How to Create Sunken Walkway Planters
Half-sunken containers add height and interest to a garden bed.
To ensure that your cabana stands up to the wind and lasts, it's important to properly set your posts. Determine your size and mark spots for four posts. Dig holes 14 inches wide and 2 feet deep. Pour some dry quick-setting concrete in the bottom of each hole and set a 6x6 rough redwood post inside. Attach a level to the post and check it as you pour dry concrete around it. Expect to use about two 60-lb. bags of concrete in each posthole. All of the posts should line up with those to the side and behind or in front, creating a perfect square or rectangle. Once they are in the right place, add water to the concrete. Tamp down to get rid of any air bubbles and check your level again.
Using 4-inch heavy-duty wood screws, attach 2x10 rough redwood crossbeams on the outside of the posts to box this structure in. Adjust this height according to your preference, making sure you have enough room to walk under it, leaving a foot or two of the posts sticking up from the crossbeams. (The posts may not be even, but you'll cut them down later.) Double up by adding 2x10 crossbeams on the inside as well on the front and back of the cabana.
Using 3-inch heavy-duty wood screws, attach 2x4 redwood planks across the top of the cabana, securing them to the inner crossbeams. Space them approximately 12 inches apart. This will provide a sturdy roof frame for the bamboo.
Cut down the top of the posts so they all reach 12 inches above the crossbeams, or to your desired height. Top these with decorative posts. We used copper pyramid-style toppers.
The exterior for this cabana is made of bamboo fencing. For an upscale look we used a bamboo with a mahogany stain. You can buy this stained or stain it yourself. Bamboo fencing comes in different lengths and is held together with one or more metal wires that run the length of the fence panel. Depending on the length of your cabana, you'll need one or two pieces of fencing to cover the back wall. If you need two panels, attach them at the last bamboo poles with a thick metal wire. To attach the bamboo to the redwood, drill pilot holes through the bamboo and use finishing nails to secure it to the posts on the back wall and the planks for the roof.
To attach the bamboo fencing to the crossbeams on the front and sides of the cabana, you'll have to make some cuts. A circular saw with a fine blade will cut through the bamboo without causing it to splinter. Cut around the wire that holds the fence together so it will stay in one piece. Once you've cut your pieces, drill pilot holes where you will attach them to the redwood. To keep the bamboo pieces from twirling around when you mount them, lay them on a 2x10 board and push this right up to the crossbeam. Slide the 2x10 aside as you attach the bamboo with finishing nails the whole length of the crossbeam. Repeat this for the other two sides.
Bamboo caps are pieces of bamboo that have been split in two lengthwise. We used a speckled bamboo for this. Place these over the tops and bottoms of the cut bamboo pieces that are attached to the crossbeams. Drill pilot holes and attach with finishing nails. Double up the bamboo caps along the bottom, one underneath the crossbeam and one across the front, if you want to completely cover the redwood. Cut small lengths of the bamboo caps to attach to the corners for a completed look.
This structure just isn't complete without a few luxurious accessories. A double chaise lounge, an outdoor television and a couple of outdoor speakers bring Vegas home. Top it off by stringing some misters around the inside of the roof and it will feel like you're poolside.