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An old cottage or an overgrown village courtyard is far from a tragedy, especially if you have a desire to put everything in order. The main thing here is the correct sequence.
An interesting question came to the e-mail: “Hello! I, a city dweller, for the first time in my life bought a house in the village. It was abandoned (dilapidated), as was the plot (0.25 ha): grass to the waist, trees not well-groomed, etc. There is a supply of gas, light, a well needs to be made for water. For me it’s like a summer house. The place is wonderful, but I just can’t decide what to do (house, plot, design?). I ask for advice: where to start? ” This question came to us from the reader Olga, whom we will gladly try to help with his solution.
So what should you do and what should you do? Of course, there are many solutions that directly depend on the budget. Here it would be possible to drive a brigade of workers, and clean out the site in a week, bring construction materials and specialists, and in a month to restore complete order, and even in general, begin construction of a new house. But, as we understand it, such an option is not the one that seems to be, and therefore we will tell you how to put the abandoned site and buildings on its territory in order with your own hands.
Cleaning the territory of a summer cottage
Having bought a new cottage and having seen the picture described above, many are horrified. But here it is important not to give up, but to be consistent, because nothing so ennobles a person as labor.
First of all, we propose to make a minimum cleaning of the site so that you can look around normally, get to the house, garden, shower and toilet. Walking on tall grass is uncomfortable, scary, and dangerous, because in the thicket there can be construction debris, broken glass, pits, protruding reinforcement, and maybe some animals, such as snakes, spiders, ferrets, and so on. Therefore, we recommend that the shoots be removed as much as possible even from the most ordinary scythe in order to make the maximum view.
Inspection of the country
Now that there is a route in the country, and the territory is a little better viewed, you can take a walk and look around. It is advisable to bring a piece of paper and a pen with you to immediately write down your ideas for arranging. And believe me, there will be a lot of them right away.
Walking around the territory where it is real, inspect everything around, try to find useful things that will help in further work. This may be a stack of bricks, several metal pipes behind the house, a grid that previously enclosed a house or a dovecote, boards or a bar near the barn. All this will come in handy, because on our site almost every day we do something interesting from the means at hand. Similar material will help in construction, and in repair, and in the arrangement of the landscape.
Inspection of buildings on the site
It is very difficult in such a situation, and we are well aware of this. After all, before you is a whole sea of worries, and it is impossible to understand what the first thing to do. But we will not dramatize, but move on to practical actions.
It is necessary to inspect all the buildings on the site, possibly even with the participation of a repair specialist, who will tell you about future processes, the possibility of their implementation, building materials, as well as amounts separately, or in general.
Be prepared for the fact that some buildings will have to be demolished (it is likely, because the house is dilapidated, and the site is old), and a lot of money will need to be invested in the repair of others.
Upon completion of the preliminary calculations, you can draw conclusions about what and when you will do it during the current year or transfer part of the work to the next. We understand that everyone has a different budget, and therefore it often happens that putting everything in order quickly simply does not work.
It is very important to equip the living area, put in order at least part of the house, because you have to rest somewhere, and possibly spend the night. To do this, we recommend choosing one room and making redecorating in it, as well as inspecting the whole house for the presence of glass in the windows, the ability of doors to close, and so on. The house should be comfortable and safe, but convenience over time, but protection in the first place. Therefore, we install new castles, and only after that we proceed to the arrangement of the rest room. At the same time, it is necessary to check the electricity and water supply, because here too everything should be in order. If there are communication problems, immediately contact the appropriate authorities!
It is not necessary to make repairs yourself, for this you can also hire people. In the meantime, they will tidy up the room or, perhaps, the whole house at once, you can do other things. We want to say right away that there is no single algorithm for putting things in order at the summer cottage and arranging it, and therefore it happens that at the same time work is going on everywhere - a garden is being digged, trees are cut, a little house is being repaired.
The most important country houses
We all perfectly understand that the main buildings, except the country house, on the territory are the kitchen, outdoor shower and toilet. There should be direct access, which we previously provided, as well as these places should be clean and safe. In what sequence the repair and arrangement will take place, it is up to you to choose here, but we want to say that it is better to bring the kitchen, shower and toilet in order at the same time.
When you have where to prepare lunch and dinner, refresh yourself after a working day and relax, you can proceed to further work aimed at repairing and even designing the site.
Final clearing of the plot: orders in the garden
When you have brought the site into a more or less convenient view for life, you can do it and improve it. We will start, perhaps, with cleaning the territory, because without it further repair of the house and buildings, and even more so landscape design, is simply impossible.
It is necessary to mow and cut down all the shoots under the very root - weeds and young bushes, trees (in this case, you can use, by the way, a convenient tool - the Fokin plane cutter, or a tricky tool for giving, which we learned not so long ago). This will give you the opportunity to assess the real size and capabilities of the site, consider the terrain.
If the situation is really the same as you described in the question, it will be quite difficult to remove all the roots, but it is real, and even on your own on 6-9 hundredths (passed in practice).
You will need to dig the site, free the soil from the roots and dry grass, various debris, which can be a lot, as well as the removal and disposal of all the excess. If you can use the help in this case, be sure to do it.
When the site is cleaned, you can return to planning, take out an old sheet of paper and a pen, and now already put on the plan the location of the garden, orchard, flower beds, structures of vertical landscaping and arches for grapes, the location of the well, septic tank for drains and so on.
The layout of the plot is very good, but we said that for a start it is necessary to conduct a quality cleaning. Therefore, after cleaning the soil, digging the beds and cleaning the main garbage, we go to the garden with secateurs and take care of the trees. Naturally, pruning of trees and the formation of crowns should occur strictly in season and according to the rules, and therefore we wait for the right time. In the meantime, you can remove the dry branches, crippled and interfering with the development of the young, remove unnecessary shoots and leaves from the soil, make indentations around the trees for watering and fertilizing.
It is very difficult to talk about the sequence of work on such a site, since not only the chronology of events is important here, but also the ability to carry out many works. We just build the algorithm, and the reader, who will understand us, must already be guided by when to fertilize the soil, prune the trees, arrange a digging of the garden, and so on.
Clean and more or less well-groomed territory gives us the opportunity to think about its decoration. Annual and perennial flowers, shade-tolerant in the garden and preferring warmth on a grassy lawn. Young trees and shrubs, a small vegetable garden on the outskirts of the site and planting grapes near the house. Here you will have to work hard on your own, and not only determine the plants to decorate the site and provide your own needs, but also study their agricultural technology.
But this is a common part, in landscape arrangement everything is much more interesting. Our site has many articles on these topics, which we recommend that you read. You can easily find information not only about what and where to plant, how to change the terrain or how to build decorative fences near flower beds, but also what small architectural forms to choose for a summer residence, where to place a recreation area, and where to install original garden figures.
At the same time, while the site is being developed, of course, if the budget allows, the country house can also be put in order - to repair the roof, change floors in the cottage, install new windows and so on.
At the moment, we have told you about the initial sequence of your possible actions, but to agree with us or choose your option, it's up to you. We propose to pay attention to another section of the article, in which we will point out mandatory updates to the site.
What should be done at the new summer cottage
It is not particularly important, is this a new site in general or is it new for you, since you just purchased it. The following is necessary in this case:
- Mandatory verification of communications, their adjustment and commissioning;
- Area fencing to restrict access;
- Restoring order on the territory of the country house and next to it;
- House repair (exterior decoration and interior work), and its maximum approximation to the norms of a comfortable and safe life;
- Arrangement of the site and its preparation for the summer season.
Perhaps a few more basic points, and only then work that will bring you as close as possible to comfort and joy. It is at their completion that by creating a recreation area, arranging a backlight in the garden and installing a barbecue near the gazebo, you can already relax and, as they say, get into a rut.
Where to start the arrangement of the site? (video)
We really hope that they helped you establish some sequence for arranging a new summer cottage. We wish you good luck in your work, as well as a good harvest in the garden and bright, fragrant plants in landscape design.