Answering some of the answers most frequently asked of the SilverBirch Gardens team.
What does landscaping cost?
Landscaping costs are very much unique to each garden we work on. It depends on a lot of things: The materials you choose, the complexity of the design, the size of the area you need landscaping, whether the site is sloping, and how easy it is to get landscaping machinery into the space.
For a more detailed breakdown of potential landscaping costs, take a look at this article.
Do I need a garden designer?
Simple garden renovations such as lifting and relaying a patio might be achievable without the help of a garden designer. However, most garden makeovers will need a professionally produced layout plan.
A garden design ensures that you and your landscaper are both expecting the same results at the end of the project. It enables your landscaper to quote for the work accurately. And it makes sure that your new project complies with the planning and safety regulations for your area.
Dan at SilverBirch Gardens is a garden designer AND a landscaper. He can offer a full garden design and build service to make the project runs as smoothly as possible.
Do I need planning permission for my garden makeover?
In some instances, yes, you will need planning permission. Your garden designer or landscaper will be able to advise but it’s wise to check with your local planning authority just to be sure.
You are likely to need planning permission if your garden makeover involves any of these
- Impermeable surfaces spanning 5 square metres or more (careful choice of materials will negate the need for planning)
- A new dropped kerb so that you can access your garden from the road
- Any changes to the drainage system
- Garden buildings with a footprint of 15 square metres or more and over a certain height
- Any areas raised more than 30cm above the ground. Eg decking
- If any of the trees in your garden have a protection order on them
- Changes to the landscaping of a listed building
- Fences over 1m high beside a road or path and fences over 2m high elsewhere
To clarify any local planning requirements, visit the planning portal.
What is the best time to landscape my garden?
Here in Somerset, landscaping works can usually be carried out all year round.
If you have a target date for completion eg in time for a special event, or if you specifically want to avoid mess and noise at a certain time of year, then please discuss this with your landscaper as soon as possible.
How do I know if a landscaper is trustworthy?
It’s a tricky thing – inviting somebody to work on your property, possibly while you are not at home too. You need to really trust your landscaper’s character! You also need confidence in their ability to turn a heap of aggregates and soil into something that is beautiful AND safe.
Choosing a landscaper who is a member of a trade organisation such as the APL is a good start. APL members are regularly assessed on their landscaping skills and on their business practice.
More guidance in this article from 2019 – it’s full of timeless advice.
Will it take a long time to build my new garden?
Trust me, if you have chosen the right landscaper for your project, your new garden will be worth the wait.
Reputable landscapers often have a waiting list of anywhere between 3 and 12 months and this will be explained to you before you sign any contracts. As for the build itself -well, that all depends on what you have planned. Again – your landscaper will be able to give you a good estimate….not least because his quotation will be based on materials and man-hours.
Can I change my mind about the design once work has begun?
Your garden will literally be built from the ground up. Once the footings and the sub base are in, it will, of course, be more difficult to make changes. But nothing is impossible although your landscaper will probably need to revise the pricing for the job.
If you have doubts, ask for a 3D render of your garden design before work starts. That way you will be able to visualise your space and how you might use it. It’s cheaper to tweak the design than change your garden part way through the build.
Changing standard spec materials or colour schemes is a little easier – providing they haven’t been installed it’s not difficult to swap. If there are any bespoke elements to the design, such as specially produced steps or stone features, it will be difficult and potentially expensive to change.
Bear in mind that you may have to wait some time for new materials to be delivered, particularly if they are being imported from abroad.
Is landscaping work covered by a warranty?
Warranties for materials and workmanship differ between landscaping companies and should be covered in the written contract you sign before work begins. At SilverBirch Gardens we do our best to make sure that every single customer is delighted with their new gardens but we cannot be held responsible for client mistakes like forgetting to water their new turf, or walking on their patio before grouting has set properly.
The blog section of our website is crammed full of information on all aspects of landscaping and garden design. Please take a look, and if you need help with a garden makeover in Bridgewater and the surrounding areas, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.