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All weather backyard path

Want to make the most of your backyard in any type of weather, just like Brett did? Read how he did it, how long it took and what he used to get these great results.

RYOBI TEAM Thu, 09/07/2023 - 15:59
Close up of backyard with bricks and pavers

What inspired you?

Several years ago, Tracey and I organised a builder to make us a large merbau deck with a small set of steps. We asked the builder to add a short sleeper path to enhance our garden. While helping him, I realised how easy sleeper paths can be to make and how good they can look. On this occasion, we wanted to continue the flow from the deck down to the mancave and create a larger multi-purpose area for entertaining.

Backyard showing dirt and wooden planks ready for path creation

What materials were used?
  • 3m of treated pine sleepers cut to size for the deck and rails and 2.4m halved for the 1200mm path 
  • 100mm batten screws 
  • 3 x tree rings and 3 x lavender plants
  • 1800mm x 900mm screen panel
  • 1 bag of white pebbles for the screen panel base box
  • River rocks and gravel for infill between sleepers


TIP: Properly treated hardwood could also be used.

"Not every job runs smoothly, but if you take the time to stop and think about how to solve the problem, everything will be fine."

Brett Builder

What tools did you use?
RYOBI - Home Improvement - Backyard Timber Edging

What was the toughest part of the project?

The toughest part was definitely removing the dirt to be able to set in the rails at the required level.

Also, working out the rail position and the angles for the curve in the path to some extra effort.

What would be the easiest way to modify your design to suit my space – if appropriate?  

Due to the large deck area (6m at the longest point) I used full-width sleepers as rails spaced approximately 800mm apart so I could stagger and anchor the deck boards more easily. For a smaller area, let's say 3m or under, you would only need half-width rails (achieved by ripping a sleeper lengthways down the middle with a circular saw or a table saw.

TIP: Use your sleeper offcuts to slap together some planter boxes, shelves, or anything you like.

garden path diy

What are you looking forward to tackling next?

There are a few jobs on the list, including a bench seat to add to the sleeper deck, and ongoing progress on the workshop/mancave. Watch this space!!