23 Jan Advantages of having your garden built by a professional landscaper
How many people in the UK have attempted to “do” their own garden only to find that it took longer than expected, was more difficult than expected and the results were not what they hoped for? I don’t have the answer to that question but I can share with you some of the many advantages of having your garden built by a professional landscaper.
There are probably two factors that inspire homeowners to build their own gardens rather than hire a landscaper. One is that they think the services of landscape professional would be outrageously expensive. The other worry, unsurprisingly is the risk of being duped by a “cowboy” landscaper. We’ll address both of those points in this article – as well as some things that you might not even have thought about.
Avoiding Cowboy Builders
We’ve all seen the TV programs where a dodgy dealer takes the client’s money, does a terrible job and then disappears into the ether. Those people do a lot of damage to our industry’s reputation and I’d like to offer some reassurance.
Very few professional landscapers are crooks. In fact most of us are regular people who like working outdoors and want to earn an honest crust.
One of the advantages of having your garden built by a professional landscaper is that they have the tools, skills and tricks of the trade to finish the work to a very high specification.
How’s this for a transformation? I’m proud of this project. It represents Holland Landscape’s quality standards beautifully. There are no uneven surfaces, wonky slabs or poorly plants – and some of the work was carried out in challenging weather conditions. Could an untrained operative work to these standards?
How can you spot a genuine landscaper? Here are a few tell-tale signs
How to spot a reputable landscape company
- Either a well-built website with reviews and testimonials as well as examples of their work or a nicely presented brochure.
- Local reputation – word of mouth
- Member of a trade organisation such as The Association of Professional Landscapers (APL)
- Tidy, well maintained vehicles and machinery
- Can show you certificates for their qualifications
- Offer written quotes detailing each stage of the work, material costs and estimated time taken to carry out the work.
- A written health and safety policy
- Fully insured
Good craftsmanship is rarely cheap. Neither are quality materials. However, you do get what you pay for.
I would say that it would be daft to dismiss the idea of asking a landscaper for help until you’ve at least had a quote for the work. Once you have a quote, can compare the cost of doing the work yourself.
Calculating DIY project costs
- What materials will you need and how much will it cost to buy them and have them transported to site?
- What about tools and equipment? Do you have everything in your shed? No? So how much will it cost to buy or hire the tools you need?
- How long will it realistically take for you to do all of the work yourself? Add up the hours and then multiply by what you could earn at your usual job. Don’t forget to include the time it will take you to source materials and negotiate prices.
- If you are planning on doing this work in your leisure time, how long will the project take from start to finish and what activities will you be sacrificing to get the job done?
- Do you have the right skills to do the work to a high specification? PS. Watching a Youtube video does not count as training or experience. A garden makeover often involves groundworks, drainage, paving, woodwork, brick laying, electrical work, plumbing, soil improvement, plant selection, painting and planting. Not to mention budgeting, liasing with suppliers, fetching and carrying and keeping a close eye on health and safety.
- How physically fit are you? Most landscaping jobs require strength, stamina and some well-practiced tricks of the trade.
Now that you’ve had a good long think – does that quote seem so high? You’ll have the work done in the minimum possible time to the highest possible specification. And you won’t risk the stress of backache, injuries, late deliveries, sourcing materials or being hassled about finishing dates.
Adding value to your property
Here’s the thing. A beautiful garden is not just a leisure facility or an outdoor room for you and your family. A garden provides the setting for a property. If the outside of the property looks run down, shabby or poorly constructed then the entire property (and its occupants) will be judged by the same standards.
If the garden is coherently designed, suits the property and its surroundings, is well constructed and beautifully maintained then BINGO – the value of the property increases.
Maybe you’re not thinking of moving in the near future. Experience has taught me that if your garden is well made, it will still look good in 10 or even 20 years-time. Some of Holland Landscapes’ projects from two decades ago are as good as the day we left site. You may need to pressure wash the patio or refresh the planting but the structure of it will still be sound enough to add value.
Also, a well designed and built garden can add up to 20% to the value of your home. Don’t take my word for it, look at this article from The Telegraph newspaper
A beautifully made garden is an investment for the future
Why employing a qualified landscape contractor can save you time and money whilst adding value to your property
To summarise my thoughts then, there are a host of advantages of having your garden built by a professional landscaper. The benefits go much further than saving yourself a bit of time and a lot of backache. Just as with any internal improvements to your property (new kitchen, replacement windows, electrics or heating) if you leave it to the experts you will be happier with the finished project AND it will accentuate, not detract from, the value of your home for many years into the future.
Testimonials – find out how people feel after their garden has been refurbished by Holland Landscape