Garden landscaping costs – where to spend and how to stay on budget

If your lot is in need of updating, garden landscaping costs will be on your mind. Good garden landscaping could turn yours into a space you really enjoy spending time in, whether it’s tending to plants, growing veg and fruit, relaxing, cooking, or eating. eat – or all of the above.

Landscaping costs include both what is called hard and soft landscaping. Hard landscaping includes things like paving and decking, walls and fencing, but it can also involve leveling the plot and fixing drainage issues. The flower beds and borders and the associated planting, as well as the lawn, constitute the gentle landscaping.

If you want inspiration for the look of your garden and learn more about the process, check out our special garden landscaping feature. For advice on what you should expect to pay, just scroll down.

The Garden of Health and Wellness by Alexandra Noble Design at Hampton Court 2018

(Image credit: Karen Darlow)

Hard landscaping fees

Hard landscaping costs, as we mentioned, include those for drainage and leveling as needed, fencing and walls, the paving you lay for patios, decks and paths, and any decking. that you choose to install.

If your project involves a total makeover of every element of the garden, or maybe you have a sloping garden to work with, then clearly the costs of all of these elements should be part of your budget. However, if some or all of the existing elements are sound, you may be able to incorporate them into a new design, which will save you on overall costs.

Garden landscaping costs: soft and hard landscaping

(Image credit: Future + Centaur Archives)

The cost of hard landscaping will be influenced by the materials you choose. Reusing materials such as old bricks for paving, for example, could save money on purchasing new materials. Laying gravel rather than paving could also save you money.

Create a terrace in your garden? The composition of the terrace will also have an influence on the landscaping costs of the garden. A softwood deck is the cheapest option in the first place, with hardwood decks and composite decks costing more.

The amount of hard landscaping you include will also influence your backyard landscaping costs. This is not just a function of the size of the garden, however. If you devote more of the garden to planting and less to landscaping, you can lower the overall bill as well.

landscaping materials

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Gentle landscaping fees

Gentle landscaping costs will not only be influenced by the trees, shrubs, and other plants you include, but also by their size. In other words, if you’re willing to wait for your garden to grow, you can cut costs. Opting for large specimens for an instant garden will send your budget higher, however.

wooded area in a garden

(Image credit: Abigail Rex)

What are the other landscaping costs for the garden?

Hard and soft landscaping costs aside, a big influence on the final total of your garden renovation is whether you choose to hire a garden designer or a landscape contractor. If you feel happy to create your own garden design, you can save that money.

Do you like the idea of ​​employing a professional to design a design? Keep in mind that you can use a garden designer for this – the design itself. Alternatively, they can design and then manage the project, or they can provide you with a full design and build service.

If you are happy to plan the features of the garden yourself, you have the option of hiring a landscaper to make your plans a reality and can get quotes from professionals to compare.

You can also divide the work involved in your project according to your talents. You can plant and lay the lawn, but pay for expensive pavers to lay, for example. Garden lighting is subject to building regulations, so you can choose to have an installer registered with a competent persons scheme. If not, an application to building control or a building control company will be required, which will increase costs.

Keep in mind that the design you choose for the garden will also influence landscaping costs. A contemporary design will demand an extremely precise finish while a cottage style scheme with softer lines will save in comparison.

Garden pond

(Image credit: Garden pond)

How much should I budget for landscaping?

Your budget for landscaping will depend, as we have seen, on whether you can keep some existing elements of the garden, the materials chosen, the balance between hard and soft landscaping, whether you are willing to wait for that. the garden is growing or you want more instant results and, of course, its size. The amount of clearing and grading required will also affect your project budget.

Employing a professional and having a patio prepared and landscaped, a lawn prepared and landscaped, and a decent sized bed prepared and planted could set you back around £ 4000, but it’s clear most designs will be more intricate than that. For a smaller garden you can expect to pay around £ 10,000. For a large garden, and depending on the design, the costs can reach £ 50,000 and more.

When it comes to the cost of labor, most landscaping contractors will easily give you an hourly or daily billing rate, along with an estimate of how long it will take to work. For the cost of renting machinery and facilities, ask reputable local rental companies to provide daily and weekly prices.

Typically, labor costs are 50 to 60 percent of a project’s costs, so with a budget of £ 10,000 – typical of city gardens – that leaves £ 4,000 for clearing work. and skip hire, design costs (around £ 1,500), specialist consultant costs, if required, and materials.

If you employ someone to take charge of the entire project, it’s worth getting quotes for labor and materials. This comparison of an “overall rate” is easier when you choose. This should include the full cost for a particular part of the job, including labor and all materials. This rate will be different depending on the entrepreneur and also the size of the business (the larger the business, the higher the rate). Overhead costs and site profits are not listed, so your best bet is to ask experienced contractors who can advise and quote for the work in advance. Entrepreneurs who are affiliated with either British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) or the Association of professional landscapers (APL) should be your first choice, while Check exchange also has reputable garden landscapers across the UK.

Be aware that if you want to include a feature that requires a building permit, such as a raised terrace, you will need to add a fee, currently £ 206 in England.

Lush green lawn in a new landscaped garden

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Is landscaping worth the money?

The landscaping of the garden is worth the money in our opinion. It can turn a dreary outdoor space into a nice extra space that meets your gardening needs (and growing crops if you like the idea), providing a place to relax, dine, and cook too, and a space for children to play.

Keep in mind that there are many ways to cut costs without compromising the appeal and functionality of the garden, as we detailed above. Either researching materials is costing you to find the cheapest options, or let a garden designer or landscape contractor advise you. Also do the work that you can safely and competently do on a DIY basis, if you want to lower your bill, and think about planting balance and wanting a more instant garden or if you can wait for the planting. growth.

It’s time to get down to business.

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