Back To The House – Sorting out the garden


I should probably start by stating that I’m definitely not a builder, structural engineer, or to that matter; carpenter. Building anything out of wood, from scratch, isn’t something I would usually do – and isn’t something I’m particularly experienced in doing.

As a result, you should not use anything in this post (or others on this website!) any form of definitive guidance if attempting your own garden construction.

All of that said however, this seemed like a nice challenge to attempt during what was perhaps the hottest week of June 2013 and proved to be a great distraction from the need to return to bi-hourly nappy changes following the arrival of our amazing little daughter, Ellie.

Anyway, our starting point was what was probably a 20+ year old wood summer-house, stuck in the back garden that we’d inherited when buying the house. It was well and truly beyond any semblance of repair, with the majority of its structural components having either rotted away over the years or weakened through lack of maintenance.

There’s a photo or two elsewhere on here of what this looked like before we started taking it apart, but here’s a quick reminder taken once demolition had started

A rotten wooden summerhouse, in the midst of being demolished

As a slightly wider photo of the garden shows, the summerhouse was sat on a prime chunk of the plot – taking up far too much space for the benefit it offered; especially given that it was beyond any form of reasonable repair short of removing it and rebuilding!

Just to demonstrate the state it was in, here are a few random photos of the most knackered bits:

As you can probably imagine, demolition didn’t exactly take very long to be honest… we cut through what little remained of the structure with a saw, at which point the sides lost any form of rigidity and could be pulled away.

Didn’t take much longer from there to repeat the exercise with the two front uprights, cutting through and removing the door hinges as they were rusted solid and basically paving the way for the remainder of the structure to be collapsed with a couple of good pushes from the back…

A rather fragile looking summerhouse

From there, it was largely a cut and lift exercise to remove the rest one chunk at a time, leaving us with a massive pile of rotten wood, along with a huge amount of clean up to do in terms of cutting back overgrown vegetation and opening up the amazing views at the back of the house.

With the summerhouse removed, you can see the amount of ground it was taking up along with a collection of junk that had been shoved behind it over the years.

Remains of the site, before clearing up the overgrown stuff

After much clearing up, collecting of rubbish and cutting down of overgrown hedging & weeds; the garden was starting to look a little clearer.

The hedge got a bit of a trim at the same time for good measure…

With the clear up complete, the site now looks a little different to how it was when we started!

With a clear place to start, we cleaned up the ground and made a start on building the deck. Needless to say, this wasn’t quite as straightforwards as it could have been thanks to the sloping ground… Read on!

Part 2: Timber decking construction

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