umbrella term for sedimentary stone that has been split into layers. It can actually be made from many different types of rock. Some common types of flagstone are: slate, limestone, travertine and basalt.
Concrete is an extremely common walkway construction material. It is generally affordable and often the choice DIY homeowners. There are actually several different ways in which concrete can be used to create your home’s walkway.
Just as it sounds. A walkway is carved into the lawn and framed out with wood. Once the walkway base has been properly prepared the concrete is poured into the area and several finishing tasks are performed. Alternatively, the concrete can be poured into a decorative mold to make interesting shapes and patterns.
Stamped concrete has been imprinted with a texture that gives it the look of flagstone, brick or wood. It offers a lower cost option to homeowners looking to have the aesthetics of more expensive materials, but at a fraction of the price.
Pavers are an easy-to-install option for your front walkway and other aspects of your home’s hardscaping. Pavers are individual paving stones that can be made of natural stone, brick or concrete. Among those three is a vast array of colours and styles. Interlocking pavers are the most popular type.
Crushed stone (or gravel) can be used on its own as an inexpensive walkway material or in conjunction with larger walkway stones as an attractive accent. Crushed stone is not often used to create front walkways on the typically urban or suburban residential property.
It should be noted that crushed stone can be difficult to walk on for those with stability issues and those who require the use of mobility devices such as walkers and canes.
Accenting your front walkway with a manicured garden helps give it personality and also aids in defining the space. While adding lighting can actually make the path to your front door safer.
To get the best results from your front walkway renovation, be sure to seek out the help of a reputable, qualified landscaping contractor with hardscaping experience. Take a look at three different contractors (minimum). Review their websites, read any reviews and ensure that they have photos of any past projects.
You can find the listings for landscaping contractors in your area, here on eieihome.com.