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Lbjstump
Raised Flower Bed Next To House

I am planning to build a raised flower bed in front of a small section of my house. This 6'x8' area where I will be building is between the house and my driveway. Now my concern is if I should build the bed a few inches from the house or have it butt up to the house?:confused: This area was the entrance to a garage that was converted to a family room, so there is no basement just a concrete slab. There is about 10" of concrete exposed then there is a "trim" board 1x8" then it starts into the clapboard siding. I plan on making it a two tier flower bed with the back wall (near house) to be roughly 2 feet. Is there a membrane I should install on the house or back wall or will that make moisture more of a problem? Thanks in advance for your help!;):D

A. Spruce
Re: Raised Flower Bed Next To House

The only acceptable method in these parts (california ) is a masonry planter with a 2" gap between the planter and siding. You want a material that isn't going to rot out, and you need the air gap to prevent moisture from penetrating the siding on the house.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Raised Flower Bed Next To House

Building against the house also provides a closed pathway for termites.
Jack

A. Spruce
Re: Raised Flower Bed Next To House
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

Building against the house also provides a closed pathway for termites.
Jack

Yes, destructive critters is another reason for the materials and separation. :cool:

Lbjstump
Re: Raised Flower Bed Next To House

Thanks, what would be a good masonry product? Cinder Blocks? And can I use landscape timbers for the side and front walls? Sorry to sound ignorant but you brought up some good points that are making me more cautious and concerned on this project!

A. Spruce
Re: Raised Flower Bed Next To House

You can do just about anything you want. You can form up and use concrete, you can set blocks, bricks, or stone. If you decide on a poured "wall", you can veneer with brick, stone, or stucco.

Unless you anchor the masonry to the existing concrete pad, you're going to need the side returns to support and keep the wall vertical. The front can be whatever you want, though I'd still recommend making the whole thing out of masonry rather than introducing materials that will rot. While it might look good for a while, you'll quickly change your tune when you have to dig the contents out of the bed to replace a wall that's given out. I'd do the whole thing in masonry then think about a veneer if you don't like the look.

Lbjstump
Re: Raised Flower Bed Next To House

That makes sense, just something else what about that composite decking boards (Treks or something like that)would it be a suitable wall for the bed? Just thought of that, and this might be to much work for this project that is not 100% necessary! Just wanted to spruce up the area and keep the kids from running on the flowers, there was a couple of evergreen bushes there when I moved in 3 yrs ago but I didn't like that species. Plus the main part of the house has 5 evergreen bushes in front but they are bigger and more established. Sorry for the babble there!

A. Spruce
Re: Raised Flower Bed Next To House

Babbling is fine, as a matter of fact, you'll find most of us babbling on about something or other around here. :p;)

Composite materials, while being impervious to rot and insect damage, are not structural, so you'd have a hard time constructing a box with it that could withstand the internal pressure of the contents. What you'd end up with is a box that will start ballooning on you, which would neither be pretty nor functional for long. I don't know if you're going for inexpensive or the look, if it's the look, then construct a masonry box and veneer composite material to it.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Raised Flower Bed Next To House

You might check and see if you have a pre-cast company in your area. Sometimes you can get concrete culvert units, or septic tank rings and set them in place. Then you can veneer stone or brick on the exposed sides. Even a second that meets your size requirements may save you money.
Jack

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