We often find when people contact us they come with a budget that does not reflect the works they want to carry out. This is the reason why we have put together this guide to give you a indication of what a garden costs to construct.
What to budget?
Landscaping is a highly skilled profession and landscaping costs can vary wildly. A good landscaper costs money just like a good builder, plumber or electrician. The main factor we find that effects build costs in access to the garden (if you can access the garden with a digger it is is much cheaper than having to do everything by hand). Another common factor is levels, if the garden is on a slope and needs terracing and walls built then it will cost more, also what materials you choose can be a significant factor.
A good guide is look to spend £200-£600+ per meter square. Another way of looking at it is 5%-10% of the value of your house.
If you compare this to:
- Ground floor extension where you could spend £1,000 -£4,000 per meter square
- Loft conversion where you could spend around £700 per meter square
These make landscaping is quite good value considering the additional heath and well-being benefits it also gives you. This figure naturally depends upon access, levels and quality of materials. Using high quality materials will cost more.
How long will it take?
There is never a bad time to start planning your new garden. If you start planning in spring it is likely that the build may take place in the summer or during the winter ready for the following summer. However, this does depend on the scale of work required a small urban garden will be quicker to build than a large rural garden. Some urban gardens can take 5 weeks to build while larger gardens can take over 6 months to construct (depending on work required).
The key to the success of your garden is to use a landscape contractor. Would you trust a plumber to do a good job at your electrics? The same analogy can be applied gardens. The landscape contractor is highly skilled in all types of hard landscaping, lighting and irrigation insulation and also planting plants. We have occasionally worked with builders to construct gardens and it has caused a great deal of hassle for us and the client as the builder has not been able to fully do the job. For example, they have not wanted to touch plants. With a landscaper contractor you get the full package. They may be a bit more expensive but there work will last for longer.
How much does a designer cost?
When designing a new garden lots of people like to employ a professional designer to help them make the most of their outdoor space. A professional designer will produce the same amount of detailed work as an architect would when they design a house or extension. Designers fees can cost anything between 8%-25%+ of the build cost. Designing the garden and detailing it takes time. The designer will also have great relationships with nurseries and contractors saving you the hassle of sorting these elements out yourself.
At our studio we undertake complete redesign projects from £30,000 – £1,500,000. However, you may only want a single area of your large garden designed or a planting border renovated. We do undertake this work too and are happy to discuss this with you.
If you want to discover more about this area you could read our How much does garden design cost post.
Does having a well landscaped garden help my properties value?
A well designed garden can increase your property value by 10%-15% and many prospective buyers like the look of a well maintained and structured garden.
It is well documented that in urban areas if your front garden looks good and full of greenery it is great for first impressions and the property will sell quicker. First impressions count!
Does landscaping need planning permission?
Many gardens will require planning permission as hard landscaping is seen as development. Common sernarios when planning is required are listed below:
- If you have used up your properties permitted development allowance
- If you are in conservation area
- If you are in a area of outstanding natural beauty
- If your house is listed
- If your house is a barn conversion
- If as part of the design you are changing the gardens levels
- Swimming pools and garden buildings e.g. greenhouse or garden pod require planning
- In some cases brand new homes will have planning restrictions attached to them.
If you try to get round seeking planning permission you can get fined, ordered to remove everything you have built and even go to jail … this is not a risk worth taking.
Our advice for planning landscaping works!
The best advice we can give is to spend the right amount of money once. Design, plan and build properly using a professional designer and landscape contractor. Do not try to cut back on materials choose them to be sustainable and long lasting. Also make sure you get the right permutations approved before you start work.