The frugal woman saved nearly £1,000 and turned her rotten decor into a chic pergola

A DIY-savvy lady revealed how she saved nearly £1,000 by turning a rotten decoration into a chic pergola.

Louise Tunstall, 48, from Cambridge, started the project with her husband after noticing a problem with her decoration.


Louise Tunstall turned her rotting deck into this stunning pergolaCredit:

“There are already some elevated decks in the corner of our garden, which we use for barbecues and relaxation, but in the past 12 years, it has started to look very tired and run-down,” she told the money saving community

“When we started thinking about repairing it, the wooden frame underneath was already rotten, so we took advantage of the opportunity of not going on holiday in 2020 (due to COVID) and used the money to redesign the entire corner of the garden. I love it!

“I tried to make the most of the space and remove as few plants as possible. I wanted the design to blend into the garden, as if it had always been there.

“That corner can also get the sun in the late afternoon and evening, so this is my idea.”

Louise's deck fell into disrepair


Louise’s deck fell into disrepairCredit:
By building the pergola themselves, the couple saved £950


By building the pergola themselves, the couple saved £950Credit:

Procurement of materials is first put on the agenda. Louise purchased fencing panels and pillars from Earith Timber, online decorative panels and bollards from UK Timber, and sleepers from UK Timber, for a total of £660.

Next is lighting and electrical, including armored cables, junction boxes, trough lights and bulbs, which are priced at £400.

In Dunelm, Louise bought cushions, bookshelves and ladder stands for £100, and then went to the Bedfordshire Garden Building to purchase a pavilion kit for £1,400.

These plants came from B&Q, the local market and Dobbies, and the total cost was £100, and that’s the end of the cost.

She said: “I already have some things, such as seats, and we have compost in our distribution. The labor costs for installing electrical appliances are free because my husband is an electrician.”

Louise used the money she would have spent on vacation to build this building


Louise used the money she could have spent on vacation to build this buildingCredit:
The most challenging part of the project was the procurement of materials during the lock-in period


The most challenging part of the project was the procurement of materials during the lock-in periodCredit:

Overall, the project took three months to complete.

Louis added: “Accessing materials during the lockdown was an interesting challenge, especially when there was a shortage of wood, but we finally managed to find everything we needed.

“When we purchased the equipment, I got into a dilemma of preparation and planning-this is an area of ??particular interest to me!

“Laying the deck is a project in itself, because the total area is 23 square meters! The use of flat packaging kits to build the new wooden frame of the pavilion also requires a lot of excavation and manual work.

“This is probably the hardest part, because the explanation could have been better!

“Electrical engineering involves drilling holes for lighting and wiring. Then my husband stepped in to lay the cables and connect them back to the distribution board. I also replaced the bollard bulbs with LED lighting.

“We used sleepers to beautify the surrounding area, design and cut them where needed, to make everyone unique. The soil is transported from the allotment to the garden, and at this time I can do my favorite part-planting!

Louise now has the perfect sheltered outdoor space


Louise now has the perfect sheltered outdoor spaceCredit:

“Finally, we added soft furniture and decorations. In general, this requires a lot of effort, but we like the end result.

“The pavilion provides us with privacy and shelter, so we can use it all year round, and the area is now very unique. I am satisfied with how it fits into the existing garden.

“I am very happy that I managed to do it myself, because this is a profession where I want to work more and I want to challenge-renovating properties and gardens is my true passion.”

Tom Church, co-founder of said: “Louise and her husband have completed a truly impressive project. This pavilion can be installed by any professional, it just shows what can be achieved when you are fully focused the goal.

“The savings from this renovation are obviously huge. The average installation price of a professional pavilion of this size is 400 pounds or more, plus labor, and electricians usually charge about 40-50 pounds per hour.

“Since Louis provided the seat she already owned, it also saved a lot of money, because the average price of this kind of seat was about £500. In general, it is safe to say that Louise has saved at least by completing this project on her own £950!”

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