Grand Oak Blog

30 Apr

a new walkway

When we moved into this house the back entrance way had a problem. Out the back door the barn is only six feet away. Between the house and the barn is a walkway from the driveway to that door. Just past the door was a poured concrete wall, 16 inches tall, and nine inches thick.


The problem was that the leaves collected in the corner by that concrete wall and the back door. When we opened the door the leaves blew into the house. We thought the snow would do that too, and it did.


And then we discovered that when it rained the water collected in the same place, and actually poured over the threshold when we opened the door. That wall had to go.
But there was more.
The eavetroughs at the back of the house drained into an underground drain that was also supposed to collect groundwater after a rain. That wasn’t working. The drain needed to be replaced.
We wanted to use the patio stones (from the walkway) for a patio. The walkway had to be taken out in order to get the drain out. We decided to take the whole walkway out and replace it.
So this project began several weeks ago.
That little concrete wall had a crack from top to bottom, so first I smashed the small section with a sledge hammer. It took some doing, but I got it done.


That wall turned out to be 24 inches high, so smashing the remaining section was going to be too much work. I decided to move it to just past the corner. I couldn’t lift it, but using a little of my muscles and a lot of my brains, I maneuvered it into place. Then I had to dig the drain out. After I got the top of the drain exposed it rained for a day. Even with the drain exposed, the water did not drain away, until I chopped a hole in it. The perforations in the tile drain were plugged with mud, and the drain had one and a half inches of mud in the bottom, and many stones. No wonder water didn’t drain away.

The new drain has a protective sock to keep the mud out. I had to slope the trench to make sure the water would drain away once I put the new drain in. I put landscape fabric and two inches of gravel in the bottom of the trench, below the drain.

Over the drain I put two more inches of gravel, another layer of landscape fabric, sand and gravel mix, topped off with just sand.

For the new walkway I used old red bricks. Our yard has a lot of small gardens all over the place, Each garden was edged with red bricks. Martha has painstakingly dug many of them up, and now they have been re-purposed.


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