This project was carried out in collaboration with a client who wanted to salvage and reuse as much material as possible. They wanted to create a more wildlife-friendly garden, work with us on the project and keep the budget in check.
Nearly 15 years after it had been built, the client’s timber decking was starting to deteriorate. Some of the main joists, which made up the supporting frame structure, were badly rotten, as were the decking boards, which were falling in, very slippery and unsafe.
There were three areas of the garden laid to decking at different levels, with some surrounding fencing, screening and garden sheds that were also at the end of their life. We decided – to minimise disruption and give the client access to some parts of the garden during the demolition and build – to tackle one decking area at a time.
To give the client control of the budget we staggered the heavier and more skilled project tasks to the client’s schedule so they could do some of the lighter and easier tasks in between. Importantly, this give them time to reflect on the progress and decide how to evolve the project in the direction they wanted.
This allowed for some flexibility during the project, to tackle unexpected things like replacing a rotten perimeter fence post, and to allow the client time to consider the use of the space to allow more planting for a wildlife-friendly garden.
About 60% of the joists were salvaged on the lower and middle decks and all boards replaced with new. As the sheds and screening were removed and the space opened up the client reclaimed this area for planting, and the highest level of decking, once removed, exposed some sound joists that, once cut, made perfect raised beds for a new wildflower planting area.