How to Make a Lined Gravel Path Part 1

What You'll Need
Edging (Wooden Boards)
Stakes or Pegs for the Edging
Drainage Underlayment
Scissors or Utility Knife
Hand Compactor

This is part 1 of a 2-part article on how to line a gravel path to your home. In this article the process of clearing a path for the gravel and laying the edging will be discussed. The second part of this process will look at securing the boards and pouring the gravel to create a lined gravel path. (To move ahead to Part 2, click here.)

This project is one that most do-it-yourselfers can do on their own or with very little assistance. It will require some time to complete and will probably be done over the course of two weekends (or less, depending on the level of additional help you may have).

Step 1: Clear a Path Area

You will need to dig up the area where you intend the path to go. Do this by taking a couple of wooden stakes and driving them in the ground with a hammer to indicate the width of the path (there is no standard to go by, so you can choose to make the path as wide or as narrow as you like). Also, use stakes to indicate the length of the path. Take string to mark the path so that you know where to dig.

Step 2: Acquire the Materials for the Path

You will need to purchase the tools and materials referenced above in order to accomplish the construction of your gravel path. This includes several bags of gravel, a vinyl underlayment (for drainage), hot-dipped galvanized screws, wooden edging boards, stakes and the other materials described above.

Step 3: Dig the Path

With the materials in hand, take a shovel and dig the path for your lined gravel pathway. Dig the top layer of grass and dirt and make a path 1/2 a foot deep. Remove the sod and dirt as you dig the path. You also need to dig a trench for placing the edging in.

Step 4: Place the Edging

With the pathway dug and the dirt removed from the area you can turn your attention to laying the edging in place. Start by placing the drainage underlayment in the pathway that you dug. Use a utility knife or scissors to cut the underlayment, allowing some of the fabric to overhang the edging once it is placed.

Place the edging into the trench over the top of the underlayment. Use a hammer to set the edging in place. Take the stakes and hammer them near the edging, spacing the stakes about 6 inches apart. Drive the stakes through the underlayment to secure it into the ground. This will give you the drainage you need for the pathway, and hammering the stakes next to the edging will help to secure it as well.

In the next article we will discuss securing the stakes to the edging and laying the gravel into the pathway.