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Frustrated tourist holidays in his own back garden in £3,000 DIY mini Med resort

An optician transformed his garden into a DIY mini Med resort complete with a self-built tiled swimming pool, a hot tub and cocktail bar after the coronavirus pandemic cancelled his holiday to Spain. 

Guy Young, 34, from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, studied YouTube tutorials to help him build the incredible holiday complex behind his suburban two bed semi-detached house.

He completed the transformation during lockdown, giving him some solace after he was forced to abandon a May holiday to Alicante in Spain because of the virus. 

The main feature of the garden paradise is a 12ft by 7ft by 5ft swimming pool that he dug and built by hand using 38,000 blue mosaic tiles.

It took him 18 months to complete and cost him £3,000 in materials, a fraction of the £17,000 he would have paid to have it built professionally.

The bespoke pool also has a large underwater seating step to chill out on.

Guy's tropical oasis also includes a separate hot tub with a decking surround that is covered by a wooden gazebo.

The finished garden. DIY novice Guy Young is making up for his holiday to Spain being cancelled after turning his back garden into a mini-Mediterranean resort

The project took him 18 months to complete and cost him £3,000 in materials, a fraction of the £17,000 he would have paid to have it built professionally

Guy, an optician, studied YouTube tutorials to help him build the incredible holiday complex behind his two bed semi-detached house

Guy and friends in the garden. The main feature of the garden paradise is a 12ft by 7ft by 5ft swimming pool he built by hand

Guy built the stunning swimming pool - the centre piece of his back garden resort -  by hand using 38,000 blue mosaic tiles

Guy started the mammoth project two years ago but was able to finish it with help from friends Luke Ridgeway and Ian Murphy

Next to that is a large deck and seating area which has a roped walkway leading to another covered area that has a swing seat overlooking the pool.

On the side of the lawn is a cocktail bar and built-in barbecue with table and chairs. 

Guy said: 'When the sun is out it definitely feels like I'm on holiday in Spain, especially when I'm sat in the pool drinking a margarita.

'My friends now want to book up a week's holiday in my garden this summer.'

He added: 'I have no previous building experience at all, it was all done by watching YouTube tutorials and by trial and error.

'I am really proud with what I have achieved but also very shocked I was able to do it.'

Guy started the mammoth project two years ago but was able to finish it with help from friends Luke Ridgeway and Ian Murphy.

Guy had the place to himself during lockdown but after restrictions eased his friends have been regular visitors.

Guy said: 'When the sun is out it definitely feels like I'm on holiday in Spain, especially when I'm sat in the pool drinking a margarita'

Guy started the project by creating a timber seating deck at the bottom of the garden. It took him 18 months to complete the project

The main feature of the garden paradise is a 12ft by 7ft by 5ft swimming pool Guy, 34, dug and built by hand using 38,000 blue mosaic tiles. It took him 18 months to complete and cost him £3,000 in materials 

The build in progress. Guy said: 'It was a case of watching YouTube tutorials and watching people in India dig swimming pools by hand on Facebook. Every step of the way had to be researched and studied'

Guy said: 'I spent £3,000 on the pool and about £6,500 on the garden overall. But because I did it over such a long period I didn't really notice the money going out'

Some have even joked about booking a week's holiday in his back garden.

Guy started the project by creating a timber seating deck at the bottom of the garden. He said: 'I then extended it to hot tub gazebo and a bar and barbecue area.

'I then dug a 12ft by 5ft by 5ft hole for the pool.

'It was a case of watching YouTube tutorials and watching people in India dig swimming pools by hand on Facebook. Every step of the way had to be researched and studied.'

Guy avoided hiring a digger or even a concrete mixer to save on costs.

He said: 'Me and a friend dug it with spades which we thought would straight forward until we hit some concrete foundations and had to get rid of them with a sledgehammer.

'The digging part took one-and-a-half months.

Guy and friends in the garden. Being in Nuneaton and not Nice, Guy said he may add a heat pump to the pool next year

Guy had the place to himself during lockdown but after restrictions eased his friends have been regular visitors and have even joked about making bookings

Guy said: 'I have no previous building experience at all, it was all done by watching YouTube tutorials and by trial and error. I am really proud with what I have achieved but also very shocked I was able to do it'

'After that we had to laying the base using reinforced concrete. We had to hand-mix one tonne of concrete.

'Then I laid the 5ft of concrete blocks around the edges and for the seating step in the pool. Sealing and rendering came next to make a smooth surface for the 38,800, 2cm by 2cm square tiles.

'They had to be royal blue to reflect the water.

'I had to fit the pump after that and then built the decking surround and then spent four days cleaning it to get rid of any impurities.

'It took two days to fill with water from a garden house and I have to put in three chlorine tablets a day.

'My budget was always the main consideration but I was in no particular rush to build it.

'I spent £3,000 on the pool and about £6,500 on the garden overall. But because I did it over such a long period I didn't really notice the money going out.

'It was great fun to do and a really great experience.'

Being in Nuneaton and not Nice, Guy said he may add a heat pump to the pool next year.

He added: 'The pool is refreshing but if it gets a bit chilly I just jump in the hot tub.'

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