The stone walkways around my house have all come apart to various degrees. I'd like to find a solution that will last for at least a few years. Is pouring a concrete base the right way to go? Or is there a less costly/labor-instensive solution that would work just as well? c

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    You say they fell apart but I see no borders just loose stones , I see absolutely no failures! Do you have photos of the original installed positions ? ? Because I do not see any failures with the pictures, no outside retaining structure, I see a hill side where if the soil was not retained this is normal with no retaining system! I see enough to say CHEEP original install not a failure at all! adding a barrier to the sides so the base won’t be washed out may help. – Ed Beal Oct 10 '20 at 22:42
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    It would be useful if you could explain better your goals. Other than normal weathering, the photos seem to show walkways in reasonable condition. Installation of stone walkways is well-documented; what research have you done? Is there something about the standard methodology that you want to deviate from? – Peter Duniho Oct 11 '20 at 1:19
  • I don't think the walkways are in good shape. They used to be flat and the seams were tight. They are now all over the place and the seams have apart and there are numerous tripping hazards. My goal is for the walkways to remain flat – Wynne Oct 11 '20 at 1:32

With proper drainage and base material, no concrete is needed.

Without proper drainage, concrete will (also) fail (at least in a freezing climate.)

  • What does drainage mean for a concrete base? where is the water coming from and where is it supposed to drain? – Wynne Oct 10 '20 at 23:27
  • The water comes from clouds in the sky, from the roof of your house after the sky, from the slopes uphill of the paths after roof and sky. The drains should take it somewhere that is not sitting under your paths freezing and moving the stones around - a ditch, a dry-well, a soakaway - varies with local conditions. – Ecnerwal Oct 11 '20 at 17:48

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