Twelve Front Yard Walkways Ideas

The walkway in your front yard is what greets your visitors, and it’s what you see every day when you walk to your front door. This is what makes them so important – they define the initial experience of your home for you and your guests. A poorly planned and constructed walkway can mar an otherwise beautiful and well-designed front yard. If you want to install a new walkway, and you don’t know where to start, here are some ideas on front yard walkways design:

  1. Set your budget for your walkway. This will determine the types of materials that you will be able to use for your installation.
  2. First, you need to decide what kind of materials to use for your front yard walkway. One great choice are concrete pavers or paving stones.
  3. You could also go with natural stone pavers or brick pavers as well if you like the idea of pavers but want a different material.
  4. Concrete is a good standby material – cheap and strong, it does however leave something to be desired aesthetically. You could go with stamped or colored concrete if you are willing to pay extra for the improved looks.
  5. Asphalt is also an option. Though it is cheap, it is unideal in terms of its looks.
  6. Rock or stone is also a possibility, but it can be high maintenance.
  7. The material you select will also depend on the design for your walkway. Figure out how you want it to wind through your yard. Will it start at the driveway or will it start at the road or sidewalk? Will it curve around to the backyard and hook up with any other hardscapes? How long and wide will it be – what are its dimensions? Will it have curves or just be straight? These are all important questions to figure out before you move to the next stage. A sketch is usually a good idea to make sure it’s all on paper and so that you can show it to a contractor if necessary.
  8. Pretend to walk your ‘walkway’ even if it’s not laid. Is it comfortable? Is it natural? Can it handle heavy traffic, or two people next to each other? Three people? Figure out what the experience of walking the walkway would be before you confirm your decisions.
  9. Consider how you will add landscaping to your front yard area, and how that will blend in with your new walkway and other features of your landscape and hardscape as well as your home’s theme and style. An arch, walkway lights, planters and gardens, and interesting stones can all add a layer of sophistication and complexity to your front entrance.
  10. Steps or a stoop might be a great addition to your home, or you can upgrade an existing installation to match or complement your new walkway. You can even use the same material for the stoop as you do for the walkway or other projects you create.
  11. If you hire a contractor, make sure to see front yard walkways pictures of his prior work so you can get an idea of his skill and style.
  12. Consider the possibility of installing the walkway yourself. If you have the DIY skills, you could save a lot of money on labor costs and possibly use a better material. Don’t experiment, though, if you know little, as the walkway is such a crucial element of your home.

If you have any more ideas, leave them in the comments below!

Concrete Paver Walkway: What You Need to Know

One of the best uses for concrete paving stones is making a pavers walkway. The paver walkway can be located in many places around your home and can serve many functions. Perhaps the walkway will connect your driveway to your front door or stoop. Or perhaps the walkway connects the front yard to the backyard, such as a walkway on the side of the house. Walkways in the backyard are also possible, perhaps connecting patios to the house, or patios to pool decks. Walkways can even be installed in gardens as landscape pavers that can both section off particular parts of your landscape while providing you and your visitors with a path through your creations. The location and function of walkways is only limited by your imagination and the size and features of your home.

(Note that much of what follows applies to pavers of other materials, such as natural stone and brick paver walkways. However, we just focus on concrete pavers in this article.)

Advantages of a Paver Walkway

Using concrete pavers for your walkway will yield many benefits. First, the obvious benefit of  pavers walkways is that they withstand heavy foot traffic. A dirt or grass pathway will get beaten down over time, looking more and more unseemly. In addition, mud can be tracked from this path into your home. Asphalt and concrete walkways don’t have this disadvantage, of course, but do have the problem of cracking over time, especially due to freezing and thawing. Paver walkways have none of these problems.

In addition, paver walkways add much beauty to your home while also representing a solid financial investment. Concrete and asphalt may be relatively durable, but they don’t hold a candle up to pavers when it comes to the beauty department. They are relatively low maintenance and come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, providing a larger number of design options for the homeowner.

Aside from the aesthetic benefits of the paver resistance to cracking, paver walkways are generally safer than other options. Dirt and grass walkways can get muddy and slippery during rain storms. Concrete and asphalt walkways can crack over time, becoming a tripping hazard. Paving stone walkways, however, have none of these problems, especially because the brick are “grippy” due to their roughness and high friction, preventing slipping. They are also easy to maintain in the winter. For extra safety, you could install “walkway lights” that outline the walkway, providing a clear path for travelers at night.

Walkways can also represent a solid commercial investment. A well designed and installed paver walkway can set the right tone for any business.

Concrete Paver Walkway Designs

There are a number of design strategies one could pursue with paver walkways. The first step is laying out the general dimensions – length and width – of the walkway. Where will it originate, and where will it terminate? Your walkway will be the main guide for your friends and family through and to you home and the gathering places in your yards, so you’ll want to plan out your walkway with a walker in mind. The next step is where your design ideas can become more creative. For instance, perhaps you will design rolling curves, making your walkway a winding with an aesthetically pleasing curve. Or perhaps you prefer a straight ahead, perpendicular or parallel walkway. Whatever your choice, make sure it complements the style and theme of your other installations – driveway, patio, etc. (It might be a good idea to install paver driveways and/or patios at the same time – it will keep the total price down, and the design can be more fully integrated.)

The next step is to consider the various size, shapes, and paver colors you could select for your paver walkway. You will want to match or complement your particular color blend with the theme or style of your other installations and with your home in general. There are also a large variety of paver patterns available (that is, how the paver are actually laid on the ground). You will want to make sure that the paver pattern complements any other paver pattern for a nearby driveway, patio, etc.

Before selecting your paver color, make sure you see the brick in person, because sometimes the color in the real brick won’t exactly match the color you see in pictures, regardless of how hard the manufacturer tries to make the colors match.

Installing a Paver Walkway

One of the ways to keep the cost of your paver walkway down is to install it yourself. DIY paving is definitely possible when it comes to paving stones, though DIY concrete pavers do require a certain amount of skill and knowledge to get right. Thus, it’s best to leave the work to a professional if you don’t feel comfortable – even if you are installing pavers walkway yourself, you should probably consult with a professional just to make sure everything’s right. One of the hard parts of how to lay a paver walkway is that you’ll have to do many cuts to make sure that the pavers fit in the pattern and in the design you’ve laid out – especially if you have curves in your walkway.

The one challenging wrinkle with walkways is that they will often have multiple levels to them – in other words, they are “step like.” This can create a challenge, as installing a pavers walkway with multiple steps is really like installing multiple walkways. Grading and depth issues will need to be considered closely when designing, escavating, and laying the paver walkway. For more information on installing pavers, see the article on this site.

The cost of your paver walkway will depend on a lot of factors – I’ve given a detailed discussion of the factors that affect pavers cost here. In general, expect to pay around $10-15 per square foot for your walkway, usually on the higher end of this prices scale. This is because laying a smaller walkway can cost more per square foot than a larger installation due to the amount of cuts required, the pattern desired, and economies of scale.