Understanding the cost of landscaping your Outdoor Living Space.
Thinking and treating your outdoor living space as another room.
This is one of the most common questions we hear very early on in our customer relationship, and it is also one of the most difficult questions to answer.
No two gardens are the same, which makes it difficult to provide accurate costings without having an initial consultation; even then we can only provided guide costing’s without doing a site survey. That said, most people want to know at an early stage what kind of budget they may need to create their ideal garden. To give a scale of costings, it is best to think of your garden like another room in your home. If you were looking at ‘decorating’ your garden, i.e. perhaps laying some turf and tidying up the planting etc. prices would start at £400– £1,000 for a small garden. If you wanted to undertake a more structural makeover (paving, decking, complete re-landscape etc.), then it would comparable to a new kitchen or extension, and would vary with size and specification. The greater proportion of structural work, the greater the costs. Prices would start at around £3,000 – £5,500 for a ‘courtyard’ size garden, but for an average modest, sized garden you are probably looking at £7,500 – £16,000, and for something on a large scale it could be many times more.
Just like any other room in your house, renovating your garden will certainly increase its sale-ability. Research suggests that a really well landscaped garden with ‘wow’ factor can add 5-10% to the value of your home.
Let me start by the saying you cant have champagne at water rates, that’s why we focus on quality first, and our costings are based on the labour, equipment and good quality materials required to do the job right, with minimal disruption to our customers and their neighbors. We ensure that all works are prepared to highest standards with appropriate foundation and base works. As we guarantee all our work, not only do we want it to look great as soon as we have finished, we need to ensure it will last and stay looking great. We will not cut corners, nor will we charge for sneaky extras that should have been included as standard.
Yes, reducing the proportion of structural work to ‘soft’ landscaping will bring down the average price per square meter. Whilst you can’t scrimp on the base works of any structural work, you can opt for more standard finishes to reduce costs (ie using softwood sleepers instead of oak, or choosing a regular paving instead of premium). You could also do some of the clearing work or waste disposal yourselves. Finally, you could try phasing the works to spread the costs over a period of time.
Generally, providing you do not change the specification after accepting a quote, prices should not change. However there can be some exceptions. For example the ground works on any job are always an unknown until we start. Our pricing is based on standard work, so will not include any hidden extras, such as buried roads, hidden structures, wells, hidden drains, buried waste requiring specialist removal (i.e. asbestos), excessive buried hardcore (unless specifically agreed in writing), significantly excessively rocky subsoil, substantial tree roots or buried tree stumps. If any unforeseen is discovered then the client will be notified as soon as possible of the potential cost implications and alternative courses of action.
Should you request any additional work, or alter the specifications then we would advise of any alterations to costs as soon as possible.
Once a specification has been agreed and accepted, we would provide a schedule of payments in advance. We usually take a 10% ‘booking in’ deposit at that point and get you scheduled into our diary. The next payment is due on the day we start, depending on the size of the job, and will usually be around 40%. This ensures we can order and pay for all materials, equipment etc. in a timely fashion, and minimize the risk of any delays to works. The balance is then spread over the course of the job, via installments, with the final 10% being due upon invoice, once all works are completed. Our preferred payment method is BACS, and if you are paying by cheque you will need to ensure you allow time for the funds to clear.
I hope this has given you a better understanding of the costs involved when landscaping a garden.