Sunday, 9 November 2014

Water butt installation: very nearly a good job.

My Client recently wanted to install a water butt in a shingled area, and said she had asked her builder/handyman to fit the diverter, and make a plinth for it. I reminded her to remind him not to just scrape back the shingle and use bricks, loose-laid on the earth (as he has done elsewhere) as the weight of a butt-full of water eventually makes them tilt and sag. We agreed it would be best if he laid a slab down first, then put the more attractive brick paviours on it.

I arrived there this week to find that he'd done a beautiful job, the water butt was in position and appeared to be sitting on paviours, but there was a solid slab underneath.

Great stuff.

Until I noticed that the paviour plinth was about an inch proud of the shingle, and that he had neglected to make an area for the watering can to sit on.

So when my Client tried to fill the watering can, it wouldn't stand level under the tap, and kept tipping over.


Clearly, it needs a little "apron" to stand on ... I decided the easiest fix would be to nestle another layer of three paviours into the shingle - they don't need to be set on slabs, as they only have the weight of one watering can, which is a big difference from having the whole weight of the water butt on them.

Off I went, to the back of the garage,  but I could only find two more of the paviours. Drat! Oh well, two will be better than none, and I can keep looking around for a third one. Most gardens have odd piles of odd bricks, posts, wood etc, it's just a question of finding them.

I scraped back the shingle, then bedded my two additional paviours into the shingle at the same height as the plinth.

Here's my enhanced version:  much better!

You can't see the height difference from this angle, but I hope you can see the problem - the original plinth just wasn't big enough to stand a watering can on.

Now it works perfectly, my Client can fill the can with ease. So remember, children, when installing water butts, always ensure there is room to get a can under the tap, and a flat place for it to stand on! 


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