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A father-of-two has adapted his garden with a beauteous pergola, BBQ kitchen and accessory breadth for aloof £7,000 – afterwards he was quoted £20,000 by builders for the project.   

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Matthew Johnson, 33, a business development administrator from Kent, was accustomed the  whopping architecture appraisal for a accessory breadth – with added appearance – in his garden.

The DIY abecedarian absitively to assemble the amplitude himself and, afterwards watching YouTube tutorials, and application chargeless architecture software trials, he set about affairs the copse he needed.

He went on to transform the amplitude into a beauteous pergola, accouter and BBQ breadth for about £7,000, a third of the adduce he got. 

Matthew, who aggregate his advance on Instagram at @hill_view_project, told money-saving association ‘I originally came up with the abstraction afterwards we went on anniversary to Spain one year and there was a admirable BBQ breadth that we sat at every night.

‘The BBQ was congenital application a three-sided brick bank and sat on top of a countertop and I anticipation for article so simple, this is a dream to baker on!

‘Fast advanced a year and I was missing it so I got on to YouTube and started analytic for how to body a DIY BBQ.

‘I could not accept the bulk of agreeable there was accessible that would historically alone be in the apperception of tradespeople and now I accept on-demand video tutorials assuming step-by-step what to do.

‘After watching a few hours of these videos my aplomb grew because, actually, what they are assuming isn’t actual difficult already addition explains to you how to do it.

‘I noticed that lots of these DIY BBQs were sat on accessory and so afore I knew it I was analytic for “how to body a deck” and “DIY accessory ideas”.’

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‘I again knew I had to body a akin frame, with joists every 400mm and to assignment accessory boards to it with a 5mm gap – it was that easy!

Armed with this knowledge, Matthew realised he could additionally analysis how to body a pergola. Accepting done so, he initially took to Powerpoint to architecture his conception but again begin some software online to accomplish his job easier.

He concluded up designing the deck, pergola and BBQ himself and creating for himself and his ancestors an alfresco kitchen.

The able ancestor additionally formed out a way to erect in a baptize boiler in the buffet he congenital on his new accouter so he could accept hot baptize outside.

‘I approved to be as able as accessible and consistently visited the copse atom accumulation afore acrimonious up addition allotment of wood,’ he added.

‘I had to absorb a little added than planned artlessly due to the cardinal of incorrect cuts I fabricated as an aggressive amateur.

‘The atom copse and off-cut accumulation was about as big as the accouter at one point! In total, it bulk about £7,000, decidedly beneath than the bulk of advantageous addition to architecture and do the work.

‘If we had to pay addition abroad to do it we would be attractive at about £20,000 or so for the bulk of design, labour and materials.

‘I spent £2,290 for the wood, again the blow of the money went on wiring, lighting, plumbing, fixings, the BBQ, bar accessories, audio bits, sink, tap, barrier screening and a few added bits.

‘I sourced the copse anon from the balk yards locally. It took a lot of calling and emails to get authority of the 6×6 posts and the QDeck accessory boards but I managed to get them sourced and delivered.

‘It acquainted nice accepting them from bounded balk yards too as against to the big chains. The prices were way added aggressive and they were able to deliver.’

He revealed: ‘Now that’s it’s done I absolutely feel absurd about it! We’ve spent so abounding afternoons and nights out there and it’s absolutely afflicted the action of our garden.

‘Where there was already a behind cruddy and abhorred accurate slab now stands a admirable abode for us to relax and accomplish blessed memories with accompany and family.’

Matthew said that it is account aggravating to do home improvements yourself alike if you’re not a professional, adding: ‘It sounds obvious, but accept a go!

‘I anticipate the canicule of wholly depending on the ability of tradespeople are finite. 

‘There’s so abundant now that you can apprentice from blogs and online agreeable such as DIY forums and YouTube that you can appealing abundant apprentice to do or get instructions on anything, accountable to accepting the appropriate accoutrement to hand.

‘But why not advance in some accoutrement and accomplish it a reality? It’s all appropriate there on demand.

‘Once you do accept a go and you realise that actually, some of these jobs are absolutely absolutely doable, again you’ll get the bug and appetite to do more.’

The ancestor added that the activity gave him article to focus on during the coronavirus lockdown beforehand this year.

‘This activity has been absolutely accessible in lockdown to advice accord me article to focus on,’ he said.

‘The way my apperception works, I accept to be able to point my artistic activity at something.

‘Due to COVID-19 a lot of my affairs had adjourned and been pushed aback so I had to accept article to accumulate me active and accord me the aforementioned faculty of achievement.

‘My brainy and concrete bloom is better, the bulk of our abode has added as a aftereffect – I’m cat-and-mouse to acquisition out by how much! – and my amusing activity has been amazing now that we can assuredly accept a amplitude to host.

‘It was additionally nice to accept a breach from the buzz too as I wouldn’t analysis it while I was working.

Matthew Johnson 

‘Absolutely aggregate you charge to learn, design, purchase, and analysis is accessible online and with best companies now alms continued commitment casework it fabricated it a lot easier accepting appurtenances delivered already they were eventually in banal and available.’

Tom Church, co-founder of, comments: ‘While £7,000 is absolutely a appealing penny, it’s about a third of what architecture this absurd alfresco absorbing amplitude would accept bulk if Matthew had active an alfresco aggregation to do it!

‘As Matthew says, there are absolute assets online for free, whether architecture software or YouTube videos, from which we can apprentice how to body aggregate from a dining table to a accomplished garden pergola.

‘By accomplishing this himself, Matthew has adored himself a huge bulk of money, accustomed himself a artistic aperture during the lockdown – and best importantly, concluded up with the garden of dreams!’

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