Hot Topics: Walkway Driveway Connection

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Original Post: Need advice on walkway

Jwdiy - Member

We had this job done by a paving/landscape company for our entrance and not I'm sure what to do about it.

First pic is what we asked for and following pics are what we got. We were told the walkway does not meet the driveway because step up to next step would be too high, the slope etc.

They said they have 40 years experience. We never told them we were going to repave the driveway. Can I get an opinion on this result from some people with experience out there? It wasn't cheap. Thanks in advance.

a stone walkway leading to a front door

a stone walkway awkwardly connecting to a driveway

a stone walkway awkwardly connecting to a driveway

a stone walkway awkwardly connecting to a driveway

marksr - Forum Topic Moderator

What exactly is the slope—length and height?

aka pedro - Member

Unfortunately, it looks like the driveway has a hump right at the worst possible spot, so the transition from the sidewalk to the driveway was a tough call.

But it also looks like, and this is hard to say from a picture so you'll have to measure it, the rise from the sidewalk to the fist step is something around an inch less than the rise from the second step to the porch, so if that's the case, and assuming slope from the steps to the driveway could be maintained, the whole sidewalk should be that much lower, which would not eliminate the step, but would improve the transition at the driveway.

Marq1 - Member

I can understand the need to maintain step heights and slope, but to pour a blob of cement and just leave it is questionable.

I've had steps go to a driveway that were not uniform, that never presented a step issue but still that blob is a mess that needs to be cleaned up!

stickshift - Group Moderator

While you're never going to get what you show someone in a picture, this looks bad and I would not be paying for it.

Jwdiy - Thread Starter

Had to go home to measure. Its pretty level, looks like three degrees and the length is six feet. The top step is an inch taller than bottom step. Does that change anything? I don't get why it couldn't meet the level of the driveway without the cement on top, which is already cracking (and one stone is a little loose).

Marq1 - Member

Again, you need to maintain consistent step heights, so that dictates where the walkway is going to end (accounting for slope also) but you now state that one step is off by an inch, and it's loose and cracking.

I'd say their 40 years of experience didn't pan out.

Plus it looks bad, I can't believe someone just left that looking the way it is completely unfinished!

marksr - Forum Topic Moderator

Have you paid them yet?

They might have 40 years in the business but their work sure doesn't show expertise!

Jwdiy - Thread Starter

We did pay because we were in the middle of having twins and I had no time to show pics around and get opinions and they were saying things like "the cement needs to be covered by dirt" actually here's what they wrote:

"We raised the walk higher at the driveway to make the slope lesser

We could not lower it anymore near the door as that would make the first step to high

So right now it's about the right height."

I'm in touch with them now the guy stopped by to take a look. I've never had a walkway done so didn't know better. I'm going to call them. What in the quotes above doesn't make sense specifically?


aka pedro - Member

"I don't get why it couldn't meet level of driveway."

I don't think a continuous connection between the walkway and the driveway is achievable because, as I mentioned previously, it looks like you have an unwanted hump in the driveway right there. So it would be (or would have been) a matter of picking the elevation at the driveway where you want the walkway to be.

I would probably have said to match the walkway to the highest possible point of the driveway, i.e. the top of that hump, so that water flowing off of the walkway would continue to flow down to the driveway.

"The top step is an inch taller than bottom step."

Okay, so it's pretty much what I said it looked like, in which case it looks like the entire walkway should be an inch lower, which would make your step risers equal and would put the end of the walkway at the driveway at about the top of the hump, right where I'm thinking I would want it.

The outside edges of the walkway would still be about an inch higher than the driveway, but that's something you would have to deal with having a stone walkway that can't be shaped to match the driveway.

In summary, at least in my opinion, I would say, in addition to not exhibiting the best workmanship, the entire walkway is about one inch higher than it should be.

Norm201 - Member

I can't talk from any expertise, but I would've expected the edges to be squared off. And for a better look, the edges could've been faced with the same stone as the walking surface. This looks bad!

Jwdiy - Thread Starter

Not sure what you mean by hump, the driveway is pretty level next to walkway maybe its an optical illusion in the photo.

I think the walkway was built with a small slope and making it more sloped to meet the level of driveway better (not cake cement on top of driveway) would give rain chance to flow off walkway, no?

In addition, the cement on sides of walkway cannot be covered with dirt like they said, as the dirt would have to slope a lot upwards and cover all the rocks and wood and still it would be a thin layer unless you redid the whole landscape.

Jwdiy - Thread Starter

Ok i see what you meant by bump, the asphalt is slightly uneven, half the driveway touching the walkway is a little higher (less than an inch difference). So if the walkway met the higher part of driveway it would still look like it meets the driveway and isn't cemented on top of it.

a walkway connects to a driveway