On one side of my property is a strip that is 7.5' wide and 75' long. That
strip never gets any sun as on one side is the house and the other side is a
6' tall wood fence. The house also has a roof overhang about 5'. When it
rains in Miami the rain water pours down to this strip. Basically nothing
will grow and it's basically all dirt with an occasional patch of weeds here
I saw this:
and thought it has the rustic and weathered look I like. In here they used
8x8 railroad ties and space them apart perhaps every 2 or 3 feet.
I don't want to excavate every 2 or three feet down 8-10", and I think real
RR ties are way heavy and difficult to cut.
So what I am wondering, if I get 2x8 pressure treated lumber, and cut them
to desired lengths and lay them down spaced equally along my strip. Then
pour say 2" of stone/pebbles between them and level them, will it give the
same look? I think it will...may be not as dark as real RR ties. What I
think will happen is 2x10s will probably shift around when walked on or get
kicked...unless I stablize them somehow. May be drill a hole on each side
and pound a rebar down? Another problem is may be it will buckle and warp
after much rain.
Is this a good idea or a bad idea?
Any other way to achieve this look without having to cut 8x8 PT RR ties and
dig trenches for each piece?
Without shrubbery (as in the picture) to soften the edges I don't think that
arragement will appear very aesthetically pleasing. And I see no point to
the lumber with wide spaces and loose gravel between, just makes it more
difficult to navigate/traverse as a walkway and/or to move any wheeled
carrier such as a cart/wheelbarrow. Any deluge from your roof will wash out
the gravel (really should install a roof gutter regardless), and 2-by lumber
(actually is 1 5/8-by) will definitely warp/twist. From your description I
would be more apt to go with flagstone on a crushed stone base with some
sort of brick/stone edging (no wood), and be certain it's graded pitched
well away from your house foundation. Any lumber set in a shaded, damp,
poorly ventilated area such as your narrow alleyway will not last long, even
real RR sleepers will in like ten years in direct contact with soil become
rotted, especially their interior and part below ground, one day soon you'll
step on one and your foot will go right through, lucky not to bust up your
ankle. Southern Florida is not a place to use lumber directly on the
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