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DIY Decomposed Granite

Decomposed granite is a landscape paving material made up of crushed pieces of granite and stone dust. Laying decomposed granite is a project you can do yourself over a weekend with basic tools. Install it loose or with a resin that will form a solid surface over the material to reduce erosion. A loose decomposed granite walkway or patio entails a basic installation process and will last for years with little maintenance.

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  1. Choose the location for the walkway or patio, and determine its intended size and shape. Lay ropes or garden hoses to mark the borders of the site. Walk the chosen site or path of the surface to ensure that you're happy with the location and size of the surface.

  2. Unearth the soil to dig a hole 7 inches deep across the intended site using a standard shovel. Compact remaining loose dirt with a hand tamper until the ground feels hard under your feet.

  3. Fill 4 inches of the foundation with 3/4-inch aggregate base. Spread the aggregate with a rake and tamp it to wedge the stones together. The gravel base improves the site's drainage and keeps the surface from sinking.

  4. Rake a 3-inch layer of decomposed granite over the gravel base. Tamp the decomposed granite until the pieces don't shift under your feet. Add another 2-inch layer of decomposed granite down the centre of the surface. Slope the sides so the centre of the walkway or patio is the highest point of the surface for drainage, and tamp it down.

  5. Tip

    Install edging along the sides of the surface to contain the loose material. Use metal or flexible edging for a simple look, or natural stones, pavers or timbers to add definition and structure.

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Things You'll Need

  • Ropes or hoses
  • Shovel
  • Hand tamper
  • 3/4-inch aggregate
  • Rake
  • Decomposed granite

About the Author

Aurora LaJambre is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, N.Y. For over five years she's covered topics in culture, lifestyle, travel, DIY design and green living for print and online media. Her publication credits include "WOW Women on Writing," "Six States" and Catalogs.com. She graduated from New York University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing.

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