Or, where big spiders really live…
When we moved to our current house, the prior owner had been a bit of a gardening wizard. She even opened the garden to the public in the National Garden Scheme whereby money is raised for charity by allowing the public into homeowners private gardens. No pressure then to try and keep up her good works!
Fast forward a few years, and I think the garden is not quite what it was – although I do try hard to keep it up. One area especially had become very tatty, some decking next to the house. England is just not a good place to have wood as flooring outside; there is just too much water and damp, and it becomes slippery, green and needs a lot of TLC. So for a few years I have dutifully stripped it back and re-oiled it each year, but even that did not really help it survive. It started bowing and felt quite unsafe, so the joists below had definitely started to rot.
Here it is already looking quite tired:
The wood is definitely not looking good, in some areas it was really rotten.
. So up it came… farewell very wet and green wood.
I bit the bullet and hired in a couple of local guys to help me rip it out and remove it. I was expecting that it would cover up sinful concrete or 70’s crazy paving, plus a lot of spiders.There was a membrane beneath all of it, so I had to hold my breath until all of the wood had come out before we could then see what was underneath it…. earth, concrete, shingle, who knew? I was prepared for the worst, and the thought that I would now have to lay a whole new patio area. This space is being reserved for my ‘one-day-I-am-going-to-have-a-really-BIG-kitchen-extension’, so I did not want to have to pay for a smart new paved area that would be dug up again soon.
And there were loads of really big spiders too under there.
Grubby grey paving stones emerged from the darkness, so I started to clean them with a pressure washer, and this is what I was left with… I was so not expecting it.
Once it was cleaned up and the furniture and pots put back, it looks so much better than I was expecting, it does not wobble, and best of all it was free! All I have to do now is remember that the decking has gone when I exit the house and not fall down the newly revealed step. The whole area has dropped at least a foot.
Result! I felt like Indian Jones on an archeological mission, and it only took a day too…