Squaring A Walkway Off The Front Steps? - Building & Construction - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 07-14-2012, 11:06 AM   #1
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Squaring a walkway off the front steps?

Hello all,

I am working on installing a new front walkway - leading from the front steps to the sidewalk. Total distance is maybe 18-feet. The new walkway will be made of concrete pavers (size per paper TBD).

What I would like to do is square the path off the front porch, so any angled cuts happen one e pavers that meet the sidewalk. What I am unsure of is the best way to plot the line from the front porch to the sidewalk, making sure that it is coming off the steps at a 90-degree angle and staying that way.

So far, I've used a Carpenter's Square to square up a line off the front steps. This gives me about 2-feet along the square to line the string up with, anchoring the string at the sidewalk when it runs square for those 2-feet.

Is there a better way to do this, that will give me a truer line?



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Old 07-14-2012, 11:46 AM   #2
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You will get much better results with a laser level which includes a graduated base. You set the level up parallel to the house by measuring the distance between the laser line and the house, which will be identical at each point if the laser is parallel to the house. Locate the center of the tripod over the edge of the bottom step, which is easily done using a plumb bob, or some lasers shine a light downward at the center. Then you turn the laser 90 degrees towards the street, and you mark the point out by the road where the line hits.

You are better off being perpendicular to the house than being perpendicular to the steps, of course if the steps were installed correctly you will also be perpendicular to the steps, but if the steps are slightly off, at least your walkway will look correct relative to the house. If you do not own a laser, or do not wish to purchase one, you can rent one at many U-Rent stores.


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Old 07-14-2012, 08:22 PM   #3
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A much simpler (and cheaper) solution is to use a 3, 4, 5 triangle (or any multiple of that). That is a perfect right triangle. Pull one string line across the face of the steps, this will be your 3'. Pull another towards the street from one end of your first string, this is your 4'. If the first two strings are perpendicular the distance between the other ends will be 5', if not adjust accordingly. It's a very simple process and very accurate.
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:31 PM   #4
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Thank you both for your suggestions!

I'll return to the front yard tomorrow and see about getting a string line set up in relation to the house, instead of the steps. I'll price out a laser level, but am certainly going to break out the triangle math to figure out our lines too. Yeah math!
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