When adding new structures to your garden such as steps, paths, trellises and gates be sure to consider using recycled materials.
For the steps above I used bricks that someone else didn’t want anymore and that I had been storing for some “future” project.
We did a small remodel in the living room, putting in sliding doors. This then required some steps down to the existing deck. My first thought was to use the same wood as the deck. But I had the bricks and we needed something right away.We laid the bricks in front of the door on the wood deck. They looked good, but posed two problems. Though bricks are heavy, they tended to slip a little and were not entirely safe. The second problem was bricks on wood held in moisture and would rot the deck.
Solutions to these problems were straight forward. We built a wood frame around the bricks with 2 x 4 Redwood and laid an old wire shelf underneath for drainage. The wire shelf had just enough height to keep the bricks off the wood, but not so much as to change the height of the steps.
The final decision on the steps was an aesthetic one. How many different materials can you use in one area and have it look unified? Using recycled materials is great, but throwing whatever you have at a project won’t work if it doesn’t look good.
Keep your design simple and it can look very elegant. Look around with an open mind and you might surprise yourself with what materials are available.
Tomorrow I’ll show you how I used someone’s throw away fence pickets to build a gate and a railing.