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Shalini and Bhaskar poured their heart and soul into creating the backyard of their dreams, before an unprecedented event left it all to ruins.

Flooding devastation spread across the backyard, from Shalini’s treasured garden to the secluded deck, built by Bhaskar, and everything in between.

Despite the circumstances, this resilient couple from Auckland never lost hope. Faced with demanding schedules, they were determined to find a solution, fast.

This once blissful backyard was turned to ruins in the Auckland floods. | Photos: Shalini

How did you use your backyard before it flooded?

“My husband, mother-in-law and I, would use it on a regular basis to have a coffee in the morning, or to go to relax and take time off from the world,” Shalini says.

“It was the most picturesque part of our home.

“I would do quite a bit of gardening there, and it was the area that all of our friends would love to see when they came for dinner.

Flooding battered this pathway, leaving it unsafe to use. | Photo: Shalini

What was your vision for the backyard?

“Before or after the devastation?” Shalini laughs.

“For starters, the floods were definitely an eye opener — we never expected this to happen and it was hard to see our backyard in a state of shambles.

“One side was affected, roughly about 300 square metres in size, so the magnitude of work felt quite daunting at first.

“We wanted to bring the area back to its original condition, and to protect it as best we could from anything in the future.”

A few trees had been uplifted here and there.| Photos: Shalini

How did you find your trade expert?

“A friend of mine used Builderscrack for a plumbing job, and said, ‘why don’t you give it a try?’” Shalini says.

“I posted a job, and a few tradespeople reached out.

“As an accountant, I was looking at cost, followed by aesthetic and quality.

“However, when we received competitive offers across the board, it eventually came down to just following my gut instinct.

“Chris from Price Projects Ltd particularly stood out, as he approached us with a plan on how we could strengthen the drainage and mitigate risks in future.

“I weighed up the pros and cons, and made my final decision.”

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What were the logistics?

“I sat down with Chris, and we discussed his plan for the project,” Shalini says.

“I’m not the best at conceptualising ideas, so I asked Chris to draw the plan out for me — which he did.

“We provided some materials from another source, and the work was underway.

“Thankfully, we were blessed with good weather that weekend, and Chris managed to get things finished in 3.5 days!”

Improvements included reinstated retainer walls and mulch.| Photo: Shalini

How do you feel about the results?

“I want to spend time in our backyard again!” Shalini says.

“We had put so much time and effort into making our backyard look nice before, so now that it’s reinstated, I feel really good about it.

Here are Shalini’s top takeaways:

  • Go through all of the reviews of your potential tradespeople.

  • Aim to meet the tradespeople before finalising your decision to gauge their working style.

  • Approach the project one day at a time by breaking it into smaller bite-sized chunks.

  • Don’t get overwhelmed, and have faith that everything will come together with a bit of help.

Chris (Price Projects Ltd) rebuilt this siloed deck, which is in the prime spot for taking in the native views.| Photo: Shalini

Let’s hear from the expert…

The new backyard made all of a difference for Shalini and Bhaskar, thanks to Chris from Price Projects Ltd and his team. So next up, we got Chris’ take.

“The key goal for this project was to establish Shalini’s motives; why she needed to get the project done, and what elements were most important to her,” Chris says.

“I wanted to propose something that was not only within her budget and gave her backyard a visible transformation, but also to provide a long-term solution.”

Structure to this backyard was restored once again. | Photos: Shalini

What were the challenges?

For this backyard project, there were two major challenges:

  1. Insurance: Shalini was claiming insurance, so only pre-existing elements were funded and they had to meet the insurance terms.
  2. Accessibility: There was no digger access to the backyard, so the team had to do majority of the work by hand, all while ensuring the area was safe to access.

“It was helpful that shalini had an idea on what she wanted, and willingness to entrust us with some freedom to refine her ideas allowed us to find a solution that aligned more with her needs,” Chris says.

“Despite the challenges, with the right game plan, we rallied up our resources and completed the project in a few days.”

Drainage and mulch was a key element for the new and improved space.| Photo: Shalini

What can homeowners consider when redesigning their backyard?

“We wanted to make sure that Shalini had a stress-free experience and that meant investing a lot more time into planning,” Chris says.

“Our environment really impacts the way that we feel, and I believe spending time on something that will improve someone’s quality of life, is priceless.

“It’s not all about the end result, it’s about the journey, from the initial consult to completion.

Chris’s top four takeaways are:

  • Consider how our environment impacts our well-being. When it comes investing in a project, take your time and go for what you want.

  • Most tradespeople are genuine and want to see you win, granting some autonomy can produce great results.

  • Prioritise open communication and shared values between you and your chosen tradesperson.

  • Last but not least, a bit of kindness, empathy, and understanding can go a long way.

Thank You

Thanks to Shalini and Bhaskar for sharing their inspiring restoration story with us, and to Chris from Price Projects Ltd and his team for making such a difference to this flooded backyard.

If you or someone you know needs help with flood restorations, you can check out our flood restoration guide here.

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