I think it was one of the hardest DIY projects we did, but the result was definitely worth it. You can put decking planks down with your closed eyes – that wasn’t an issue. The tricky bit was to create a good and sturdy supporting wood structure on a slope full of soil. We were not sure if it will work, so we had to plan every step very carefully which was quite time consuming.
It took us us a few days to remove all the unwanted gravel and soil, one week to build the base and another few days to finish laying the wood planks down. The final result is fantastic and we love the space very much.
Tools required*: Drill, levelling spirit, cutting table, wood cutter, dig shovel, garden fork, tape measure, trowel for applying concrete
- Quick drying concrete
- Wooden posts (treated)
- Decking wood planks
- Decking stain
- Paint brush
- Decking screws
Project cost: up to £600
To do list:
- Clear the area from gravel and excess earth and try to level it as much as possible. We have raised the front wall with 3 levels of bricks to help create a level due to the slope.
2. Dig holes for supporting posts with a dig shovel. We did 24 posts: long posts every 40cm apart and also semi-posts between long posts for an extra support.
3. Position each post straight and add a quick drying concrete, water and handful of gravel. Mixed well with a stick. Keep checking with leveling spirit to check the posts are straight before the concrete sets.
4. Create the base frame using long planks of wood around and in the middle for the support. The base is the most important part of the project so make sure you measure twice and cut once (not like my husband :)). Always check you are in level using the leveling spirit. A long piece of string on each end should help you to to keep a straight line.
5. Cut all posts at the bottom except of the front ones (will be used for the front rope system) and back ones (will be used as a support for the raised bed).
6. Start lying decking wood down drilling in each plank on each end and in the middle. We drilled 2 screws in the first and last line apart.
Remember to keep spaces between planks, because wood naturally moves – a lollipop stick is the perfect spacer for this exercise!
7. Cut the excess wood on sides with a straight, long cut. Apply decking planks to the front and side to close the “box” off.
8. Paint the wood and posts with a decking stain to add a colour and for weather protection.
We will talk about the raised bed and decor in the final pat of the project: Raised bed and Decorations (coming soon)
Before inserting wooden posts into the ground wrap their bottom with a plastic bag for longer preservation.
Make sure you put down the black protective anti weed sheet in all areas before putting the final wood down to prevent weed growing through.
Read other parts of this project: