We started 2012 on a bit of a low note. We were hit by a few brief but strong storms in January and came home one day to find parts of the wall had blown over. Thankfully only one plant was flattened and this quickly recovered. Upon talking to my neighbour about it we found out that the prevois owners were always repairing it and so we decided to cut our losses and replace the whole lot with fencing. This would give us peace of mind that there would hopefully not be as much of a chance of the plants being flattened again for quite some time.
The fencing was installed in May. The original wall was ripped out, along with the old fencing and then new posts were sunk into the ground. This only took the company a day to do. I then painted the fence green to reflect the colour of the hedge the opposite side and the trelis magnolia to add contrast.
Veg patch has gone a bit mad too.
I decided by August time to take out this raised patio by the house a few months back. Here’s how it looked before I started in April. The surveyors had said it was built too high above the damp course and needed to be lowered. I saw this as a good excuse to rip it all out and start again. Also we didn’t have much privacy and also we had had an attempted break in in March and so decided it was time to reall secure our perimeter once and for all.
I began by removing the crazy paving off the top by hand, using a hammer and cold chisel and then removed the step. This is how it looked in June. Had exposed a base of an old lean to ( smooth bit next to the door) which I had no idea was there until I removed the slabs.
I got a chap round to give me a quote on demolishing the rest of it. He then said that our drains ran diagonally right across the raised patio and that I would have to get this removed and replaced. Saw it as a bit of a spanner in the works and was then given the price of £2500 to remove and replace the drainage etc. Tried to get a few other quotes from several drainage companies, all of which never showed up to site, having never phoned me back, or shown up.
Ran out of patience by this point and decided to demolish it myself. My father in law leant me his pneumatic hammer drill with a chisel attachment and then spent the past week chiselling small chunks away. Yesterday I reached the halfway point and noticed that the two large bits I had left to demolish up to the half way point were starting to come away from the edge of the old lean to base. Got my pry bar out and both large lumps were eased out of the way quite gently.
This is how it looked by mid August. Before the second lump (to the right side came away.
Dave was unfortunately out when all this happened so I had to wait around until he returned home. We then both tried to heave and pry bar the two large lumps out of the way together.
With 3 large “moveable” but very heavy sections. Reckoned we may of had to demolish the brick pillar in order to get the other one out. But in the end we simply smashed them into smaller chnks with the sledgehammer, which Dave did most of.
I then continued to demolish the concrete with my little hammer drill and was disheartened to find that this part was reinforced with bits of steel rods and so this made my progress even more slow than before.
But eventually I made it to the back door and we pryed the last lump away from the wall. Only to discover our water pipe was sitting above the ground. A hasty redesign was required of the back door step as a result.
The water pipe crudely in the way of where we going to build our steps. Fortunatly though I never found the waste pipe for the house and so that in turn saved us a lot of hastle as I was worried I would break on into the pipework and have crap everywhere! I then had to carefully remove more concrete from around the trap. The water pipe is the small pipe in the right side of the photo and fed the whole house so it would prove difficult to replace and remove.
The brick wall was then removed and a built a shutter to go around the trap and then filled with concrete to protect it from future damage (the square block in the left corner of the picture).
Design work also began on working out the footprint of the new fencing. The prevois set up was very angular and I felt that this didn’t flow right for me and so wanted something with a little angles as possible.
The same company that had installed the fencing earlier in the year returned to replace the brick wall. This was then painted like the rest of the fencing in the garden.Before this a concrete pad was laid for the back door steps to sit on and so we now had a slightly more level surface to stick our temporary steps on.
This led up to the end of 2012 and was probably some of the most productive work we had done in the garden so far that had really made a majour difference to the space.