A boardwalk can greatly enhance your home garden. Compared to a paved walkway, this has a more natural look that blends right in with the rest of your backyard.
- Choose, mark the area. Pick out the appropriate area for your boardwalk. Choose an empty area so you won't have to relocate your plants. Avoid areas that are constantly moist and muddy. This isn't a good foundation to build a wooden structure on. Also avoid areas that are near large trees as you might have to dig out and cut big roots. Once you've decided on a good spot mark out and measure the area with string so you'll know how much material you'll need - wooden planks, gravel, and nails. If you set the strings with a level they'll also serve as your guide to keep the base and decking even.
- Prepare the area. Clean the area by taking out any loose grass, rocks or dirt. Then you can start digging out the whole marked area at least 2 inches deep. You can cover the bottom with landscape fabric to prevent any weed growth. Now you can fill the dug out area with gravel. This is important as it will allow water to drain through the soil underneath and not build up under the walk.
- Prepare the base. The base will be made up of side supports and cross rails. Good side supports would be 2 x 4 wooden planks treated for ground contact. They should be installed on their edge and positioned on either side of the path. Leave spaces between each side support plank wide enough to insert the cross rails. Cross rails are also 2 x 4 wooden planks (assuming the boardwalk you're planning to build is only 2 feet wide) that are also installed on their edge but this time positioned across the path. To keep the side supports and cross rails stable, you can hammer in wooden or metal stakes along the inner sides and at the connecting corners.
- Lay on the decking. Once you've made sure the base is stable and well installed you can now lay on the decking. Nail the wooden planks you'll be using for decking onto the side supports and cross rails. Use galvanized nails of appropriate length and size so as not to accidentally crack the wooden planks. Leave less than half an inch of space between each wooden plank for water to pass through.
Do-it-yourself enthusiasts will find building a boardwalk an easy home improvement project to undertake. With the right tools, building materials and determination, a simple backyard or home garden boardwalk can be put up within a weekend.