After extending my house with a single story extension I extended my patio in front of it with a riven patio extension. This was all part of the plan since the extension had a patio door. Before extending the patio this door opened onto an area of rough ground.
This area had previously been covered by slabs which were part of my original patio. These had been removed to make way for the building work. So left in the ground was their hardcore base and bedding mortar.
The new riven patio extension connected my original patio, onto which the back door of the house opened, to the path between my shed and the front garden. That path is laid in a passage between the street fence and the house extension.
Fortunately I was able to match the original riven patio style used when it was built in 2001. Exactly the same type of slabs were still available. I ordered slabs from the same manufacturer, using the same moulds, via my original builder’s merchant. The builder’s merchant had been taken over in the meantime but without any damaging changes.
I recently spent half a day removing block paving moss from my driveway. The paving, laid in 1993, has been cleaned more than once but moss soon grows under damp conditions.
Because the blocks have a chamfered edge there is a V shaped recess at the junction between blocks. This is a space where moss can grow, and boy does it grow. In this recess moss doesn’t get worn away by traffic (cars or feet).
Given a good wet period the moss swells in size until it sticks up above the blocks. Under those conditions it can become very slippery under foot giving me good reason to remove it.
You might ask why I’m only discussing moss and not regular weeds. That’s because I use weed killer during the spring and summer so I’m just left with moss in the autumn and winter. This is because regular weed killers are not effective against moss. Moss killer is effective at turning it black but at some point the dead moss needs removing.
Generally I have found retractable clothes washing lines very useful. They mainly keep the line clean so that it doesn’t dirty the washing pegged out on it.
My problem has been breakage. I have had them break because they are not capable of taking the weight of heavy washing and due to damage.
The line itself can usually take a lot of weight but the plastic boxes containing and mechanism have failed. In one case I had mounted the box too near to an outward opening door. Then the wind blew it on its pivot flat against the house wall. Later I opened the door which crunched into the box, in its new position, and cracked the plastic.
I have for some time wanted a reliable time piece outside my house. I don’t actually require an exact time outside anymore than I do elsewhere, but I do need to get the grass cut by teatime. So, I have acquired a Radio Controlled Wall Clock for my shed.
I have had the difficulty of not being able to see any of the indoor clocks easily through the windows from outside the house. Although I have a wall clock in the kitchen I have to open the door to see it. Reflections on the windows make it difficult to read otherwise.
In 1997 both of my sheds were burgled. I thought I’d made them secure enough. I’d used hasps with the thickest staples I could find on the market (similar to these) and disc padlocks with hardened shackles. But the burglars cut through each staple in two places making a gap through which the padlock shackle could pass. My advisers suggested the burglar used a hydraulic bolt cropper. The burglar cut through steel as thick as a man’s little finger. So I took securing shed doors very seriously and made immediate improvements.
I have two teak garden seats which spend all their time outdoors on the lawn or patio. They go back to the 1980’s and the bottom of all the legs has rotted where they are perpetually in contact with the ground. I first noticed the problem while I had them upside down when I was cleaning and sanding them ready for repainting. I dug a penknife into the underside of the end of each leg only to find the wood was soft and easily dug out. I had painted them with exterior paint several times over the years but this wood wasn’t good to paint anymore.
I had noticed a deterioration in the wood previously when I painted them but just put plenty of paint on the bottom of the legs after letting the wood dry out. The problematic area was in the bottom 5mm to 10mm of each leg and It had got to the point where the wood was crumbling away and the legs were no longer all of the same length. I had to find a method of repairing rotten garden seat legs.
I would say sighting a straight line is a common practice used by builders and joiners to determine if a piece of timber is straight or bowed. It can be used to test any length of timber, but long pieces in particular, and requires no tools just eyesight with a good depth of field enabling focusing along the whole length of timber to be checked.
A friend of mine has a fence at the bottom of his garden made from six interwoven fence panels each 6ft × 6ft (1.8m × 1.8m). They are erected on a three feet high bank of soil. The panels are fixed to 3in (75mm) posts dug into the bank of soil. Over a two year period the posts snapped one by one, at or just below ground level, due to wind pressure and rot. This has left the fence with broken timber fence posts throughout.
His neighbour on the next street has a garden beyond the bank of soil. So work done on the bank to support the fence isn’t on his land.
Because they snapped one at a time the other posts held the fence up but the panels attached to the broken timber fence posts were floppy and moved about in the wind begging to be repaired. So I repaired it only to find another snapped a few weeks later.Over time they all snapped and had to be repaired by the same or similar method. One end post has a simple horizontal stay going from midway up the post to a tree about two feet behind and to one side of it.
Ideally the posts would be replaced but I offered to do a quick fix as each one broke. I attached two diagonal stays from halfway up each post and two horizontal stays near the bottom. These stays cannot be seen from my friend’s garden because they are behind his fence. They have lasted for a year on all the posts except for one.