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Timber Bridges for the garden.

Bridges can add a new dimension to the garden, and are not beyond the scope of a good DIY handyman.

The timbers normally used for decking projects are well suited for light traffic bridges in the garden, and have the added advantage of being properly treated with preservative.

The timber bridge can be either ornamental or functional - spanning 2 different areas of the garden, and there does not have to be water beneath either!

The most important things to bear in mind, are the maximum span for any given dimension of joist timber, the balustrade railings and bracing of timbers to give additional support.

A tanalised garden bridge - arched - which fits in well with decking schemesWhether small or large, there is plenty of scope for innovation - either for design or constructional purposes.

In the image on left, the bridge is basically suitable for ornamental and the lightest of uses. Whilst it has the classic arched shape - which is a good structural design, giving added strength - the type of balustrade railings preclude it from serious use, and considerable safety aspects are prevalent.

The makers do not lay any claims for this to be used as a serious regular walkway, but the retailer was happy to simply display the bridge and advertise it as 'a garden bridge for use over ponds'. However, it is free-standing and needs very little expertise to put together.

Most substantial bridges will have to have good foundations, and anchorage points. In many designs, the anchorage will be of paramount importance in the structural engineering aspects, as will be seen in the sketches to be provided.

As with all matters structural, if you are uncertain about load bearing and the like, then the task is not for you, unless well supervised and advised. If you can cope with that, then there is nothing quite so satisfying than building your own garden bridge.



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