garden bridge

DIY: How to Build a Small Garden Bridge

garden bridge

What could be more charming than a small wooden bridge to accent a water feature or help you step over uneven sloping in your garden? And, it’s easier than you think to create your own bridge! Just follow these simple instructions for a sturdy, arched garden bridge with handrails that you can paint or stain any color you like.

Here’s what a small garden bridge DIY project requires:


  • (2) 2x12s hardwood (for support stringers)
  • (13) 2x6s hardwood (for floor planks)
  • (2) 8’ 4×4 treated pine post (for handrails), cut into 6 32” posts
  • 25” Length of bendable conduit (to create arch guide on stringer)
  • Benjamin-Moore Paint or stain (available at GNH) & brushes
  • Wood screws (2” stainless steel)
  • Wood nails
  • Pencil (for marking)


  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Electric screwdriver
  • Drill/drill bit (1/2”)
  • Hammer
  • Wood planar
  • Vice/wood clamps

1. Draw Arches on the 1st Support Board (Stringer)

Lay one of the 2×12 boards flat to prepare to sketch pencil guides for the top and bottom arch shapes:

stringer diagram

There’s a simple trick to creating a perfectly even archway – and it works every single time! First, drive a guide nail on each end of the board. Next, bend a length of plastic conduit between the two nails (see diagram above), and use the conduit as a guide to draw the arch onto the board with your pencil.

For the lower arch, drive two nails into the lower side of the wood, each 18” from end. Repeat the process of bending the conduit between the nails and drawing the lower arch onto the wood.

You will cut the 1st archway, and then use that as a guide for the 2nd archway, so there’s no need to measure twice!

Tip: Leaving 18” from the end of the boards on the bottom cut ensures that there will be plenty of support on the stringers for the weight of the bridge.


2. Cutting & Sanding the Stringers 


The easiest way to cut the top arch from the first stringer board is by a series of short straight cuts using a circular saw. For the bottom arch, a jigsaw works best – just be sure to move slowly to get through the thick wood without damaging the blade!

Now, lay the finished stringer atop the second 2×12 board, and use it as a guide to draw the arches onto the second board in pencil. Cut the second board.

Finally, clamp both stringers together and use a wood planar to smooth out any rough edges in your archway cuts.

Paint stringer boards white (or any color or stain you choose)! We suggest Benjamin-Moore exterior paints or Arborcoat stains – available at GNH Lumber!

Allow to dry.


3. Cutting & Drilling the Planks


Cut your hardwood 2x6s into 36 inch planks. Place the stringer boards parallel on the ground and measure 32 inches between them, top and bottom (to allow for 2” of plank overhang).

Place a hardwood plank onto the stringers and arrange so that there is even overhang on both sides. Mark and pre-drill two holes on each side of the plank (all the way through to the stringers below). Drill 2” stainless steel screws to tighten.

Next, place the second plank onto the stringers. Using a carpenter’s pencil, measure a space between the first plank and the next. Now, repeat the steps above to secure the plank in place.

Continue working from one end of the bridge to the other until all the planks are secured to the stringers!


4. Attaching Posts & Handrails


If you choose to add posts and rails to your garden bridge, cut your 4 x 4 posts into four 32” lengths, and paint them white (or any color or stain you choose – just make sure it matches your stringer boards). We suggest Benjamin-Moore exterior paints or Arborcoat stains!

Allow to dry.

Remove the 2nd or 3rd planks from both ends of the bridge for post placement.

Place rail posts to the outside stringer boards, one at a time. Use a T-square to ensure they are at a clean right angle to the ground. Pre-drill holes and then secure to the stringer with wood screws.

garden bridge 2

Next, measure and cut the planks to fit around the rail posts before returning them to the bridge.

Finally, add handrails to match the planks of the bridge! Secure the handrails to the posts with 2 wood screws through each post on both ends of the bridge.


That’s all there is to it! Enjoy your brand-new garden bridge! Place it over a small creek, water feature or uneven sloping on your property.


At GNH Lumber, we have everything you need to create your beautiful garden oasis. For more guidance, tips and ideas, stop in to our Greenville or Windham locations, or visit us today online!


Deck Designs

5 Unique Deck Designs and Layouts

Deck DesignsA deck is one of the easiest ways to increase living space and add curb appeal to your home. It can improve your home’s value, add room for grilling dinner, gathering with friends, and late night stargazing.

But you don’t have to stick with a cookie cutter idea of what a deck can look like or how it will function. Sure, you can design a serene space for enjoying those beautiful sunrises and sunsets. But you can also create a backyard playground or design an abstract work of art! The possibilities are endless.

Get your deck or porch project started!

Now that spring is here, it’s the perfect time to plan the deck of your dreams! So, check out these 5 easy ways to help you design a truly unique deck:

 1: Think Outside the Box

Rounded decks feel organic, merge well with natural settings, and can help create separate areas for cooking, seating, or housing a garden or hot tub. Instead of using a traditional deck floor pattern, try creating new and unusual decking patterns, such as basket weave, or alternating diagonals.

2: Wrap Around Views

Decks that wrap around the second story of a home give tremendous access to views, and they blur the line between interior and exterior living spaces. Decks like these can double as balconies for morning coffee. And they provide as much aesthetic value from inside the home as they do from the outside.

3: Combined Deck and Walkway

Often overlooked during the designing phase, it’s important to consider the transition between the deck and backyard. Adding a paved walkway leading from your deck helps to visually join a deck and garden or large lawn area. It also allows you to introduce harmonizing colors and shapes to pull together the deck and backyard or lawn area.

4: Added Shade

Adding a pergola, canopy or shaded archway can be instrumental in creating a one-of-a-kind outdoor living space. It also provides relief from the harshest mid-day sun. There are lots of creative ways to introduce shady nooks, such as planting a wall of trees on one side of the deck, or using the cornered walls of your home as a framework. You can also use the covered patio below a second-story deck to introduce swinging hammocks and shaded benches.

5: Make a Playground Deck

Why should kids have all the fun? Turn your deck into a grown-up playhouse with built in climbing walls, slides and more! Check out this cool playground deck highlighted on

Deck Playground

Looking for more inspiration? Check out the TimberTech Deck Designer Tool:

Deck Planner Tool
TimberTech’s materials are low maintenance, safe and durable, for all your decking needs. They also maintain their color for years without the hassle of maintenance.

And, because it resists mildew, warping and insects, there’s no need to replace rotting, uneven or termite-damaged boards. Now get started on a truly unique deck design of your very own! 


Get your deck or porch project started!

Clean Siding

How to Clean and Maintain Your Home’s Siding

Clean SidingKeeping your home’s exterior siding in good shape is not only a great way to improve your home’s appearance, it also helps you avoid repairs and costly services down the road. With a bit of preventative maintenance, you’ll be able to extend the life of your home’s siding for 50+ years!

In this blog, we’ll discuss how to clean and maintain your home’s siding so you won’t have to worry about costs adding up for a few decades.

How Do You Maintain Your Home’s Siding?

To ensure that your home’s siding is in good condition for years to come, no matter what material it is, it’s a good idea to clean it often as well as inspect it for any damages. Here’s a quick guide on how to maintain the siding of your home based on the material:

Vinyl Siding Maintenance

Vinyl siding is low maintenance and is designed to be left alone, which is great! However, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have to be maintained. The good news is, you can easily clean vinyl siding yourself.

Vinyl siding requires a good power washing about twice a year. Check a few times a year to make sure no boards have come loose or are cracked. If they are, they will need to be fixed as soon as possible. High winds can cause damage and cracks to vinyl easily, so if you had a windy season, be sure to do a walk-around your home after the storm.

Wood Siding Maintenance

Wood siding will need to be treated every 4 to 6 years. In New York, sun and snow are particularly abundant so you may have to treat it more often than that.  Like vinyl siding, you need to check the wood siding for cracks and breaks. Most repairs are fairly easy to fix, so do it as soon as you notice the damage.

Stucco Maintenance

Often times, woodpeckers will attack your stucco siding. They tend to leave holes which will need to be replaced immediately or else they will live in your walls. Since stucco is a very porous material, if a tree leaks its sap on your siding, it can take over and cause huge problems. It can stain rather quickly so go around once or twice a year to remove any stains that are starting to form with a degreaser and bleach.

Cedar Shake Maintenance

If you want your cedar shake siding to live for a long time, you want to make sure it’s treated or stained properly and checked often. Left untreated, cedar shakes can discolor and start to soften, causing it to rot. In order to maintain healthy cedar shakes, you want to make sure to paint or stain the cedar every 5 years. Stain is a more effective protectant for cedar than paint so opt for stain when you can. Hiring a professional to paint or stain your cedar shakes could cost upwards of $2,500 depending on your home’s size.

How Often Should You Clean Your Home’s Siding?

The exterior of your home needs a good cleaning about twice a year. Overtime, cobwebs, dirt and mildew can build up and shorten the life of your siding. A clean house will protect your siding as well as your investment.

How Do You Clean All Types of Siding?

Cleaning the siding of your home can be a bit treacherous, but luckily you only need to do it once or twice a year!

All types of siding benefit from a good cleaning to remove residue. Here’s how to do it correctly:

  1. Check for Cracks and Damages in the Siding

Do a quick walk around your home and check for cracks, chipped paint, cracked boards, or other damages before you start the process of cleaning your siding. If you have cracks, water from cleaning could seep into the home, causing serious damage and trouble over time.

  1. Invest in a Power Washer

A power washer is key to getting up in the peaks of your house by the roof, blasting away grit and grime, and takes far less time that washing the home’s siding by hand. This is especially true for homes with vinyl and wood siding.

  1. Scrub the Siding with TSP

Next time you’re at GNH Lumber, pick up some TSP (trisodium phosphate). Mix ½ cup with 1 gallon of water and apply to a sponge, washcloth or soft-bristled brush. Start scrubbing those stubborn areas where birds or spiders have left their droppings. These are usually the toughest things to get out of your siding! Work from the bottom to top to avoid streaking and then rinse.


Keeping your home clean from grit and grime and maintained properly can save you tens of thousands of dollars in the long run!


outdoor cleanersFor all your outside cleaning and maintenance needs, visit our Windham or Greenville location

garden oasis stone path

How to Create a Garden Oasis

garden oasis stone pathAn inviting yard provides a calm atmosphere, a tranquil retreat and a relaxing place to entertain.

With springtime in full bloom, it’s time to start creating a detailed game-plan for your spectacular garden oasis! Remember, with a little bit of work and planning now, you can create a garden sanctuary to enjoy all season long – and one that your neighbors will envy, too.

Here are 6 ideas for creating a garden oasis that you can use to escape, relax and even entertain:

1. Surround Yourself with Plants

Let plant life create the outdoor retreat of your dreams! Create an almost ‘jungle-like’ vibe by incorporating bamboo and an abundance of vegetation surrounding a custom bench crafted with soft wood.

In addition to adding lots of plants, layer with beautiful flowers in different colors! Use different sized plants to create a textured look.


garden oasis water feature

2. Create a Water Feature

There’s nothing more relaxing than the calming sound of a natural stream or waterfall in your garden. Turn a decorative pot into a waterfall feature, or create a built-in waterfall or stream element with large, stepped stones. A closed circuit of water can also act as circulation for a pond, serving dual purposes.

Whatever you choose, a water feature is a dramatic touch that provides soft tranquility.


3. Decorate with Vines

Adding vines to fencing, trellises, benches and other structures in your yard will create a soothing retreat with added privacy. Creeping vines that flower such as clematis, honeysuckle, trumpet vine, and morning glories will provide a pop of color against all the green vegetation as a lush backdrop.


4. Incorporate Natural Stone

Natural stone accents, like stepping stone paths, are great features to add to your garden oasis. Natural stone is an easy accent feature to incorporate into your backyard and can be inexpensive, depending on the stones you purchase.


5. Choose Large-Leafed Plants

By selecting tall, large-leafed plants, you can simulate a tropical rainforest experience. These types of plants add immense drama with a tropical tone. Make sure these plants dominate the yard to the point where you almost go overboard.

garden oasis large leaf plants

Adding a few of these simple features to your backyard will go a long way towards creating your tranquil retreat. A garden oasis is fun to create, and will provide a great place to decompress after a long day or even entertain your friends and family. Now get a head start on designing your garden oasis!


Lawn and Garden

Holiday Light Displays 7

Our Top 10 Ideas for Holiday Light Displays

Holiday Light Displays 7Are you looking to light up the neighborhood? Create a sparkling light display each night during the holiday season and be the talk of the town.

All month long, GNH Lumber is offering 25% OFF on all holiday lighting and décor, including sale prices on outdoor timers, extension cords, and more, to help you celebrate the season your way!

For ideas and inspiration, check out these top 10 ideas for holiday light displays: Continue reading

Centurion Trim

Centurion Trim

Claymark Centurion™ is the highest performing exterior finishing system manufactured by Claymark from New Zealand Radiata Pine.

Centurion™ is a timber cladding system which has been developed to protect your greatest asset – your home. Centurion Primed Exterior Trim has been developed specifically for the USA market and includes all of Claymark’s state-of-the-art technologies to provide a product that will last and which gives a superior finish.

Centurion Trim

The features of Centurion Primed Exterior Trim are:

  • Manufactured from New Zealand Radiata Pine using timber from well managed and FSC® (FSC-C008215) certified forests;
  • Manufactured to the highest precision standard and with a high quality finish;
  • Produced from the highest quality finger jointed block;
  • The Tru-Core® treatment system provides excellent durability characteristics and protects against fungal decay, insects and termites;
  • Pre-coated with a 100% acrylic primer and UV sealant undercoat;
  • 50 year warranty against fungal decay/rot and insect attack (including Formosan termites); and
  • 5 year warranty on the paint finish (conditions apply).

Tru-Core® Treatment Process:

The Tru-Core® treatment process is a highly effective way to protect wood in exterior environments. The Tru-Core® process uses a unique carrier system that ensures preservative is carried directly into the timber to achieve 100% penetration of both the sapwood and heartwood. The carrier system is water based so it contains no organic solvent or harmful chemicals. The mix of bio-actives ensure that the timber is effectively treated for fungal attack and rot, insects and termites.

Coating Technology of Centurion Primed Exterior Trim:

Centurion™  comes pre-coated with an acrylic  primer and undercoat system with the following benefits:

  • The latest in waterborne coating technology for safe handling and performance;
  • 100% acrylic composition
  • Resistant to tannin and resin bleed;
  • A finish that provides better adhesion and flexibility for the coating;
  • Coated on all 4 sides for protection and enhanced stability; and
  • Claymark Centurion™ 5 year limited primer warranty.

Sleep soundly at night knowing you are using Centurion Primed Exterior Trim, a product that is unrivaled by any other on the market today.

Click Here for Product Sell Sheet | Learn More about Centurion Exterior Trim

Winter Preparedness 101: Is Your Home Ready?


It’s fall season again. The leaves have fallen from most of the trees and the air is increasingly chilled. Like it or not, we all know that winter is close behind. Time to think about things like:

  • preparing your home for snowstorms
  • the cost of winter heating
  • ways to improve your home efficiency

Is your home ready for the coming winter? Not yet? Not sure? Don’t know? Don’t worry! There are a few simple steps you can take each autumn to protect against damage from winter storms and create a more efficient home.

So, let’s start exploring some steps you can take right now to prevent those wintertime headaches:

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How to Measure Windows

How to Measure Windows

How to Measure WindowsIf you’re going to install replacement windows, it pays to measure windows correctly the first time and avoid the headache of placing an incorrect order.

How to Measure Windows 101:


  1. Always measure the entire window, not just the glass! This includes the frame and trim as well as the window glass. Record your measurements to the nearest 1/16 inch.
  2. When recording measurements, follow the format “width by length.” For example, a window that is 63 inches wide and 27 inches long is recorded as “63 x 27.” A window that is 37 inches wide and 55 inches long is recorded as “37 x 55.”
  3. Measure windows width from left edge to the right edge.
  4. Measure windows height from top edge to the bottom edge.
  1. Take an additional set of measurements inside the window frame. Since a window can have several steps within the frame, measure left to right at the widest place. Measure the width at the top, middle and the bottom, and use the smallest of the three measurements as the inside width.
  2. Measure the window length at the left side, the center and the right side inside the window frame and record the smallest of these as the inside length measurement.
  3. Record the window outside measurements from the far left edge of the window frame to the far right edge. Measure the outside length measurement as from the top of the window frame to the bottom of the frame.
  4. Measure the width of the trim that surrounds the window. The trim on the sides may be different from the top and bottom – so measure each part.
  5. Take a picture of a multi-paned window and record the measurements on the print to eliminate confusion. Record the overall window width and length, both inside and outside the frame. Measure and record the width and length of each window section and the measurements of any subsections. For example, the overall the window may be 60 x 20, composed of two windows 30 x 20.

A helpful overview of the window replacement process from Marvin Windows:

For more great window ideas and guidance, visit our Windows Page today!

Keep Your Pool Water Clear

How to Keep Your Pool Water Clear this Summer

Keep Your Pool Water Clear

Summer is finally here, hot and humid days are upon us, and there is no better way to cool down and relax than a dip in your pool. Unfortunately, the bacteria and algae that form in your pool can prevent you from enjoying it. The best way to keep your pool water crystal clear and safe is through prevention.

Here are the important preventative steps to make sure your pool is clean and ready to enjoy at all times:

  • Maintain proper disinfectant levels. Every pool (even the best kept ones) have germs and bacteria. Keeping the chlorine above 1 ppm will eliminate them. Use a professional grade chlorinating solution like Smart Liqui-Shock by Sunbelt Chemical (available at GNH) to disinfect and clarify pool water.
  • Putting chlorine sticks or tablets in the skimmer basket is a common mistake. Keep the skimmer and line basket clear of debris and don’t add pool chemicals through the skimmers as this erodes the pump impeller.
  • Check your flow meter frequently to be sure the pool is circulating water at a proper flow rate.
  • Brush the walls and floor weekly.
  • Shock the pool on a regular basis. Swimmers and the environment add waste to the pool that must be eliminated continually to prevent problems such as algae and cloudy water. Aqua Chem Shock Xtra Blue (available at GNH) keeps your water clear and kills any algae that may be growing.
  • Algaecides act as a backup to your normal sanitization program and prevent algae from starting and growing in the pool. Algaecide should be added after every shock treatment.

Follow these basic steps and you will be able to enjoy your pool all season long. Happy summer!

LP Siding Visualizer

Improve Your Curb Appeal with LP SmartSide Trim & Siding

LP SmartSide Trim & SIding

LP SmartSide Trim & Siding offers the warmth and beauty of traditional wood with the durability of LP engineered wood. It’s a complete line of high-performance trim and siding products to complement almost any building style.

LP Trim & FaciaAll LP SmartSide products feature their innovative, four component SmartGuard® manufacturing process for strength and to resist fungal decay and termites.

LP® SmartSide® Trim & Fascia are the perfect accent to any substrate. Uniform in density and consistency, they’re made with our proprietary SmartGuard® manufacturing process to protect against fungal decay and termites, and are backed by a 5/50-Year Limited Warranty.

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