A Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing the Best Decking Boards for Your Garden

Posted on December 6, 2023 at 2:59 pm

So… you’ve decided this is the year you’ll finally get around to building that dream deck in your garden. No more stepping out into a dull concrete patio, now you’ll have a gorgeous wooden escape for lounging about on sunny days and hosting fabulous garden parties. But where do you start when looking for the perfect decking boards ?

There are so many options out there from natural wood to composite materials. Never fear! As someone who recently built their own new deck, let me guide you through the key considerations I wish I had known from the start.

The first question to ask yourself — what general look are you going for? Decking comes in all different shades and finishes these days. Do you fancy something more modern with bold greys and blacks? Or perhaps a natural wood grain suits your cottage garden vibe? Composite decking requires little upkeep but can look a bit artificial, while real wood needs some yearly care but oozes rustic charm.

You’ll also want to decide if low maintenance or high durability matters more. Pressure-treated softwoods can handle some drizzle, but harder tropical woods like ipe and batu resist rotting for decades. Go composite though and you’ll never need to re-stain or treat the boards again!

Here’s a rookie mistake to avoid – make sure you measure properly and don’t buy boards too narrow for your frame. I did this at first and had annoying little gaps between each plank. Measure twice! Wider planks also let you space out the joists underneath farther apart.

And think about extras like grooved boards that let rain drain right through or textured planks for better grip underfoot (spilt wine is never a good look at parties). If you really want to impress your mates, you could even install posh integrated lighting around the edges.

Finally, find a quality local timber supplier who can steer you through the entire process, from choosing those all important boards to fitting the deck properly so it lasts. Though watch the budget doesn’t get completely blown. You want money left to crack open the bubbly for the inaugural garden bash right?

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Metal Gates: Adding Curb Appeal and Security to Your Property

Posted on November 21, 2023 at 4:55 pm

Whether you’re looking to upgrade the look of your home or add an extra layer of security, installing new metal gates can be a great option. Metal gates come in a wide variety of styles, from classic wrought iron to more modern steel and aluminum designs. Choosing the right metal gate for your property is key to achieving the look and functionality you want.

Wrought iron gates are a timeless choice that can enhance the curb appeal of any home. Intricate scrollwork and designs give wrought iron an elegant, ornamental look. These classic gates work well with traditional home styles but can also provide a nice contrast to more contemporary architecture. Wrought iron is strong and durable, though it does require more maintenance than other metals to prevent rust.

For a sleek, modern look, steel or aluminum gates are great alternatives. These metal gates often feature clean lines, minimal ornamentation, and a variety of finials. Steel and aluminum are very strong, low maintenance materials that can handle constant use and still look great for years. Turned posts, arched designs, and unique colour finishes provide options for personalizing a contemporary metal gate.

When it comes to installation, metal gates can be either automated or manual. Automatic gates open with the press of a button and are ideal for properties with longer driveways. Manual gates are usually operated with a key or code and tend to be more affordable. Professional installation is recommended for both automatic and manual metal gates to ensure proper setup and functionality.

Along with aesthetics, security is a major benefit of metal gates. A sturdy metal gate with quality hardware can help deter intruders from entering your property. Locks, latch systems, and securable hinges make it more difficult for a metal gate to be broken into or tampered with. Gates should be installed properly so they are aligned and open/close smoothly.

No matter your reasons for wanting new metal gates, working with an experienced manufacturer is advised. Reputable companies will help you choose the right material, style, and hardware for your specific needs. They can also handle the full process, from gate design and fabrication to professional installation. Investing in custom metal gates is a great way to increase security, improve curb appeal, and add your own personal style to your property’s entrance.

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Guide On Choosing And Buying Best Topsoil

Posted on February 10, 2023 at 9:39 am

Making the right selection of topsoil can be one of the daunting tasks to embark on. This is so especially if you are not familiar with matters to do with soil selection and agriculture in general. However, with the right knowledge, strategies and techniques, choosing the best topsoil for outdoor use may not be challenging after all. The truth is that with basic knowledge and guidance, it is possible to get the ideal topsoil.

However, you must always be on the lookout for the best seller. This is actually the first step you should take in ensuring that you get the soil you want. Most topsoil sellers and suppliers are business oriented. This means that they can sell you topsoil that cannot be of use to you.

Here are basic guidelines to follow when buying topsoil:

Examine The Soil First

It is always recommended that you take a close look on any topsoil before you consider buying. This is a way of primarily examining the nature of the topsoil hence make your decision accordingly. The essence of closely examining any topsoil is to ensure that you are not supplied with something useless. Note that you may not be in a position to return the soil to the seller should you make a wrong choice. This is basically the policy of most topsoil companies.

Consider Dark Topsoil

Research has confirmed that any topsoil that has a dark complexion is usually rich with essential nutrients. In this regard, you should focus on buying topsoil that is dark brown or black in colour. That way, you can be assured of making the best out of such soil. On the other hand, topsoil that is grayish or light brown in colour is not the best selection. This is because such colors signify nutrients deficiency making the soil imperfect for farm use.


This is actually one of the prime factors you should consider when choosing topsoil. The soil should feel like sandy loam when on your hands. In addition, it should not stick on your feet once you step on it. If it does, then you should know that it is not the ideal choice for you.

One of the best ways to ascertain the kind of soil you have chosen is by making a ball out of it. Try pressing it using your hands and let go after a while. If the soil does not crumble apart, then that is not the type to go for. Bets topsoil is not sticky at all.

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The Beauty of Awnings for Patios: Year Round Comfort and Fresh Air

Posted on December 27, 2021 at 11:18 am

The trend of purchasing awnings for patios is far from over and quite rightly so: Awnings can have an enormous impact on a space and make it all the more appealing, inviting and beautiful. Awnings are a popular addition to a patio at home, as well as something that a restaurateur or cafe owner might consider for their terrace or veranda area in order to increase seating area sizes and protect outdoor diners when needed. To this end, awnings can be put to good use in many ways and they can make a very real difference to an outdoor area, offering protection from different weather conditions. That does not account for their aesthetic charm, either, which should also be thought about when purchasing one. Indeed, awnings are an excellent addition to a patio across the board and if a retractable one is installed, there can really be no word to be said against it, as the awning can be put away as required.

There are really two point that can be considered when thinking about the preference to install an awning and weighing up whether it will be worthwhile: the comfort it will bring, and the atmosphere it will create. These are central concerns of people who are looking to spend money on their garden and bring it up to date – they will want to know that money spent on home improvements will be money well spent. The garden can sometimes be one of the last spots to update in the home and can fall victim to becoming ‘non essential’ – not as important as the hubs in the home like the kitchen or living spaces. However, the outdoors is known to be incredibly important, now more so than ever with the mental health benefits of spending time outdoors and in nature widely known. Getting more time in your garden can really give you a boost and its benefits should be seriously considered.

When it comes to comfort, an awning is really quite a logical and sensible addition to a patio. By shielding people from unpleasant weather like wind or rain, and by offering sun protection in hotter weather, a patio awning has a lot to offer. It is very important to have an awning or something similar like an umbrella even when the weather is glorious in mid summer; sunburn should be avoided and people should look after their skin so taking a break and getting some shade is needed. By rolling out a retractable awning, you can enjoy shade and sunshine all in one space depending on your mood and needs. You will not have to move indoors or go anywhere to take a break from harsh sunshine, and you can continue enjoying the outdoors and remain out on your patio, breathing in the fresh air and enjoying the view and greenery surrounding you. If the weather is less favourable, as is often the case, an awning makes it possible to spend time outside on your patio and get all those benefits of the outdoors, without the need to go in if it is rainy, windy etc. You can choose added extras with an awning if you live somewhere with harsher weather conditions or if you think you would like to use it more during the winter months. Patio heaters will make the space beneath an awning warm and cosy, almost like an outdoor room in itself. You can also have lighting to use in the evenings, plus most awnings will be able to direct rainwater away from the structure to keep it dry.

Fresh air is something that is more commonly on people’s radars now, and being able to enjoy it in or around your home is key to a happy, healthy lifestyle. An awning can help you create a nicer atmosphere at home, one you can enjoy all year round. Many people are surprised by how much an awning can change the aesthetic of their home as it is more than just a patio covering; it is a structure that extends the home and draws the patio and internal rooms together. It’s almost like a kind of extension, in that you patio will suddenly become more accessible to you all year round. Being able to use your home in the way that suits you is invaluable and an awning can do so much for you by way of adding to its aesthetic and pleasant environment. If you want to enjoy your home more and adapt it to your ways of living, an awning is perfect for you.

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Hot tubs are the new hot trend

Posted on August 23, 2021 at 2:22 pm

Inflatable hot tubs have become really popular in recent months as people have been spending more time at home and in the garden and although a rigid hot tub is superior in many ways an inflatable hot tub can be purchased from many supermarkets and DIY merchants with prices starting at about £400 for a smaller one designed for up to four people.

After unpacking the new hot tub, you will need to decide where to site it in the garden or on a patio area. The ground will need to be level and firm and there needs to be an appropriately rated outdoor socket nearby. It is not sensible to use an extension lead as it may be overloaded and there is the danger of it catching fire.

The new hot tub will usually come with instructions on how to set it up but there are many instructional videos online to help with this process. Once the hot tub is set up, you can begin to fill it with water. If it is possible to fill from the hot tap this will make heating the tub water much quicker.

Some people worry about the chemicals that are needed to keep the water in good condition, so the simplest way to maintain good water quality is to buy multi-function chlorine tablets which are placed in the provided dispenser. Regular testing with testing strips will show whether the level of chlorine and the PH levels in the water are correct and safe.

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