Try this durable, good-looking and relatively easy project you can complete in a weekend.
Gather your supplies
• 200 x 100mm x 2.4m H4 treated pine sleepers, quantity to suit
• 10mm and 30–40mm river gravel, quantity to suit
You’ll also need
Power saw; wood preservative; painting equipment; marking paint or stringline; sharp spade; shovel; Cabot’s Deck & Exterior Stain in Dusty Gum; yard broom
For you to note
• To calculate the number of sleepers you’ll need, measure the length of your path in millimetres, then divide that figure by 720.
• You’ll need 0.04 cubic metres of river gravel per sleeper, or 0.25 cubic metre per 6 pairs of steps.
• When using power tools, wear all safety gear required and refer to your product instructions.
• If you wish to plant around edges of path, do so at the end of Step 5, after stain dries.
STEP 1 Cut sleepers in half. Paint cut ends with wood preservative. Allow to dry.
STEP 2 Use marking paint or stringline to define edges of path.
STEP 3 Remove existing vegetation. If grass, use spade to cut vertically along edges then use shovel to scrape off grass. Use shovel to dig out path to 100mm (depth of sleepers), making base level.
STEP 4 Lay sleepers in trench in pairs with a gap of 40mm between. Leave a gap of 280mm before laying next pair.
STEP 5 Apply coat of stain to tops of sleepers. Let dry. If planting, see Notes, left.
STEP 6 Pour 10mm gravel between sleepers to fill trench. Sweep into gaps.
STEP 7 Spread larger gravel in patches on top, leaving areas of the smaller gravel showing through.
STEP 8 Water in to settle gravel and clean surfaces.
You can reduce or widen the spacing between sleeper pairs to suit your path length. For looks, it’s important all pairs be evenly spaced. Narrower spacing will need more sleepers and less gravel.