Your garden isn’t just an area outside your home; used right, it’s an extension of your home. Your garden should be an area for relaxation and entertaining, that adds comfort and value to your home. If you decide your garden needs a makeover, you can relax knowing that it will be money well spent, but how do you figure out how much it’s going to cost you, and how much you should spend?
Don’t Just Cost Out Paving Slabs
If you have ever bought carpeting you will know that the cost of the Wilton or Axminster is not the whole story, far from it. Good carpeting needs good quality underlay, gripper track and careful fitting by skilled fitters. None of that is cheap. It is the same with gardens.
What lies beneath your paving, decking, and other areas and the preparation required is where a large portion of your budget will go. If you want your grass to grow or your artificial lawn, patio, driveway, or decking to drain well and look as good as when it is first laid for years to come, then you need to ensure the groundworks are correctly undertaken.
Whatever you spend on the surface is usually about a third of the overall cost. Think about what is involved in building the perfect patio.
The first step in any new patio project is to install an adequate sub-base. This will involve excavating the existing surface. The excavations will then need to be disposed of in an appropriate manner. Often vai skip or grab lorry.
Then a new sub-base typically consisting of 100-150m of MOT Type 1, on top of a layer of weed membrane will need to be installed. The sub-base is a crucial part of the longevity of any patio or paved surface.
Without this preparation, your project is likely doomed to fail. You can’t build castles on sand and you can’t build a patio without putting in the time and effort.
So don’t underestimate the cost of groundworks and installation and remember to factor in things like earth removal. You may be surprised how much earth needs to be disposed of from even the average-sized garden if a serious remodelling takes place.
Groundworks are the literal foundation of your garden providing a suitable platform for the gloss of hard and soft landscaping. It might not be visible when the garden is finished, but this foundation is vital for the long-lasting success of the project and well worth spending the money on to get it right.
It might not be fun to think about, but you’ll be glad you spent the money when your neighbour’s garden turns into a puddle after heavy rain, and yours doesn’t!
Budget for Quality on the Surface
The surface is the easy part to budget for, though there are lots of alternatives to consider. Take your time before you get quotes to browse online, think about what you want your garden to look like, and the approximate cost of each option. Ideally, have a few different looks or finishes in mind so you can be open to the expert advice of your landscaping company. We also highly recommend visiting local landscaping and builders merchants to actually view the vast array of materials available in the flesh. Pictures are all well and good but they don’t always give a true reflection of the materials appearance. We’re also able to supply samples of most materials that you can actually take home to help you visualise how they might look in your garden setting.
Prioritise Low Maintenance
Unless you’re incredibly green-fingered and know that your garden makeover will largely be focused on flower beds and shrubs, make sure you prioritise a low maintenance garden as you budget. If you want to include flower beds, consider raised flowerbeds made with railway sleepers, and consider using an artificial lawn instead of turf. This will make your life far easier in the long run, and low maintenance gardens are what the majority of homebuyers are looking for so you’ll also increase the value of your home if you decide to sell.
Gather Quotes and Use Them as a Guide
An estimate on the back of an envelope after a cursory look around your garden is not good enough for a final quote. The one thing you can guarantee about an estimate like that is that it is likely to be under the final cost, so make sure you have a buffer in the bank to allow for this. That said, an experienced company will be able to give you an accurate and honest quote and keep you in the loop as the project progresses. Use your quotes as a guide and then finalise your quote when you settle on a design with your chosen landscaping company.
At SE Landscapes, we always use fixed price quotations, so there are no hidden surprises!
The Cheapest Quote is Not Always the Best Quote
The saying “you get what you pay for” is often true. The best companies are rarely the cheapest, but they have garnered a good reputation for a reason. They will have the resources to take the project from design to completion and leave you 100% satisfied with the high standard of workmanship and the quality of materials used.
In Essex? We’re Here to Help
SE Landscapes are the leading landscaping contractor in Essex providing expertise in all areas of garden remodelling, from patios to artificial grass, decking to brickwork. We pride ourselves on our customer service and know that the best form of advertising is personal referral.
Your new garden should be a lasting pleasure, somewhere you can entertain and relax whenever the weather takes you for decades to come. With the right preparation, budgeting, and professionals, your dream garden can soon become a reality.
Request your free consultation today.