Summary: How much does it cost to landscape a garden, average labour costs and average landscaping prices.
Everyone probably has a different perception as to what landscaping actually involves. There is certainly a scale of projects from simple garden clearing and tidying right through to a fully planted Chelsea standard garden. In this sense it is difficult to put an average cost on a project. There are a number of factors to consider and working through these will help a figure come to mind.
|£10 – £20 (Per hour)
|£35 – £70 (m²)
Factors to consider
The first consideration is whether the landscaping is to be a DIY project or one requiring a skilled tradesman. A DIY project should only entail the costs of materials and the hire of any specialist equipment. You could consider employing a specialist for specific tasks and doing easier elements yourself. Perhaps a specialist could be used for hard landscaping such as paths and patios with planting being completed separately. It is always wise to ask for a number of quotes and also for differently priced options, enabling you to choose a combination that best meets your needs. Remember cheapest isn’t always best, so be sure you know what your money is paying for.
If employing a specialist it is important that they are suitable for the job you have in mind. Decide if you need someone who specialises in hard landscaping or if you want someone to draw up garden designs and implement a fully planted and hard landscaped scheme. Someone who builds brilliant patios for example may have no knowledge how to lay a lawn. You may find someone who does everything or you could split your project into parts. There are a range of differences in level of skill so if possible see what other projects have been completed by your chosen firms. Visit past works or check out their website, then select one that reflects your requirements. Ask around friends and family, a word of mouth recommendation is invaluable as it will usually give you an idea of costs too. Bigger firms are more likely to have a wider range of skills on offer although smaller firms also work with other preferred suppliers.
Essentially you need to know which type of landscaper you require, one who can design and complete the work or one who will carry out tasks to your plans. Further more if you have a special garden e.g. bog garden or terraced you may require a specialist tradesman and find the choice is more limited. Don’t forget to ask at your local garden centre or nursery as they can be a good source of trade’s people.
You do need to have a good idea of what you want from your garden and how it is to be used i.e. is it a family play area, is it to be used for entertaining or do you want to grow vegetables. The landscaper will need to understand your requirements before starting.
Costs to consider
If employing a professional then one way to control costs would be to agree an hourly rate or a set price per square metre. However this may mean that to get the result you have in mind costs could escalate. The best approach is probably to discuss and work up a scheme that meets your needs both in terms of looks and budget then agree a fixed price. The costs of a landscaper can however vary hugely. Variables may include the range of services they offer, the part of the country you live in and how long they have been in business. Time of year could also be a factor clearly the summer time is a busy period and prices may be at a premium. Out of season you may get a better deal.
Costs to a large extent depend on the size of your garden and the amount of work you want done. Gardens with a lot of hard landscaping or densely planted beds will incur greater costs. The level of maturity of the planting also affects cost. If you want mature plants and trees for an immediate finished look it will cost considerably more than a garden that you are prepared to grow with. A garden can be an investment and add value to a property so it is sometimes worth spending a little bit more to get a better finish. In a sense a well landscaped garden can pay for itself so bear this in mind.
The ongoing maintenance of the garden can also be a cost consideration. Trees and shrubs may be costly to start with but require less work and cost going forward than annuals in pots and tubs that require replacing year after year. Make sure you don’t end up with a garden that looks great when the professionals leave but a year later is looking sad.