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Side path rebuild from recyled pavers

Home Improvement Guru

Side path rebuild from recyled pavers

After digging up and replacing my stormwater pipes I needed to replace the old concrete pathway. I was REALLY reluctant to put concrete back down after having to smash up all the previous pathway. I still had bucket loads of gravel as I had overestimated my need by half so thought I would use that :surprised:

I wanted pavers down the side but had no spare pavers. Then I remembered the large fragile concrete square type pavers from the old patio I had to dig through. I thought "why not give these a go"? 

They ended up really suiting the path, they worked well and really bedded in nicely with the gravel. I was told I should use paving sand, and proper pavers.... Money just wasnt there and that would mean more stuff to get rid of eventually if I didnt use the gravel. 

This is why advice is advice, I listened then thought it through and as had nothing to loose other then my labour I thought why not. So far there has not been a bade side effect. If anything the gravel on the underside also helps to funnel the water downslope.



8mm Gravel (repurposed)

900mm straight tapered garden edge * 6

Recyled concrete pavers




gorilla carts 115l poly dump cart  (Trolley that could)




Step 1

I had put in the new stormwater piping and backfilled it three months before so the clay had time to settle. With the amount of rain we recieved that year the pathway was pretty much always muddy. I had water from the backyard and the neighbours up the hill behind the yard, I had water directly from the neigbours yard coming down the path so whenever it rained id have water for days afterwards.

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It had become a very muddy pathway

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Time to prep it for the gravel.

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I made sure to level the clay as I worked my way down the hill. This ended up helping me out hugely when I put in some guttering later on.

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Seriously muddy

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It was slogging through the wet clay type deal...

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All prepped!

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Some parts actually needed even more clay for fill...

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I used the wieght of the trolly to actually compact the ground as I made umteen trips back and fourth. It really helped to firm up the ground.

Step 2

Time for the gravel to go down. I was hopping to use a lot up as I had overestimated what I needed for the stormwater piping :surprised: I had ordered 5 and a half ton when 2 and a half would have been perfect. It actually worked in my advantage as the gravel really works well.

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Lots of tri[ps with the trolley. I had been using a wheelbarrow but my wrist ended up with tendinitis so trolley was the perfect answer. Keep on keeping on :smile:

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I raked it level but also sloped level as I worked my way down the hill.

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Overestimated by a LOT...

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I actually had fun watching it unfold. I was going from a muddy mess to something I could walk on.

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So the neighbours downpipe to the left wasnt connected and all the roof water plus yard water had very little places to go, it would come under the fence and across under the old concrete path then exit under the actual house. Hopefully this work will help mitigate it. (It really did fix the problem :smile: )

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Gravel in, temp stop in for now.

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It was a pleasure to walk on compared to that mud.

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Id count the days trolley trips with a stone...

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Slowly disappearing.

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A day or two later, time to lay the concrete pavers down.

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I had chiseled the concrete with a crowbar and also a cold chisel as straight as I could. This path will one day go aslo.

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Working out the height of the pavers to the height of my pits. I still need to do the kick out to the middle of the pits for the downpipe (still to be done lol)

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You can see some gravel coming out from the rain we had over the past day or so. Mmmm

Step 3

Paving time, I had almost broken up the concrete pavers (well it was thin concrete that had been "channeled/stenciled" so broke really easily. Something made me take it easy and keep them whole as much as possible. Turns out they were perfect for the path :smile:

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Back to the little trolley that could. Have to say I can find no fault with it. It just keeps on going.

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Laying out the pavers.

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The gravel made it so easy to move along. It always amazes me how a job stands on what you have put down first. (Builder geeky? I dont know :smile: )

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That upside down S bend is just a temporary cap to the stormwater pipe I put in. I extended it past the last pit for an inspection point / just in case. The reason for the cap is that I already bumped a lump of dirt down it accidently... lol

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Each paver had a different depth, When the layed the patio I think they had the area roughly smooth and then filled it with concrete of some kind. It was lucky I used gravel

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Made sure it was level across the width of the path and also a consistant slope.

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The underside of the pavers. It was just concrete that had been thrown down on the patio area and about an inch thick... No wonder it cracked so easily Really dont think it was a poured concrete, maybe a powdered concrete that was then hosed?

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Showing where the "pavers" were coming from.

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Pretty happy with how the path slope worked out. Only had to take a little bit of clay off on the bottom side of the path.

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All done, next step is to backfill the paver edges.

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Resonably straight :smile:

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Something so pleasing about finishing a job

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Backfilled :smile: Was very pleased with myself.... Until it rained super heavily....

Step 4

Well you think after going to all the effort I would understand stormwater and excess inundations of rain... nooooo, but it was an easy fix. I put in a concrete gutter alongside the fences edge. This stopped the excess water runoff from eating under the gravel and pushing the gravel down the front yard. Plus also stops the underside of the base of the fence from being eaten away.

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I still need to make the kick outs of the downpipes...

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So much water from short bursts of downpours

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The clay base for the path held up nicely, everything else washed away.

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Water will eat anything away given time..

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Ahhhh an issue I need to fix. I seriously didnt expect that level of rainfall and water coming from the back and side of the house. I should have but didnt think it through.

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Looks like I am off to Bunnings to find some concrete edging :smile: You can see the flow lines in the gravel that shows how much water fell. I was surrprised.

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Ahh The ones I had seen before and think will work perfectly.

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I had to lift up the pavers and scrape back the gravel, so happy that I had leveled the underlying clay before putting the gravel down as it would have been much more of a headache to fix.

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Still a muddy job but pretty easy to put them in.

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I just worked my way back up the hill putting them in. They are ment to channel the water not stop the water.

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Keeping them all straight was a bit of a pain but some jiggling got them all inline.

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Pretty happy with the solution

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Then it was a matter of waiting for more rain, which happened pretty much within days of the edges going in.

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It worked a dream, I have some videos but cant post them. If you look at the left of the channel it was carrying a lot of water, no more eating away at the underside of the pavers, no more running across the top of the pavers and channeling.


Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Side path rebuild from recyled pavers

Great work, @Dave-1; it looks like it's worked a treat! Nothing is worse than water undermining your hard work, but it looks like that issue is now solved. I love the use of the cement garden edging for this application. I wonder if two facing each other could be used as a U-drain.


Many thanks for sharing your paving project and drainage solution.




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Home Improvement Guru

Re: Side path rebuild from recyled pavers

Afternoon @MitchellMc 

:smile: yes that thought about the two facing each other came to mind as well. The only disapointingthing is since all of the landscaping and channeling the rain has dried up :smile: Very Australian weather, when it rains it pours otherwise its dry as. Love looking at an object and thinking of "How could it be used" :smile:



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