How to build a basic foot Bridge.

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  • Author Joe Guraro
  • Published December 4, 2009
  • Word count 743

Many are finding that, with craftsman Joe's help, they are able to create works of art that they never thought they could, RedwoodGardenBridges.com­ is not only a place where you can purchase beautiful handcrafted Bridge but also a place where you can learn to make your own Bridge and discover the inner craftsman in yourself and have fun at the same time.

Step 1

Determine a location for your bridge. The foundation of the bridge must be on solid, dry ground. Measure your space and buy materials.

Step 2

Place one pair of concrete pier blocks at each end of the bridge location. Dig down or build up in order to ensure that the blocks are level with each other.

Step 3

Connect beams to the pier blocks. Place the pier blocks one length of beam a part. Attach the beams using metal straps.

Step 4

Construct railing posts for each side of the bridge, if desired. Carefully measure the height of the posts to make sure they're even. Set the posts in incremental spacing to ensure that the railing is supportive and strong.

Step 5

Lay planks across the beams to form the treads of the bridge. Cut the planks to a length that allows them to lay fully over each beam but not too far over the sides of the bridge.

Step 6

Attach hand railing to the railing posts. Measure the proper height and mark each railing post with chalk as a visual guideline, then firmly attach each hand railing section.

Step 7

Stain or paint and seal the bridge. Use a sealer specifically for use outdoors to prevent dampness from ruining the wood and destroying your bridge.

Part 2

  1. Use 16' 2x12s for the stringers. Square both ends of a 2x12 and cut it exactly 16' in length.

  2. Measure up 4" on each end of the 2x12 and make a mark. Locate the center of the 2x12, measure 1 1/2' (18") toward the left and right ends, and mark. Draw cut-lines between the marks as shown below.

  3. Use a circular saw to cut the stringer along the cut-line. Use the first stringer as a pattern to mark and cut the other stringers.

Marked stringer

Marked stringer

  1. Cut 2x6 decking boards to 36" for decking.

  2. Center the decking boards on the stringer frame so there's about an inch of overhang on each side. Secure the deck boards with two screws at each stringer. Leave a 1/8" to 1/4" gap between each decking board. It may be necessary to cut decking boards to fit where the incline flattens out on the bridge.

Cut stringer

For this bridge, we decided not to install railings. In most areas, structures under two feet high are not required to have railings, but always check with your local building inspector for requirements in your area. If your local code requires railings or if you would like to add them to your bridge.

Make sure you get all your supplies at Lowe's

As always I am here if you have any questions.

More Plans that might work good for you.

My wife had casually mentioned that a footbridge over the dry creek bed drainage culvert we created in the front and in the back would be a nice feature.

I decided to surprise her and built the bridges in one day. I used 2x12 lumber for the sides, cut the arch shapes out with a jigsaw, and then transferred that shape to the other side and cut it out too.

I left a flat area on the bottom side at each end where it would rest on the ground. The only limit to design on the cuts is your imagination. If you don't want a tall bridge, or if it isn't spanning a wide area, you could use 2x10, 2x8 or even 2x6 lumber.

I made mine 6 feet long and 24" wide, and used 2x4 and 2x6 boards for the decking, and a 2x6 vertical support in the center to give it more rigidity. I used a square to make sure the board sides and ends were perpendicular and parallel.

I used redwood . If you want to make a smooth arch shape, you can use 1/2" PVC pipe, bend it to the shape you want, screw it to the board, and then trace out the curve on the board.

The bridge is very sturdy, and looks pretty good too. Of course, you could use 2x8, or even 2x6 side boards, depending on the span and how you cut the side boards.

Handcrafted Garden Bridges offers quality handcrafted garden bridges for Koi ponds, Japanese water gardens and landscaped yards. Their bridges use galvanized hardware and are made from quality Calif redwood . Joe Guraro, the craftsman-owner of this company, has been "building bridges" since 1998 and welcomes you to his website. http://www.RedwoodGardenBridges.com

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