Do It Yourself: How To Make An Arched Bridge In Your Garden

An arched bridge can improve and update the look of your home and garden. Find out how to make one yourself with these landscaping tips and techniques.

An arched bridge across a small waterway can make a unique, simply - elegant addition in your garden. And, it's not hard to make if you're a fairly skilled "do - it - yourselfer."

The first step in this project is to measure the width of the space over the waterway. You will need to measure from one edge of the bank to the other edge, and add one foot onto each side.

The added foot is so the ends of the bridge will be securely supported by the ground. Next, decide how wide your bridge will be. It can be as narrow as three feet, or it can be as large as ten feet wide. A nice - sized bridge that can hold one person crossing over it at a time will measure about four feet wide.

You will also need to choose the type of wood you're going to use to make your arched bridge. You can choose from redwood, cedar, or other pressure - treated lumber that will hold up to the weather.

The second step is to make the base of the bridge. It will need to be as long as your previous measurement is. You will make the base by first making the sides. You will need a piece of treated lumber that is as long as your measurement and at least six inches wide. Now, you will need to trace an arch on each piece of lumber. The tracing on each side piece will determine the arch of the bridge for your garden. Be sure that the pieces match exactly so your bridge will be uniform and straight. Keep in mind that you want your bridge to be arched, but not arched to a great degree. It should be slightly arched instead, so, that when people walk on it, they will be able to get a secure footing.

The third step is to use a band saw, or other suitable saw, to cut the tracings out of the pressure - treated side pieces. Lay them one on top of the other to make sure they are identical. Then, set them side by side on a flat surface four feet apart.

The fourth step is to measure and cut out several slats out of the pressure - treated wood. The slats will need to be the length of the width of your arched bridge, which is four feet. They will also need to be four or five inches wide and a couple of inches thick for sturdiness. Next, position the slats across the two base pieces making sure that you allow a half of an inch gap between each slat. The gaps will allow rain water, et cetera to run through instead of puddling on the bridge. Screw the slats down securely with long, weather - resistant wood screws.

The fifth step is to stain, paint, or otherwise finish your arched bridge. Then, take it to your garden so you can set it up. After you place it across the waterway, you can fasten down the ends of your bridge by making a concrete pad at each end. To do this, dig out a small square area of dirt at each end, and then pour wet concrete into the square. Finally, position each end of your arched bridge over each square. Drill holes into the wood ends and insert long, large concrete bolts. Allow the concrete to dry thoroughly before using your bridge.

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