Gardeners Blog

How to Decide Whether to Use a Landscape Gardener or a Builder

When you are about to embark on a landscaping project that will involve hard landscaping such as walls, paving, fences and water features who would you call?

Maybe you are having or have just had an extension built by a builder who has done a fantastic job in building a two storey extension, I know I will ask him to quote and perhaps a couple of landscape gardeners too.

I hear this story time and time again to such a point I will not quote for a job if I am competing alongside a builder, why is that I might hear you ask???

Every time I have submitted my quote in direct competition the builder have always come out cheaper and this is nine times out of ten what the client excepts as they believe it is value for money.

Most builders do not submit a quote they submit an estimate, so what I hear you say again, well a quote is a fixed price and cannot be added to without written authorisation from the client and agreement with the contractor and this will usually be for added work to the original quote. An estimate is what is says an estimate of what the builder (or even landscapers) thinks it is going to cost. So when you compare all quotes and estimate and there is a huge difference you need to ask the question WHY??? I have had differences of a few hundred pounds up to tens of thousands of pounds. I hear the same old phrase which is “oh that was not included in the estimate” and then the cost starts to escalate and before you know it you are probably spending the same if not more than the landscapers quote.

Why else would you think it’s important to hire a landscaper over a builder, the answer is landscapers undergo a lot of training to lay paving, build walls, water features and put up fencing, turfing, planting, garden lighting and all other features involved in creating beautiful gardens. Not many builders are aware that random paving should never run for more than four paving units before the joint is broken or have joints that cause cross road type effects (targets). I have even seen a design I created built by a builder, due to being much cheaper, lay the whole terrace of Indian sandstone, and wait for it, UPSIDE DOWN!!!

We haven’t even started on plant names etc; there are many reasons why you should use a landscaper over a builder. When you are going to create a stunning outside living space make sure it is done professionally, looks fantastic and you never have to do it again.

Ask yourself one more question would you ask a Landscape Gardener to quote to build your extension or loft conversion???

Thanks for taking the time read this article.

Paul Bentley
MSGD MBALI ARB

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