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Mum Quoted £7500 For Garden Does Alan Titchmarsh Style Makeover For Under £2000

October 26, 2021, 1:00 PM
  • Deborah, 49, was quoted £7500 for her garden makeover
  • She decided to go DIY using inspiration from Alan Titchmarsh
  • By shopping smartly on Amazon she picked up multiple deals
  • She has saved over £5000 by going DIY

It can be tempting to tackle your abandoned garden by getting the professionals in to do it up - but more often than not, they can end up quoting you an eye-watering bill which puts you off altogether. However, all hope does not have to be lost, as one savvy DIYer has proven.

Deborah Williamson, aged 49 from Cumbria and mum of one who is a key worker, told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: ‘I've wanted to do the garden for so long but I didn't know where to start or manage to muster up the determination, what with it being a big garden. I knew I wanted a low maintenance garden, especially as I was diagnosed with degenerative spinal conditions which will require surgery so this kick started my garden project. I think Alan Titchmarsh is amazing in what he does with garden makeovers so he was an inspiration.

‘I decided to do the garden in stages, 4 in total. I then began sketching little drawings of ideas I'd like such as decking, pergola, fire pit, arches and lights. Once my ideas were on paper my imagination went into overdrive, each sketch I did I wrote what I needed, what I thought it would cost then set a budget.

‘Then the fun part came - shopping! Wow, there’s some bargains out there. I spent time sourcing the materials, then the pandemic started, so the project began too. The patio was originally going to be wood, but then there was a shortage, so I had a look on Amazon for alternatives. Composite decking tiles caught my eye, so I decided this would be a good option. I paid £33 per box of 12 and used 5 boxes, but I got a 6% off deal as I was a first time buyer - amazing! I used the deal a few times. It pays to go through all the pages in Amazon. The total cost was £155.10.This was only the start of my shopping so I would be able to save money and shop some more, all the time remembering my budget.

‘I'd been given a quote for top decking, £7,500, needless to say I wasn't going to pay that price. But before I could put the tiles down I needed membrane and baseboards. I used shed base boards from Amazon. My word, these are brilliant - sturdy and easy to put together. I also managed to get money off for these. They had a 5% off deal and they cost £45 for 8 - I used 3 boxes in total. The cost was £128.45. The membrane is also from Amazon - it’s a great deal if you order more than one, which was handy considering the size of the garden. I got 4 lots of 25m and they were £23 each. I got 5% off per 25m and the total cost was £87.40.

‘Once I started browsing for bargain supplies with money off, I couldn't stop! Next was the pergola, also from Amazon. The first one I saw was well over £350, but in the end I only paid £93 thanks to a money off coupon. This is because I kept going through the search result pages and the prices got cheaper and cheaper until I got to the one I bought. It was priced at £93 but I had a 6% off deal so I paid £93.06 - bargain!

‘The cabana I made was a gazebo that I'd had for over 3 years. It was sitting in its box in the shed so I decided I'd make it to fit the top decking. I also had some lights that I'd bought and forgot about, plus some ivy which I’d originally bought for another project. Therefore all I needed was four shower curtains and tie backs. The curtains were £3.99 from Amazon and the 4 tie backs from B&M were bargains at £1 each - the total was just £20.

‘With the garden now taking shape I decided to raise and level the top part using paving slabs. I sketched out what I'd like and what I would need, wondering - could I do this? I looked at what I'd done so far and went for it!

‘I got a great bargain on gravel and sand with my local B&Q as it was £36 a tonne. This was the biggest expense and took up a chunk of my budget. I got 13 tonnes of gravel and 3 tonnes of sand. It was £576, with a delivery charge of £30 from B&Q. The gravel I used was limestone, I got the 10mm variety for most of the garden as I wanted a soft look. 20mm gravel was used at the top of the garden to add a bit of character. While I was at B&Q I also got paving slabs, which were £3.50 each. I used 50, which cost £175 in total.

‘At my local builders yard I picked up breeze blocks and cement. The blocks were £2.15 each and I used 60, costing £129 in total. The cement was £2.75 per bag and I got 8 bags for a total price of £22. Once I got to work this was by far the longest and toughest part of the makeover. I built walls for a raised mini garden, rendered the wall...when it was finished I just couldn’t believe what I’d achieved.

‘I made wooden lights out of pallets that I got for free off Facebook Marketplace, and then got to work on the plants and flowers. I picked up seeds and bulbs which ranged from 25p each to 3 bags of bulbs for £5. In total, I spent £12.25 on these supplies. I made plans for the plants I want next year with a greenhouse from Wilko which cost just £12. I’ll have a go at growing vegetables in my raised beds which were also made out of the free pallets.

‘As I work long hours, the garden took 15 months and there’s still more I’d like to do. If I could have done this project differently I would have started this many years ago and I would have planned for a summer house. However, I now have a gorgeous low maintenance garden to relax, unwind and recuperate in. It’s truly magical at night time! My total cost for this garden is nearly £1,650 - much better than the £7500 I was quoted.’

Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: ‘Deborah should be really proud of herself for the amazing project she’s completed. This garden transformation means she can now relax in her own outdoor space and enjoy the benefits of her hard work for years to come. It’s easy to see touches of inspiration from Alan Titchmarsh’s own garden, such as the use of a greenhouse for growing plants and vegetables, a path lined with plants and a well-looked-after lawn. Plus she has saved a whopping £5850 compared with getting it done professionally - proving that going DIY can often be the best option, particularly if you’re on a budget.’

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