Okay, so somebody decided that the existing patio needs work. Or that a sidewalk has to be built. Or that a wall has to be built because what would make this yard really standout would be a conversation pit with a fireplace right over there. And because somebody doesn’t want to hire it out, for whatever reason, you get to do it yourself. If you find yourself in that predicament this book just might be the one for you.


Written by Jeanne Huber and the editors of Sunset Books, this 194 page gem released last January aims to help you create the best patio, walk, and or garden wall you can. It opens with a chapter stressing having a good design, choosing the right materials, and exploring different types of materials whether it is stone, brick, poured concrete, lava, or something else. Planning is the key and that point is driven home repeatedly. Suggestions are also made concerning moving the materials (most are heavy) and getting and storing the materials using text and color photographs.


Chapter two is on “Building Paths and Patios” and goes from the simple to the complex.  Material lists, techniques, plans, etc. are used to illustrate various options to change from what you have now to what you want to achieve long term.  Drainage is of major importance and that issue is covered well with several different drainage possibilities thoroughly explored.


Concrete come in many different ways and can do many different design things as outlined in chapter three. Different types of concrete are explained, options, how to determine what to use and how much, along with how to make various designs are in this chapter.


“Garden Walls” is the theme of the fourth and final chapter. Different walls of types/styles are depicted along with explanations of them, plenty of pictures, plans and building techniques.


Credits, a short list of resources and a three page index brings this 194 page book to a close. Aimed primarily at those seeking to create within a lush and thickly covered landscape, those with a preference for low water use plants or settings get a very brief mention. Despite that fact, those in interested in such landscaping can still use much of the book while discounting the pictures of the finished product.


It might be a good idea to stock up on some pain reliever as well because nothing in this book is that easy to build. This type of work is easily back breaking no matter how easy it looks on the home improvement shows or how easy it seems in this book. So, you back will hurt and you will need the pain reliever if you do it yourself. Or better yet, hire that neighbor who always is offering advice on what you should do in your yard to build.


Walks, Walls, & Patio Floors

by Jeanne Huber and the editors of Sunset Books

Sunset Books



January 2008

Paperback—Soft Cover

144 Pages



Review copy provided by the Plano, Texas Public Library System.


Kevin R. Tipple © 2009


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