Building your own wood structures and landscape features is a fun and cost saving way to complete some of those backyard projects you have been dreaming about for months or years. While some basic knowledge about tools and construction is required, the level of skill and refinement needed is much less than if you were building kitchen cabinets or indoor furniture. That being said, if you have any hesitation whatsoever, contact us for an affordable estimate that might surprise you.
If you are new to outdoor construction projects, it is best to use a guide or set of plans. Whatever type of wood feature you are building, deck, fence or gazebo, there will be plans available. There are several series of do-it-yourself books for all kinds of projects with illustrated, step-by-step guides to take you through the process.
Examining existing landscape features is another way to get good information. If there is a fence or deck design in your neighborhood that you particularly like, take a few pictures of it. Zoom in close and see how many of the details you can figure out. It’s an effective way to learn and challenge your creativity. But don’t outright copy it! You want a unique outdoor living space, after all.
Types of Wood
While there plenty of types of wood that are naturally resistant to decay, pressure treated wood is the most affordable, available and widely used option. Compared to the chemical treatments used as wood preservatives years and decades ago, today’s preservatives are regarded as safe for the environment and repeated human contact. Properly treated wood can be expected to last twenty to thirty years or more.
Some lumber yards and landscape suppliers will have redwood, cedar or other naturally long lasting wood available. They will be more expensive, but some prefer their appearance. There are also wood composite materials that are very environmentally friendly and durable. Some are not as structurally strong as wood and are best used for deck planks, for example, but not as beams or posts.
If you are new to wood construction projects, start small; don’t be overly ambitious with your first landscape feature. You might try a simple bench or a single trellis for a trailing vine. This will help you gain confidence and get familiarity with the tools and construction techniques needed. It also won’t matter as much if you make a couple of mistakes!
Types of Features and Projects
There are all types of landscape features you can build with wood. Raised garden beds and planters are among the easiest. Fences, trellises and overhead pergolas are a moderate level of difficulty. Building your own deck or gazebo will require the most skill and attention to detail.
Kits or prefabricated components can make any of the projects easier. Home improvement stores typically have pre-assembled fence panels. You will need to install the posts and put everything together. You can also order kits for gazebos, pergolas and similar structures. Your total cost may be more, but you will save time and, possibly, a headache or two.
Most backyard wood construction projects are easier with two people. Recruit a friend or family member to help you out. Once you have finished your first project, you will be eager to do another one. Before long, your backyard landscape will be complete with all of the features you need to enjoy outdoor living.
Not everybody has the skills or inclination to dig into a big project like this. If you have any doubts about doing it on your own, contact the experts at Wright Landscape Services. We’ll get your wood feature ready before the ground freezes, and you’ll be happy you called us.