How to build a fire pit
A fire pit creates a unique space for enjoying fun and safe recreational fires. Step by step instruction on building your own fire pit.
A new fence is more than just an additional structure in your landscape. It not only alters your yard, it can have a major impact on both you and your neighbors. A garden fence……
Raised garden bed
Raised garden beds are functional and easy to build and maintain. Where you build your raised garden bed on your wood deck are in your yard. If your yard has poor soil, raised beds are an idea to add ornamental or vegetable gardens to your outside home.
Building wood paths
Wood path ways lends a warmth to the landscape that no other material can match. Its appealing, organic look offers numerous design options. You can set it directly in the soil, in a sand bed, or in anchored frames.
Insects, rot, and mildew attack most woods. Redwood, cypress and cedar, however contain natural resins that resist insects and the elements. Get the heartwood only of these species, the sapwood is not resistant. Tropical hardwoods are durable and their initial high cost can be worth the years of freedom from maintenance. Look for tropical woods from sustainable forestry sources. species.
Pressure treated lumber offers a less expensive alternative to resistant. Treatment compounds turn the wood green or tan, but the color weathers to a gray within several months. You can stain treated and untreated lumber to any color. Buy treated lumber for ground contact.
When shopping inspect each piece. Don’t buy split, cupped or twisted pieces. Small knots are acceptable, but large knots may work their way out or cause the lumber to split, especially near an edge. Slight bowing will flatten when fastened in place.
Advantages of wood path ways.
· Wood is less expensive than brick, flagstone, and organic materials.
· Ease of installation depends on complexity of design, but generally requires only basic carpentry skills.
· Wood mixes well with other materials.
Disadvantages of wood path ways.
· Can become moss covered when damp. Surfaces get slick when wet, which can be dangerous on slopes and steps.
· Does not conform as well to terrain variations. Changes in slope requires posts or installation of small sections.
How to build wood paths.
Basic carpentry skills and a few tools are all you need to install a small wood walk in a weekend. Longer wood paths might take more time, but most of your efforts will be spent on the preparation of the base. Wood walks need drainage perhaps more than any other type of path because wood paths is subject to decay and damage by the elements. Choose natural resistant woods for your wood path, pressure treated lumber rated for ground contact.
Decking sizes vary with individual designs, from 2+6s to 2+8s or wider. Wider boards will cover the walk more quickly but be careful to maintain a pleasing scale.
You can apply any exterior stain or finish to your wood either before or after installing it. If using brushed on products it’s easier to pre-stain the wood path. Spray preservatives also should be applied before you build the wood path. That way you can apply preservative on the underside of the decking.
Tools needed to install wood path way
· Stakes, mason’s line, 4 foot level
· Round and square nose shovels or spades.
· Garden rake
· Saw, for cutting wood decking
· Scissors, for cutting landscape fabric.
· Tape measure
· Garden hose.
Building a wood path way
1. Lay out the wood path. Excavate to a depth that will accommodate the gravel bed and leave the top of the decking at least 1 ½ inches above the ground.
Cut enough 18 to 20 inch 2+4 stakes so you can install them every 3 feet on both sides of the excavation. For wood walks 3 feet or wider cut stakes for a center sleeper too. Point the stakes and drive them into the ground 1 ½ inches from the edge. For a center sleeper locate the stakes so the sleeper will be center on the path. Re-stake mason’s line if necessary to keep the lines straight. Make sure the stakes are the same height from the bottom of the excavation throughout. Add 4 inches of gravel and level tamp it. Cut landscape fabric and lay it on the gravel. Slitting the fabric at the stakes. Be sure the fabric extends the full width of the base.
2. Install the sleepers. Cut 2+4s to lengths that will span each flat area on the path, and fasten them with 21/2 inch treated deck screws driven through the stakes. Where two sleepers join, strengthen then the joint with ¾ inch plywood on either side. Support the joint with a stake. Recheck the sleepers for level and make corrections if necessary.
3. Installing the decking. Cut the decking to length. It can be long enough to span the width of the walk or longer so it overhangs the sleepers by 11/2 to 2 inches on either side. Using a cordless drill, fasten the decking to the sleepers with 3 inch treated deck screws, two screws into each sleeper. Except for pressure treated stock, use spacers to keep the boards consistently ¼ to 3/8 inch apart. Butt pressure treated boards against each other, they will shrink as they dry out.
4. Apply the finish. If you haven’t done so already, spray or brush on the finish.
Railroad ties or large landscape timbers
Railroad ties or landscape timbers make attractive paths and steps that don’t require much more than a strong back and a little ingenuity.
· Arrange the landscape timbers on the path in their approximate locations.
· Move the landscape timbers into their final location, spacing them evenly.
· Outline each timber with marking chalk.
· Remove timber and dig to a depth that will leave its top about 1 inch above grade.
· Tamp 1 inch of sand in the excavation.
· Set landscape timber on sand and level length and width.
· Drive 18 inch lengths of ½ inch rebar through pre-drill holes in the landscape timber, flush with the top.
More DIY landscape projects you can do yourself