We were delighted with the sleepers you supplied.
Here is our story.
The problem was, we had a horrid sloping garden about 13m by 9 m size. Our
little 2 year old boy couldn't play since the slope was dangerous and an old
brick retaining wall was in danger of collapsing .
Sarah & I gained inspiration from
looking at your site & drew up our plans. I couldn't build a brick wall,
without the appropriate skills, but I knew I could build a sleeper wall.
The digger and skip loading dumper were rented and 120 tons of unwanted clay
were removed from the site. (We, well Sarah , negotiated the grab lorry down
from an initial £230 + vat per load to £170 cash per load) I must
add a note of caution here , since when the (Volvo skip loading dumper) bucket
was raised on slightly sloping ground near the "drop zone - ( front garden)
the skip loading dumper fell over, trapping my foot underneath. These things
can be dangerous and the fright really shook me up! It took an hour with the
digger and a heavy chain to lift it upright again!
It took six 20 ton grab lorry loads to remove the waste soil/clay. As you
can see from the photos, it rained solidly for weeks during this phase and
each bucket load of clay had to be scraped out by hand with a shovel. This
bumped up the cost because days were wasted and the digger /dumper rental
doubled. The sleepers turned up exactly to the agreed date/time. Initial progress
was slow, but eventually the back wall was installed with approx four feet
of sleeper cemented in a mix of concrete and brocken bricks.
The front wall was supporting tons of clay and needed to be extra secure.
Several vertical sleepers were carefully installed and braced against each
other. They were slowly aligned & sleepers were bolted horizontally to
the front faces. The Timberlock screws (expensive but far better than cheap,
imitation third party copies!) were inserted from behind so no screw heads
could be seen from the front face.
Later the deck was installed and the project was finished off. I knew I wanted
the deck to be flush with the lawn, giving a usable flat surface. The Rolawn
Medallion turf was edged with Terracotta red bricks to keep the damp away
from the deck.
Overall, the project cost three times the original estimate. I took five months
working every spare minute, evening and weekend.
We particlarly like the feeling of integrity that the sleepers give. It looks
even better when it rains and the grain in the sleepers shows through!
We are pleased with the outcome and received some favourable comments at our
recent Christening of our little boy when the weather was fine and 40 people
/ children enjoyed the garden.
All credit to you for completing such a huge and magnificent project. The
energy, hard work and determination you've put in is truly praiseworthy. Many
people underestimate not only the budget (!) but also the timescale and hard
graft needed to undertake the total transformation of a large garden. The
logistics of moving 120 tons of clay... working on different uneven levels...
dealing with the effects of constant rain... major challenges not only to
one's bank account, but also one's physical strength and inner resolve.
The new pine railway sleepers frame everything together, and as you say, have
the advantage of being able to be used by those without major construction
The outcome makes it all worthwhile. A creative and well designed garden that
is perfect for children and adults alike. A delightful space to relax or play.