Benefits of second hand

We are working on the garden. It was postponed whilst we built the extension to the house but now we are back on it.

The raised beds are approx 40cm and are wood. They have been in position for over ten years and wood is starting to fail. We are not going to pull it down, just encase it in a nice new (ish) brick wall. I bought 250 bricks on Gumtree for this task.

Advantage: Cost - 18p per brick as against 55p per brick new.  
                  Colour/Texture - they are a gorgeous brindle and match the house. I love them lots!
Disadvantage 0 Had to collect them, load and unload them ourselves. Car is strong but it was messy and back breaking but that leads onto a further advantage: the sense of achievement as you build a nice big pile og bricks ready to start work on the wall.

The patio is nice flat concrete but its not a pretty finish. It has been there in position for over ten years and its fine. But it would be even more fine if it looked as good as the pathways and the lovely block paving which got covered up by the extension. I bought 660 paving blocks on Gumtree for this task.

Advantage: Cost - pp per block as against 60p per block new.  
                  Colour/Texture - Just like the bricks they are a gorgeous brindle and match the house. And they match the original block paving of the pathway.
Disadvantage : Had to collect them, load and unload them ourselves. Three car trips over 2 days. Also messy and back breaking but again the big sense of achievement that you did something for yourself

Even better there are so many bricks and blocks (work out how many we need scientifically? Nah!) that I think we have enough to replace the small and pointless lawn completely. There may be enough to build the barbecue too. In my head the barbie is turning into a big old outdoor kitchen that I can use for soap making in summer, as well as cooking, maybe even a brick oven.

Amazing stuff, all on a shoe string. Big old fan of freecycle and ebay here but also now warming to gumtree.


My pile of bricks is a thing of beauty and far better than the pile of bricks in the Tate Modern!

Comments

  1. I often think about adding bricks to my backyard. But then I think about the loading and unloading and stacking and it just seems like a lot of work. They are pretty bricks though.

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  2. I have three adult males to do the bulk of it for me. I wouldn't be doing it without them, for certain.
    They aren't mine. They are a really famous art installation at the Tat Modern art gallery in London, that comes in for a lot of mockery for those of us who don't think such things are art :)

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