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Charming brick paver walkway project

Charming brick paver walkway project

Forking over the cash for new sidewalks is not my idea of a fun project. Nor is it a DIY project. So… since I had to do it, I figured I’d splurge by adding an extra charming brick paver walkway to my house! I think the results speak for themselves on this one!

A charming brick paver walkway adds tons of curb appeal
A charming brick paver walkway adds tons of curb appeal!

Pouring new concrete sidewalks

I’ve been putting off getting new sidewalks poured since I’ve moved in. Now, it’s been 5 years and I decided it’s finally time. But… boy… it’s so expensive and just seems like such a crappy way to throw money. I know it will make a difference and adds curb appeal, but there’s nothing exciting or interesting about pouring concrete sidewalks.

So, I decided to seize the opportunity and while I had the contractor there, I talked to him about some ideas to create a really charming brick walkway to my house.

The concrete pour was really straight forward. I called 3 contractors to get quotes (see below for my tips about working with contractors). I talked to the contractors about how they would pour the concrete. Here’s what we covered:

  • pouring as a separate sidewalk and curb or pouring together — they poured them together
  • adding rebar to reenforce the concrete
  • mixing fiberglass into the concrete for extra strength (he said lots of people opt out of this because you can see the little fiber glass flecks in the concrete. I decided to do it anyway and I’m happy I did — the durability and strength outweighed the cons for me)
  • expansion joints and score lines
  • addressing the walkway — I wanted to add pavers, but would these be a separate project, laid onto the ground with sand, or laid overtop of a thin concrete layer. I decided to go with the thin layer of concrete so that laying the walkway would be easier, level and (hopefully) last longer through our harsh Northeast PA winters.
  • sealing the concrete afterwards

Charming brick paver walkway project

The brick paver walkway was the most exciting part of this project for me. I went online and found some photos of what I liked, and was able to show these to the contractor. He picked out the brick and sent me photos of the options. And, since I was home during the install, I was able to give some extra input about the design and how I wanted the bricks to lay out. Just a note, my contractor was super friendly and accommodating — not all are as nice as this and would probably be annoyed if you were hovering over them as they work.

Cottage-Style Walkway Inspiration Photos

I wanted small bricks or something “cottagy” for the walkway. So I went on Pinterest and found a bunch of photos I liked so I could give the contractor an idea of what I was looking for.  Here are the example photos I pulled from the internet.

After I got the pricing, I picked the best contractor fit for me. And— was immediately put on a waiting list. The 3 week wait-list quickly turned into 7 weeks. But, once they were ready to work it went really quickly. The project was started on a Friday, they worked on Saturday and Tuesday, and finished up on Wednesday. All in all, the entire project was about 20 hours of labor.

Sometimes working with contractors feels really difficult. But if you follow my tips below, you’ll have a much better experience and feel more prepared when it’s time to hire!

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Before & After Concrete & Walkway Photos

Here are some before and after photos of the entire project! What a difference the new concrete sidewalk an the brick paver walkway makes. I’m all smiles when I drive up to the house!


Here are some before photos… as you can see I really did need some help with my concrete sidewalks!


All of the old concrete was removed and disposed of. Then, new concrete was laid on both the sidewalk and the walkway. The brick pavers were placed a few days later when the concrete dried. They are layed directly onto a layer of concrete.


I’m sure you can see what an incredible difference this project made to my home’s curb appeal. I love the way it came out.

Brick paver walkway - After photo
New sidewalks and a charming brick paver walkway up to the house.
Brick paver walkway - After photo
Here’s a view of the brick pavers from the front porch.

Wrapping Up

Overall, spending a ton of money on something like concrete can really suck the life out of you. Where I live, our borough does not care for the sidewalks in front of your home, although if it gets very bad, they can actually mandate you to get them repoured. Check your local township/city/borough website for details on pouring sidewalks… you may luck out and they will take care of them for you.

If you are in the same boat as me and have to pour them yourself, you may want to consider adding something special to the project. This always helps me to feel a little better about spending the money.

  • I needed basement windows, so while the contractor was there I had him enlarge a window in my office.
  • I needed sidewalks poured, so while the contractor was there I had him install a cute brick paver walkway to add a little more charm.

Doing this helps you to appreciate the project more, and not feel like you are wasting your money on items that don’t bring you joy. You deserve a little joy, and while you have a contractor already coming to do something else, you may as well inquire about those little touches you wouldn’t otherwise do!

As with any project, gather sample photos and make sure that you have a clear idea of what you expect from the contractor. Follow all of the contractor tips in this post to make sure you are picking one that’s a good fit for you and the project you are working on. Most of all, enjoy the process, have fun, and use these types of projects to add a special touch to your home!

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My house has LIPSTICK! Learn how easy it is to paint your foundation!

My house has LIPSTICK! Learn how easy it is to paint your foundation!

After I painted! You can also see how I painted the vertical parts of the new concrete steps to make them fit in, too

This weekend I was finally able to paint the foundation… or as I like to say “apply lipstick” to my house. If you read my post about painting the window trim and my house wearing “eyeliner” you will get where I’m going with this! My house has black lipstick, so I guess she’s in her goth stage…

In the aforementioned post, I went over the steps that we took to parge the foundation. The concrete was chipping off, and making the surface uneven, so parging it with concrete smoothed the surface. It took about a week and a half to cure… I knew it was ready when the concrete lightened up and all turned the same color.

Painting the foundation is just like painting anything else inside or outside of your house. The only difference is in a few of the materials you use:

  1. Use exterior masonry paint. I picked mine up at Ace Hardware and they even tinted it to the color that I wanted, black  (“189-A India Ink” was the color on the swatch).
  2. Apply the paint using a roller with a thick nap (at least 3/4″). This allowed me to get the paint into all the nooks and crannies. Ok, maybe my house is an English Muffin, rather than a girl wearing lipstick??

The thickness, pile or nap length of the roller cover is determined by the texture of the surface to be painted.

  • 1/8 — 1/4 inch, including mohair paint roller naps, are for ultra smooth surfaces. Use with enamels, varnish, oil and water base paints.
  • 3/8 — 1/2 inch, are for semi- smooth and medium textured surfaces. These can be used with all paints.
  • 3/4 inch is a multi purpose roller nap length that is useful for semi-rough surfaces. This size of roller nap is a good choice for most interior and exterior surfaces; such as siding, walls and smooth concrete block.
  • 1 — 1-1/2 inch thick piles are for the roughest of surfaces, such as rough stucco and split face concrete block.

After I rolled as much as I could onto the foundation, I used a regular 3″ paintbrush to get the edges near the porch and near the ground. I also decided to paint my new concrete steps, to make them feel more cohesive with the rest of the house. I didn’t paint the actual “step”, only the vertical parts that look like part of the foundation. It was nice to have them look “brand new” for awhile, but I think it’s much better to have them fit in with the rest of the house.

I did this myself, and doing the front and both sides of the house only took me about 2 hours, total. So it wasn’t even a whole day project, just a morning. Before I tackled it, I walked my dog Roxy around the neighborhood to get ideas, and noticed that most people actually don’t paint their foundation. Why??? For 2 hours worth of work, look at the visual impact it gives the front of my house! It looks so much nicer, cared for and cohesive. It’s also completely doable for the average person. Give it a try!