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How to make a garden path?

Traveling in the garden to reach the house, or by car to the garage, creating a driveway meets specific needs for the sustainability of the structure. Gravel, slabs, paving stones … on a bed of sand or concrete slab, an overview of the solutions to create a driveway that may or may not be drivable.

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Before starting the work, you must ask yourself the right questions, starting with the use of the driveway. Does it have to be drivable to support the weight of a vehicle? How often will it be used? Depending on the needs, the materials and their implementation will not be identical.

Build a gravel driveway

The most economical solution is to make a driveway with gravel. On the other hand, the ground must be prepared correctly to sustainably support the weight of a vehicle :

  • lower the ground with a mini-excavator (available for hire) over 25 to 30 cm;
  • spread and compact crushed stone (all-round, recycled concrete, rubble) with a grain size of 0/80 and 15 to 20 cm thick;
  • spread and level on a geotextile a leveling layer (sand or gravel 0/20) 5 cm thick;
  • Spread 10/12 gravel by 5 to 6 cm to form the finish coat.

It is advisable to make masonry borders to contain the gravel in place. The latter having a natural tendency to slide to the sides. You can also, if your budget allows it, spread it out on plates ” honeycomb “. Alternatively, replace the finishing coat with pavers laid with staggered joints to ensure the stability of the whole.

Build a concrete driveway

Long-lasting but more expensive structure, a concrete driveway requires the use of a concrete dosed at 350 kg / m3 and a reinforced slab at least 13 cm thick. Proceed as follows:

  • lower the aisle to a thickness of about 25 to 30 cm;
  • make a hedgehog with rubble. Coat this bed with sand and tamp it;
  • reinforce with welded mesh st25 (mesh of 15 x 30 cm and Ø 7 mm) or st30 (mesh of 10 x 30 cm and Ø 6/7 mm). The trellises should be tied together and raised from the ground by 5 cm;
  • pour, pull and smooth concrete.

Create a pedestrian walkway in cobblestones or slabs

For walk through the garden or go up to the house, the pedestrian walkways are not subject to the same constraints. Depending on their use, they are more or less wide. If 60 centimeters is sufficient for a secondary aisle, a width of 1.20 meters is recommended for the main aisle. When it comes to materials, you are spoiled for choice.

Create a gravel driveway

Follow this procedure:

  • lower the aisle between 3 and 5 cm;
  • unroll a geotextile film;
  • lay the borders;
  • spread the gravel (grain size 4/8, 6/10).

In order to maintain the gravel perfectly in place, replace the geotextile film with honeycomb slabs fitted with a geotextile and lower down to a thickness of 6 cm. The gravel to cover the slabs for a centimeter.

Make a driveway in paving stones or slabs

Pavers and slabs arise according to their thickness. Two solutions are available to you, either on a sand bed or on a concrete slab.

1. Laying on a sand bed

This type of installation requires pavers or slabs 5 to 6 cm thick. For it :

  • lower the soil;
  • lay the borders;
  • spread and tamp the sand;
  • arrange the slabs or pavers according to a layout previously established;
  • grout with sand or mortar.

2. Installation on a concrete slab

If you opt for installation on a concrete slab:

  • lower the soil;
  • make a hedgehog;
  • pour a reinforced slab 12 cm thick (concrete dosed at 350 kg / m3);
  • glue the slabs or pavers (adhesive mortar for exterior paving);
  • seal.

Make an alley in Japanese steps

Quick to implement, the Japanese steps should be reserved for the side aisles, because two people cannot pass each other. To be comfortable, plan a center distance of 65 centimeters between the tiles (i.e. the equivalent of one step):

  • position the slabs according to the desired path;
  • delimit the location of the slabs (spade, edging);
  • dig to a depth equal to the thickness of the slab +2 to 3 cm;
  • spread the sand over 2 to 3 cm;
  • lay and wedge the slabs level.

What you must remember

  • If in doubt about the route of an alley, observe the path taken naturally by the inhabitants.
  • For walkways on concrete slabs, respect a slope of two centimeters per meter to facilitate the flow of rainwater.
  • Make a layout to plan the cuts of slabs and pavers.

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