Designing a walk
Walks should be designed to complement fences, gates, patios, and other yard features. They should measure at least two feet wide, enabling one person to walk comfortably. Garden walks should be three feet wide to accommodate wheelbarrows and other equipment. A four-foot walk allows two people to walk side by side or pass in opposite directions. A walk leading up to a house should measure five feet wide to permit wheelchair access.
Walks are considered hard or soft, depending on their material. Hard walks are made of brick, stone, or concrete, while soft walks consist of loose aggregate or wood chips. The simplest walk to make would be gravel or wood chips scattered between plastic edging or landscape ties. Hard walks are a little more complex, requiring a foundation and heavy labour. A walk made of rotresistant redwood or cedar adds beauty but also a good deal of expense; pressure-treated pine rated for ground contact has less visual appeal but also costs considerably less.
The safe travel of people along the walkway is essential. Features that add to the safety of walks include textured surfaces, such as a broom finish for concrete, and lighting at critical points, such as steps and landings. A slight slope will allow water to drain off the walkway instead of puddling, which can ice up in winter.