Often a forgotten after thought to residential landscaping, walkways and pathways are a critical connection between elements in your outdoor spaces. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re plotting your path:
Size and Accessibility
For residential walkways that you don’t use often, you can get away with just 24-30 inches in width, but if your house is the hot spot on the block and you have kids, family and friends using the walkway frequently, consider a wider berth of up to 48 inches. For commercial or public spaces, walkways can swell to 10 feet wide or more.
With walkways, we also like to consider accessibility. If you expect to have folks with limited mobility such as those with physical limitations or the elderly, you should plan for long, slowing sloping walkways without the barrier of steps.
As with anything you add to your property you (and your insurance agent!) want to ensure that it’s safe for you, your family and visitors. Nothing spells trip and fall like trying to fumble up an unfamiliar walkway in the dark. If your path is going to be used at night (by guests, family members or even your dogs), I encourage you to consider adding landscape lighting to your walkway plans.
It’ll be safer and you’ll have the added beauty that comes with landscape lighting. Path lights are a great choice because they illuminate a large area and come in a wide range of design options. Typically, path lights stand 12-24 inches high and cast light up to 8 feet. We used the low-profile lights pictured below on a walkway in Farragut for an area where the homeowner who gardens wanted light, but didn’t want anything to interfere with her plants.
When designing walkways and pathways, the quickest path from point A to point B isn’t always the best plan. For formal locations or those with a modern flare, straight and narrow typically works well, but for an informal space, a meandering stroll will be more enjoyable and visually interesting.
The best choice of material to build your walkway or pathway will depend on its use. Pavers are typically the best choice (over poured concrete or asphalt) because you’ll find that there’s less cracking and settling over time. You also have more design options with pavers that make for a prettier final product. For walkways across steep terrain, pavers are a great choice because they don’t get a slippery in wet conditions as other material such as brick tiles, loose gravel or asphalt.
Help Down the Path
For help navigating the path to a fantastic and useful walkway in your Knoxville landscaping, give me a shout. You can fill out our contact form or call me at 865-765-5550 to schedule a free consultation.