Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Custom Creative Home Sidewalk Ideas

If you are looking for creative new ways to add some flavor to your front yard, consider the possibility of updating your sidewalk. Oftentimes, sidewalks are ignored as being permanent and unchangeable in your landscaping, but with a little bit of planning, you can change the appearance of your sidewalk altogether. As people are approaching your house, they will notice a distinct difference in materials, colors, and decor that stands out from the average grey concrete walkway that has become standard. Here are a few ways to update the look of your sidewalks.

Borders

If you are looking for a simple solution to add a splash of color, the easiest thing to do is to add a small border on either side of your sidewalks. This is the simplest and least expensive of the home sidewalk ideas, because you can choose your border, and not have to change the sidewalk itself or hire a contractor. You can start with adding a small strip of mulch on either side of the sidewalk, in either black or red to contrast the grey concrete. Once the mulch is in, you have the choice of planting small flowers, shrubs, smaller topiary type trees, or even using potted plants at regular intervals. As the seasons change, your flowers and trees will change colors as well to add even more variety to the look throughout the year. This can be a very low maintenance way to update your sidewalks, and gives you a lot of opportunity to change the plants and colors each year as you replant.

custom creative home sidewalk ideas - broken top home traditional exterior portlandDesigned by Norman Building & Design

If you are not interested in gardening or planting, it is also possible to use stones to create a unique border to your sidewalk as well. Something as simple as flagstones or white rock along the pathway can give an elegant look to the approach to your house. This may be slightly more expensive, and flagstones take a little extra work to lay down, but this method reduces the long term maintenance of the border, and removes the necessity of water or replanting from one year to the next.

Brick and Stonework

If you are looking to do a complete overhaul of your landscape, you may want to consider updating your sidewalk with a whole new look. If you know that your sidewalk will be torn up or removed altogether, this is a great opportunity to explore other sidewalk materials that are available. Flagstones come in a variety of colors and sizes, and can be laid in varying patterns. It is important to properly prepare the ground for laying these stones, and ensure that they will lay flat to prevent hazardous bumps in the walkway.

custom creative home sidewalk - contemporary highlands home in Bend, OR

custom creative home sidewalk - contemporary highlands home in Bend, OR 2

Another option is to use bricks to create a new path. Red, brown and white bricks can be purchased, and many landscaping companies offer bricks that come in interesting shapes that interlock to make more complex patterns. A designer may also be able to assist with innovative looks such as cross-hatching or creating a shell pattern out of the bricks, to draw attention.

Lastly, it is always possible to create curves and accents in the walkway to add interest. Rather than using a straight line from the street directly to your doorstep, changing the direction of the walkway is one home sidewalk idea that opens up many possibilities for your landscape overall.

It is important to remember that using brick or stone to create a new sidewalk is somewhat costly, and the initial investment will require more than just the purchase of the stones. You will have to level the ground beneath the desired pathway, and use some sort of filler such as sand to keep the stones in place once they are laid.

Stamps and Dyes

A more recent addition to the list of home sidewalk ideas is that use of stamps and dyes to change the appearance of concrete. If you are not going to be tearing up your sidewalk, you can still drastically change the look of the concrete by adding a color or pattern. In fact, you can even add a pattern that looks like bricks or stones. Dyes come in both natural colors, such as brown, beige and reds, as well as other brighter colors, like purple, green and yellow. Some designers use a scattering of different colors to create a marbled look, or to vary the appearance of the concrete as you walk. These dyes come in a powder form that is then coated over with a permanent finish to protect them from washing out or fading due to weather conditions.

Using a stamp to change the look of your concrete involves laying down a new layer of concrete or dye and finish, and then placing a patterned rubber mat over the top. Once you find a pattern that you like, you can rent the rubber mat and stamp from most home improvement locations. Simply place the mat on the wet surface, and use the heavy stamp to leave an imprint. You will need to stamp evenly across the entire surface to ensure that the pattern is applied evenly throughout. This is another simple home sidewalk idea that gives a whole new look to your walkways. It is typically less expensive, and less work overall than trying to rebuild the walkway with new materials, and it is still low maintenance long term. However, this is only an update to your look, and should only be done if the original sidewalk surface is already in good condition, free of cracks and breaks.

Ultimately there are many home sidewalk ideas available to homeowners looking for an exciting way to change their landscape. These three home sidewalk ideas give a good example of the different options that are out there, and the amount of work that will be involved in each one, and the budget that will be required to apply each technique well.

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