Walkway help needed, modern landscape design

frenderJuly 11, 2013

We have been slowly working on our home's curb appeal ( we are located in the SF Bay Area, north bay)

We need to determine what to do about the front walkway that we want to have go from the street/sidewalk up to our front door.

Currently we have the original 1970s concrete pads with rocks mixed in, which matches the driveway. The current path and driveway are in good shape, and we were thinking of keeping the driveway as is and just changing the path/walkway

Should we :

1) try to match the existing path and pour concrete forms and add rocks to mimic the original path

2) remove the existing path and buy bluestone rectangles 24 x 36 or 24 x 48 for a modern look

3) remove entire existing path and pour concrete forms with stained concrete that matches the color of our home

4). Leave existing path and buy square or rectangular concrete pavers or bluestone pavers (24 x 48") for new section

5) concrete over the existing path?

6) something else entirely

Thanks for any ideas / suggestions

Here is a picture of the front of our house from the street

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We are aiming for a modern look, here is a close up of what is there now.

We also are working on the plant design, I'll submit a separate post for that :)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 8:49PM
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I would be much less bothered by details not being worked out to perfection than I would if the overall scheme was not worked out so as to function properly. If this house was newly built and had no walk or drive at all, would we be installing a drive whose left edge cut rightward at a pronounced angle (so one would back out of the left side of garage and run off the drive if they weren't being careful.)?

You might examine the sidewalk issue by pretending that neither drive or sidewalk exist ... and how would you make them if you were starting from scratch? Working out the geometry of the layout would be the most important thing to get right. Once that is known, you could see how the existing surfaces can conform to the desired outcome. If the surfaces are in good shape, you could probably add on to them with the same material and obtain an integrated appearance. That has more appeal to me than adding bluestone or something else to the mix. Depending on the layout, it might work out so that another material could be added, but I'd want to see the layout first.

If the string and stakes represents a new walk, you should think about making it a little wider. Also, why do you wish to have a separate walk when the drive and walk are in close proximity? In general, I think of "modern" as simpler, more direct and well functioning. (Modern people don't like to put up with things that don't work well.)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 11:59PM
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And another picture to get a better idea

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 12:00AM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

You won't be able to exactly match the existing exposed aggregate concrete pads. ( the SF northbay concrete companies now use a completely different sand in their mix than they did just 7 years ago )
With a certain amount of post staining , to both the new and old pads, you'll be able to get somewhat close but it will never be perfectly matched.

I'd suggest demo'ing the existing pads and start with a new set.

New bluestone would be nice. Bay Area Bluestone, Wheeler Zameroni and American Soils all have a decent selection of sizes and colors at the moment.
That would be the pricest option.

Coming in second would be poured in place colored concrete. Van Midde and Sons does great work. His office in San Rafael has a lot of color and finish samples to look at.
Also check out the firm Lasting Impressions in Concrete for a competitive bid.

Another option - slightly less $ due to the labor costs is precast concrete pavers by Stepstone. They have a variety of sizes and colors that would work beautiful in this situation.
We just finished a project using their Calarc Pavers with a sandblast finish. It's a great looking product lending itself well to a modern look.
You can do a 'dry lay' with them as we did in this photo below - these are their 36 x 36 inch pavers :

Here is a link that might be useful: stepstone inc.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 12:53AM
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Choosing a theme is one approach to developing a unified design that ties together all of the various elements. Themes are a helpful tool to guide the design. When choosing a theme, pick one that related to the existing architecture of a home, the lifestyles and personalities of the family members and the preferences of the homeowners.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 2:00AM
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Thanks everyone for your postings and suggestions.

I love that look as of your precast concrete. We called them this morning and they are going to send out some samples and more information.

I think I am leaning towards removing the existing walkway and using something like that. It would be great if we had the budget to do the driveway at the sometime using their narrown linear line. Very cool and I love the modern look.

Do you know the approximate cost of those 3 x 3s you purchased?

Thanks again everyone!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 7:53PM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

I'll have to check with the general contractor and get back to you on the price but in my scribble notes I have $ 6.50 a sq. foot written. - will have to verify.

they have two different finishes - I like the sandblasted fly ash finish - it has little flecks of black in the finish and the fly ash actually has strength benefits as well.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 11:20PM
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If you were going to stay with the same paver pattern, then I would square off the pad going to the driveway and continue to the street following the same pattern as the first half of the walk. Don't zig to the left like your rope shows. I like how one edge is straight and the other varies. Love the photo deviant posted!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 1:14PM
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