Yes, another one of these guys! 🙂


It’s the final post!

“Yay” says my back!

“Yay” says all the readers who have no interest in DIY! 🙂

Anyway, here is what I got up to on a few odd half days here and there to finish it all up, plus the final budget/costings of the whole shebang…



I bought a chainsaw for £60 which seemed ridiculously cheap, so I could cut up the sleepers we have in our garden. There were two reasons for this:

  1. So I could actually lift the buggers to get rid of most of them
  2. So I could cut them up into little brick sized portions to redo our borders


Cutting them up into more manageable lengths (these buggers are heavy!)

I was cutting 5-6cm width “bricks” off as well to make a nicer looking border…


Laying out the rough line of the new border. Let’s go “wiggly” to make it a bit more interesting! 🙂


Here’s the final effect! The other thing I did was make sure the wood brick border was low enough so I can get our lawnmower over the edge so I don’t need to do the edges manually, which is what I was having to do before as the borders were really high compared to the grass. That was very annoying! Now although the lawn is about twice as large it should take me half the time to mow. We bought a manual lawnmower a bit like this one a few months back which is really good and low noise so I would definitely recommend one of these!


Big shout out to TFS Jr who helped me lug the chainsaw back from town!



But before I did that I had to move lots of heavy objects around to clear the mud…


I moved our self watering pots right up against the fence to get them out of the way


Nearly done!


Level! The whole final levelling process took me about 2 hours which isn’t all that long when you think about it. It wasn’t billiard table flat – I just trod it down with my feet – and it wasn’t 100% level but it was good enough. I was working solidly on the basis of the Pareto principle on this one 🙂


Laying turf

It started absolutely wanging it down with rain as soon as I started to lay the turf which wasn’t that fun, but it did put a bit of a rocket up my arse and I got the whole lot down in just over an hour so every dark grey cloud has a silver lining I guess

Tips from my delivery driver on laying turf:

  • When levelling just use your feet to stamp down the mud – don’t use a compactor otherwise the grass roots will have a hard time bonding. I guess the alternative if you want a really flat lawn is to compact it then add another layer of top soil that is much looser and rake that level.
  • Lay in damp weather if possible – check!
  • Overlap the edges by about 1 inch, then push both edges down, this will help the edges bond faster especially if damp and will stop gaps appearing if/when the turf dries out.


Laying it all down.

I decided to use a big kitchen knife to cut the turf, seemed to work pretty well. Big pair of scissors also seem to work pretty well. Please do not constitute this as advice (see my disclaimer if you are in any doubt about that!)


Finishing off the pointing on the patio

No pictures on this one as you can’t really see the difference before and after, but I had to wait for some dry weather to finish off filling in the cracks with cement mix. See here for previous description on how I did that. My only extra advice here is to reserve a good amount of time for this. It takes a lot longer than you originally might think, the whole lot took a good 8 hours I would say which was the same amount of time it took me to lay most of the slabs.


Stood back and admired handywork

Here is the final effect!

Another shout out to TFS Jr who was helping me lay down some more pebbles by the flower beds once it was all done… 🙂

A nice pic of me looking rather soaked after laying the turf. Unfortunately I am so wet here you can’t actually see any dry areas to see what colour these clothes usually are… but trust me, I was soggy all the way through!


Finally, here is a “before” and after picture so you can see fully how much it’s changed! The before is actually from about 3 years ago when we moved in but the decking has been there since then and that is the main part that has changed.


Added up the final cost

Here is the final costings table. I’m pretty happy with the total being around the £1200 mark, I thought it might be nearer £2000 before I started. We will no doubt spend a couple of extra hundred over the next 6 months on a few plants to spruce it all up a bit but we’d have done that anyway, but this just allows us to do that without worrying too much that we’d already gone over budget.

Where? What? Cost?
B&Q Patio slabs 20sq.m £628.00
Screwfix Titan Angle Grinder £29.99
Soft Handled Trowel Set 6Pc £14.99
Site Optimus Gel Knee Pads £15.99
Flexi Tubs Yellow Pack of 2 £18.99
Ear Defenders 29.8dB SNR £5.99
Rubber Mallet 24oz £6.49
15cm screws £12.49
Bosch Drilling & Screwdriving Set 103 Pieces £19.99
Erbauer Diamond Segmented Blade 115 x 22.23mm £4.99
Chainsaw Oil £4.99
Wickes Sharp sand bags x 34 £54.06
Ballast bags x 34 £64.26
Cement x 3 £14.25
Sharp sand bags x 9 £14.31
Cement x 3 £14.25
Jewsons Compactor Hire 1 week £63.00
Van hire place Van hire 1 day £39.50 Turf 21m Sq. £100.20
Garden centre Random bits n bobs £29.46
Homebase Laser Level £29.99
Argos Chainsaw £59.99
Total £1,246.17

Out of that lot I would say the Laser level and the Bosch drill bit set were kinda superfluous to the job. And I don’t know why I bought 2 of the big tubs to mix the cement, I definitely only needed one (I think it was on offer if you bought two!). Apart from that everything was definitely useful!

It’s probably also worth bearing in mind I borrowed the following useful tools off of my Dad:

  • Sledgehammer
  • Crowbar
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Pick axe (for hammering out tough roots and stuff)

Also a general tool kit is always handy when starting a job like this but I’m assuming most people would have one anyway if they were considering taking on such a task! 🙂

Well… I think that’s your lot!

Cheers for reading/following all the way through if you have done and normal posting will be resumed shortly!