Walkways vs. Pathways

Walkways vs. Pathways

There are types of trails you can establish in your yard – a walkway, or a pathway.

A walkway is a formal, purposeful element meant to carry regular foot traffic from one place to another. An example would be the sidewalk from a back door that leads to the driveway.  Walkways are typically constructed with pavers, concrete, or large flagstone.  Walkways are wider and sturdier than pathways.

A pathway is a more creative element that carries a lesser volume of foot traffic from one feature of your yard to another. An example of this might be from your back door to your pool or from your patio to your rear garden. Pathways are more narrow than walkways and tend to be designed with more artistic materials, like natural stone. 

Designing your Walkway or Pathway

There are a few important considerations to look at when determining the type of material and location of your pathway or walkway.

Costs. Your budget is a major factor when determining the type of material and area that can be developed with a hardscape. The costs of materials greatly vary between the type of media (concrete, stamped/stained concrete, or pavers, for example) and how well they are finished, stained or sealed after installation. 

Higher end materials are usually comprised of custom cut stones or masonry work, while middle-market designs are made of pre-cut pavers that fit together in a pattern.

Sunlight. The location of your walkway will determine how much sunlight the hardscape receives. This is important, because sunlight prevents the growth of mold, mildew, and algae that grow in damp and/or shaded areas. When they grow on media, it results in a dark green or black staining and makes the surface extremely slippery to walk on, especially after rain. Shaded walkways should be constructed with pavers; shaded pathways should be constructed with natural mixed aggregates.

Complementing the Home. This is usually the most fun part of the design process – choosing the color scheme and/or pattern for the feature. Most materials come in shades of earth tones, which usually pair well with existing colors in the exterior of the home (such as brick or stone). Most designers like to choose a color from the home that complements the material to be used. A stone chimney, for example, offers a few options for color schemes for a stone or paver walkway. The style, location, and architecture of the house should also guide the design. 

Pathways and Walkways Improve Real Estate Value

Pathways and walkways both improve home value when installed properly. They provide a finished look to the yard while also giving it visual appeal, defining spaces, and making the yard or approach to the house inviting. These types of improvements increase the salability of the home and curb appeal to prospective buyers. Therefore, the investment you make in the yard usually pays considerable dividends.

Properly constructed walkways require skilled excavation, base and installation techniques. Be sure to consult with a landscape or hardscape designer (like Chesapeake Landscapes) to explore all your options.

Chesapeake Landscapes is known in Harford, Baltimore and Cecil Counties of northern Maryland for our expertise in landscapes and hardscapes. We employ skilled craftsmen and masons who are capable of designing and building the perfect walkway or hardscape for your home.  Contact us today to learn more!

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