How to Build a Garden Bridge

Written by ezmeralda lee
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A bridge can turn an already beautiful garden into an urban oasis. It helps to highlight a water feature like a pond or stream. In large gardens it serves a function while also being a decoration. Garden visitors can take in the sights and sounds around them, with the added pleasure of walking over a charming water feature. Here's how you can create your very own garden bridge.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Shovel
  • 4 concrete blocks
  • Trowels and chisels
  • Level
  • Lag screws or clamps
  • Drill and bits
  • 2 strong 12-foot wooden posts
  • Carpenter's chalk
  • Deck boards
  • Wooden railing posts
  • Rust-resistant deck screws

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  1. 1

    Determine the width of the bridge and buy deck boards of that width. Measure the length of the boards to make the top of the railing. Measure the number of vertical posts required for the railing and their height.

  2. 2

    Choose where you'll sink the concrete blocks, two on either side, that will form the ends of your bridge. Dig pits for the blocks. Firmly place the concrete blocks to form the foot of one end of the bridge. Place the level over the concrete blocks, and, using the butt of a chisel or trowel, tap the blocks until their tops are level. Place the other two concrete blocks on the other side of the bridge parallel to the first two blocks. Make sure that these blocks are also level on the surface.

  3. 3

    Put the two 12-foot posts across the ravine, ditch or water body to rest on the concrete blocks on either side. Drill holes into the concrete blocks with the masonry bit. Drill holes at the ends of both the posts. Fix them together with the lag screws or clamps. Test for strength.

  4. 4

    Using the measuring tape and carpenter's chalk, mark where you'll place the deck boards. They should be placed ½-inch apart. Fix the deck boards to the side posts with the rust-resistant deck screws. They should cover the entire length of the bridge.

  5. 5

    Again using the measuring tape and carpenter's chalk, mark the places in the side posts where the vertical posts of the side rail are to be attached. Attach the vertical posts of the side rail to the side posts at suitable intervals. Place one horizontal post to run the length of the side rail at the top of the vertical post. Screw all the timber together using rust-resistant deck screws.

Tips and warnings

  • Placing the deck boards ½ -inch apart will ensure that all dirt and leaves will fall through and the bridge will not require frequent cleaning.
  • An attractive side rail can be made using deck boards after making a wooden rectangular frame on either side of the bridge.
  • Make sure that the top of each concrete block is level with the others. The bridge may be lopsided and dangerous if this important step is not performed.

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