The backyard had a spacious deck nestled amongst the trees of North Vancouver. The deck had some old furniture that didn’t look like it was used anymore, and an old planter box at the end of the deck that had lost its life many years ago. Nothing about this deck was inviting or gave off the warm feeling that being nestled amongst the trees should. The job was to tear up the old aged deck boards and replace with new longer lasting composite decking. Once the deck was rebuilt and a custom cedar canopy placed on top, the back yard was near complete. At the end of the flash brand new deck was this old lifeless planter that needed a facelift.
Step 1 – Strengthen the old planter box
First was to remove all the lattice and rotting wood. Once this was gone the entire planter box was surrounded by new 3/4″ pressure treated plywood. Once the plywood was in place, a form needed to be built around the planter to ensure its structure for the future. This form was built with pressure treated 2x4s connected in such a way that will maintain the integrity of the old planter inside. Once this step is complete, the planter box will be strong and will last for years to come.
Step 2 – Add new siding
Now that the box is secure and sound, the next step is to make it look good. The sides of the planter box were covered with some new cedar siding. This was cut to length and pinned into the 2x4s underneath. There is a small set of stairs next to the planter where the deck and the planter meet. The cedar is cut 1/2″ short from the deck to avoid the wood sitting in pools of water during the wet months.
Step 3 – Topping it all off
Next step is to install the top. To follow the theme of the cedar siding and cedar posts in the canopy, the top rail of the planter will also be cedar. This top rail is at such a height that it may be used as a seat at times. So the top was reinforced with more 3/4″ plywood and leveled out to be flat. Once the top was strong, the cedar boards were measured and installed. There were two rows of boards with a 3/8″ gap between the boards to allow for expansion and contraction. These boards were joint together in the corners with a mitre joint. This joint looks great and with the addition of a 1″ lath strip underneath, this planter box real came together.
Step 4 – Nestled atop a river rock bed
Last step to really tie the planter box in with the new deck is to build a river rock bed at the base. There was a small drop between the deck and the planter box so a small platform needed to be built. I secured some 2×4 boards just below the height of the deck and fastened them to the edges of the deck. With the 2x4s in place, some 3/4″ plywood was fitted on top and secured to prevent from moving. Before the bed is filled up with river rocks, a small dam is built at the end to prevent the rocks from falling out.
This planter box came out looking great and something i was incredibly proud of. It didn’t take long and the customer was over the moon with the final outcome.