De­sign­ing a walk

Seaway News - - EDITORIAL& OPINIONS -

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.

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