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Couple Save Over £1000 Turning Stone Backyard Into Bright Seating Space

June 14, 2021, 3:00 PM
  • Lauren and Mike, 27, wanted to make their garden more welcoming
  • They saved over £1000 by digging up the space themselves and getting friends to help
  • Bargains include £600 saved on decking and £100 off furniture

Embarking on a DIY garden project can be intimidating, especially if you’re covering a large area. However, one couple was determined to do the work themselves, transforming their drab stone space into a bright wooden seating area.

Lauren Wallis and Michael Clarke, 27 from Kent who work in project support and regional account management, told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk that they didn’t know what to do with their back garden after buying a house together. ‘The whole property needed refurbishing and we completed that in 2019, but the garden was the last task.

‘For months we were undecided on what to do with such an awkward space, and digging up the concrete base wasn’t an option. We decided to replace it with decking and use the base as a guide to how that would be designed.’

With similar decking kits online priced at £1500 and above, Lauren and Mike bypassed the extra costs by sourcing their own supplies. ‘We purchased the wood for the decking from the builders’ merchants for £900, then got going on the project.

‘Mike started by completely digging the whole garden up and getting ladders to chop trees down. All we had at the time was a handsaw, ladder and shovel as the non-essential shops were shut due to lockdown. We didn’t even have a wheelbarrow!

‘It was a long process but we finally dug everything out and had a fresh base. We then ordered grass seed online and planted it. It cost £100 as we ordered the type they use on football pitches to get the best quality. It took a lot of work and constant watering but we finally started to see it grow!

‘The next job was to dig up a random path which was in the garden. We used a hammer to break up the concrete by hand and bagged it up ready for when the tips reopened. After that, we had three tree stumps we needed taking out so a friend came round to grind them out of the ground.

‘We then installed new fences on both sides at the top and back of the garden, then our friend built the decking for us.

‘The furniture came from Laura James online and we paid £650 - it has since gone up to £750 so we’ve saved £100! Overall, the project took 2-3 weeks and we’re really pleased with the results.’

Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: ‘Lauren and Mike have managed to save a lot of money by doing the work themselves or getting friends to help them. The biggest saving probably came from getting their own wood for the decking, as ready made kits can easily cost hundreds more.

‘The average tree surgeon in the UK costs £40 per person per hour, so with three stumps to grind out it’s likely they have saved at least £100.

‘Jobs such as laying down grass seeds, installing fences and laying down decking can easily come with labour costs of £40 per hour as well, so with several days of work at a minimum, I would estimate that Lauren and Mike saved at least £400 by doing the work themselves.

‘What with the £600 saving on the decking supplies, £100 off the furniture, £400 or more from labour costs and £100 saved on a tree surgeon, the couple has easily saved over £1000 by going DIY, so well done to them!

‘To install your own decking, I recommend following the tips below for the best results.

  1. Plan out how big you want the decking to be before you purchase supplies. That way you’ll eliminate the risk of wastage.
  2. Avoid building your decking in areas which regularly receive a lot of shade, as the wood will require more maintenance.
  3. Purchase supplies specifically designed for decking. This means getting structural treated timber and the right screws, so the construction lasts.
  4. Make use of a guide marker or set square when cutting to ensure you don’t end up with wonky wood!
  5. Avoid the risk of splinters by sanding down the ends of your timber after cutting it.
  6. Use the correct safety equipment - that means wearing protective gloves, a dust mask and safety glasses.
  7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This kind of job is much easier when you have a friend by your side, so make an afternoon of it!’
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sam073 months ago

Garden looks amazing well done.

However I cant stop looking at the amazing view you have at the back.

2 months ago

This is such a great transformation. Very inspirational.

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