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  • FIRST POST
    • nrishiraj
    • By nrishiraj 16th Apr 18, 11:20 AM
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    nrishiraj
    Advice on decking (low budget)
    • #1
    • 16th Apr 18, 11:20 AM
    Advice on decking (low budget) 16th Apr 18 at 11:20 AM
    Hi moneysavers,

    We have a patch of soil in our garden (4.53 metres by 2.20 metres) where a shed used to be and we would like it covered with some decking so our 2.5 year old daughter can play on it. However, decking is quite expensive and we are looking for a low budget solution.

    Any ideas / thoughts?

    Thanks

    Last edited by nrishiraj; 16-04-2018 at 12:08 PM.
Page 1
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 16th Apr 18, 11:48 AM
    • 25,573 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 18, 11:48 AM
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 18, 11:48 AM
    Real grass, artificial grass?

    I don't really see any particular point of putting decking there. Wood isn't amazing, there's no height difference to breach, it gets slippy, it has all those gaps in it so little girl's knick-knacks will fall through. And that unpainted stonework is really attractive!

    I'd opt for artificial grass if I had funds. Otherwise grass seed is literally dirt cheap and you can buy toys instead to put on it.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 16th Apr 18, 12:01 PM
    • 2,237 Posts
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    Aylesbury Duck
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 18, 12:01 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 18, 12:01 PM
    How old is your daughter? That would make a great sandpit! A layer of concrete to cover the bottom, complete with some "fossils" and "bones" marked/laid in it to "discover" would make an interesting base for a sandpit.

    If you do want to do decking and are handy, you can make your own much more cheaply than buying decking products.
    • nrishiraj
    • By nrishiraj 16th Apr 18, 12:08 PM
    • 220 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    nrishiraj
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 18, 12:08 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 18, 12:08 PM
    How old is your daughter? That would make a great sandpit! A layer of concrete to cover the bottom, complete with some "fossils" and "bones" marked/laid in it to "discover" would make an interesting base for a sandpit.

    If you do want to do decking and are handy, you can make your own much more cheaply than buying decking products.
    Originally posted by Aylesbury Duck
    She's 2.5 years old.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 16th Apr 18, 12:26 PM
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    Aylesbury Duck
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 18, 12:26 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 18, 12:26 PM
    Definitely sandpit then! You might even consider getting a hard plastic paddling pool to put in it?

    Either that, or a "junior allotment"? A sort of mini-garden-in-a-garden that she can tend herself, grow beans, etc. if it gets enough sun. Something that will see good use of the space and be interesting for her as she grows up. You've got the walls to put trellis on so she can grow sweet peas, a row of carrots, etc etc.
    • Browntoa
    • By Browntoa 16th Apr 18, 12:28 PM
    • 33,409 Posts
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    Browntoa
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 18, 12:28 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 18, 12:28 PM
    Rats love decking , it's a ready made home
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    • dunroving
    • By dunroving 16th Apr 18, 1:17 PM
    • 1,281 Posts
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    dunroving
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 18, 1:17 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 18, 1:17 PM
    I like the ideas that are more natural/soft than wood decking. Grass (or artificial grass) + sandpit + mini-allotment sounds like a fascinating combination for a two-year-old!

    I think decking is way overrated. I have a small deck outside my back/kitchen door, but only because dealing with what's currently under it would have cost a fortune.

    [ETA: If you have lots of cats in the area, a sandpit may become a feline toilet - not the sort of treasure-hunt you want your toddler to go on! I had this problem in a house I had in the US and it was disgusting.]
    (Nearly) dunroving
    • Pdbaggett
    • By Pdbaggett 16th Apr 18, 1:23 PM
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    Pdbaggett
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 18, 1:23 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 18, 1:23 PM
    Why do you think decking is expensive? Boards can be had for 5 a length add some cheap treated timber Barton's and you could do that area for 50 - 100 easily if you did it your self. It's really not hard to do either especially with such a small area
    • Head The Ball
    • By Head The Ball 16th Apr 18, 1:42 PM
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    Head The Ball
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 18, 1:42 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 18, 1:42 PM
    How about?

    A Rockery.

    A Wendy House (might be expensive).

    A basic shed that your daughter could use as a play house.

    A swing.

    A see saw.
    Every Village has its Idiot.

    If you don't know who your Village Idiot is

    it is probably you.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 16th Apr 18, 2:26 PM
    • 32,710 Posts
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    getmore4less
    Why do you think decking is expensive? Boards can be had for 5 a length add some cheap treated timber Barton's and you could do that area for 50 - 100 easily if you did it your self. It's really not hard to do either especially with such a small area
    Originally posted by Pdbaggett

    the area is 2.2m x 4.53.

    cheap boards will be around 120mm wide.

    that's 37 boards along the 4.5 length

    @ 5 that's 185

    going cheaper at 1.50pm say 3 each that' s still over 100 before any structure or fixings

    seen 4.8m 150mm gravel boards @ 6.50

    need 15 of those 97.50 but not so child friendly.
    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 16th Apr 18, 5:01 PM
    • 1,285 Posts
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    rach_k
    Is there grass elsewhere in the garden? If not, I would definitely turf/seed it. There's nothing as nice as the feel of grass between your toes in the sun and I think every child should get to experience that. Fake grass isn't the same. Seed/turf is cheap too, and if it turns into a mud pit just give her some little digging tools and tell her to make pies!
    • ashe
    • By ashe 16th Apr 18, 9:03 PM
    • 544 Posts
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    ashe
    If you!!!8217;re on a budget don!!!8217;t forget to factor in your time for sanding it down, straining it now and then and buying the stain. Looks good to times when done well, don4 cheap,it can look crap, and will look dog tired without care
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 17th Apr 18, 1:56 AM
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    getmore4less
    Wilko always has decking oil cheap at end of the year just stock up.
    • maisie cat
    • By maisie cat 17th Apr 18, 7:27 AM
    • 500 Posts
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    maisie cat
    reclaimed scaffolding board, about a 1 a foot at 9 inches wide and they are a much softer look
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 17th Apr 18, 7:44 AM
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    Davesnave
    Grass needs mowing, so if the OP has no grass at present, the cost of something to keep it trimmed should be allowed for in any calculations.

    I wouldn't do decking, especially with cheap wood, as splinters and periodic maintenance to stop it becoming slippy could be a pain. There's nothing as lethal as wet wood in winter.

    If it were me, I'd turn some of the area into a wildlife pond and pave much of the rest with secondhand slabs from Gumtree, or wherever. I'd also build a front and/or side 'wall' with a wide top at child height, again with whatever I could scrounge, because kids like their own areas to be enclosed and they prefer a surface above ground level to put things on, be it mud pies or pond dipping trays.

    Apart from some screws, sand, cement and a pond liner, I think most stuff you'd need could be scrounged.

    It could 'develop' rather than all be done at once too. Input from the child?
    I might be old, but I got to see a lot of good bands...
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 17th Apr 18, 8:28 AM
    • 32,710 Posts
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    getmore4less
    reclaimed scaffolding board, about a 1 a foot at 9 inches wide and they are a much softer look
    Originally posted by maisie cat
    1/ft sounds cheap till you add all those 9"x1ft up

    The area is 2.2m x 4.53, that's 10(9") x 15ft 150.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 17th Apr 18, 8:46 AM
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    silvercar
    If it were me, I'd turn some of the area into a wildlife pond
    I wouldn't put a pond anywhere near a 2 year old. Little ones can drown in as little as 2 inches of water.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 17th Apr 18, 9:09 AM
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    Davesnave
    I wouldn't put a pond anywhere near a 2 year old. Little ones can drown in as little as 2 inches of water.
    Originally posted by silvercar
    That's why I said wildlife pond, not something that a toddler can't easily crawl out of.

    The 2" of water thing gets trotted-out all the time, but is there any evidence that it happens outside of baths, which are nothing like shallow edged ponds? Does it also happen when there isn't some other contributory factor like unconsciousness, epilepsy, etc?
    I might be old, but I got to see a lot of good bands...
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 17th Apr 18, 3:56 PM
    • 37,543 Posts
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    silvercar
    That's why I said wildlife pond, not something that a toddler can't easily crawl out of.

    The 2" of water thing gets trotted-out all the time, but is there any evidence that it happens outside of baths, which are nothing like shallow edged ponds? Does it also happen when there isn't some other contributory factor like unconsciousness, epilepsy, etc?
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    I wouldn't risk it.

    The presence of the pond, wildlife or no wildlife, would mean I wouldn't feel comfortable for the child to be in the garden alone. Whereas without a pond, there will be a time when I could allow the child to play within site of the kitchen window.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 17th Apr 18, 6:34 PM
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    Davesnave
    I wouldn't risk it.

    The presence of the pond, wildlife or no wildlife, would mean I wouldn't feel comfortable for the child to be in the garden alone. Whereas without a pond, there will be a time when I could allow the child to play within site of the kitchen window.
    Originally posted by silvercar
    Everybody perceives risk differently, which is why I also added that the space could grow with the child, rather than be accomplished all at once. People should do what they're comfortable with.

    I'm missing a second cousin, who drowned in a water butt at the age of two. Most people don't think of those as a risk, though they're far more dangerous than a pebble edged pool about a metre across and maybe 30cm deep at the far bank, which in this case would be best against the wall.
    I might be old, but I got to see a lot of good bands...
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