DIY: Deck Walkway

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A raised walkway offers a broad perspective of a landscape.
A raised walkway offers a broad perspective of a landscape. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Adding a walkway off of a deck helps tie your outdoor living space in with the rest of the landscape. Typically built a few inches or feet higher than ground level, a deck walkway can cross over an area with high growth without getting muddy or encroached upon. Do-it-yourself individuals can build a raised walkway in small sections at a time, and vary the height or direction of each section to fit the existing flow of a yard.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood stakes
  • String
  • Shovel
  • Measuring stick
  • Measuring tape
  • 4-by-4-inch boards
  • Circular saw
  • Cement
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Water
  • Bubble level
  • 2-by-4-inch boards
  • Hammer
  • Galvanized nails
  • 1-by-4-inch deck boards

Create a building plan for the walkway. Outline the path from the beginning to end by hammering wooden stakes in the ground along the two sides of the walkway and tie a long construction string around the top of the stakes. Space the stakes at least 4 feet apart so people can walk side by side in pairs or pass from opposite directions. Call 811 to verify that your support boards won’t interfere with underground utility lines.

Dig out 12-inch deep holes for each footing with a shovel and use a measuring stick to verify that the depth of each hole is equal. The holes should be about 10 inches in diameter and wider at the bottom than at the surface. Space the holes beneath the corners of the walkway and every 4 feet apart along the sides.

Use measuring tape to measure 4-by-4-inch lengths of wood to the height you want the walkway plus 1 foot. For instance, a walkway raised 2 feet from the ground will need 3-foot long support boards. Cut each length with a circular saw.

Stir cement in a wheel barrow with small portions of water until it is thick like toothpaste. Use a shovel to fill half of the first hole with cement. Position the first support board in the center of the hole, using a bubble level to ensure it's plumb. Fill in the rest of the hole with cement, and mound it around the base so water will always run away from the boards. Repeat this step for each footing hole and support board.

Hammer a frame of 2-by-4-inch boards around the outside of the top of the support boards with four galvanized nails through the frame into each vertical support board.

Cut 3-foot-8-inch lengths of 2-by-4-inch wood to fit every 8 feet across the width of the frame. Hammer four galvanized nails through the frame board into the end of the cross supports.

Attach 8-foot lengths of 2-by-4-inch boards down the center of the length of the frame into the cross supports. Hammer four galvanized nails through the frame into abutting ends of the center boards.

Cut 4-foot lengths of 1-by-4-inch deck boards to fit across the width of the walkway frame. Lay the boards on top of the frame with a nail in between each to space them consistently. Hammer two galvanized nails through both ends and center of each deck board into the frame and center supports below.

References

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