Mum saves nearly £2,000 on garden decking by making her own

Confronted with quotes of around £2,000 for a professional to do up her garden’s decking, Charlotte Holman decided to give some DIY a go.

The mum-of-two hated the uneven slabs that were in her garden and wanted to replace them without spending a load of money.

So after watching videos online to pick up some skills, Charlotte, from Colchester, Essex, made her own parquet style decking, using old palettes to keep costs low.

The entire project cost just £80 – saving Charlotte and her partner thousands.

Charlotte, a wedding cake maker, said: ‘I saw some videos online of how palettes could be used as decking and just decided to go for it.

‘We had garden furniture that was made out of palettes and a local building supplier also gave us some of their old palettes so we didn’t have to spend any money on those.

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‘We were just learning on the job and deciding how we would do it as we went along.

“I hated our slabs. They’d been there since the 80s and they were uneven.

‘My husband estimated that it would have cost us around £2k and we just couldn’t afford to fork out on that at the moment.

‘It wasn’t in our budget so we decided to do it ourselves. It cost us £80 in total and took us three weekends to complete it.

‘We started by pulling up the old slabs, levelling out the ground and taking the palettes apart.’

Charlotte used 30 palettes in total, with nine for the base and 21 to form the top and pattern of the decking.

‘Once we were happy with the base, we started cutting pieces to create the pattern,’ she said.

‘I always knew that I wanted to do a parquet pattern but it was definitely one of the hardest parts of the process.

‘Once I completed the pattern I used a paintbrush and went over the wood with a light brown stained treatment to complete the decking.’

It wasn’t an easy project, but Charlotte is thrilled with the end result.

‘It was time-consuming and we used more palettes than we thought we would but it has been so worth it,’ she added.

‘We are really happy with the finished look.

‘And it’s even better because we have been able to do it ourselves.

‘It also meant that we were able to recycle the wood and make it into something new instead of it going to waste.’

Price breakdown:

  • Palettes: Free
  • Membrane (used in the base to stop weeds): £10
  • Screws: £30
  • Timber: £30
  • Oil wood treatment: £10

Total: £80

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