Posts Tagged 'garden'

What I did with my summer holidays.

Here’s the short version of our decking project time lapse. We cut out a lot of Dan sitting and chiselling out concrete for metposts.

Projects: Decking the garden 4

We are finished! The deck is completely laid, sealed and operational. We christened it last night with a bottle of rose that my partner brought back from his brother’s wine-tasting stag do. The deck is in just the right spot to catch the evening sunlight – the wine ran out before the sunshine.

It took us three days in all to put the deck together. Days one and two were much taken up with smashing concrete to sink metposts, but day three – securing and treating all the boards just flew by in a fit of productivity.
Finished deck

So now the deck is in place we have to think about moving on to the next phases of garden awesomeness:

– More gravel

– A pond

– Plants in pots

– A chiminea/BBQ

– More garden chairs

Given that the enormous deck and the warm evenings naturally lead to being social I think that the BBQ and garden furniture are going to be the next priority. With decking so awesome I think the general scruffiness of the back half of the garden can be forgiven – for a while.

Projects: Decking the garden 3

End of day two building decking in the garden. For a while it really looked like we were going to finish today. Then we were hit by two problems: 1 – the electric screwdriver ran out of charge, battery takes 2 hours to quick-charge; 2 – the decking planks were not the width that was stated on the invoice, which meant we’d have to leave an 11mm gap rather than a 6mm gap, and those extra 5 mm make all the difference to the look of it.

So we retired, slightly defeated and very sunburned, indoors. Tomorrow’s plan is to get an extra plank or two of decking material which we can then cut lengthways and use to fill the space – a ‘making-up piece’ as my Dad is fond of calling such devices. Once that’s sorted it should be quick work to screw down the decking planks.

Projects: Decking the garden 2

Uh oh.

Well we started on with the decking nice and early this morning. Prior to lunch everything was going swimmingly: we cut to size all the joists for the upper frame, got all the posts laid out and the ends sealed.

The only hiccup was with the timelapse software we were using with our webcam to capture progress – it wasn’t playing well with screensaver and the picture was almost completely whited-out no matter how far we turned down brightness and exposure.  These two problems were easily fixed: the first by disabling the screensaver and the second by cutting both the thin plastic lenses out of a pair polarising glasses we have (from seeing Beowulf in 3D) and taping them (at maximum light blocking angles) over the lens of the webcam.

This afternoon – the progress capture seems to be going perfectly well, but there’s no progress to capture. One of the first jobs to get started after lunch was the sinking of the metposts. We expected to have to break through concrete for the metpost nearest the path, but the other two we expected to be able to hammer into loose soil. That approached worked well for the first 15cm, and then no further. Quick investigation with a trowel revealed that there is even more concrete underneath what was the lawn.

Suddenly the job feels a whole lot longer…

Dan breaking concrete for metpost no. 1

Projects: Decking the garden.

Next week my partner, Dan, and I are taking a week off to do some work in the garden. The garden used to be mostly bumpy grass with a path running from back door to garage door. Near to the house there’s a badly laid slab of concrete covered in gravel.

Earlier in the year we spent a couple of sunny weekends tearing up and turning over the grass. We covered the turned garden with weed proof cloths and weighed them down with gravel from near the house.

Then we left it, for over a month. But now we’re getting off our backsides and taking the time to make the garden into what we planned.

Design for our garden

The first step is to build the decking. We’ve got no chance of getting rid of the horrible concrete slab at the top of the garden, not without hiring a pneumatic drill. So we opted for a cover up job – we’re building decking on top of the concrete slab running across the back of the house, and a lower section of decking reaching into the garden.

On Wednesday the timber arrived from Travis Perkins. A lorry with a crane on top came along and lifted the timber into the garage. So we’re ready to go.

Pictures and updates as the project progresses.


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