Couple save more than £1,000 turning stone garden into seating area

Thrifty couple save over £1,000 transforming tired-looking garden into bright seating area in just two weeks – by digging up the space themselves to cut back on labour costs and getting friends to help remove trees

  • Lauren and Mike, both 27, from Kent, were determined to spruce up their patio
  • Speaking to LatestDeals.co.uk, they said they bought decking wood for £900 
  • They saved £100 on their outdoor furniture and asked friends to help with trees 

A thrifty couple have transformed their stone back garden into a bright seating area – and saved themselves more than £1,000 by doing it themselves.

Lauren and Mike, both 27, from Kent, were determined to get stuck into their DIY project and spruce up their patio. 

After buying a home in 2019, and spending time refurbishing, they finally got round to the garden, but didn’t know what to do with the space. 

‘For months we were undecided on what to do with such an awkward space, and digging up the concrete base wasn’t an option,’ said Lauren, speaking to LatestDeals.co.uk. ‘We decided to replace it with decking and use the base as a guide to how that would be designed.’

Lauren and Mike, both 27, from Kent, have transformed their stone back garden into a bright seating area – and saved themselves more than £1,000


The thrifty couple were determined to get stuck into their DIY project and spruce up their patio. Pictured left before and right, after

The couple, who work in project support and regional account management, sourced their own supplies because decking kits were priced at £1,500 and above online.  

They went on to claim they bought their wood for £900 from a builders’ merchants and began their garden transformation. 

Mike then began digging up the garden and chopped down trees, but because it was during lockdown the only tools the couple had was a ‘handsaw, ladder and shovel’. 

A friend helped them grind tree stumps and they dug up the ground and their garden path to give them a base to use. 


Mike began digging up the garden (pictured) and chopped down trees, but because it was during lockdown the only tools the couple had was a ‘handsaw, ladder and shovel’

The couple said they bought the wood for £900 from a builders’ merchants and began their garden transformation. Pictured, after the transformation

The couple ordered grass seeds for £100 which they said were ‘the best quality’ because they were ‘the type they use on football pitches’.  

They added fences to both sides of the garden which gave their whole garden a sleek new look.

A friend helped build their decking, which cut costs, and the whole process took between two and three weeks to complete.  

Lauren added: ‘The furniture came from Laura James online and we paid £650 – it has since gone up to £750 so we’ve saved £100!’ 

Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said Lauren and Mike managed to save ‘a lot of money’ by using their friend’s help.

He estimates the pair were £1,000 better off doing the work themselves, and added that “getting their own wood” for decking would have helped, as kits can cost ‘hundreds more’.

The couple, who added fences around the garden (pictured), also ordered grass seeds for £100 which they said were ‘the best quality’ because they were ‘the type they use on football pitches’


A friend helped build the couple’s decking, which cut costs, and the whole process took between two and three weeks to complete

Tom added they would have saved roughly £100 by asking a friend for help with removing their three trees, as tree surgeons are normally £40 per hour.  

This cost is what he estimates for labour too, and quotes roughly £40 per hour to lay grass, install fences and laying decking.

Taking several days to do, Tom added the thrifty couple would have saved themselves at least £400 by getting stuck into the work themselves. 

He added: ‘What with the £600 saving on the decking supplies, £100 off the furniture, £400 or more from labour costs and £100 saved on a tree surgeon, the couple has easily saved over £1000 by going DIY, so well done to them! 

Lauren and Mike’s top tips for how to install your own decking

Plan out how big you want the decking to be before you purchase supplies which will stop wastage.

Avoid building your decking in areas which regularly receive a lot of shade, as the wood will require more maintenance.

Purchase supplies specifically designed for decking like structural treated timber and correct screws.

Make use of a guide marker or set square when cutting for straight edges

Avoid the risk of splinters by sanding down the ends of your timber after cutting it.

Use the correct safety equipment like protective gloves, a dust mask and safety glasses.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

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