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Exterior design, Garden tips

5 ways to change your garden’s functionality for the better

5 Ways to Change Your Garden’s Functionality For the Better

 5 ways to change your garden’s functionality for the better

The more functional your garden is, the more useful it will be. You paid for your home’s outdoor space, so it’s only sensible to want to get the most out of it. If that’s not happening at the moment, it’s time for a few changes. This doesn’t have to be anything too drastic. Simply read on to learn about 5 of the ways in which you can change your garden’s functionality for the better.              

Plan with Privacy in Mind

Privacy matters a lot when you’re trying to make changes to your garden. You don’t want to feel like people can see you and watch you while you’re enjoying your outdoor space with your family and friends. So, always make plans and come up with design ideas while keeping privacy in mind.

Make a Space for Dining and Entertaining

Most people who spend a lot of time in their garden spend it dining or entertaining friends and family. It’s a good way to make use of your outdoor space on a regular and continued basis. So, you will need to have the right table and chairs, as well as somewhere to barbecue. You could even install a pizza often. You might even want to learn how to lay flag paving if you need to create a paved area for the dining space. Make this the focal point of your garden.

Create Zones in the Garden

Zoning is something that you should definitely be doing when you’re trying to make cool changes to your garden. Gardens can look like a jumbled up mess when they are not separated into zones. As mentioned above, you need a space for dining and entertaining. But you might also want a place for kids’ play or growing vegetables or organising your flower bed. All these things matter, and they deserve their own space.

 

Keep Paths and Walkways Simple

There is often a temptation to add too many paths and walkways in your garden when you’re trying to make it more functional. However, this is a temptation that is best avoided. Of course, you do need to have paths and walkways, but keep them simple and subtle. Don’t add paths for the sake of it; always consider the functional reasons for putting a new path or walkway in place.

Make Space for Tools

There are so many ways to create spaces for your tools in your garden. If you have a bench or table that you use for small DIY projects and repairs, you could add some hooks to the edge of the table where tools can be hung. It’s definitely one idea worth considering if you do a little gardening here and there. Having the right tools on hand can make you much more efficient as a gardener.

Your garden is nothing if it’s not functional for you and your family, so be sure to put some of these ideas into practice next time you want to make improvements to your outdoor space.

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Building Design, DIY tips, Exterior design

Building A Home: The Best Bits Of Advice

Building A Home: The Best Bits Of Advice

Building A Home: The Best Bits Of Advice

If you’re deciding on how to build your home for the first time, there are plenty of things that you should know before getting stuck it. Building is a great alternative to buying because you don’t have to settle for something if you can’t find what you’re looking for. You can just create your own dream house, something completely different to what anyone else has, because it has came from your mind and not an ad online.

Let’s get started.

Arrange the finances

It is absolutely essential that you come up with a budget, along with how you plan on paying for this project, as this will determine how big (or small) the house can be. It’s important you be realistic with your budget to avoid disappointment. You don’t want to envision something incredible, and then realize you have no means of getting the finances to cover it.

Find a building plot

You will need to decide on a location for your home to go. This can be a long process because not only will you need to find somewhere that you have the right to build on, but you also have to like it. You will need to consider things like distance from the nearest shop, doctor, school, and work.

Find a team   

You have the choice of what kind of designer you choose. You could hire in an architect as well as a builder to work alongside one another. Or you could go with a package supplier, which is the person that does everything. Just make sure you find the right person for the job. They should understand and be able to visually see your idea while also giving you their honest opinion on things if they don’t think that it’s a good move. For example, when deciding on the framing, there are plenty of steel frame homes pros & cons. Now you may not have any idea what these are – but your team should.

Contact the planners

Starting communication with the planners is a wise move so that you know early on whether your project is viable or not. By doing this, you will have a better idea of what will and won’t be accepted in terms of the scale that you want your home to be, as well as the different materials that can be used. This will give you the best chance of getting your planning permission because you did everything by the rule book without trying to cut any corners.

Start the build

Hopefully, by this time everything has been accepted, and you have the freedom to build exactly what was planned. If this is the case, then it’s time to start. Now although you may not be doing the work, it’s important that your presence is always around so you can oversee exactly what is happening, and if it’s how you had all discussed. Of course, you should have every trust in your team that they create your vision exactly how you said, but sometimes it has been known for builders to stray away from that. So you must be there to keep an eye on how things are running. – If there is something that you’re not sure about or weren’t aware of – speak up.

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Exterior design, Garden, Garden tips

Turning outdoor space Into a fun area for the children

Turning outdoor space Into a fun area for the children

Turning outdoor space Into a fun area for the children

All parents should think long and hard about the way in which they use their gardens. Some people let the outdoor space overgrow because they just can’t deal with the maintenance. That is a terrible idea that could encourage complaints from the neighbors. Others slab the entire lawn, but some folks like to think outside of the box. Considering that, mothers and fathers reading this post should consider turning their garden into a fun space for the little ones. The ideas on this page should point families in the right direction. However, in most instances, you just need to use some imagination.

Turning Your Outdoor Space Into A Fun Area For The Children

Get some climbing frames and other equipment

Every healthy child likes to spend time playing outside while they’re still young. Some teenagers even feel the same way, and plenty of adults do too. So, the goal is to make the garden as fun as possible. There are lots of different types of equipment anyone could purchase and keep outside to create a multifunctional garden. However, climbing frames, slides, and swings are always a top choice. In most instances, it will only take a few minutes to put the items together and start using them. For the best prices, it’s sensible to check auction websites and online retailers. That is especially the case now we’re approaching the winter because those items tend to get a reduction.

Dig a pond and add some wildlife to the garden

Most children like to spend time learning about animals, plants, and wildlife. So, it’s sensible for parents to encourage that interest. Adding a pond to the garden is an excellent move because it means you can keep lots of exotic fish. Of course, it’s wise to take safety precautions and ensure the kids can’t fall into the water. Also, in built-up areas, there are going to be a lot of cats. For that reason, homeowners will have to place a net over the water to stop the animal from eating any fish. There are step-by-step guides online that explain everything you need to know. So, just conduct some research!

Turning Your Outdoor Space Into A Fun Area For The Children

Build a Wendy house (or a whatever your child’s name is house)

Building a Wendy house is a great way of encouraging the little ones to spend more time in the garden. Of course, placing something like that on the lawn is going to damage the grass. So, lots of people will decide to get some fake turf first. That’s a fantastic move because it also means those homeowners will never have to get their mower out of the shed again. The real cost of artificial grass is nowhere near as high as most folks imagine. Indeed, it’s more than possible to get the perfect solution without breaking the bank. The benefits of artificial grass include:

  • No maintenance
  • Comes in a range of shades
  • Lasts for many years

Those suggestions should help all parents to make a start when it comes to improving their gardens. However, readers know their children better than anyone else, and so everyone should make sure they create something that suits their little one’s tastes and interests. Don’t make the mistake of letting the area overgrow because it will take a lot of effort to put things right.

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Exterior design, Garden, Garden tips

3 essential areas every garden needs

3 Essential Areas Every Garden Needs

3 essential areas every garden needs

Not every home has a lot of outdoor or garden space. That doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of the space you do have. If you have a family and the kids are still at home, your garden might be essential space you can’t do without! Are you not making the most of your backyard right now? Then why not have a look at creating these three essential areas so you can enjoy being outdoors all year round:

Kids Play Area

Kids (and pets) need space to play. Your garden is perfect for that. If you haven’t tackled this area for a while, then there are some makeover projects you might want to tackle first. This part of the garden should be secure and safe. Make sure the fencing is strong and robust. It might need staining again just to ensure the wood is weathering well.

3 essential areas every garden needs

Choose a surface for play. You might install some artificial grass for mud-free rolling around. Play mats can be quite handy too as they also just hose down when you want to use them. Your regular lawn might be OK if you don’t have a lot of rainfall where you are. Add some outdoor toys and games. You might even have a playhouse for the little ones. Perfect.

Outdoor Dining

This area is best placed on flat ground. You can build it up with decking or simple patio paving if you like. A minimum of 2.5 meters squared is needed to make a good sized dining or seating area. So grab your bramblecrest furniture, erect a gazebo and get ready for some outdoor dining!

3 Essential Areas Every Garden Needs

You can also build up an outdoor kitchen. You might only have a barbecue grill right now, but with the right features, you could include a bar and extra seating space. This area is usually best served by being attached to the outer kitchen door. That way you can use both facilities and entertain even more hungry guests!

Green, Pink, Yellow, Red and Blue

Lawns are lovely if you have the time and energy to maintain them. Of course, you can always get a robot mower! Add some flower beds or pots for a splash of color almost all year round. Flowers smell good as well as looking bright and cheery. If you’re a keen gardener, you might take cuttings for indoor floral displays too.

3 Essential Areas Every Garden Needs

When you’re setting up your flower garden, consider grouping the different colors together. Don’t forget that stems and blooms come in all different shapes and sizes. That means they will grow to different heights as well. This can be ideal if you’re trying to shape your garden. Shrubs and bushes can help here too.

Every garden has potential to be something special that all the family can enjoy all year round. If you’ve neglected yours a little recently, then why not get back out there and see what you can make of it? How do you like to enjoy your garden?

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Exterior design, Garden

Creating the perfect outdoors space

Creating the perfect patio

Creating the perfect outdoors space

Since moving house 8 months ago we have only just gotten round to looking outdoors. We have been so busy making the indoor space useable and livable. Now the summer months are well and truly upon us we thought now is the best time to start putting our plans to the outside space to create the perfect multi-functional space by using all the space we have to its fullest potential.

Our garden isn’t overly big but it is big enough for us and our family. With us both working long days time in the garden would be much more preferred socialising rather than gardening. When we do get any spare time we much prefer to use this time spending quality time together and keeping that to-do list to the minimum.
Our plans for our garden are currently in discussion, we have had the gardener/workmen in to chat through our plans and have taken measurements needed.

Shall we talk you through our plans?

Top end: Well we are going to cover the top end of our garden in polycarbonate sheets so then this will create a dry area where we can sit and socialize even if it is raining. This will also give the smokers somewhere to go for their cigarette as we don’t allow smoking in the house at all by anyone. This area will be well-lit with mood lighting and will also have power supply.

Middle: For the middle section of the garden we have decided to pull all the old lawn up (what there is of it) and also do away with the pathway too. The people here before us said the garden used to flood in heavy rain so we are going to make sure we do all we can to prevent this happening in the future. We will do this by digging down and adding better soil and also adding  a drain.

Also in the middle section to the garden we will be adding two planting areas one either side of the garden. These areas will be for plants, fruit and vegetables. This year saw my first attempt of growing my own and I loved it. It has been so nice to be able to just go to my garden and pick my own berries, cucumbers, courgettes etc..

Bottom: For the bottom end of the garden we are going to have a purpose-built/made to measure shed made. This will be unique to us as it will be our very own design. Ian has a friend in the trade who makes them from home, he will come and measure up, chat with us then take our design away and make it for us. This will be the last thing done it the garden, one of the finishing touches.

Also at the bottom end we are saving a corner, this will also be covered and have drainage, mood lighting and power. This will be for our hot tub corner, a perfect way to relax in the garden after a long day at work.

We have been browsing at some patio furniture, Fishpools have a stunning Rattan set at the moment, what do you think of this set?

Creating the perfect patio

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Exterior design, Garden

Turn your garden into a multi-functional paradise

Turn Your Garden Into a Multi-Functional Paradise

Turn your garden into a multi-functional paradise

Most of us have gardens that we have no clue what to do with. We usually mow the lawn, add new plants, maybe use the shed and sometimes lounge in the garden, but there are times when it can feel rather dull, empty and frankly a waste of space. It can also be expensive to keep maintained; a gardener doesn’t come cheap and time is money, meaning we can’t always be at home to spend hours on cutting grass and trimming hedges.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to turn your garden into a multi-functional paradise that is full of fun, excitement and also practicality. Below are a bunch of different ideas that will inspire you to do something productive with your garden. Be warned, however, as some of these can be time-consuming DIY projects or expensive renovations. But rest assured, they are all worth every single penny and will give you plenty of reason to spend more time in your garden.

Turn Your Garden Into a Multi-Functional Paradise

Playground for your kids

If you have children living with you, then you can turn your garden into a private playground for them. Install things like a swing under a tree, a climbing frame, slides, and other fun playground apparatus. The size of your garden is going to have a huge impact on what you can install. If you have a fairly large garden, you could even install a mini golf course that you can indulge in as well. Some very basic playground additions are basketball hoops and goal posts for football. They provide plenty of fun all the way from their toddler years to when they become a teenager and they’re very low maintenance. If you plan to build playground apparatus such as slides and swings, then remember that you’ll need to get rid of them when your child is too big or grown up to play on them. Check out this fantastic article at https://www.totalplaygrounds.com/blog/28-free-diy-playset-plans/ for some brilliant DIY plans for an outdoor playground.

Vegetable garden for you

If you’re interested in living a green lifestyle by growing your own fruits and vegetables, then there’s nothing like growing them in your own backyard. With the help of a greenhouse, you’ll be able to grow pretty much anything that you want assuming your climate supports it. In addition to growing just fresh fruits and vegetables to snack on and cook with, you can also grow beautiful plants to decorate your house with or send to friends as gifts. Building your own greenhouse is very possible, but if you’d prefer something pre-made then take a look at https://www.swgreenhouses.co.uk/wooden-greenhouses.html for some great pre-built greenhouses that come with installation services. It’ll save you plenty of time and you won’t need to learn how to build your own greenhouse. There’s nothing quite like plucking some fresh herbs and vegetables from your own backyard, so this is definitely a life-changing home improvement!

Rest and relaxation

Our gardens can become tranquil paradises that are full of relaxing things. Perhaps something simple like a water feature could relax your mood and help you de-stress, or maybe some comfortable garden furniture will be enough to help you unwind. Garden furniture can be luxurious instead of being those boring plastic chairs and table. If you want a bit of inspiration to help you out, take a look at this article from http://www.lovingoutdoorliving.com/blog/category/outdoor-furniture/. There’s plenty of ideas that include luxury weatherproof chairs and tables, and they’ll add a new dimension of comfort to your garden that you never knew was possible.

Turn Your Garden Into a Multi-Functional Paradise

Hobby area for everyone

Depending on what your hobbies are, there’s always room for them in your garden. Perhaps you and your kids love to get messy with arts and crafts, such as spray painting and clay modelling. If you do it outside, it’s easier to clean up and the fumes from spray paints won’t spread around the home or stick to furniture and walls. It’s a good idea to designate an area on your patio or in your garden for arts and crafts if that’s your hobby. You might also think about renting chickens for the sake of harvesting their eggs. Services like https://rentachicken.co.uk/ allow you to raise chickens that will eventually lay eggs that you can harvest. These require quite a bit of space, but that’s not a problem if you have an empty garden that isn’t seeing much use. Raising chickens can be quite tough, however, and it’s something that will require a lot of attention, but if the lure of fresh eggs is tempting enough, then you should definitely consider it.

Swimming pool for health and fun

Building your own swimming pool takes a lot of work and there are many considerations. A raised swimming pool takes a lot less work because it means less digging, but an in-ground swimming pool can be a fantastic alternative if you have planning permission and enough space. Swimming pools are fantastic for both your health and enjoyment and they create great centerpieces for people who want to throw pool parties. Owning a swimming pool does take a lot of work—it’s not something that you can just buy and forget about. You need to clean out the water, you need to ensure the pool is safe and you need accessories to go with it like a pool cover.

Grill area for parties

Lastly, we can’t forget about outdoor kitchens. Even if it’s just a simple grill to cook up meats and vegetables on a hot summer day, it’s the perfect appliance to enjoy the outdoors more often. With summer coming up, there’s even more motivation to get outside more because cooking indoors will spread heat throughout the house and make it unbearable to live in. Make sure you have a luxury set of furniture to go with it and learn some delicious barbecue recipes. This makes it great to hang out with your family members and invite friends over for parties, and there’s nothing like relaxing with loved ones on a summer day as the grill is on and drinks are being served.

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Exterior design, Garden tips

Top tips to save money and still have a great garden

Top Tips To Save Money And Still Have A Great Garden

Top tips to save money and still have a great garden

Gardening is fast becoming a popular hobby for many people, and there is no shortage of reasons why. You get to spend time outside in the fresh air, which is incredibly good for you, and being outside can give you a sense of freedom. Plus it’s great for the whole family. However, some people can be put off from spending time in the garden thinking it can be an expensive hobby to maintain. Think constant flower buying and expensive BBQ’s. But there are many ways you can save money with your garden, and I wanted to share some of the top tips to help you do that.

Shop smart when it comes to the big investments

There are costly items when it comes to your garden. Furniture and a BBQ are some of the bigger purchases that spring to mind. However, if you shop smart, you can buy these items fairly frugally. You could consider shopping online in a garden furniture sale or perhaps hunting out discount and voucher codes for some of the leading shops. Offering discounts periodically, helping to bring the cost down on some of the more pricey items. There are plenty of ways you can get fantastic items cheaper. You just need to hunt out those bargains and have the patience to wait for the right time to buy.

Spend your time not your money

When it comes to your garden it’s more worthy of investing your time than your hard earned cash, this is because your garden needs your attention. From mowing the lawn and treating the grass to ensuring that you rid your flower beds of pesky weeds that can crop up. Spending your time can really make a huge difference.

Really consider how you want to use your garden

Knowing exactly what you want from your garden can save you a lot of time and effort. Do you want to entertain in your garden? Spend time with your family or friends? Enjoy food or just have a place to relax? All of these things can be taken into account before any money is spent.

Grow your own vegetables

Why not consider using your garden, to save you money in other areas of your life? For example, your food shopping bill. Growing your own vegetables and fruit is fast becoming a trend many people are embracing, and it could shave off a few pounds on your grocery bill. There are plenty of tutorials online with a step by step guide on how to get started. It could be something you really enjoy doing.

Look after your garden tools

Finally, garden tools like a lawn mower or some of your manual tools can be quite expensive. But if you regularly keep them clean and maintain them then they should last you a long time. Saving you more investment in the future. Simple things like cleaning them after use and keeping them dry can make all the difference.

I hope these top tips help you save money while still getting a great garden you can enjoy.

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