My husband worked his tail off to create a better walkway for the parents and the kids in the daycare and I'm so thankful for and proud of the work he did.
This was no small project - we knew when we bought the house that we needed to install some sort of walkway or sidewalk around to the back of the house if we were to enjoy a separate entrance from the daycare, keeping our family home more private. We considered having a concrete sidewalk and steps poured, but weren't thrilled with the cost - some estimates as high as $3,000. We considered creating a walkway of paving stones, but again, the cost was hitting the thousands range - and we'd be doing all the work.
After much research, we opted for framing in some platforms and steps and filling them with decorative rocks - creating a more stable walking path than the muddy grass slope and eliminating the slop during rainy or snowy times while costing considerably less than the concrete slopes. When we started the planning process, I don't think Bronson realized how intensive the physical work for the project would be.
Here's what we started with - kinda. I never did take pictures of the untouched slope before we started, but this is with just a couple of the steps in. You can see the grade of the slope and get an idea of how much dirt was dug out for each step...
And now, after weeks of work - here's the finished project. Pretty much. We are still adding solar lights at each step so they can be safer during those dark winter evenings. And grass - imagine there's grass butting up against it as there will be once the seed takes off! And, the rocks are still dirty - the considerable amount of dust will eventually be washed off with rain and the rocks will have a beautiful array of colors making this area decorative as well as functional!
from the bottom looking up...
the landing at the bottom of the steps...
the gravel we chose - still looks plain and dirty here, but once it's washed off better, the colors - blacks, and reds and blues and browns - will be very pretty!
the landing at the top of the walkway...
from the top looking down...
Here are just a few stats about this project:
- This project, from start to finish took 4 weeks to complete - using nearly every daylight, and some artificial night-time light, minute of weekends and evenings plus several vacation days!
- The walkway is 68 feet long and 50 inches wide.
- We used 174 feet of power pole cross arm ties - generously donated by Kaw Valley Electric, thanks to the connection there of daycare mommy, Jessica. We wouldn't have been able to finish this so inexpensively without you and appreciate your hookin' us up!
- One hundred feet of 1/2" rebar was used.
- There are 72 feet of treated 6"x6"x8" timbers.
- Twenty feet of 4" drainpipe was re-trenched.
- Each step and landing was meticulously measured and graded for both the possibility of switching to paving stones in the future if we choose and proper drainage.
- Bronson single-handedly excavated approximately 528 cubic feet of soil with his own two (now blistered and callused) hands. This converts out to approximately 40,000 (yes, 40,000) pounds of dirt! That's the equivalent of about 10 of his truck (not truck-loads, but the actual weight of his Dodge Dakota pick up!)
- We filled the steps with 9,000 pounds of Missouri River Rock.