How much should a garden cost?

Many of us look at inspirational, beautiful designer gardens or RHS flower show gardens and hope to re-create the look in our own outside space. However many starting out to transform their gardens don’t really know how much to budget for or how to get started. Here are some common questions answered:

How much should a garden cost?

My experience is that most people underestimate what a new garden will cost. How much should your budget for? This depends on your budget and what you hope to acheive. For a great garden , it is recommended that you should estimate £100 as a minimum per square metre of garden. This may sound like a lot to invest but beautiful garden can cost as much to build as a new kitchen.

Do I need a garden designer?

If want to give your garden a completely new look, it is  worthwhile hiring an experienced, fully qualified garden designer to help. They’ll help you to make the most out of your space and budget. The cost of a designer is much smaller that the overall cost of building a new garden and is a worthwhile investment to get the most from your outside space. By hiring a garden designer who is a registered member of the Society of Garden Designers you can be confident of getting the best service and expertise.

Do I need a landscaper?

If you are doing garden construction you will need a landscaper. They will take the garden design, including elements such as garden levels, hard landscaping, power and lighting requirements, water access, planting plan and so on from the garden designer and will  complete the build work in your garden. We recommend that you hire members of the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL). All members are inspected annually and must adhere to professional standards to ensure they provide you with a high standard and a professional service.

4 Replies to “How much should a garden cost?”

  1. I have been a garden designer for over 10 years and budget is a subject which has been a constant battle .

    My view of a garden designers role is to maximise the appeal and usage of the garden and create an ultimate ACHIEVABLE vision for a client.

    Implementing an entire scheme is a costly business and we should make this clear from the outset. I like to high light comparative cost of the garden against a room in the house.
    I understand that it is a lot easier to justify spending money inside than outside. This may be down to the weather in the UK and the actual percentage of time we spend in the garden but as you say a good garden really sells a property and I have personally found improves family life and well-being which you can not put a price on !

    My tips for everyone would be :

    • decide the length of time you are aiming to stay in the property

    • be realistic about cost, if budget is tight for the size of garden, remember its better to have an ultimate goal /plan than spend money without direction (it will only cost more in the end)

    • employ a Garden designer to clarify the direction and ultimate goal

    •Look around at designers and make sure you find one who VISUALISES their ideas properly and LISTENS to YOU! ( if you find out years down the line the their vision wasn’t yours then it is a waste)

    • think of a design as options and prioritise your needs

    • plan the stages wisely as the wrong order could be costly !

    • you say “but I don’t use the garden” with the right design and layout and with elements which are designed personally for you … you will use and enjoy the garden much more

    1. Thanks Marc, and what do you suggest customers budget for their garden costs? Is there a guideline price per sq meter? Perhaps it is different for different types of garden – say roof terrace, wildlife garden etc.

  2. Nicola, I think you are not far off suggesting a £100/sqm price tag for a designed garden to be built, but I would suggest that that figure does not include the design fee. Personally I think that an absolute mimimum figure of £5000 for a very simple and small garden would be hard to achieve and I certainly wouldn’t touch anything with a smaller budget. I agree that most people have no idea what budget to allocate for their ambitions and most would swallow hard when we give them a reality check.
    There is of course the client who just wants the design to be built und add up the cost later. It takes all sorts…

    1. Thanks Heike, for the comments. How much should customers budget for the garden design fee and any other project management fees?

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