Building a pea gravel walkway is an excellent alternative to having a paved sidewalk leading to your front door.
Pea gravel is much more affordable, much easier to maintain and adds a great deal of curb appeal to your home.
That, in turn, can send its resale value in the right direction, all for an affordable investment that doesn’t take a great deal of expertise or know-how to implement.
Pea gravel walkways are also excellent in backyards, allowing you and your family to enjoy your outdoor scenery without trampling your grass.
Building a Pea Gravel Walkway: Determining Shape
During the planning phase, your first step will be to determine the shape and width of your pea gravel walkway. It goes without saying that the simplest types of walkways are straight.
However, in backyards and gardens, you may want to build winding walkways that lead visitors to the various elements you want to highlight in your yard. This is slightly more elaborate, but really only demands that you bridge twists and turns in the walkways with easy-to-plan and easy-to-built straight sections.
Experts recommend making your pea gravel walkway wide enough for two people to walk side-by-side without being too close to the edge. As a general guideline, a width of three feet should suffice in most cases.
Building a Pea Gravel Walkway: Lay the Foundation and Edging Material
The key foundational element of a pea gravel walkway is a compact base. Given the local climate here in New Jersey, your soil should be firm enough to provide this base on its own.
However, if you’d prefer something firmer than Mother Nature offers, you can use tamped-down packed stone to create a base about two and a half inches deep. Over time, that amount of tamped-down stone will naturally settle to a depth of about two inches.
Begin by using line-marking paint to plot the shape of the path, then dig down to a depth of about four to four-and-a-half inches if you’re using tamped-down packed stone, or two to two-and-a-half inches if the soil is a suitable base. Then, place a layer of landscape fabric over the foundation; this will stop weeds from growing up through the walkway.
Next, you will add vertically oriented edging to the sides of the path to keep the pea gravel properly contained.
Most pea gravel walkway edges are made from narrow lengths of galvanized steel, which are available at home improvement retailers. Alternately, you can use plastic, cobblestones, pressure-treated wood or bricks, depending on your budget and the look you’re going for.
Remember to account for the width of the edging when you’re planning the overall width of the path. Once you’ve gotten this far, you’re ready to add your pea gravel!
Building a Pea Gravel Walkway: Choose Your Pea Gravel
Reputable suppliers offer homeowners a varied range of pea gravel options. The most basic type of pea gravel is made from untreated stones which offer a simple, natural look.
This will be your least expensive option, though you might want to consider others if you’re looking for certain colors or visual characteristics.
You can also get pea gravel that is treated with dyes or coloring agents, creating a vast array of enticing options.
Some types of pea gravel are also finished with residues that alter their appearance in certain types of light, so if you want a dazzling daytime look or a type of pea gravel that shimmers as the sun goes down, find a supplier that offers a varied range of products and can help you choose the one that best meets your vision.
Building a Pea Gravel Walkway: Installing the Gravel
If you installed your foundation and edging correctly, placing the pea gravel should be a straightforward task. Simply deposit the pea gravel into the walkway bit by bit, then smooth it over with a rake to create a level surface.
When you’re pouring the pea gravel, stop when you’re about half an inch from the top of the edging. This will prevent it from spilling over.
Instead of pouring pea gravel straight from the container, you can fill a wheelbarrow and shovel it into place before smoothing it over with the rake. Continue until your new walkway is complete and enjoy!
Building a Pea Gravel Walkway: Maintenance
Easy maintenance is one of the biggest advantages of a pea gravel walkway. Simply inspect the surface and the edging seasonally to make sure everything is holding up.
If any edges are damaged or frayed, replace them promptly. Otherwise, chances are you’ll need to do no more than make spot additions of replacement pea gravel to keep the surface smooth and even.
When looking for a pea gravel supplier in NJ, look no further than Braen Supply. With 110 years of experience in the stone industry, we can solve to any project you have in mind.
We sell pea gravel in bulk for wholesale prices and will deliver in NJ, NYC, NY and PA. Reach out to one of our experts at Braen Supply with all of your pea gravel walkway questions.