How much should you expect to pay for a new garden?
If you’re considering making some changes to your garden, one of the first questions you’ll have is …. How much is this going to cost me? Sadly programmes like Ground Force, Love Your Garden etc create a false impression that gardens are quick and inexpensive to put together and do not discuss landscaping prices. At Holland Landscapes we believe gardens should be built to last and feel it’s really important to help our clients avoid any disappointment by guiding them from the outset as to what they can expect to achieve with their budget.
An investment – raising the value of your home
It’s incredibly difficult to give standard prices for building quality gardens, they each come with a unique list of wants and needs, not to mention their own individual challenges. It is helpful however to consider a new garden as similar in cost to having a new kitchen or extension, depending on the scale of hard landscaping required. It is, after all a combination of structural engineering, horticulture and master craftsmanship, made to endure the elements. However, just like that new kitchen it is an investment that should continue to pay dividends, as a well laid out and quality constructed garden can raise the value of your home by 5-12%.
Which factors influence a landscaping quote?
When pricing a landscaping project, before the actual design of the garden is looked at, landscapers must take into consideration a number of particular factors inherent to the site. It is useful for clients to understand this element of the quote, as it is the invisible but essential side to the job.
- Preparation – A large proportion of the work involved goes unseen once the garden is complete – earthworks, essential preparation of sub-bases, footings and soil preparation for planting are some of the essential tasked carried out.
- Access – Easy access to the area of works allows use of the most appropriate machinery. A micro-digger can be used even with narrow access, but can slow down works compared to using a bigger digger and dumper. Poor or no access can mean needing to crane items in and out of the garden or moving materials through the house, which is expensive and time-consuming.
- Work space – Having a space to store materials in bulk, mix concrete, store waste and even park work vehicles can make a saving to a project.
- Levels and earthworks – Steeply sloping sites are more difficult to access, have strict health and safety requirements and usually require soil to be removed or retaining walls to be built. These factors are one of the greatest costs in landscaping. For example, terracing a sloping site or levelling gradients.
- Soil conditions – This affects machinery action, the time spent planting and amount of soil improvement or replacement required for planting.
- Drainage – Poor drainage could require installation of drains and soakaways.
- Waste removal – I.e. how much clearance of the old garden is necessary.
Tips for getting what you need for the right money
Onto this initial estimate is the added cost of the features of the new garden. By using the tips below as a guide you can see how particular aspects influence the cost:
- Terracing and steps are more expensive than slopes.
- Raised beds and retaining walls increase cost significantly.
- Design-wise, curved lines as opposed to straight can increase build costs threefold, being much more labour intensive.
- A high proportion of hard landscaping increases cost and compromises design.
- Your choice of ground surface material – from high spec paving or labour-intensive brickwork to gravel and lawn at the lower end of the cost scale.
- The addition of structures, features and accessories and garden lighting will obviously cost more, but may be worth it for the finishing touch.
We hope that we have helped make it a little clearer why quality landscaping costs what it does. In our next page we’ll show priced examples of some of our recent garden builds, as a visual guide to what can realistically be achieved for different budgets.