Sunday, April 22, 2012

Appaloosa Way Finksburg MD, Finished Project, Brick Walkway

The client job contacted me to look at building a walk that would replace the old walk. Going around an outside of there lower space in order to get into there siting area. After looking at the space it only made sense to me to dig out and level the under porch space in order to be more usable space. I also felt why make a walk that goes around when I could just make the walk go to the space. Only one door would need to be added. Just that easy. Some times the simplest answers are right in front of you. You just can't see them. 

Now one might think ok this should be a very straight forward job taking very little time. 

day 1
Site prep, material hauling, equipment hauling...... 

day 2
Remove the old brick walk and timbers. Remove the 2x4's on the two up right posts. The space already opens up with the removal. 

day 2
Dig out under porch build small wall with stones under porch. Also dig out for walk way. 

day 3
Wedge and feather 3 large granite stones to make into smaller edging. Shown above I was making 5" high for the inside.

day 3
Dig out for walk notice the RED FLAGS? Before you DIG call 811! (its FREE and its the LAW!) I would be putting the 5" granite edge on inside and 8" on out side since the hill drops off gravity would push out. You can see I dug out a little more for the outer edge in order to make any adjustments as needed with the granite in order to be able to lift it to the needed hight.

End of day 3
String line set and squared up. This picture shows the granite step waiting to be placed

day 4 
3/8th's stone set in walk for granite edges. Started with setting the inside 5" first. Step was also set level. Notice the cement columns in the building area. I had planned to work with the inside ones using them as my brick walk edge. String lines mark the top of the build and edge. The with of the brick walk would be 3' wide. Including the granite edging which is 6" the total walk with comes out to 4' wide with a 12' run including the step. Notice the A Square on steps. Great for keeping every thing square as you build. ( C.H. Hanson: Framing 3x4x5 folding square )

day 4
Set out side 8" granite edge. Fill with dirt against edge. 

End day 4
Set cut brick pattern to insure every thing would work. I avoided back filling the 5" inside granite edge just incase I needed to adjust any thing. Hard day's work. 

day 5
Place EMT pipe down on edges. The pipe  helps with the speed of laying out a material which happens to be all the same thickness. I place the 3/8th's stone down then dug out to put the pipes down. Then I adjusted the pipes to the height. Noticed I have the brick sitting on the pipe. I can now use the board to drag down the pipes helping to spread out the stone to the needed height. Once this dragged all the way to the end. I can now start to place my brick out and every thing will match the left side and right side edge if laid out every thing correctly. Of course I did. I had string lines to follow. Build to the string line just like walling. 

day 5 
Begin to set brick walk

day 5 
All of walk set, all small stones cut and placed.

day 5
3/4 stone placed under porch to finish off area. Excavated dirt from under porch was graded my machine

day 5
Under porch stone

 day 5
Under porch stone

End of day 5 
Finish hand grading, seed and put down straw. Imagine what this job might have cost if I didn't make a suggestion of going straight. To go all the way around this space with a walk would have just been a waste of time or better yet common sense in this situation. The one thing I always think about when I look at a job site is. What is the shortest path a human will travel? 

 Noticed the cut granite stone around the outer pole. 


Day 1 
2 trips to the quarry for stone
Move skid loader and tool trailer to job site
Site set up

Day 2
Strip out under porch by hand
Move old brick

Day 3 
Dig walkway
Wedge and feather granite for walk edges
Check granite edges, more digging
Set string, check for square
Install 3/8th's stone into walk for brick

Day 4 
Set granite step to level
Set in side 5" granite edges
Cut more granite edges to size
Relief cut granite edge to fit around pole base
Set out side 8" granite edges
Screen 3/8th's stone
Test pre - cut starter bricks for pattern

Day 5
Adjust and raise Screen 3/8th's stone level
Set brick pattern
Cut all small edge bricks
Clean up all un used brick
Hand shovel remanier of inner grade under porch
Move 3/4 stone aggregate under porch, hand shovel into placement
Machine grade dirt dug out underneath porch
Hand grade outer bank
Grass seed outer bank and add put down straw
Load all unused stone into dump truck with skid loader move off site

Materials for job
1 load 3/8th's stone
1 load 3/4 stone
1-Granite step
10-peices of granite edging
Customers brick
Grass seed
1-Bale straw
10' long 1" thick EMT electrical piping for doing the screening
3' 2x4 wood used for screening
String line

Skid loader
Hammer drill
14" gas concrete saw
4" wet hand tile saw
Hand tamper
Walk behind gas tamper
Dump truck
Tool trailer w/ out house
45 square

A HUGE THANK YOU to Stone Soup Matt Sevigny,  South Carolina. Some great feedback with this build along with some great cheater tools

For some very helpful tools for this job check out Matt's blog.


  1. Thank you Matt, I listen very well. Every thing feel into place. Good call!

  2. Very nice. I have never set brick on 3/8 stone, always use sand, but I do set bluestone on 3/8- makes a very stable base. Maybe I'll try that.

  3. Matt, I normally set blue stone. Never brick. This job was specced for blue stone but the client decided to stay with the brIck. I was game. Just needed to add some natural stone into the mix. The granite came in handy. I have always used stone dust for blue stone. Thats just what every one uses in my area. The 3/8th was suggested by Matt Sevigny and Mark from Hammer head told me the same for his work. Made great sense to me. For a couple reasons. 1) It would allow better drainage which is key on this pitch and under the porch. 2) Came from the same quarry so it made hauling it in easy. Seems like every one has the magic answer for the best base. Being certified by ICPI. I some times think so much of that teaching is over kill. Time tells all!

  4. 3/8 works great for a bluestone base, but if they want stone dust in the joints it takes quite a few sweep ins until it finally fills up and stays put. sometimes I just fill the joints with the 3/8 stone and leave it at that.