Any general feedback or advice would be welcome, as I'm very inexperienced when it comes to these types of things. My partner and I bought our first place - a small apartment - and would like to utilise the outdoor space a little better, as it's poorly designed.
We'd like to extend some of the concrete slab, and in one section (see attached pic) eventually have a built-in seat with a small planter on either side and a narrow one running behind so we can grown something thin and tall (like bamboo) for privacy screening. Something like this for context (though obviously different/smaller dimensions): https://tinyurl.com/5fw7jk9b
I'm not sure if concrete is the right way to go, as it's quite deep (35cm) and by my calc would be 2 cubic metres of concrete. Access would be an issue for a cement truck. Perhaps decking would be better? Though that could create issues with dampness underneath.
Thoughts, questions and suggestions welcome
Many thanks for your question on updating your outdoor area. What an exciting project. I suggest checking out these ideas to revamp your side yard for some inspiring ways our members have revamped similar spaces. In particular, have a look at Rufaro (@diy_hausdesigns)'s side yard transformation, which includes a bench seat with planter box.
I'm sure our resident D.I.Y. expert @EricL will also be able to offer more specific suggestions and answers to your questions when he's back on the site.
Keep us updated as you progress with this project. We'd love to see the final results.
My apologies for the late reply. I was sketching up a possible layout for your outdoor area. I suggest building a sleeper frame and filling in the corner with stones, earth, builders mix and whatever else you can use as a proper filler. I propose covering that area with a 90mm slab and covering it with a tile or paver that is very similar to the one you have now. I recommend building the seat frame in timber sleepers as well so that you can use it as a raised garden. I suggest using 200 x 50mm 2.4m Sleeper H4 Treated Pine Sienna MicroPro in combination with 90 x 19mm Merbau SpecRite Pre-Oiled KD Select Decking.
In regards to the other area, if you have the same issue with depth, you can use the same solution. However, if you don't need such a deep frame, I suggest just using the cement slab to cover it up. Please have a good look at the sketches and tell me what you think.
If you need further assistance, please let us know.
Oh wow, that's great advice - especially as it won't need so much concrete. I'll probably have a few questions after I take a bit more time to look over the plan, so I'll post those up soon.
Thank you so much for taking the time with this, it's greatly appreciated.
When you're ready to begin, please don't hesitate to post any questions you might have about the assembly of the raised garden bed.