Creating different levels in your garden is a really great way of getting the most out of it. It separates different areas of the garden, and adds another dimension to it. Your garden may be totally flat, or have a natural slope. All gardens could benefit from some different levels throughout. It adds theatre and depth, and ultimately creates more space, albeit vertical!
In this article, I will cover the 2 main ways you can add different levels to your garden, and some ideas/ tips regarding planning your garden levels.
#1 – Dig Down
Creating a sunken space in your garden can create a functional area that is also great to look at and has a number of benefits. For a start, it will be sheltered from the wind, this can really help in the evenings of you are thinking of entertaining in the garden. No one wants a nicely set table ruined by the wind! Due to the shelter they provide, Sunken areas are great for having fire pits in. The shelter means that the smoke will rise straight up, at least until it is above head height, no matter whether it is windy or not. It can also create a cosy atmosphere, as you will not feel exposed at all, being enclosed by walls on all sides.
Digging down is relatively simple, but can be time consuming. We recommend using an excavator to make the process quicker. You will have to make sure that if you are digging down that you have sufficient drainage in place. After all, you’re creating a seating area, not a pool! Landscapers and builders are perfectly capable of removing dirt and installing drainage, and it should not take them too long to install a sunken area. It is also something you can do yourself, but remember, anything that comes out must go somewhere, and if you don’t have space, you may have to pay someone to take it. Or you could use the extra earth to create another higher level in another part of your garden.
Another way to install a sunken area, is buy building up the surrounding areas! Depending on the surrounding area, this may be a simpler option. For example, if your ground is very rocky it may be too difficult or expensive to remove it.
#2 – Build Upwards
Building upwards really adds another feature and dimension to your garden. Higher levels are great for catching the sun as there is less obstructions to stop the light getting through. For this reason, a higher level is a good place to put deck chairs and a relaxation area, as it will be in the sun for longer than a lower area.
Building up using a framing system is the quickest and easiest way to create a raised level in your garden. Usually, composite decking is used in this application, however there are systems such as our Tectonic® Aluminium Paving System that can mean that you can have a raised paved area that is suspended rather than built up with earth or walls.
However, if you have earth and dirt that has been removed from your sunken area, this is a great way to use it up effectively. But ensure it is packed hard to avoid sinking over time.
One thing to bear in mind when creating raised levels in your garden, is that if it is over 600mm high on an edge, you may have to look at installing balustrades, especially if it will be a popular area with children. In public places, this is a legal requirement, but not currently in gardens.
When creating different levels in your garden, you will want to plan in advance. Usually, a simple drawing will help you to understand what you want to go where, so that you can order the correct materials. As a common rule, it is best to build up towards the back of the garden, because it is the best way to be able to admire your full garden from the back of the house.
However, this is not always possible, as a lot of gardens have slopes of varying angles. The most cost-effective way to introduce different levels into your garden is to follow the contours of the garden. Obviously if your garden slopes away from the house, it will get very expensive and require a lot of materials and man hours to build up from the house!
Now that you've read more about creating different levels in your garden to create a more useable and attractive garden, you may be thinking about using composite decking or porcelain paving as an option for the different levels in your garden. With so many options available, we know it can seem like a big decision to make. Why not begin by ordering one of our free sample boxes to help you choose which style will best suit you?
You can also call us on 0208 159 2999 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get quotes, guidance and any technical support with your plans. If you think you will require the help of a professional installer, we are happy to recommend one to assist.