Aug 042014
Building a Paving Stone Pathway

Several years ago I built a patio using paving stones. I intended to complete the patio by adding a sidewalk that would bring the paved surface area all the way around to the garage and driveway. This weekend I finally made major progress on this neglected project. Making a paving stone patio, sidewalk, or pathway is not an easy task. It’s not that building a patio is complicated but rather that the stone can be heavy and the work is repetitious with a good deal of digging, bending, and lifting. Excavating a space for the project can be difficult too depending on the soil type but this project is definitely one a determined gardener and homeowner can accomplish! I purchased my materials at Lowe’s in conjunction with Lowe’s Creative Ideas.

Using paving stones to build a pathway, patio, or sidewalk.

The first step in building a paving stone project is excavating a level area. In this project I had to accommodate a rise in the grade that moved up to an existing sidewalk. I planned on building a two step sidewalk using retaining wall blocks as the step risers. I also used retaining wall blocks as the borders for the step areas as they are heavy enough to keep their contents in place.

Once the soil was excavated I mapped out where the patio sidewalk paving stones were going to be. I set the retaining wall blocks in place and planned how the stones were going to go. I allowed for a lawn step off location in the lower level that would be even with the soil grade. Once the outline was made I adjusted the grade more so that the soil would angle away from the house. We want water to flow toward the yard and garden not toward the home!

After leveling the soil I put landscape fabric down. This would keep the paving stone base gravel and sand from mixing with the soil underneath. It also keeps the weed seeds that may be still in the soil from germinating and penetrating through the patio. Then I covered with paving sand and paving gravel. The fine particles make setting and leveling the stones easier.

Using paving stones to build a pathway, patio, or sidewalk.

Finally (for this post) I used the patio paving stones to create the walkway. I used a combination of 6″x9″ and 6″x6″ stones. I set each stone making sure that they were level and even with the other stones. I set the paving stones visually but using a level string line and stakes can help insure a perfect installation. When put together a group of four of these paving stones would cover a 15″x15″ area or 1.56 sq. feet. To do a 10′ square patio you would need about 128 of each type of stone. Taking measurements in advance and planning out your project is important because now I need to make another trip back to the store to complete this walkway!

Using paving stones to build a pathway, patio, or sidewalk.


Using paving stones to build a pathway, patio, or sidewalk.

Check in again or follow the Growing The Home Garden Facebook page for updates! Part 2 will be coming soon!

Using paving stones to build a pathway, patio, or sidewalk.

Disclosure: Lowe’s provided the funding for this project in conjunction with their Lowe’s Creative Ideas Program. All work, writing, and opinions expressed are my own.


Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 5 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

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