Father-in-law who promised ‘free’ landscaped garden ruins entire design and demands monetary compensation

Gillian Sisley

In a post shared on Mumsnet, a woman shared that her father-in-law had offered to landscape her garden for free. Though she was not too keen on the idea, she accepted the offer due to being unable to pay a professional to do the job for at least a few years, but things took a turn as she outlined in her Reddit post.

*This is a work of non-fiction sourced from social media discussion boards and verified experts/specialists.*

The author begins by explaining that she’s wanted to landscape her garden for sometime, and her father-in-law offered to do the job for ‘free’. Though she hesitated at first, she allowed him to do it.

However, her father-in-law had done a rushed job, chosen “tacky” items, and was making the author pay for them, leading to the garden looking cheap. The author clarifies:

“Now I'm stuck as to what to do, ask him to take the slabs up and let him carry on or just wait and save and get it done exactly how we want it. All along we have said no to him doing it and he kept insisting.”

Undercover Architect suggests that, before getting a family member to help out with renovations in any way, they should first imagine what the ‘worst-case scenario’ could be. Household renovations can cause a lot of strain within relationships, which is why it’s important to have very open communication.

In addition, she mentioned that she did not let her mother-in-law be involved, as her interference could have made the situation worse. She said:

“I didn't let my [mother-in-law] be involved as last time she was stood on MY drive saying ‘this will go here and we will have that there’ etc... they completely baby my husband but I won't have them baby me, I've always been independent and my parents have let me have my own mind etc.”

The author is now in a bit of a situation, unsure of what to do next. Other Mumsnet users had advice for the author. One commented:

“I'd just ask him to stop, then wait and save up. Write down somewhere 'it wasn't worth it' just to remind yourself that gifts always come with strings that trip you up. I have a [lovely] [father-in-law] who is keen to be generous and it can take some working around.”

Another said:

“I'd just let him do it now and save up. The time to stop him was when the first "wrong" thing was put down.”

What do you think?

Should the author tell her father-in-law to stop what he’s doing, since she doesn’t like the design he’s going ahead with, and doesn’t want to pay for it?

Or should the author avoid hurting her father-in-law’s feelings, and she should instead just let things roll out so that she can spare everyone’s feelings

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