Thrifty woman transforms rotting decking into amazing gazebo and saves £950


A thrifty woman managed to transform rotting decking into a stunning, huge wooden gazebo – and saved around £950.

Louise Tunstall, 48, who is a service delivery manager for OCR, embarked on the project with her husband after noticing a problem with her decking.

She says she’s happy she managed to do the job herself and completed the challenge.

“We already had some raised decking in a corner of our garden which we used for BBQ’s and just chilling, but over the past 12 years it had started to look tired and worn,” she said.

“When we started to look at repairing it, the wooden frame underneath was rotten, so we took advantage of not going on holiday in 2020 (due to Covid) and used that money to redesign the whole corner of the garden.

“I loved it.”

Louise sourced fence panels and posts from Earith Timber, and decking boards and bollards online and sleepers from UK Timber for a total of £660.

Lighting and electrics also cost her £400.

She bought cushions, shelving and a ladder stand for £100 from Dunelm and a gazebo kit from Bedfordshire Garden Buildings for £1400.

The plants were from B&Q, the local market and Dobbies for a total of £100.

Louise said getting hold of materials during lockdown was an “interesting challenge”.

But in the end they managed to find everything they needed – and had lots of trips to the rubbish tip.

The couple worked on the fencing and replaced four damaged panels, concreting in 20 new posts to support the new decking.

Louise admitted this was “hard work”.

She added: “Laying down the decking was a project in itself, as the total area is 23 metres squared.

“It was a lot of digging and manual work was also required to build the new wooden frame of the gazebo using the flat pack kit.”

This was, she said, the hardest part.

Her favourite part though was the planting and by the time they added soft furnishings and finishing touches, they loved the end result.

She added: “The gazebo gives us privacy and shelter so we can use it all year round, and the area is now really unique.”

Tom Church, Co-Founder of, said Louise and her husband’s ambitious project was “truly impressive”.

He said the savings the couple made by doing the project themselves is massive and estimated they’d saved themselves about £950.