A dad put his DIY skills to the test after he was quoted a staggering amount of money for his garden renovation.

Matthew Johnson, 33, would have spent an eye-watering £20,000 to build a decking area in his outdoor space.

Instead, the dad-of-two, from Kent, watched YouTube tutorials and used design software trials to learn to create it himself.

The business director managed to build a pergola, deck and BBQ area for just £7,000.

Speaking to LatestDeals.co.uk, Matthew told how he came up with the idea after a holiday to Spain.

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The dad-of-two was originally quoted £20,000 to build the outdoor space
The dad-of-two was originally quoted £20,000 to build the outdoor space

He said: "I originally came up with the idea after we went on holiday to Spain one year and there was a beautiful BBQ area that we sat at every night.

"The BBQ was built using a three-sided brick wall and sat on top of a countertop and I thought for something so simple this is a dream to cook on.

"Fast forward a year and I was missing it so I got on to YouTube and started searching for how to build a DIY BBQ.

"I could not believe the amount of content there was available that would historically only be in the mind of tradespeople and now I have on-demand video tutorials showing step-by-step what to do."

It took him just one month to complete the project
It took him just one month to complete the project

Matthew spent a few hours watching the videos to understand how to do it himself.

He added: "I noticed that lots of these DIY BBQs were sat on decking and so before I knew it I was searching for 'how to build a deck' and 'DIY decking ideas'.

"I then knew I had to build a level frame, with joists every 400mm and to drill decking boards to it with a 5mm gap – it was that easy! So then I started to go further and thought 'hold on, pergolas must be pretty easy too?'

"Fast forward another week and I was on the laptop trying to sketch out the design. I work in sales so I'm pretty good with Powerpoint and that's where I started but I found it a challenge converting pixels to real-world measurements."

His inspiration came after a trip to Spain
His inspiration came after a trip to Spain

The dad found a number of trials online for design software and attempted a few out.

He continued: "I went through so many iterations and late nights obsessing over how everything would fit and eventually settled on something that I thought would work.

"I spray painted the area on the floor and realised it just wouldn't look right and so I went back and made a few more tweaks.

"I managed to build everything out of treated timber and decking boards. The cupboards, kitchen sides, back bar are all made from decking scraps and bits of wood I had left over in the garage."

He taught himself by watching YouTube tutorials and trying free design software trials
He taught himself by watching YouTube tutorials and trying free design software trials

Throughout his renovation, Matthew wanted to be as resourceful as possible.

And in total, the DIY-savvy dad spent around £7,000, which is significantly lower than what he was quoted.

He explained: "If we had to pay someone else to do it we would be looking at about £20,000 or so for the cost of design, labour and materials.

"Now that's it's done I genuinely feel incredible about it! We've spent so many afternoons and nights out there and it's totally changed the function of our garden."

Now inspiring others to try DIY themselves, Matthew said: "Be creative. There's so much available online for inspiration... Google images, Pinterest, blogs, Instagram pages. The whole project took me around a month in total!"

Tom Church, co-founder of the money-saving community, added: "While £7,000 is certainly a pretty penny, it's practically a third of what building this incredible outdoor entertaining space would have cost if Matthew had employed an outside company to do it.

"As Matthew says, there are infinite resources online for free, whether design software or YouTube videos, from which we can learn how to build everything from a dining table to a whole garden pergola.

"By doing this himself, Matthew has saved himself a huge amount of money, given himself a creative outlet during the lockdown – and most importantly, ended up with the garden of dreams."