Wooden garden arches

Wooden garden arches are excellent features for any garden and from a DIY perspective, they are simple to build because they are always supplied in a kit form. As shown in the sequence below, you literally require a few screws for assembly, which are often supplied with the arch, and then it just becomes a case of fixing it in position. I always favour concreting in the arch feet or posts, but you can use fence spikes if you prefer (for more about this, see ‘Things to consider’ below the sequence). If you do decide to erect a wooden garden arch, they are pretty weighty pieces of kit, so remember to find yourself a bit of help for getting it in place.

Assembling a wooden arch 1. Assemble the kit as directed by the manufacturer; you will need plenty of space. In this example, the kit literally consists of a few parts; the two trellis sides which are fixed between the posts, and the arch section for the top.
Screwing arch components together 2. Fix the various sections together with the screws supplied, or if not supplied, use some designed for exterior use. Here, I’m simply securing the arch section to the sides.
Digging holes for arch posts 3. Dig four 50cm deep, and 30cm square holes. You need to do a bit of measuring here, between the posts of the arch, and transfer these to the ground. Be as accurate as you can, but you will still have time to do a bit of final adjustment before you finally concrete the posts in.
concrete in arch posts 4. Lift and ‘drop’ the arch into the holes, packing a bit of gravel around the base of the posts in each of your four holes.
using post mix for wooden arch 5. Infill the rest of each hole with some post mix; which is basically quick drying ready mixed concrete – so much easier than mixing up your own concrete by hand!
Watering in post mix 6. When you are finally happy that all is vertical and aligned, use the fine rose of a watering can to water in the post mix, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Garden arch tips

  • Take your time when positioning the arch. As well as making sure the sides and posts are vertical, you need to check that it is also level i.e. one side is set at exactly the same height as the other.
  • You may need to add a little bit of support to the arch whilst the post mix dries. There is a lot more information on this point, and using post mix concrete in general, in my guide – ‘Erecting a fence on soft ground’. You will also find information in the guide about using fence spikes to position your posts.
  • If you do go down the fence spike route, remember you will probably have to cut down the height of the posts.

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