On Sunday, we started day two of the project by ripping out the remaining bushes in the front yard, leaving only a tall evergreen (which we plan to keep because of the privacy it adds).
Boy did we underestimate the work it takes to rip out bushes! The roots were much larger and more established than we had expected and it took all morning to remove the bushes, even using some serious tools. We used a combination of chain saw, hand saw, axe, and shovels, and it was still tough work! They created quite the mess too, hacked up shrubs were strewn all across our lawn. Our neighbors must have loved the view!
Once the bushes were finally torn out, we moved on to the next step of the project and began preparing the walkway area for pavers.
From our experience in putting in our backyard patio, we already knew that the first step after digging out the area was to put down a thick layer of rocks. We actually still had some rocks left over from our patio project, but we needed to buy about 17 additional bags. We used a much thicker layer of rocks than what is shown below (we added some sand to the thickest rock layer to estimate how many more bags we'd need for the remaining area). After the rocks were in place, we used a hand tamper to pound down the rocks and create compact rock level.
Once enough rocks were in place, we were ready to add the second prep layer: 10-15 bags of sand (I lost track). The sand creates a tight bond between the paving stones, keeping them in place. Sand is also used to create a level surface for the pavers. We did a little leveling after the sand was put down, but most of our leveling was done as we put each paver stone into place.
As each paver stone was put down, we used a level to ensure each one was level with the stone next to it and the adjacent concrete driveway. To create a little visual interest, while still remaining easy to install, we chose an alternating pattern of one larger paver and one small paver.
We got about one and a half rows of pavers down on Sunday before it became too dark to work. We were happy to finish all the prep work on Sunday, but the rest of the pavers need to be installed this week (Halloween is our deadline). Stay tuned for the next walkway makeover update!