Having a garden at your backyard or within the surrounding of the home is one of the thousand ways to add more glamour to the looks of the house. Interestingly, you may want to take the notch higher by creating a small bridge. You can picture the possibility of moving over some planks or any other you used for the bridge before getting into the garden. While the bridge may be a perfect way to add more colour to the outlook of the garden, it’s also worth mentioning that it can help you to step over the uneven sloping in your garden.
Whichever is the reason behind the action, you can be confident that some garden bridge ideas are out there to your rescue. You also need to figure out the depth of the sloping before choosing the type of bridge to construct. For this article, we would look at how to build a (small) garden bridge.
DIY Tools For Building the Garden Bridge
By now, you must have realized that the process is entirely on a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) basis. So, you would need some tools to get the job done, as a professional would. Here are the tools you need to build a classy and straightforward garden bridge in your home.
The first things to get are the materials. Here are some of them:
- Pencil for marking
- Two 2 x 12s hardwood – these would be used to support the stringers
- Two 8 inch 4 x 4 treated pine post, which would be used for the handrails. Remember to cut them into 6 32 inch posts
- Wood nails
- Benjamin-Moore Paint or strain. Also, get paint brushes
- Thirteen 2 x 6s hardwood for floor planks
- Wood screws (2 inches stainless steel)
- 25 inches length of bendable conduit – this would be used to create the arch guide on the stringer
Below are the tools you would need when building the garden bridge:
- Wood clamps or vice
- Circular saw
- Wood planar
- Electric screwdriver
- ½ inch of drill/drill bit
Building the Garden Bridge
It’s now time to make the garden bridge. The procedures highlighted below would take you through the process without hassles.
- Draw Arches on the First Stringer
The first thing to do is to create an archway. You can do that by laying one of the 2 x 12 boards flat on the floor. You would then sketch pencil guides for the top and the bottom arch shapes. You may want to leave 18 inches from the end of the boards on the bottom. That way, there would be enough support on the support board (stringers). With that in place, there would no doubt about the sturdiness of the stringers to carry the weight of the bridge.
The next thing to do is driving a guide nail on each end of the stringers before bending a length of plastic conduit between the two pins. Follow it up by using the conduit as a guide for drawing the arch onto the board using the pencil. Afterwards, you can repeat the process by bending the conduit between the nails before drawing the lower arc onto the wood.
- Cut and Sand the Stringers
The second step is to cut the top arch from the first stringer board. You can do that by deploying the circular saw to make short, straight cuts. The finished stringer should be laid on top of the other 2 x 12 board. That would help you in drawing the arches onto the second board with the aid of a pencil.
Cut the second board and use the clamps to hold both stringers together. You can then use the wood planer to smoothen out the rough edges in the already-made archway cuts.
The pain can now be applied on the stringer boards using the paintbrush. Allow the paint to dry before proceeding to the next step.
- Cut and Drill the Planks
The planks would now be cut and drilled. Start by cutting the hardwood 2 x 6s into 36-inch planks. Place the stringer boards in a parallel position on the ground. Ensure there’s a space of 32 inches between them, especially from the top and the bottom.
Next, place the hardwood plank onto the stringers. The arrangement of this set should be in a way that there would be an overhang on both sides. Use the pencil to mark on each side of the plank before pre-drilling the same with two holes. The drills should extend down to the stringers and should be closed by drilling 2-inch stainless steel screws to tighten.
The second plank can then be placed onto the stringers. Remember to use a pencil to measure the spaces between the first plank and the second plank. Afterwards, you can then use the same steps above to tighten the planks.
- Attach the Handrails and Posts
We’re getting to the end of the steps involved in how to build a garden bridge. Now, you would have to cut the 4 x 4 posts into four 32 inch lengths. Paint them (with white preferably). This is to ensure the same painting as the stringer board.
Making the handrails demands the removal of the second and the third planks from both ends of the bridge. They would be used for post-placement. The rail posts would then be placed to the outside of the stringer boards. A T-square can help you in confirming their right positioning in the form of a right angle). Make pre-drilled holes on them before securing to the stringer using wood screws.
The next step is to measure and cut the planks to fit around the rail posts before they’re returned to the bridge. The last step is to attach the handrails. Ensure they match the planks used on the bridge. The bars should be secured to the posts using two wood screws that would be screwed through each post on both ends of the constructed garden bridge.
Build Your Garden Bridge
There are no hassles in constructing a garden bridge. If you want to build one but have been finding it challenging, you can be sure that the ideas above would help you in constructing your first garden bridge without hassles.