How to construct a raised wood walkway

Written by ben wakeling
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How to construct a raised wood walkway
A walkway more than six or eight inches above ground level may require railings. (wooden walkway image by robert mobley from

Wooden walkways are attractive and environmentally friendly types of garden paths. In many cases, a wooden walkway can rest directly on the ground -- but if the walkway is to be built uneven ground it will need to be raised. This can be a challenging task, but one that is rewarding, as you construct a pathway that blends beautifully into its natural environment.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Twine
  • Small pegs or sticks
  • Tape measure
  • 1-by-4 outdoor lumber
  • 2-by-4 outdoor lumber
  • 4-by-4 outdoor lumber
  • Spade shovel
  • Cement mix
  • Large bucket or cement trough
  • Power saw
  • Spirit level
  • Eye protection
  • Galvanised nails
  • Decking hammer or large nail gun

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  1. 1

    Determine the size and direction of the walkway. Choose a width, such as four feet, that readily corresponds to standard board lengths, such as eight or twelve feet. Use pegs and twine to mark its outline. Tie or nail the twine to each peg.

  2. 2

    Measure the total length and width of your walkway. Multiply these numbers to gain the general overall surface size. Consult your local home improvement centre or lumberyard dealer to determine the amount of 1-by-4 lumber needed, and also the amount of 2-by-4 and 4-by-4 lumber you will need for the walkway framing support.

  3. 3

    Determine the spacing for the support columns, which should be directly beneath the outside edges of the walkway. Dig one-foot-deep holes for each column. Measure and cut the 4-by-4 pieces to be used as column supports.

  4. 4

    Mix the cement in a large bucket or trough. Fill each hole with cement almost to the top, and embed a column into it. Use the spirit level to make sure each column is plumb. Also check that the columns are the correct height. Back-fill the holes with soil when the concrete has cured.

  5. 5

    Attach the 2-by-4 support framework, in two parallel lines to the tops of the columns using large galvanised nails. Cut and attach the 1-by-4 surface boards perpendicularly to the 2-by-4 frame using galvanised nails.

  6. 6

    Attach handrails to each side of the walkway if it is too high above ground level. Create a simple post-and-rail design, or buy ready-made deck railing from your local home centre or lumberyard.

Tips and warnings

  • For longevity, use outdoor wood. Pressure-treated lumber is relatively economical and is resistant to insect damage, rot and decay.
  • Always take special care when working at height.

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