Cozy and Homy Wooden Walkway with Porch Lights

Beginning stages of Walkway Project

Toward the Beginning

The walkway was made on its own initially, but as you can see, it’s taken quite a beating – not only from the foot traffic, but the elements as well. If you take a look at the gallery you’ll see the state it was in prior to the reforming, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that a roof and new walls was something that could only benefit those utilizing the walkway.

I picked teak for the stain color, and I was pretty happy with the way it turned out. Although the color of the walkway is different from that of the walls and rafters, because the walkway is so beat up, it’s not very obvious. Having said that, I added the walls in such a way that the walkway boards can be replaced if need be in the future.

The two porch lights add an ambient feel to the area, making it a place where people can just hang out as well. The walkway is wide enough to where someone can even sit – say at a small coffee table – on one side and a person can still pass by comfortably. As far as the roof and why it doesn’t cover the entire walkway, I wanted to strike a balance between providing shelter from rain but not cut off too much light from the rooms.

Halfway through the Wooden Walkway Project

The Halfway Point

The walls are all done with 15mm tongue and groove boards painted with the teak stain. For those who have experience with tongue and groove, you’ll probably know that they can each differ slightly in height (or width, depending on how you look at it), often making it difficult to line them up precisely. If there are windows or doors and you’re installing them horizontally, this problem is magnified.

Clean and precise alignment of the tongue and groove joints requires unbroken rows whose joints can be nailed to accuracy. The problem arises when there’s a window or door where the lower rows are broken but then rejoin above the window or door frame. Getting both sides to step up in the exact same increments when the boards often differ slightly in height can be nothing short of a nightmare.

The Finished Wooden Walkway

The Finished Project

To add insult to injury, if the horizontal section at the top of the door frame isn’t exactly level, this will also throw off your measurement – if you happened to be using it as a reference point to ensure your boards were stepping up in equal increments. All this to say, tongue and grooving is not a perfect science, and I believe it can never really be done perfectly.

Your best bet – and what in fact divides the pros from the amateurs – is to conceal any errors and flaws by way of ingenius and crafty ruses. This goes for many areas of carpentry and woodworking. The idea isn’t necessarily to make something perfect (although if you can, more power to you), but to more importantly make it so that whatever flaws there are, they aren’t noticeable.

These methods of which I speak can be as simple as strategically tucking the mistake above a protruding window or door frame where unless you walk around on stilts all day, you won’t be able to see it. A lot depends on what kind of geometry you have to aid you. If you only have a wide stretch of wall, you won’t have anything to help you hide mistakes, but then again, these are the easiest kinds of walls to do.

  • Check out my gallery featuring lots of detailed shots of my project.

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