Our latest home project is our garden, but is it possible to do a garden renovation on a budget?
Me and Jay have been trying to renovate our whole house on a tight budget. We’re first-time buyers, and knew that we wouldn’t have tens of thousands to spend on renovating our little home.
The house cost us £145k and was in serious need of a facelift. It had the original 70s kitchen, some questionable green and pink carpets, and flowery wallpaper. However, it also needed rewiring (which we didn’t realise at first) and we needed to fix a leak in the soil pipe that had rotted a lot of the kitchen cabinets.
Houses in our area don’t tend to sell for more than £180-190k so the more money we spend doing it up, the less profit we’ll be making. Even if we added a third floor and 3 extra bedrooms, the location would prevent us from getting anything over £200k.
However, everyone knows how important curb appeal is. A nice looking driveway could actually fetch you 8% more than one that’s full of weeds and crumbling walls. So our garden and front drive is our biggest project.
But garden renovations can be expensive, especially with brick paving, buying new grass, adding drainage, etc. So how can you do a great garden renovation on a budget?
Introducing Brick Slips
I’d never heard of brick slips until we were looking at ways to save money on the garden renovation. Want an exposed brick wall in your modern house, or to cover an old garden wall with brick that looks like new? Reclaimed brick slips are your new best friend.
They can be used indoors or outdoors. They look and feel like real brick. They can even withstand rain, frost and sun without losing their colour. You can even paint over them if you decide you don’t like the colour.
Our garden has horrible walls. The brick has been painted white, but this paint is now crumbling and peeling away. The walls are sturdy enough, but just don’t look nice. We’ll definitely be looking into using brick slips. They cost a fraction of the price because they go over a structure that’s already there, take less time to fit, and don’t require extra materials such a mortar.
Using the Right Plants
Okay, so what do I mean by the ‘right’ plants? You want your garden to be easy to maintain as well as look nice. The best way to do this is to find plants that stay green all year round, and plants that don’t require much attention.
I’ll be the first to admit that I hate gardening. I see it as a chore, not something I enjoy doing. So I want to do as little work as possible to make it look nice.
This includes buying plants that are green all year round. This means that your garden is always green and alive. Our garden completely dies in autumn/winter. No greenery is left at all, besides the weeds growing out of the paving.
Look into something like Bowles’ Mauve. It is green all year, flowers between April and October, and is easy to grow. Something that’s quick growing is also beneficial as it’ll fill a space quickly, meaning you need to buy less plants.
Nowadays, most driveways are there to house cars rather than look pretty. The first thing me and Jay did with our garden was take out the plants, and create enough space for two cars to park at once.
For our garden renovation, we’ve looked into block paving, but this is seriously expensive. If this was a house we were going to stay in for 30 years, we’d do it. However, we’re not going to be staying in this house for longer than 2 years, and we want to make a decent profit on it.
We’ll most likely be using tarmac on our driveway, with a small thin border all the way round full of slate chippings and lights. Simple, cheap, but effective and looks nice too.
Do you have any other ideas on how you can do a garden renovation on a budget? I’d love to hear your ideas as we might be able to steal some of them!