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Maximum Grade for Paver sidewalk

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2652 NorthWest NJ
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2005-08-29          115605


I am building a sidewalk to my rear walk out basement entrance that I want to clear with my Kubota Blower in the winter. So I don't want any steps. It rises 9 feet in about 80 feet the shortest distance. I can also make it longer up to about 100 feet long. The grade of course is not even. And of course there is a grade away from the house of 6 to 8 % that will have to be filled after the walk is done.

My brother says I am nuts that I will fall on my butt without steps.



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Maximum Grade for Paver sidewalk

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2005-08-30          115623


I have not looked at ramps lately. But I think wheel chair ramps are 1 / 12 and they are ok.

Your 9 / 80 (1 / 9) sounds very doable. Which side of the house will it be on? North sides like to grow algie and that can get slippery when moist or wet. ....

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Maximum Grade for Paver sidewalk

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yooperpete
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1413 Northern Michigan
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2005-08-30          115624


What happens when it rains? Are you going to be building a water slide directly into your basement?

I would think that you want to maintain your slope away from the house and have a low spot a good distance from it. At that point a catch basin and drain should be dug or direct water away with another side slope.

If possible I would suggest snaking a path which would add to the length of drop. The snake pattern helps to divert water run-off since the water will run straight down the slope while you turn away.

The snake or "S" curves look good as well. ....

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Maximum Grade for Paver sidewalk

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ncrunch32
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 762 Kingston, NY
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2005-08-30          115626


I know what your brother is saying. I replaced a set of concrete steps going through some gardens with a ramp made of pavers. (The concrete wasn't poured correctly and was breaking up.) In the winter the ramp is extremely dangerous when it gets a film of ice on it. I think you would have a less steep ramp, but have you considered putting in a set of auxillary steps in addition to the ramp? I did this once in a deck design when my mother-in-law was in a wheel chair. That way people have an option - the ramp or the steps. ....

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Maximum Grade for Paver sidewalk

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kdsrgone
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 30 south central PA
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2005-08-30          115698


Dennis,

Since this is my livelihood, let me take a crack at answering your question. First, the paver walk should slope away form the house at 1.5 to 2% (3/16" to 1/4" per foot). In designing a walkway the recommendation for maximum slope for comfortable walking is 7 degrees or about 12%. Your planned slope is right at this figure at 11.1% or 6.3 degrees. As the other posters have stated, if you have the room a serpentine pattern would ease the grade (remember the old switchbacks on railroads and mountain roads?). I don't know what your plans are for handling the 6-8% slope away from the house, but for integrity of the pavers, that should be addressed before the project starts as pavers need solid edge restraint to be successful and somehow you need to provide that with a combination of cut or cut/fill. ....

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Maximum Grade for Paver sidewalk

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2652 NorthWest NJ
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2005-08-31          115700


Kdsr,

Yes I am planning on using GP to fill most of it with little to no cutting except in one spot. I then plan on buying top soil to fill to grade next to the down hill side of the walk. I do not want to put any turns in it as the turns would have to be negotiable by my B7610 with front blower and year grader blade, too big of circle and also too much of a traction issue if I make the turns tight.

Yooper, I think you are picturing this other than it is, there is no drainage issue my house is built with the long side parallel to the ridge line of the hill. My proposed walk will also be parallel to the ridge line taversing it from my garage, across the back of the house to the other end where I have a patio door. Below is a rear profile look at the back of my house.

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