An oft-cited principle regarding construction in crowded areas is, if you can't build out, you have to build up. That same principle is, in part, the inspiration behind the present project for landscaping small yards. This tutorial deals with building raised beds in a portable "bench" style, which gives you a planting bed on top and a storage area below. I cite other advantages of building units in this style on the next page.
Elsewhere, I show you how to build raised beds in a somewhat more conventional style.
Measurements and Buying Lumber for the Raised Bed
The raised bed in this project stands 3' tall. But much of that height comes from the supporting legs. The planting bed itself has a depth of 14". The raised bed is 5' long x 19 1/4 wide.
We went to a discount store for our lumber. Beyond needing 2 x 4s for framing, dimensions weren't important to us; we were shopping for price, and any boards with a 1" thickness (for the sides and bottom, and for the bottom shelf) would have been fine. We ended up with a mixture of widths: 1x3.5 and 1x6. That's just what happenned to be in the "sale" bin. As you build your own raised bed, adjust your measurements accordingly, depending on the widths of your own lumber.
Here's an approximation of the lumber that our project required, in terms of board feet:
- 39 board feet of 2x4s
- 6 board feet of 1x6s
- 50 board feet of 1x3.5s
It's prudent to buy extra lumber, in case you make any mistakes during the cutting, which begins in Step #2 for building raised beds....