Garden lighting, stone footpaths, marking, stone splitting, laying - 1

Garden lighting, stone footpaths, marking, stone splitting, laying - 1

Garden design elements that help shape its appearance

Important elements of garden design are paths, playgrounds, terraces, pergolas, garden fireplaces, lamps and ponds. For their construction, stone, wood, gravel and other materials are used.

Irrigated plants and velvet lawns need a high quality frame. Lovers of alpine flora will choose for themselves a rockery with retaining walls, ladders, cobbled paths.

Garden lighting

Admiring the view of the garden at night is possible only when lit, but most gardens, unfortunately, are deprived of it. You need to plan the power supply; it implies the organization of general lighting and, possibly, additional light sources in the most important places, for example, near a reservoir, separately planted trees, some sculptures, etc.

It goes without saying that the light intensity in the garden cannot be as high as in the room. But this can hardly be viewed as a problem, since the beauty of evening walks lies precisely in the fact that there is an opportunity to admire the moon and stars, and the lighting should not interfere with this. Perhaps the easiest way to provide general lighting for your area is to install a powerful halogen-type lamp in it. Since a table and chairs are usually located directly near the house, there should be enough light for it.

The lighting in the garden, which illuminates the steps and edges of the paths, will allow you to show its main attractions, leaving everything else in the darkness, and then it begins to seem that the night garden filled with lights is a kind of independent, separate world.

Garden Walking Path Network

The network of natural stone footpaths and the nature of their coverage largely determine the look of any garden. However, in most cases, it is necessary to plan the subtleties of the design of the paths taking into account the entire complex of landscape architecture. This has its advantages, since in this case it is easier to take into account the peculiarities of an already formed garden. For example, the path leading to the house can be paved with light-colored granite paving stones.

Tools and equipment for the construction of the track

The tools and equipment for laying stone are remarkably simple compared to those used in most crafts or construction. They are usually uncomplicated and inexpensive, and do not require special training to handle them. The main tool for working with a stone is a mason's hammer, a chisel, 2-3 ordinary hammers from one to three kilograms, a sledgehammer weighing 5-6 kilograms, a rubberized hammer (mallet). In addition, an ordinary wheelbarrow, a shovel, a crowbar, a level are required.

It is especially necessary to say about safety precautions. When working with a stone, you will constantly have to break off irregularities and protrusions from the stone with a hammer and chisel, and flying fragments can cause serious injury. First of all, you need to protect your eyes. For this, protective glasses are used, and it is better to use a protective face mask. On the hands should be leather gloves, and on the legs - boots with long tops. When you are paving the paths, good knee pads will keep your trousers in place and protect your knees. After all, even a small injury can incapacitate you for several days.

Natural stone paths

Natural stone paths are made by selecting stones and laying them correctly, thereby achieving a decorative and artistic effect. Such paths are laid out on a sandy base. Depressions are made for the largest stones. For flat hewn stones of small or medium size, flat masonry is used. The base should be 5-10 cm thick, with large stones, the masonry is carried out at intervals of 5-8 cm, which are then covered with earth and sown with grass.

Paths of rubble and small hewn stone are laid at intervals and subsequent jointing. They are filled with a solution to the level of the upper surface of the stones or a little more for a better drainage of water from the track. Laying natural stone is much more troublesome. Granite, porphyry, basalt, gneiss and sandstone are of different sizes. However, it is precisely due to the variety of sizes and shapes of the constituent elements that the paths lined with natural stone are very attractive. It is necessary to select stones of the same size when laying on a sand cushion.

Choosing a stone for the path

Cobblestones are ideal for building a walkway. A cobblestone is a stone of irregular shape without a pronounced front surface, of various colors, its sizes vary from the size of a fist to a soccer ball. A cobblestone with a flat side is optimal.

The cobblestone path, which does not have a flat surface, is not very attractive and very uncomfortable to walk. To avoid this, the rounded cobblestones should be chopped up. To do this, a small hole is made in ordinary soil, in which a cobblestone is placed.

Chopping stone

Try to match stones of approximately the same size and only with a natural face and sides. The easiest and most effective way is to chop the stone using a regular 3-4 kg sledgehammer with a long wooden handle. The sledgehammer should have a square, flat surface and sharp edges.

The stone should be placed in a hole, that is, an oval dimple in the ground corresponding to the size of the stone. This is necessary so that the stone does not roll during the impact and does not ricocheted from the impact. The blow is not applied with the entire platform of the sledgehammer, while the blow must be whipping and exactly in the middle of the stone. If it did not split from the first blow, inflict 2-3 blows in the same place. And if this is not enough, then the stone should be turned and the blow struck from the other side.

As a rule, in 80% of cases, the stone is split almost in half. The resulting split surfaces are called torn surfaces, and they subsequently serve as the front surface during construction. With this technology, approximately 20-30% of stones are waste.

Layout and marking of a stone path

When starting the construction of a stone path, it is necessary to clearly comprehend the size of the path, its boundaries and, most importantly, drainage to drain ground and storm water. When planning a path, it should be borne in mind that it can be an access road and run from the entrance gate to the garage. But in any case, it is necessary to mark the boundaries of the upcoming structure with the help of pegs and a rope.

Stacking stones

Then, using a level or level, you should determine and mark the slope of the path for water drainage. Usually the slope is done from the house towards the entrance gate. The tilt is about 10 degrees. A stretched rope along the edge of the walkway should indicate this slope.

Then excavation is carried out over the entire area to a depth of about 20 cm. Crushed stone or gravel, but not fine sand, is poured into the place of the excavated soil. This is the so-called pillow, it is thoroughly spilled with water, after the water has left, the pillow must be thoroughly tamped using a regular wooden rammer. This water pouring and ramming should be repeated several times within 2-3 days. A well-tamped pillow in the future will not let your walkway sink, and will serve as good drainage. You should know that if you have chosen 20 cm soil, then the pillow should be about 15 cm, that is, not higher than the ground level, since on the pillow you will lay a solution 5-7 cm thick, in which the stone is placed. The face of the stone should be at least 5 cm above the ground level, this level should be defined by pegs with a rope. It is advisable to lay a box of boards about 10 cm wide at the edges of the path under construction, into which the solution must be poured. The resulting concrete wall will serve as a curb. It should be 10-15 cm higher than the track itself. The construction of the path and the curb can be carried out at the same time. Subsequently, the box should be removed, and the solution should be poured into the resulting cracks.

After that, you can proceed to the selection and laying of the stone. Remember that in dry weather, moisten the stones and the pillow on which the solution is spread with water. It is advisable to choose stones of the same size, that is, of the same area and thickness, while the flat surface should be turned up, since it is the front. When placing stones in the solution, try to fit them tightly together. Irregularities and protrusions can be chipped off with a bricklayer's hammer. After placing the stone in the solution with a light blow with a mallet, you must drive it into the solution. Having created 1-2 square meters of track in this way, you need to check the level and inclination of your track with a level, focusing on the pegs and rope. The formed small niches between the stones should be filled with pieces of stone, which you will have in abundance after splitting large specimens. Remember that the front surface of the stone should be 1-2 cm higher than the solution, then there will be small grooves between the stones, which will serve to drain water. Try not to get the solution on the face of the stone. If this happens, then after a day it must be removed with a dry metal brush, but not with a brush with water. This work does not require haste. On average, 5-7 square meters of track can be laid per working day. In order for the solution to set well, it is necessary to lightly water the path with water 4-6 times a day in dry time - and do this for a week. On a very hot sunny day, it is better to shade the paths. After 3-4 days you will be able to walk on it, but the car can be started up only after ten days.

To be continued

Sergey Tyunis, designer, Vitebsk

Houses made of cement and firewood: A house made of firewood and cement (logs, blocks of wood and concrete)

For many, the name "clay" will seem ridiculous or strange, but perhaps you will be more satisfied with the name "woodpile", although in this case it will not so accurately reflect the meaning of the technology. Today we will talk about one of the cheapest types of construction - from logs and clay. If you can easily get the right amount of firewood and you have clay on the site, then all your expenses will come down to buying double-glazed windows and entrance doors. Let's look at the construction method using the example of a video by the author of the YouTube channel Kerzhenskoye Estate.

An answer to skeptics from the depths of the ages

As soon as it comes to such construction, numerous comments from sofa skeptics immediately begin that such a house will not stand, that it will rot in a couple of years and the like. But here's a fact: archaeologists have unearthed several settlements in Siberia, in which such houses have preserved their walls in a very decent condition, and the age of these settlements is several thousand years. And if we talk about more "recent" events, then it should be noted that this technology was very popular among American settlers and the buildings of this period for 200 years did not cause any complaints from anyone. Such houses can be seen in Poland, Ukraine and Belarus. And their main advantage is minimal construction costs.

What you need to know about materials before starting construction

What kind of wood can be used for clay potting? Preferably conifers. Pine is an excellent choice in this case, but hardwoods with dense woods can also be used: alder, oak, aspen. Logs of fruit trees and birch logs are not suitable for such construction.

And one more important point: the tree must be cleaned of bark (otherwise the material will collapse already in the walls) and it is advisable to burn the logs with a blowtorch. For a reliable result, it is better to treat them with insect repellents and fire retardants.

The sequence and nuances of construction

Clay houses, like any others, need a foundation. Its shape can be any: you can use a reinforced tape or columnar. The choice depends on the characteristics of the soil in your area.

PHOTO: The author made a choice in favor of a columnar foundation, and used the same logs for the base, treated with a waterproofing compound and dug into the ground

At this stage, you need to add that the house built by the author has a round shape. If you give preference to this form, then there is no need to put a frame, as for buildings with more familiar right angles. In this case, you only need boxes for window and door openings.

PHOTO: Logs begin to be laid on the foundation on a layer of waterproofing. Having laid out the first row of logs, the space between them should be filled with mortar

What do you need to know about the solution? If you have clay, then use it, but this natural material does not always behave the same, so it is better to choose the proportions of the mixture empirically. Craftsmen recommend leaving the clay to overwinter in a dug out state before use.

As initial proportions, you can suggest the following: 2 parts of clay, 1 part of sand and 1 part of sawdust or chopped straw. Knead a test batch and let it dry for a couple of weeks. This way you can see if the mixture will crack and you can correct its contents. If there is no clay, use a composition of cement, sand and lime.

As for the size of the logs, it directly depends on the climate of your region. For warm places, 40-50 cm is enough, for northern regions - 60-70 cm. All logs should have an even cut, they should be well dried before laying, ideally within a year.

PHOTO: An important nuance: for construction, you need to use chocks of small diameter, up to 20 cm. Large ones can split in the wall and form through cracks, and this can only be corrected by complete plastering. and fixed with mortar PHOTO: Such walls are provided

Projects, design options + photos

If you wish, you can independently build a veranda for a summer residence without the involvement of professional builders. To do this, you need to familiarize yourself with the basic principles of building structures and prepare the necessary materials. Some owners of country houses create a veranda not only for relaxation, but also to increase thermal insulation.


To build a reliable veranda, you need to think about several important factors:

  • the amount of money you are willing to spend
  • whether the veranda will be summer or winter,
  • what design of the extension is suitable for a particular house,
  • what is the best way to build a veranda.

Even if you have decided exactly what you want to see as a result, and have drawn up a plan, it is better to coordinate it with a professional designer who can point out the mistakes made. It is worth thinking about which side of the house is best to attach an extra room to and whether it will be a walk-through or not.

Features of wooden extensions

After looking at the photos of summer verandas in the country, many owners of country houses choose the tree, since it is a traditional material and has a lower cost. To appreciate this material, it is worth considering its advantages and disadvantages. Pros of a wooden veranda:

  1. Ease of installation. When constructing an extension made of wood, even a non-professional builder can handle the job.
  2. Low weight. The wooden extension does not require the construction of a solid foundation, therefore, the cost of materials is significantly reduced.
  3. Suitable appearance for many country houses.Most often, cottages are built from wood, and if you create an extension, then a structure made of the same material is the best option.
  4. Environmental friendliness and safety. Wood is one of the healthiest materials.

But besides the listed advantages, the material also has disadvantages. One of them is fire hazard. If the owner of the house is going to build a brazier, then for this it is necessary to take into account a lot of little things and spend additional funds.

Important! All wooden elements need to be treated with special compounds and constant care during operation. Otherwise, the extension begins to slowly collapse.

The material falls into disrepair due to the influence of:

  • weather conditions,
  • fungi,
  • insects,
  • microorganisms.

Features of brick extensions

One of the significant advantages of a brick veranda is that this material allows you to keep cool air in summer, which allows the owners of the house to enjoy their rest even on the hottest days. Also, the extension does not need constant maintenance. After completing the finishing work, you can forget about working with this material for a long time.

If you thoroughly insulate this part of the house, then the brick walls can maintain a comfortable indoor temperature even on the coldest days. But it is worth remembering that double glazing must be installed for the winter veranda.

If we talk about the shortcomings that a brick structure has, then it is worth mentioning the large weight of the structure. Because of this, it is necessary to build a solid and heavy foundation, requiring considerable investment.

Construction of an extension from polycarbonate

Polycarbonate is not used as often as brick and wood, but it is a material that allows you to create an inexpensive and lightweight addition to a country house. It has the following advantages:

  • transparency,
  • good thermal insulation,
  • plastic,
  • attractive appearance.

Thanks to these characteristics, such material is suitable even for a winter veranda, which will serve as a winter garden. But at the same time, polycarbonate also has disadvantages. One of the main disadvantages is the rapid warming up of the material, due to which it is very difficult to be on the veranda on hot summer days without good ventilation.


When building a veranda in the country, a photo of which can be seen below, a strip foundation is used. But when choosing a base for an extension, it is necessary to take into account the features of the future construction and choose the most suitable option. When erecting a wooden veranda, for example, you can build a columnar foundation.

  • material from which the veranda will be made
  • type of foundation of the main structure
  • slope of soil
  • type of soil.

Many are interested in the question - is it necessary to tie the base of the veranda to the foundation of the house? It depends on what kind of soil the structure is located on. After looking at the photos of country houses with an attic and a veranda, you can see that the extension can be erected both together with the main structure, and separately.

Most often, a columnar foundation is being built, therefore it is it that should be considered in more detail. This option is suitable for the construction of wooden verandas, the weight of which does not require a heavy base. To create the foundation, you must use brick or reinforced concrete pillars, which are placed on a sand cushion. Wooden logs are placed on top of them, and then the floor is laid. It is insulated in winter verandas.

When building such an extension from wood, you need to remember that this material needs a special coating that will protect it from moisture and other adverse factors.

Veranda walls

When constructing a wooden structure, it is worth paying attention to the construction of walls. Usually, a wooden frame is created from a bar, which, if desired, can be sheathed and insulated so that the veranda can be used in the winter. All racks and other elements made of wood require processing with special protective compounds. To attach them to the wall of the main structure, you need to use anchor bolts. After installing the racks, they are fastened with the upper strapping.

Important! When attaching the rafters, their upper ends must be brought under the roof of the house and connected to a horizontal beam passing under the ramp.

The choice of a particular type of wall depends only on the preferences of the owner of the house. If it is planned to build a summer version of the veranda, then they do not need to be built at all, by building only a railing. In the case when you want to get a room that is comfortable in winter, you should make good insulation or put large double glazing instead of walls, so that guests will be able to observe a beautiful winter landscape.

Roof construction

The roof of the veranda is made flat and it is best to use the material that was used in the construction of the house to cover it. Decking can be continuous or spaced. It depends on the type of veranda. If it is winter, then the boards are laid close, and if not - at intervals. But it is worth remembering that it also depends on the type of material used. An example is roofing felt, which is best nailed to tight-fitting boards.

Before using any coating, you should first understand the features of its attachment. If, for example, a flexible covering is used, then it should be folded along the lower edge of the lathing by about 10 cm. When slate is used, then when laying it, it is necessary to follow the correct sequence to prevent moisture penetration.

Arrangement of the veranda

After the structure is completely ready, you need to start decorating it. It is at this moment that many country house owners cannot decide what exactly they want. To get an idea of ​​which design will be better, it is worth looking at the photo, which shows how to equip a veranda in the country.

The most popular options are:

  • with a glass roof,
  • use in the design of natural stone and wood,
  • design in light colors,
  • arrangement of a place for reading.

The first option is suitable for small spaces, as it helps to visually expand the space and add light. When arranging such a veranda, a wide variety of furniture can be used, since it all depends on the material from which the frame is made. If it is, for example, metal, then the extension can be decorated in the style of "minimalism".

The use of natural stone in combination with wood gives the impression of harmony between the structure and the nature surrounding the house. Moreover, this combination allows you to visually make any structure strong and massive. One of the best options is to place a fireplace or barbecue on the veranda.

Another way to decorate an extension is to decorate it in light colors. This allows all visitors to the room to cheer up and visually expand the space. This design allows you to create a classic design and make it unique. After looking at the photo of this option for arranging a veranda in the country, you can choose the most suitable example.

To create a cozy reading corner, you need to purchase upholstered furniture and carved book shelves, and decorate the walls of the room like brickwork. In this case, the ceiling is made of wood.

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