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Building A Gravel Yard Path To Save Water And Dress Your Lawn

Building A Gravel Yard Path To Save Water And Dress Your Lawn


[This article was first published in April 2021 and has been revised and expanded.]

You can cut back on lawn watering by adding hardscape features. A simple gravel path can reduce the lawn area and add curb appeal value to your home.

An inexpensive and easy to install gravel footpath meandering through your front yard can add a quaint charm and striking visual improvement. 


A Winding Path Can Lead to More Landscape Features

Depending on your personal tastes when it comes to landscape design, the addition of a gravel footpath can open the way to much more hardscape ideas.

Pathway lighting is a more obvious option and the variety and selections today are almost overwhelming. While more traditional hard-wired options are available, there are hundreds of styles of solar powered yard lights that you can choose from, as well.

Some yards with numerous trees or hedges could be enhanced with an antique-style lamppost situated along the pathway. Perhaps your gravel walkway could traverse a dry streambed that also meanders through your lawn. This would call for a charming and whimsical wooden or stone footbridge to complete the scene.

Pergolas and wood archways can add an ethereal or cultured touch to your outdoor space and set off areas of your backyard in a stylish or rustic fashion. 

While it may seem a bit much at first glance, a water feature incorporating a waterfall structure can lend an awe-evoking element that can tie in perfectly with a woodland-inspired pond that features water lilies or other types of lush water plants. 

The danger isn't so much in not knowing what to add, but more likely in not being able to know when to stop! 


A Gravel Path is an Easy Upgrade for Your Yard

While a gravel path in and of itself won't make your yard a "drought resistant" one, it will serve to reduce the square footage of lawn grass in your yard. And the less grass you have, the less watering you have to do, and the more you can conserve.

In addition, a well-made hardscape feature such as a footpath not only adds visual and aesthetic appeal to your outdoor space but it can add resale value, as well. 

How much value?

Well, that depends on who you ask. One industry source noted that, generally, you can expect to get 20 percent to 30 percent of your investment back when you choose the right hardscaping project. Another website had this to say about potential added resale value,

Whether the landscaping you add to your home is softscaping — using plants, flowers, and other greenery — or hardscaping, it can add up to a 20 percent return on investment to your home value.

And one of the best things about opting for a gravel footpath as a hardscape element addition to your backyard outdoor space is that this is a great project for the DIY-minded homeowner. The tools and materials required are basic and the work involved is not overly complex or even difficult. 

In fact, if you can use a shovel and push a wheelbarrow - or can enlist the help of someone who can - this can be a perfect weekend project for even the most "newbie DIY-er!

So, what's required for a simple gravel yard path?

We created this checklist for you as a basic guide for installing your own winding walkway.


Building a Gravel Path - Checklist

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While it is certainly possible and feasible to carry out and complete this type of project on your own, it is also a great option to make it a partnership with someone else who's willing to get a bit dirty and likes to dig.

Better yet, having two or three "helpers" can make this hardscape creation go even faster and make the work far more enjoyable. Just keep in mind that, while safety may seem more appropriate for largescale construction jobs or for those working with "dangerous" tools, using safety gear even for small projects will help prevent unfortunate accidents and possible injuries.


Gravel In Means Sod Out

As much fun planning, designing, and installing hardscaping elements in your home's outdoor spaces, the sobering reality of all those projects is the cleanup that is required afterwards. The truth is that almost no one relishes the thought of hauling piles of excess dirt, gravel, trash, and various assortments of roots and other organic waste.

And this all holds true for your proposed gravel yard path.

While you might not think that a simple footpath meandering across your backyard lawn would really take up much space, the actual area required might surprise you.

According to the website LandscapingNetwork.com, these are the standard walkway widths:

  • 18" minimum
  • 24" functional
  • 30" one person
  • 36" standard

For a smaller lawn and, therefore, a shorter path 18 to 24 inches is probably sufficient. Longer paths in larger spaces might be more useable and visually attractive at 30 or 36 inches wide.

However, even if you opted for a "functional" two-foot wide path that runs, say, 60 feet across your lawn, this delightful hardscape addition to your backyard will take up at least 120 square feet of yard area.  And, because all the sod you'll be removing from this swath will be at least two or three inches thick top to bottom, that means you will have to dispose of close to 30 cubic feet of grass and soil debris.

That's over one cubic yard, or a third of pickup truck bed full!

Then there's the scraps of debris, cut-offs of material, empty bags, leftover gravel, borders, and other assorted trash and debris from your project. And all of this has to be gotten rid of. 

Now, you could take on the additional project of cleaning up, loading, hauling, and then unloading or dumping all this waste and debris yourself.  But, more than likely, you really won't want to. And who can blame you? Especially if you don't own a truck or have access to one!

Not to worry! Junk King is equipped to take all of that off your hands and make your gravel path project cleanup a snap.


"Handing Off" Your Yard Waste Removal

Junk King provides efficient, safe and eco-friendly yard waste removal service so you don’t need to worry about the pick up or disposal of the debris after your new hardscape feature is complete.

No need to fill your residential bins two or three times for the next month trying to offload all your yard waste and other landscaping trash. We can make it go away in just one quick visit.

And, whether you need our services several times during a landscaping project or just once after it is complete, our hauling professionals will ensure that the yard waste and other debris is out of your way so that you can get on with the job.

Our professional and insured junk hauling team will call 15 to 30 minutes before we arrive on site, and we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your debris takes up in our truck. You point and we haul your sod, soil, and other debris into our junk removal trucks, with no hidden fees.

Want to have us come to your home for yard waste removal? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.

Just make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865)



Building A Gravel Yard Path To Save Water And Dress Your Lawn


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