How Much Does Landscaping Cost?
This is what the experts told us
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Are you looking to renovate your garden? Are you dreaming of a professionally landscaped garden as shown in magazines and on makeover shows?
I’ve worked with designers and professional landscaping firms for years, and I know that most of them estimate how much the work will cost by using a per square metre calculation. On this page, I’ll show you how much I think landscaping costs and what you can expect at the different price ranges.
The prices I’ve suggested are based on my experience as a project manager and figures given to me by a selection of landscaping experts from around the UK in early 2023.
A beautiful, professionally-created garden doesn’t have to cost the earth, but having a realistic idea of how much the project will cost is essential, whatever your budget is.
Use This Calculator
If math isn’t your strong point, use this calculator to determine how many square metres of garden you have.
The calculator can be used to work out the size of irregular-shaped gardens as well as circular, square and rectangular spaces.
Just take the measurements in your garden from boundary to boundary.
£30-£40 Per Square Metre (The DIY Option)
Based on my experience in project managing and gardening in general, at around £30-£40 per square metre, the competent DIYer will have sufficient funds to:
- Lay a patio themselves using basic materials.
- Level and seed a lawn.
- Build basic flowerbeds to the edges of the garden.
- Fill the beds with perennials.
- Paint fences.
- Clean and seal any existing driveways, patios or paths.
At this price range, I don’t believe that there will be sufficient funds for large-scale excavation, waste clearance or more expensive materials or plants. Neither will there be enough money to bring in a professional firm to do any of the work.
£50-£60 Per Square Metre
I’ve worked with clients at this price range and at £50-£60 per square metre, my experience tells me you can hire a professional landscaper to do basic garden clearance of lightweight waste, install a new lawn from seed, lay plenty of plants, most of which will be common perennials and young shrubs and carry out some renovation of the existing “hard” landscape items such as:
- Painting existing fences.
- Cleaning and sealing existing driveways/patios.
- Staining existing decking.
The £50-£60 price range is the minimum you can expect to pay for a landscaped garden, but based on the projects I’ve seen and have been involved in, I’m sure that the focus will be on the green items such as lawns and flowerbeds and most of the plants used won’t be established but will be young. There won’t be sufficient funds to lay expensive patios, driveways or replace all of the fences, for example.
£100-£125 Per Square Metre
I feel that this is a more realistic price range for a professionally landscaped, yet from projects I’ve seen completed, it’s still a somewhat basic garden.
At £100-£125 per square metre, you can expect a new lawn, artificial grass, more expensive plants and more of the “hard” items such as:
- Raised flowerbeds.
- A small rockery.
- Basic BBQ construction.
The £100-£125 per square metre price range is very much the going rate for a renovated garden where the owner still wants to keep a lid on the cost.
This price also includes funds to remove and dispose of some heavier waste such as old patios, decking and fencing, etc.
£175-£200 Per Square Metre
At this price range, I’ve seen projects completed where more of the space was allocated to “hard” aspects of landscaping surrounded by more expensive plants. At £175-£200 per square metre, my experience tells me you can expect:
- More extensive excavation/levelling.
- Split-level patios and decking with better materials such as hardwood.
- Low level walls.
- More brickwork.
- Basic garden water features.
- Larger rockeries.
- Mood lighting.
- Ornamental long grasses, plants and small trees as features.
- Extensive border planting of perennials and shrubs.
- Handrails for decking or patio areas.
- Brick BBQ construction.
I’ve previously worked on a few projects where the price range was £250-£350 per square metre, and the finished projects had much of the above, plus pergolas, canopies, decorative fence panels, cast iron finishings such as handrails, metal gates, more extensive mood lighting, more extensive built-in outdoor cooking areas, larger trees, multi-level sections within the garden etc.
What’s Not Included in The Price Ranges?
I’m confident that the items listed within the price ranges should give you a good idea of what to expect for your budget, but there are a few notable exclusions:
Fencing – I haven’t included the cost of replacing fences in this list because I know how much it can to the project and in 2022/23 the cost of fence panels skyrocketed.
For example, a 10m wide x 8m long garden could need up to 21 fence panels at around £140 each supplied and installed. That adds a whopping £3000 to the cost.
Boundary brickwork – while the price ranges in my guide include brickwork for flowerbeds, steps, paths and the like, they don’t include the construction of boundary walls, for the same reason as fences; they’re costly, and not everyone needs to replace their boundary fence/wall.
I haven’t included any of these either, primarily because they are difficult to estimate:
Garden Design Fees – This is How Much The Experts Charge
I’ve worked as a project manager on many small, medium and even large developments, and I know that landscape designers charge percentage fees on a sliding scale which depends on the budget for the project.
I got in touch with 14 designers I’ve previously worked with and asked them how much they currently charge.
This is what they told me (the figures are averages):
Small garden projects with a limited budget: 20%.
Most projects: 10-15%
Larger projects: 8-10%.
These prices are in line with my first-hand experience working with designers over the last ten years.
My landscape gardening price ranges on this page do not include garden design fees.
If you’ve never worked with a garden designer before; they will provide you with detailed specifications for everything from planting layouts to materials and drainage.
Here is an image of a typical planting plan:
Image from Simon Orchard Garden Designs
More Prices Per Square Metre For Garden Landscaping Projects
The price ranges on this page are very insightful, and I’ve done my best to ensure they are as accurate as possible.
However, if you’re wondering how much individual items cost per square metre (fully installed and including labour), here they are:
Patio (basic) – £75 per ㎡
Patio (average) – £90 per ㎡
Patio (premium) – £150 per ㎡
Decking (basic to premium) – £100 – £225 per ㎡
Prep and gravel driveway – £60+ per ㎡
Prep and block driveway – £90 – £120 per ㎡
Prep and lay lawn by grass seed – £15 per ㎡
Prep and lay lawn by turfing – £20 per ㎡
Prep and lay artificial grass – £75 to £85 per ㎡
Fence panels – £140 per bay
Planting (basic) – £50 – £60 per ㎡
Planting (denser, more established or more expensive plants) – £80 – £100 per ㎡
The Final Verdict: My Opinion
Landscaping is a catch-all term that can include hundreds of items, from plants and turf to patio slabs and drainage.
Based on my experience in this industry, DIY landscaping with a focus on the soft aspects will cost around £30-40 per square metre.
I also believe that at the £100-£125 per square metre range, you can expect a professionally created but somewhat basic garden.
At the £200 per square metre range, I’m sure you can expect more space to be allocated to hard aspects such as walls, patios, decking, water features and lighting.
The figures displayed are based on my past experience in landscaping and more recently, as a project manager, where I worked with professional landscapers and designers.
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Author: Daniel Woodley
In his spare time, Daniel enjoys gardening, hiking and scrambling. He frequently posts videos to his popular YouTube Channel and is well known in the hiking community.