Flicking through the pages of home and garden magazines, it’s natural to encounter some green-fingered envy for the landscaped gardens on each page.
With the ever-growing popularity for indoor-outdoor living, we’re taking more care of our gardens than ever before – and it means that sad flowerbeds and weed-ridden lawns stand out for all the wrong reasons.
Depending on the type of landscaping you want, the costs vary vastly, from professionals coming in and adding a garden path and a few pots, to them giving the entire garden an overhaul. Luckily, this means that you can get some horticultural aid regardless of your budget.
In this article, we’ll be exploring how much garden landscaping costs, what influences the price of garden landscaping, how you can save money on your landscaping project, some cheap gardening and landscaping ideas, how to work out if you need a landscape gardener, and how much they cost, how to decide if you need planning permission for your project and how to find and hire a landscape gardener.
If you think your garden could do with a complete overhaul but aren’t sure where to start, keep reading to find out the best solution for your space based on your budget and your goals.
How Much Does Garden Landscaping Cost?
Depending on the type of work you want, your garden landscaping can be something relatively affordable to something that’ll need a significant amount of saving to complete.
Below are some estimated landscaping and gardening project costs, including labour and time required:
|PROJECT||ESTIMATED COST||ESTIMATED LABOUR COSTS||TIME REQUIRED||TOTAL ESTIMATED COSTS|
|Block paving||£3,400 for a 40 metre squared area||£100 to £200||1 to 2 days||£3,500 to £3,800|
|New patio||£1,050 for a 15 square metre area||£500||2 days||£2,050|
|Timber decking||£36 to £106 for a 15 square metre area||£150||2 days||£850 to £1,900|
|Turf||£3 to £6.40 per square metre for a 50 metre squared area||£100 to £200||2 days||£1,190 to £1,670|
|Artificial grass||£1,100 for a 50 metre squared area||£3,375||1 to 2 days||£4,475|
|New fence||£135 to £435 for 3ft fence||£10 to £20 per hour||4 to 8 hours||£175 to £760|
|Tree trimming||£400||£120 per hour||Dependant on size of tree||£520+|
|Raised flower or vegetable beds||£200 to £700 for 2 beds of 4×1.5 metre area||£35 to £70||2 days||£270 to £840|
|Gravel or shingle path||£500 for a 6×1 metre path||£100 to £200||1 day||£600 to £700|
|Garden pond||£400 to £800 for a 1.5 metre diameter||£100 to £200||2 to 3 days||£600 to £1,400|
|Rockery||£350||£100 to £200||2 days||£450 to £550|
Block paving is estimated to cost between £3,500 to £3,800 for a 40-metre square area, though this number will vary depending on the size of the area.
Block paving will require a certain amount of excavation, and this can drive prices up if you’ve got a sloping surface, or if you need a damaged set of stairs to be removed.
If you want a new patio laid on an area that’s already flat, quotes should average around £2,050 for a 15 square metre area. It’s good to make sure your quote includes the removal of excess soil, and that landscapers lay the patio on top of the sand, hardcore or cement.
Provided the area for a new decking is already flat, a deck that’s 15-metre squares in size should cost between £850 to £1,900.
Laying new turf should cost between £3 to £6.40 per square metre for a 50-metre squared area.
Similarly, if you’d like the look of turf but without any of the mowing, fertilising, or pesticides, getting an artificial lawn laid is estimated to cost £4,475 for a 50-metre squared area.
Installing a new 3ft fence is estimated to cost £175 to £760 depending on the type of fence you choose.
Tree trimming or pruning is estimated to cost £520+ per day, and again, this price may vary depending on the size of the tree and the length of time it takes to trim it.
Raised flower beds are simple to construct, especially if the ground’s already flat. Creating two beds with a total size of 4 x 1.5 metres should cost between £270 to £840, depending on your region and the materials used.
Shingle paths are the easiest to build and are fairly inexpensive. A 6 x 1-metre path will cost in the region of £600 to £700 and take only a day.
Building a pond of around 1.5 metres in diameter should take a couple of days, and will cost between £400 to £800 including digging, lining, and filling. Labour costs are estimated to be between £100 to £200 per day.
The idea of a rockery might seem old-fashioned, but small rockeries are growing in popularity thanks to the beautiful modern plant varieties on offer. Including all the plants and rocks, you can expect your costs to average about £350.
What Affects the Cost of Landscape Gardening?
We’ve just covered some of the basic costs for landscape gardening, but some attributes will drive your costs up (or help to lower them!) based on some of the choices you make along the way.
There is no one-size-fits-all price when it comes to garden landscaping, and for good reason. The sheer scope of your project will dictate your costs, with loftier plans equalling loftier prices.
For a budget-friendly renovation, planting a few flowers or shrubs in some existing beds can really give the feel of a brand-new space, adding colour and variety to your landscape. This, versus something like building a new deck, adding in new fencing, or even dropping in a new swimming pool will obviously have a lower price.
Consider your goals and consider your budget when looking to landscape your garden. If you can only afford to make little changes now, choose the most impactful, cost-effective options to give an interim boost of life to your garden, while you save up for some of the bigger projects.
Similarly, the size of your project will raise or lower your costs. The bigger your back garden, the more time it’ll take to complete the same job but for a smaller space.
Again, it’s best to consider this and make cost-effective choices to help bring your costs down if you’re wanting to get things done on a tight budget.
Choice of Materials
As we’ve said, there’s no one-size-fits-all, which is great when it comes to optional extras and accessories – and even the base material you choose to use.
If you’re having a new lawn put in, looking at budget options can be a great move if the space won’t be trampled by children or pets which means you don’t need to choose more hard-wearing, expensive turf.
On the same subject, if you have the time and are willing to tend to your garden, opting for grass seed is an extremely cost-effective way of transforming your garden – you just won’t have an immediate overhaul, but it’ll pay dividends in the long run.
Whether or not your garden needs extensive preparation to be ready for new structures can impact your project price. If your garden is particularly overgrown, needing tree surgery as well as excavating and levelling, expect to put aside a fair amount of money to have your preparatory work done before your landscapers set their eyes on your new fittings.
If you have the time and are able to, getting as much preparatory work done before your tradesmen come in will help to trim down your costs as you won’t be paying a premium for their labour.
Labour Costs, Timeframes and Seasons
Some factors out of your control can affect your garden landscaping, such as bad weather which can push projects on indefinitely. This can particularly affect jobs that rely on dry ground to make sure foundations and sub-bases are installed correctly and can’t be carried out until the weather improves.
This has the potential of knocking jobs from the off-peak season into peak season, driving your costs up as your landscapers will be in more demand. It’s best to have your landscapers in during the autumn and winter months as they’ll be in less demand, and you can negotiate prices during their quiet seasons.
Labour costs tend to be around £100 to £200 but this will vary depending on the size of the project and the amount of work needed.
Simply put, the location you live in can have a direct impact on your costs. If you’re in a hard-to-reach area, or somewhere requiring parking permits for building vehicles such as central London, you can expect to pay more for labour than you would somewhere where you have good access that doesn’t require a permit.
Finally, rubbish removal and skip hire will usually be included in your initial quote, but if you think you’re up to it you can offer to remove any debris yourself. This might require a few trips back and forth from the local tip, but if you’re willing to put in the time it can pay off when looking at your final project invoice.
A medium skip tends to cost between £200 to £250 per week, and a large skip will cost between £250 to £340 to hire.
How Can I Save Money on Landscaping for My Garden?
If you’re on a budget, try to limit the number of components in your project and do as much as you can yourself. Things like site preparation like removing debris and old turf, as well as clearing space for tradesmen to park while they’re working on your site can help to cut their labour time down and hopefully save you money on your fees.
Quite a few of the landscaping jobs mentioned previously can be done yourself. If you’re planning a larger job, consolidating these smaller tasks can help to trim down your overall costs by delegating the expert-level services to the tradesmen, and leaving anything else to yourself.
After taking some time to get your garden design just right, break the project down into manageable chunks and decide which bits you’ll need to get landscapers in to help with. For example, you might be confident in putting in a simple shingle garden path, but want help with your tree pruning.
This means jobs like tree felling are left to the professionals, which helps to keep both your site and yourself safe during your project, while you save money on the jobs you can do yourself.
Using a quote generator like HouseholdQuotes can help to reduce your overall costs by 40% when searching for a tradesman, which is a worthwhile endeavour, whatever the size of your project.
What Are Some Cheap Gardening and Landscaping Ideas?
If you don’t fancy taking on your entire garden, there are some quick wins to be had that’ll bring some life into your space while keeping costs (and labour time) low.
Clear Your Garden
One of the simplest ideas is to clear your garden. This means those weeds you’ve been meaning to remove for weeks on end finally leave your ground, as well as any dead or diseased plants or shrubs.
If you have a particularly deciduous tree that’s shed multiple leaves, rake them up and put them into the compost bin. Similarly, if your turf has seen better days and is beyond repair, digging it up and making the soil ready for either some new seed or turves can help to rejuvenate a tired space.
With any garden waste, make sure you check in with friends or neighbours who might want extra soil or hardcore for their projects, so your materials don’t just end up as waste.
Sow Grass from Seed
The most cost-effective garden makeover comes from grass seed. It takes longer and requires more effort than laying turves, but for the price you pay it’s a great budget-friendly option.
You can ward off interested wildlife with silver strips that billow in the wind, and as long as you’re watering it correctly and taking good care of it while it’s germinating, you’ll have a lush lawn within a few months.
It’s best to sow the seeds during mid-spring and in early autumn, to avoid the harsh temperatures of winter and summer when the soil will get dry and inhibit growth.
Buying new plants from garden centres is convenient, but it’s not the most cost-effective when looking to renovate your garden on a budget.
Instead, you can look to buy seeds and bulbs for flowers, and use old pots, jars, bottles – even teacups! – as your planters instead of buying brand new ones each time you want a different plant.
Propagating existing plants is a great way to increase the breadth of a plant, and if a friend or a family member has something in their garden that you like the look of, asking for a cutting can be a great way to remove the cost of buying seeds altogether.
Like propagating, joining a seed swap or exchange group can be a great way to add new flowers or vegetables to your garden for free. Sometimes you mightn’t use an entire packet of seeds, and instead of letting them go to waste, they can find a new home with someone else – and at the same time, you can pick up something new in return.
Add Some Gravel
Gravel is both affordable and can add interest to your garden. It’s much cheaper than block paving or timber decking, so for an interim solution (or a long-term if you prefer the look of it), adding in a gravel path or area can change up the style of a tired space quickly and easily.
Unlike decking or paving, there’s not too much preparation required, but do make sure you put down a weed membrane to help ward off any pesky weeds that might want to find their way through your gravel and give you an endless weeding task.
Bags of gravel can be purchased at local DIY stores for between £3 to £10 per bag, depending on size.
Fresh Coat of Paint
If your existing fence panels or shed are fine in terms of their stability and age, then you can switch up the style by painting them or adding a new varnish to change the look and feel entirely.
Changing a bright orange timber to a simple whitewash can bring light into a dark garden, or for an expansive space with little definition, changing the colour of your garden shed to a deeper wash can help to give a focal point and ground the space.
They might not be your first thought but adding fairy lights or solar-powered spotlights can be a great way of adding a bit of interest to an area. Perhaps you have a large fence panel near an existing seating area that casts a shadow at night – draping some fairy lights can add both interest and some much-needed illumination.
You can also mark out your pathways with solar-powered lamps to make them usable at night, perfect for late-night barbeques in the hot summer months.
Fairy lights can be purchased from £5 to £20 depending on the type of fairy light.
Add a Bird Feeder
If your garden is lacking in wildlife, adding in a bird feeder is a sure-fire way of enticing some winged life into your space. These are affordable and can be filled with cheap seeds or nuts and can help to feed nearby wildlife while creating a lovely distraction for you to look at during the course of the day when winged or bushy-tailed creatures come to pay you a visit.
Do I Need a Landscape Designer and How Much Do They Charge?
If you’re stuck for ideas, and want a helping hand with your garden, enlisting the services of a landscape designer can be the solution. Especially if you have a larger than average space, professional support can help to show you what will grow well together and add points of interest across your space.
It’s important to remember that you’ll be getting a custom garden that no one else has, which can cause expensive fees. But, each designer will bring their unique style, and you’ll get a one-off garden customised to your needs.
Some garden designers can charge hourly fees, between £60 to £200 depending on their skill level and the area they’re working in. Others can charge a project fee, which will differ depending on the size of your garden and the scope of your plans.
When considering if a designer is right for you, it’s good to wager how much monetary value the renovation will add to your property’s value and take that into consideration when looking at someone’s overall price as sometimes it can be offset by the return on investment.
Do I Need Planning Permission for My Project?
This is answered on a case-by-case basis, with some larger projects requiring planning permission.
In most cases, if you’re replacing something like-for-like, such as an existing fence, decking or patio you won’t need planning permission. The exceptions to these cases happen when new projects are bigger than what was previously in place, or if they exceed certain dimensions.
If you’re planning to have new features installed where they haven’t been previously, it’s always best to check the Planning Portal’s legislation before committing to a job to make sure you’re not doing something you shouldn’t. You can view the most common projects here.
How Do I Find and Hire a Landscape Designer or Landscape Gardener?
First, it’s best to seek recommendations from family, friends, and neighbours. Asking if they’ve had any recent experiences with similar tradespeople can be a great way to ensure the people you’re working with are vetted and of good quality, which can be hard to ascertain from a web page alone.
If no one has had similar work done, consider looking at professional associations to find accredited practitioners for your project. If you’re working with a garden designer, they may come with their preferred team, which will help your decision-making process – but be wary as these situations can also be more expensive and in some cases, the designers may refuse to work with any other team than their chosen one.
Finally, using HouseholdQuotes is a great way to make sure your quote prices are as low as possible while making sure the professionals are of a good standard and able to complete your project.
Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
Obtaining a written quote is the best first step in the negotiation process as it helps you to compare prices across different professionals to find the right deal for you. If you’re willing to do some preparation work yourself or remove waste, make sure you let this be known up-front so that can be taken off your initial quotes.
As with hiring anyone for a job, finding out their experience and asking for references should be straightforward, and if the tradesmen are reputable then this shouldn’t cause any issues. If someone isn’t willing to give this information up, consider it a red flag and look at alternative suppliers instead.
Finally, depending on the project your tradesmen will require different levels of insurance. Asking for proof of insurance, or their health and safety policy will help to weed out any potential cowboy traders from the mix and help to ensure your project runs as smoothly as possible.
Deciding to give your garden an overhaul can seem like a daunting project, but it doesn’t have to be when you hire the right professionals to guide your choices.
Here’s our final checklist to keep in mind when taking on your garden project:
- Take stock of your current garden. Is there anything you can remove yourself to improve the space, such as dead leaves, shrubs or fallen branches?
- Think about what might improve the area. Do you long for a seating area for socialising, or would you prefer a vegetable bed to tend to some crops?
- See what preparation you can do yourself. If the ground is particularly uneven, or if existing turf has died, consider removing it yourself before your professionals come in to help cut down on labour costs
- Get in touch with tradespeople using HouseholdQuotes to help keep your quotes as low as possible, while ensuring their quality of work
- Once your labour costs are in, see what materials might be best for your intended use. If a hard-wearing timber decking is best, see where you can trim costs in other places such as agreeing to remove all wastage yourself if possible
- See if you can book in the professionals during off-peak seasons to help reduce your costs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the Difference Between Landscaping and Gardening?
Gardening is the act of tending to plants, flowers, and other natural items. Landscaping is the act of building new structures or excavating, such as removing old turf and adding in new materials to build a timber deck, for instance.
What’s the Difference Between Hard and Soft Landscaping?
Hard landscaping involves ‘hard’ materials, such as paving stones, timber decking and fence panels. Soft landscaping involves ‘soft’ materials, such as shrubs, plants and soil.