Tag Archives: Wood Timber

Before and After – Back Yard Children’s Playground Area

We had the opportunity recently to assist a client of ours further improve their back yard by installing a multi-course treated wood timber surround for their new children’s playground set.

Since the site was situated on a slight incline and a generous layer of playground wood mulch was needed (under/around play set), we called for the use of a fairly substantial outlying edge material (6 x 6 wood timbers) to retain the special playground mulch and keep the area looking great for many years to come.

To begin, we cleared and leveled a portion of the sloping back yard area slated to receive the new play set (first site visit).  Shortly after the play set was installed (by an outside company), we returned to construct a two course 6 x 6 treated wood timber surround (size of area determined by client).  We first excavated, leveled and manually compacted the select path ways where wood timbers were to be installed.  The first timber course was secured to soil using 24″ long steel rebar rods.  We used 16′ long 6 x 6 wood timbers to eliminate as many short wood timber pieces (visible butt joints) as possible.  The second, final top wood timber course was secured to base course below using construction adhesive first and then 10″ long timber screws were used (spaced several feet apart) to properly bind the structure together.  Steel angle brackets, mending plate, etc. were also used (completely hidden from view) to further reinforce corners and joints between timbers.  Any/all cut timber’s were treated with a special end-grain sealer to further improve the structural integrity/life expectancy of our ground contacting wood timbers.  Lastly, landscape barrier/weed control fabric was attached to soil within enclosed play area (ensuring excellent soil-to-mulch separation) before a layer of playground mulch (Safe T Mat Certified Playground Mulch) was added to complete.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions or project ideas you have.  We would love to help anyway we can.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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A few tips to further improve your next treated wood timber landscape installation project

Even though concrete block seems to be the most commonly used construction material for raised beds and retaining walls in the residential landscape, I personally find wood (treated wood timbers in particular) to be superior in many ways.

For starters, not only is wood a completely renewable resource, but a properly installed treated wood structure (including adequate drainage) will easily last 20-25 years.  In my opinion, a beautifully designed and constructed wood timber planting box, retaining wall, etc. is far more natural in appearance and complementary to adjacent plant material than its concrete counterpart.  I realize that an argument can be made in that concrete block installations are more expensive because they are to be considered “forever” where wood will eventually deteriorate over time.  This point is absolutely correct in that the concrete block itself will likely outlast it’s owner!  Pacocha - Wood Preservative Freshly Applied to Cut Timber EndsHowever, it is my experience that even a professionally installed concrete block wall (with suitable drainage) will eventually shift from long term exposure to seasonal water freeze/thaw cycles, nearby expanding tree root growth, nearby excavation/digging, etc. making it’s segmented formal installation approach somewhat less desirable both visually and structurally when failure finally occurs.  Even though treated wood timbers do not easily lend themselves to curved type/designed landscape installations like segmental block units can, they still get my unabashed vote in the landscape design process whenever possible.

Here are a few tips to extend the life and improve the quality of your next wood timber installation project.

Pacocha - Soil Excavated - Ready for Stone Sub Base– Use properly treated wood timbers rated for direct soil contact according to the American Wood Protection Standard (UC4A – Ground Contact General Use)Pacocha - Ground Contact AWPA U1 UC4A Wood Timber Tag

– Use large dimensioned properly rated/treated wood timbers whenever possible.  By choosing a minimum sized 6″ x 6″ treated wood timber (in lieu of 3″ x 5″, 4″ x 4″ or 4″ x 6″ timbers) will be less likely to warp and twist over time.

– Apply a suitable preservative to all end cuts made during the installation process.

– Prevent “always wet” soil conditions below/around wood timber structure by installing suitable drainage improvements wherever necessary.

Pacocha - Applying Wood Preservative to Cut Timber– Use a suitable stone sub-base below initial course of wood timbers to further improve water drainage and to strengthen the overall installation.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for assistance with your next wood timber installation project.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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