This winter, a big wind storm knocked over my cheap metal arch and broke it. I wanted something for my poor drooping Clematis to climb on, so this spring, I went to work shopping for a nice and study arch that would also look great and last. At Lowes, the least expensive wooden arch they had was $170 (and it wasn’t really anchored into the ground in any way.) I kept searching for the style and sturdiness I was looking for and there was nothing I could find for under $500.
Here are a few cute ones I found on Amazon that seem to be the most affordable:
That’s when I decided to take matters in to my own hands. I had a pile of wood scraps that I had lying around so I gathered some supplies and ended up making two arches for around $200.
Download your free illustrated guide here.
Here’s what you need: Measuring tape, drill, wood screws, saw, outdoor wood stain, lumber (two 4x4x8, one 2x2x8, two 2x4x8, Eight Furring strips (1x2x8), 5 8ft lattice strips, cement and accents of your choice.
And here are the steps:
First I put the inner pieces together. The small squares that will go between the posts. I used some pretty cheep wood for this. I think it was $1 a piece, but some of it was warped. I would recommend splurging on straight pieces, but I made these work.
Next, I dug holes for the main posts using a post digger. I dug down about two feet on each hole. (Ok my husband did this part 😃)We mixed up some cement and stuck the posts into the ground, making sure they were straight and that the inner pieces would fit between them despite being a little warped.
Once the posts were in and the cement dried, I drilled the inner squares into the posts.
For the roof, we eyeballed how long we wanted it to be, along with how high the top would be. We cut two equal pieces and cut 45 degree angles on the edges so they would make one 90 degree angle at the top. We drilled the two pieces together and then drilled that piece to the two posts. We did the same with the other side. Next, we cut a post that fit tightly between the top points in the roof and drilled that in place.
I also added two supporting pieces on each side of the roof, not really because it was needed, but because I thought it looked better.
Finally, we made the inner squares for the roof the same way we made the inner squares for the sides. Then we just drilled them on.
The finishing touch involved staining the arch. We used stain that is supposed to be weather-proof for 3-5 years. You can get it here.
I realize these instructions are not quite technical enough for the mechanically minded, so I worked backwards and drew out an illustrated guide here. (specs and dimensions are included). Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions! I would love to know how your arch turns out!