How many properties have an unsightly walkway from the house to the back of the garage? Mine certainly did! This area of tiny cement pavers had gradually sunk into the mud and weeds over the years, leaving an area that was a soggy mess we tracked mud into the house from every time it rained. I finally made the time and tackled it!

This project was nearly net-zero in expense! I pulled the old, small cement stepping pavers out of the ground, and when I laid the new pathway I used larger, square, very deep concrete squares that had been sitting around in my backyard for ages waiting for a good use. I snitched some gravel from excess leftover from re-graveling the driveway not long before. The only thing I had to buy was one bag of sand at the hardware store. 

For so little expense, this project DID require a level of labor that some might not wish to undertake. Scroll on to see the pictures from start to finish, learn the steps, and CONTACT Eugene Garden Design if a project like this seems like something you’d rather have strong help to get done.

Scraping an area to create a new backyard path by Eugene Garden Design
In this image, just one of the original stepping stones remains once I attacked and started pulling them out, and using my favorite flat square shovel to remove weeds and soil to a relatively even 4-inch depth. I used the edge of the porch steps and the first section in the paved sidewalk as guides for the edge line I cut in. This part of the process was the most labor intensive, and if you're not up for several hours of hard shoveling, this is why calling Eugene Garden Design could make a project like this doable for you.
Sand leveling a new backyard path by Eugene Garden Design
Once I had removed the old pavers, weeds, and cut down a few inches in level, I then added a smooth layer of sand - the only purchased item on this project for me. I spread the sand with a short section of 2x4 board, and used a longer level as well. Since this is going to be a much used walking surface, my goal was to make it safer than it previously was.
Repurposed concrete pavers create a new backyard path by Eugene Garden Design
Once the sand was level enough for me, I moved in the larger concrete squares I had stacked up just waiting for whatever project I found for them. Once in place, my son and I experimented with walking on them from both directions to ensure the spacing was correct. We also used a deadblow hammer along with the level to ensure that the top surface of each paver sat level, and the same height as its neighbors. *This important step prevents future accidents and injuries.
Gravel filling in around pavers in a new backyard path project by Eugene Garden Design
I really like how this picture shows the layers! Once sattisfied with the repurposed cement paver placement and level, we began to fill in around the new pavers on top of the sand. This is where that extra gravel pilfered from my driveway resurfacing came in handy! I filled the pathway with gravel to the depth of the nearby lawn soil, most of the depth of the pavers so their top edge sits just above the gravel.
Completed backyard path rebuild project by Eugene Garden Design
The completed pathway is now so much nicer, and has greatly reduced the amount of mud tracked in through the backdoor of the house. By using repurposed concrete squares and leftover gravel, I kept the cost on this at nearly nothing and all it took was some time and labor to create this solid improvement in this mucky, much tracked-through area. While I was Okay with the look of repurposed blocks that already show their age and some wear and tear, a pathway project in your yard could apply these same steps and techniques with even prettier slates, shaped or colored pavers, or outdoor hardscape materials of your choice.

For help on a project like this on your property in Eugene, Springfield or our surrounding areas, CONTACT Eugene Garden Design!