Question re laying brick/paver walkway on slope

marjoriest(7)May 4, 2010

I hope someone can point me in the right direction on this project! My husband and I have a 30 ft walkway from our drive way to our front steps. He recently had the old broken concrete pulled up when we had grading work done on our gravel drive. Now we are trying to figure out how to lay a brick or paver walkway in its stead. The problem is that it is not exactly level. In fact there is a drop of approximately 14-16 inches from drive to stairs spread over the 30 foot length. We have done a fair amount of research on how to lay a walkway, but most suggest laying the base material and leveling the area. This is NOT possible. Do we just lay the brick as one would normally, aware that there is a slope? Also, due to the slope (we are on a slight hill) we do get a lot of drainage down that walk/hill. Should we just go with concrete and abandon the idea of brick?

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lazy_gardens

Can you level it out in two or more sections, with a step up between sections?

Is it straight or curved?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 12:59PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

What zone are you in? Are ice and snow a concern?

If you're not sure which zone you're in, you can enter your zip code here:
http://www.garden.org/zipzone/index.php

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 8:21PM
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lehua49

Marjorie,

Your existing slope would be 4.4%. A step of 7"-9" or two steps of 5" would be good and get your paver slope to around 2%. A comfortable slope to walk on and drain well. Install small lights into the steps risers to give a nice warm accent at night and make the steps less of a hazard as well. JMHO. Aloha

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 11:41PM
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marcinde(7)

If you're not comfortable with your skill level to build a step or two, you could always use one of the slab steps that the paver mfrs are making now. All you have to do is prep a level base and drop it in, then run your pavers up to it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Techo-Bloc Rocka

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 6:14AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Obviously, the questions above need to be answered in order to hear from people who do know what they're talking about, and I don't... really, because I've never laid brick on a slope. However, I have seen sloping installations in public places, and believe that the key to success is to lay the brick within firm boundaries. Gravity happens, and something bigger and heavier than the bricks has to be there to prevent them from sliding downhill. In public spaces, I've seen buildings serve this purpose, or street curbs.

Your climate will affect a lot of decisions in the installation, but I think gravity is global :-)

KarinL

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 10:52AM
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timbu

I'm facing a similar issue myself, with a sloping pathway that needs to be paved - me and DH are debating steps vs slope, and since I'm the one dragging the wheelbarrow around, I'm in favour of slope. Do you need access for anything with wheels? If not, steps might be good for your situation.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 5:27AM
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laag(z6CapeCod)

No walk should ever be "level". Layout where you want the walk. They should substitute the word "flat" for "level".

This is very simple. Don't over think it(sometimes reading too much is not a good thing). Put away the bubble machine (the level).

Finish grade the area between the steps and the driveway (the whole area without regard for the walk). Then excavate (dig) out for the base material that goes under your walk. Build up that base so that it is the thickness of the brick (most concrete pavers are abut 2-3/8" thick) lower than the adjacent grade. Use a board to "screed" (smooth the surface evenly) the surface to make it even (sloped, but not up and down). Then set your bricks.

If there is a cross slope (right to left as you walk) on the adjacent grade, you should make sure that your walk has a slight cross slope in that same direction (you can use the bubble machine for checking the cross slope).

If it is pretty lever from left to right, you may consider adding a slight amount of sand down the middle of the walk to add a slight crown to the walk. This helps the walk not become sagged in the middle over time and looks nicer (in my opinion) than a flat walk. Prepare the base just as you would to do it flat.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 7:33AM
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majesticpaving24

Slopes can be tricky areas to lay brick, but with the right help, you can get it done and have it look great. The slope you are describing will more than likely need steps as opposed to a smooth path. A paving consultant could help you discern how high/deep the steps needed to be and you could go from there.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 8:19PM
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