I was quoted £3k for my fancy new decking area but I did it myself for a fraction of the price

A MUM who was quoted £3,000 for a new decking has revealed how she built one herself for a fraction of the price.

Melissa Preston, 44, a mum of two from Northampton, who owns a cleaning company, managed to pull off the project for just £540.

Her clever money-saving tricks included using a neighbour’s old decking, bannisters and handrails that were destined for the skip, and repurposing old furniture she had bought years ago from Lidl and Aldi.

Melissa told money-saving Facebook group DIY On A Budget UK: "After being quoted almost £3,000 to have a new decking area I decided to save the money and do it all myself at a fraction of the price.

“I was fed up with the girls dragging bark into the hot tub!

“My first task was to decide how big I wanted the decking. Once this was decided I ordered all the decking and the pergola.

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"The longest and toughest part of the project was getting the area cleared and de-weeded. This seemed to take forever.

“Once it was all up to scratch I was then ready to start the build.

"I was very nervous as I’ve never tackled anything on this scale before, let alone done the whole thing myself.

"But I do like a challenge so this spurred me on.”

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Melissa made use of a neighbour's trash to perfect the design of her decking.

"I saw that my local neighbour was going to skip their old bannisters, decking and rails, so I asked if I could have them and they agreed,” she said.

“It saved them a trip to the tip.

“The best bit was making use of some old decking and handrails that a neighbour was going to skip!”

Melissa says that the decking was certainly a challenge but it has given her teh DIY bug.

"Someone joked last year I’d be building an extension next!” she says.

“Not quite but this was definitely the biggest task I’ve ever decided to tackle, with the help of YouTube.”

Going DIY helped Melissa to stay well below the amount she had been quoted.

"In total, it cost me around £540,” she says.

"The decking came as a kit from Merit Garden Products so everything I needed was supplied.

“It was £280 and then the pergola again came as a kit so was all supplied for £200.

“The rest of the money went on decking stain and paint from Screwfix.

"The hot tub was a special buy from the middle of Lidl about four years ago now.

"The seating was from Aldi special buys a few years ago now and came with a table.

“I thought it would look ideal in this area to relax on.

"I already had an image in my mind before I started and to be honest it turned out way better than I expected.

"I’m over the moon, and I now enjoy my morning cuppa out there in peace.

“It was bloody hard work, but I'm so pleased I gave myself the challenge.

“Where there’s a will there’s a way.

"Saving so much money has inspired me to do more things myself!”

Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “Every summer, as the weather improves, those of us who are lucky enough to have outside space often dream of improving it, but the costs can be prohibitive.

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“Good on Melissa for drastically jazzing up her garden, and for saving thousands of pounds while doing so – I love that she repurposed old bits from her neighbour’s house that were destined for the tip.

"Great for her garden, great for her wallet, great for the neighbour and great for the environment too!"

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