As some of you may have seen on Twitter on Sunday evening, I posted a picture of my soon to be demolished, very tired looking conservatory at the back of my house. It was there when we moved in nearly three years ago, and the best way to describe it is that it’s an absolute shambles!

It’s frames are externally glazed PVCu, with an aluminium sliding patio door leading into the garden. Yeah I don’t know what it’s an ali slider either, but that’s the hand I got dealt with. It’s then got some very shoddily built decking around the sides and front, with three steps down to a paved area. The previous owner looked like he loved his DIY, but wasn’t very good at it. The whole thing is a mess.

So I am finally getting round to doing something about it, now there are some funds back in the back account! I thought it might be nice to share with you updates to as to the progress of my little home improvements project. Over the next few weeks, this is what I plan to have done.

The plan

First things first, I am taking this knackered old conservatory down.

Excuse the state of the decking. I could not be bothered to paint it as I knew it wouldn’t be long before it was ripped up. Where you see blue decking and the pathetic excuse of a conservatory, there is going to be an Indian stone patio area with another couple of steps down to where you see the paved patio area.

What will be going on the Indian stone patio is a rather fashionable Verandah glazed canopy from Prefix Systems. We never really used the conservatory while it was there. It had the usual problems. Too hot in the summer, massively cold in the winter. Although it was very good for keeping my beer cold! But there’s only two of us in the house and it was more of a dumping room than anything else.

For those who haven’t seen the Prefix Verandah yet, you can click here and find out more. I’d post a picture but there’s only a few knocking about and I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes. Seen it now? Good.

Before the old conservatory comes down, I spent the weekend knocking the plaster off my back wall. I can confirm that it was an absolute pain in the arse to get off! Lots of chiseling, dust and plaster finding it’s way into all sorts of places. Worth it though. Brick acid and a good power washer should help shift the patches on the wall.

The Verandah will be a touch over 4m across by about the same deep. A decent size. We have an outdoor table a chairs that will go under there. We have bought a new security light and I am thinking of putting a couple of hot lights underneath there too so we can use it comfortably in the winter months. We’ll get way more use of our outdoor space by transforming it this way.

The extras

That’s the glazing industry specifics out of the way, there is more to do once the Verandah is up. Where you see the paved area, that is being taken up and used as hardcore for filling up the patio area, and will be leveled to have grass put down. I wanted a decent false grass, but I was overruled on that one ;-) so real grass it is!

Then there’s the other decked area at the back. I’m bored of painting decking so I am going to put composite decking down. I might need a second mortgage, but the higher end stuff looks really well. And if there are any decking companies reading this who fancy doing me a favour in return for a very good case study and review, drop me a line!

Next up is the fence on the left hand side. That desperately needs doing too, but not until the patio and Verandah is up. I might leave that until nearer the end, after the grass has been laid.

Then finally I want to find some metal railings for the right hand part that surrounds the decking on the right hand side. For whatever reason the previous owners decided not to carry it on all the way round and just put a wood fence section there instead. So that needs to go too.

How long this all takes depends on the all important money and time! The patio and Verandah should be done in a few weeks from now, most likely mid-October. Then the grass should be done straight after that. The decking at the bottom and the fence might have to wait until after Christmas. Oh, and our Bathroom could do with sprucing up as well. Then there’s a wedding to pay for…

So that’s our home improvement project that is going to keep us busy for a little while to come. Hopefully some of you will find it of interest, either out of curiosity or perhaps to gain a few ideas of your own. I’ll post updates when there’s been decent progress made, and any feedback on the results is always welcome!

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