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How much does it cost?

We contacted Which? Local-recommended traders to find out how much standard jobs should cost and how quickly they should be completed. Armed with this information, you’ll feel confident about hiring traders and be better equipped to spot when things aren't right.

Issue 8 - Gardeners and landscape designers: how much should you pay?


We surveyed recommended gardeners and landscape designers to find out how much you should spend on 12 common jobs and how long they should take to complete.

Orange flowers

We asked Which? Local-recommended gardeners and landscape designers to complete a survey about the cost and completion time for 12 standard gardening and landscape designing jobs.

Armed with this information, you'll know what questions to ask, roughly what price you can expect to pay and how long jobs should take when hiring a gardener or landscape designer.

Gardening prices and completion times

All of our prices include labour and materials but exclude VAT.

JobDetailsTypical price quotedPrice rangeTypical time to complete job
Survey conducted in July 2012.
Mow lawnMow lawn approx 20m x 10m. Cost of doing job once, but based on a regular weekly job. £30£20-£351 hour
Lay a patioLay a patio approx 4m x 2m of basic, square paving slabs. Assumption that ground is currently laid to lawn and flat.£800£625-£1,0501-2 days
Remove existing patio and lay to lawnRemove a paved patio of 4m x 2m. Replace with lawn.£475£350-£6611-2 days
Build a decked areaBuild a decked area in a garden. 2.5m x 4m. Assume area is flat and currently laid to lawn. £880£700-£1,0501-2 days
Build a garden shedBuild an 8' x 6' shiplap shed. Shed purchased by customer. Working on the assumption that flat base is already in place.£150£100-£1760.5–1 day
Build a garden fenceConstruct a garden fence with ten 6' x 5' panels including posts and capping. Includes price of labour plus all materials.£760£635-£9001-2 days
Create two raised beds (1.5m x 4m) for vegetable patchAssuming that ground is currently laid to lawn.n/a£215-£6751–2 days
Build a small rockeryIncluding rocks and plants.£350£220-£4001 day
Build a shingle garden pathBuild a shingle path, approx 1m x 6m.n/a£200-£5000.5–1 day
Build a garden pondIncludes digging the hole, lining and filling a pond of approximately 1.5m diameter.£507£400-£7131-2 days
Bring an overgrown garden back to lifeWeed, prune and mow an overgrown garden left untended for more than a year. Garden approximately 20m x 10m – assuming it is currently laid to lawn with shrub borders on three sides. Dispose of all waste.£450£260-£750 (depending on type of shrubs to be removed and amount of waste to dispose of)1–3 days (depending on type and volume of shrubs)
Trim garden hedge Assuming existing hedge is approximately 10m long and 2m high. Needs trimming on top and both sides.£90£66-£1152–4 hours

Gardening jobs: trader tips

Research methodology

In July 2012 we sent a survey to all Which? Local traders in the Gardeners and landscaping category with a rating of three stars or more and an email address.

21 gardeners and landscape designers responded to the survey. Using their experience and expertise, they answered questions about the cost of popular gardening jobs, and how long they should take to complete.

Read more about the methodology

In addition to the pricing and completion time information, the recommended gardeners who participated in our survey also shared some helpful advice.

Job: remove patio and lay to lawn
There will be a lot of waste to get rid of, so make sure traders have factored this into their quote. Most traders we surveyed said that they would hire a skip and include this in their price.

Job: lay a patio
Make sure that your quote includes removal of excess soil (unless you want to use it elsewhere in your garden).

A good patio should be built on a solid base of hardcore, sand or cement. Be wary of traders saying that they can do a quick job. They might be trying to lay slabs straight onto soil, which would not be a quality job.

Job: mow lawn
Most traders said that their price would include strimming, edging and waste disposal so check that this is included in any quotes that you get.

As this is a relatively small job, some traders might apply a minimum charge. It might be more cost efficient to get them to do other gardening work while they are there.



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