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  • FIRST POST
    • Caroline_p3
    • By Caroline_p3 10th Aug 18, 11:18 PM
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    Caroline_p3
    Can you flatten out a very steep garden?
    • #1
    • 10th Aug 18, 11:18 PM
    Can you flatten out a very steep garden? 10th Aug 18 at 11:18 PM
    Hi, I am considering buying a house with a really
    Steep garden. We love the house itself but worries the garden would be really unuseable as it is on quite a steep slope (higher than the house).
    It is quite long (about 90ft) would it be ridiculously expensive to flatten? The neighbours gardens seem to be similar.
Page 1
    • -taff
    • By -taff 10th Aug 18, 11:56 PM
    • 8,957 Posts
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    -taff
    • #2
    • 10th Aug 18, 11:56 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Aug 18, 11:56 PM
    they could be terraced.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 11th Aug 18, 6:28 AM
    • 26,848 Posts
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    Davesnave
    • #3
    • 11th Aug 18, 6:28 AM
    • #3
    • 11th Aug 18, 6:28 AM
    As above, possibly, but the devil will be in the detail, like whether the gradient will allow operating a digger and whether it's possible to get a digger in there anyway. Obviously, if the sub surface material is rock, that won't be amenable to being shifted-around.

    Then there is the question of soil retention. You need to ensure that whatever you remove is not going to slump downhill in extreme conditions. This usually means retaining structures like low walls, gabions and/or tree/shrub planting.

    Also, ask yourself how you will cope with retaining neighbours' gardens if you've made a terrace and they haven't. You might well create huge gaps under boundary fencing etc which wouldn't please them!

    Many steep gardens have been terraced over time with no more than hand tools and a barrow, but if no one in that location has done this, it's a sign that the task is considered too difficult.

    As someone who is terracing some land (not garden) at the moment as a means of soil/rubble disposal, I can recommend the barrow and shovel approach as a work-out, but it certainly isn't my idea of fun!


    Edited to Add: If the house is at the bottom of a substantial north or east facing slope, I'd not consider it anyway. Aspect is always my first consideration as it cannot be changed.
    Last edited by Davesnave; 11-08-2018 at 6:56 AM.
    "We won't get fooled again...."
    • Debbie Savard
    • By Debbie Savard 11th Aug 18, 12:42 PM
    • 419 Posts
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    Debbie Savard
    • #4
    • 11th Aug 18, 12:42 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Aug 18, 12:42 PM
    It would be hugely expensive to do. The pressure at the far end would require steel pilings to be driven in to retain the soil. You'd also likely need Party Wall Agreements with all neighbours

    Far better to terrace

    Last edited by Debbie Savard; 11-08-2018 at 12:50 PM.
    • Jackmydad
    • By Jackmydad 11th Aug 18, 4:19 PM
    • 4,765 Posts
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    Jackmydad
    • #5
    • 11th Aug 18, 4:19 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Aug 18, 4:19 PM
    Personally I'd walk away from any house where I didn't like something that was an integral part of it like the garden.
    Yes you can change things as said, but you're looking at a lot of work, and possible expense, if it's even possible.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 11th Aug 18, 4:27 PM
    • 39,249 Posts
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    Savvy_Sue
    • #6
    • 11th Aug 18, 4:27 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Aug 18, 4:27 PM
    One question worth asking anyway is who's going to be living there?

    We rejected one house which had a completely sloping garden because it would have been impossible to play football on the lawn ...
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats, 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself, multiple poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
    Current projects: ready to decrease / decreasing on all parts of the mohair cardigan pattern! but moved onto wrist warmers for friends at Christmas ...
    • FreeBear
    • By FreeBear 11th Aug 18, 5:29 PM
    • 2,144 Posts
    • 2,979 Thanks
    FreeBear
    • #7
    • 11th Aug 18, 5:29 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Aug 18, 5:29 PM
    A 90ft long garden - How wide ?

    Terracing is an option, and can provide an attractive garden with interest..



    But at the end of the day, what do you want from a garden ?
    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
    • that
    • By that 11th Aug 18, 7:33 PM
    • 750 Posts
    • 413 Thanks
    that
    • #8
    • 11th Aug 18, 7:33 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Aug 18, 7:33 PM
    if you see yourself getting old there, and think you or yours may develop back issues, or difficulty with stairs and slopes, carrying things like mowers up and down the garden to be a chore, probably would be best to avoid
    • dunroving
    • By dunroving 12th Aug 18, 2:05 PM
    • 1,386 Posts
    • 976 Thanks
    dunroving
    • #9
    • 12th Aug 18, 2:05 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Aug 18, 2:05 PM
    I have just moved from a house I spent 11 years in, that had 15 steps up to the house and a series of terraces in the back garden. In all, the back garden had 4 levels, and not counting steps, about a dozen different areas, as follows:

    House level, from back kitchen door: Wooden deck leading to slabbed area; steps up to next level, which had a shed, a small raised gravelled area; a small lawned area (since converted to a bed), another small lawned area, a border bedded area, and a raised bed; steps up to next level, which had a concreted area (used for composting); a lawned area, a patio area (since converted to a bed), and a small raised bed; steps up to upper level, containing a slabbed area, a small gravelled bed, two sloping gravelled areas, a raised pond, a large raised bed, and another, smaller raised bed. So many areas and surfaces, I can't even count them (but I think it's 19!).

    The house was on a crescent built on the side of a slope. Most neighbours had the original sloping lawn. I think the latter is much easier to deal with, especially for mowing the lawn. My itsy-bitsy pieces of lawn were a royal pain to mow. I was always concerned I'd either mow through the power cord or cut off a toe!

    For 11 years I carried dozens of heavy bags of compost, mulch, etc. on my shoulder from the car up those steps and up the terraces. At 61 years of age, I was still doing that, and thinking nothing of it, until I moved house recently.

    Now, I can cut my larger lawns (about 2-3 x the area) in about a quarter of the time and can use my sack truck to roll bags of compost from car to shed/garden. Bliss.
    (Nearly) dunroving
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