Heritage Restoration, Inc.

Building A Raised Bed

One of the best things about spring is getting outdoor gardens started.  A few years ago, our vegetable and fruit garden moved from under the shade of growing trees to a sunnier spot.  The only problem, the spot was right on top of our gravel driveway.


As usual, after searching for kits and the easy way out, I found the best thing to do is build my own.  The design is simple and long lasting.  So here’s how to build a 4’ x 12’ by about 11-12” tall raised bed garden:



1 box of 3-5/8” galvanized ledger lock screws

1- 2-1/2 lb, 2-1/2” galvanized decking screws

1- 4”x 4”x 8’ white oak or white cedar

6- 2”x 6”x 12’ white oak or white cedar

4 wood 3’ surveyor stakes

2 yards of raised bed planting soil.  Some compost farms have a raised bed mix comprised of screened compost mixed with sand, peat moss, greensand and rock phosphate.


White oak or white cedar will last about 10 years or so, and will not leach any toxins or harmful acids into the soil.  White oak is naturally rot resistant, not red oak, and can be acquired from a local sawmill in rough form.  White Cedar is at the lumberyard, although will cost much more, although look smoother.  Typical framing lumber will last only a few years, pressure treated is toxic and out of the question, and composite plastic woods do not have the stability and will quickly warp. 



Circular saw with fresh blade

Framing square

Speed square or combination square

Measuring tape

Framers pencil (thick kind)

Saw horses or bench

Impact gun with appropriate bits

Screw Gun or drill

Small 2 lb mallet

3/16” drill bit


Cutting & Prep

  • Mark your pieces.
  • Ends & Middle– Lay two 2x6x12 on the horses.  Square one end as close to end as possible with saw.  Cut 6- 3’8”’ pieces. Use the square to draw a line 1-1/2” from the end, and mark the line 1-1/2” from the top and bottom. Pre-drill with 3/16” bit on marks.
  • Sides– Lay remaining four 2x6x12 on the horses.  Check square of one end, and mark and cut other at 12’.   If less, do them all the same. Use the square to draw a line 3-1/2” from the end, and mark the line 1-1/2” from the top and bottom.  Pre-drill with 3/16” bit on marks. Measure to center of each 12’ board, mark line perpendicular to length with square.  Pre drill with 3/16” bit on line 1-1/2” from top and bottom.
  • Corner Blocks– Lay 4”x4”x8’ on horses.  Cut 6-11” pieces.  To be fancy, you can cut a 15 degree bevel on one end of each block, which will be on top.
  • Cut 4 surveyor stakes to about 18” pieces



  • Flatten the ground area where the raised bed will be placed, about 7’ x 13’.
  • Lay two Corner Blocks on their sides about 3-8” apart.  Place the end pieces on top, matching the edge of the End with the corner block.  The bottom first End piece will be flush with the square end of the Corner Block.  Use 3-5/8” ledger lock to bolt the End to the Corner Block.  Set the second End piece on top of the first and repeat for both sides.
  • Stand up one assembled End piece, with the corner bocks on the inside, where you want the final raised bed.  Place Side to the edge of End, screw together with ledger locks. Repeat for all for corners.
  • Attach remaining Center Blocks to center of Sides with ledger locks.
  • Attach remaining Middle boards to each center block.
  • Square raised bed with framing square.
  • Drive stakes in between the Middle and the Ends, against the inside of the Sides.  This will prevent shifting.
  • Fill up the bed with soil!




Leave a Reply