There are many reasons why you should hire a landscaper instead of relying on your own DIY skills for a garden makeover. Here are just 10 of them.
- Design tips: Landscapers are full of ideas that you might not have considered.
- Technical expertise – ensuring structures and surfaces are robust enough to do their job properly.
- Cost saving. Teaching yourself new skills as you go along (and making mistakes) could prove more expensive than hiring a professional.
- A good understanding of CDM regulations is essential – are you up to speed?
- The quality of work from an experienced landscaper gives a superior level of finish
- More choice of materials – landscapers know exactly where to source the best products at the best prices.
- Get the job done quicker – no back breaking work for the next 52 weekends – let the landscapers take the strain and have the project finished in no time.
- Right tools for the job – a DIY’er might need to go to the expense of buying or hiring specialist equipment. Landscapers already have everything they need.
- Budget control. Ask your landscaper to work to a quote and know exactly what your garden should cost.
- Horticultural expertise….make sure you choose and place your plants carefully
Professional Landscapers Can Help You Make More Of Your Garden
Professional garden designers and landscapers have lots of ideas to make your garden unique, beautiful and perfect for you.
In many cases, you will need a professionally created garden design for your project, however, for a small garden or a simple makeover, your landscaper can help you to formulate a plan.
You will probably have lots of ideas for your garden layout, but I can almost guarantee that your landscaper will be able to suggest different solutions to your problems.
In any garden there will be problems to solve. Maybe it is overlooked by neighbours, has one corner that never seems to dry out, is on a slope, suffers from road noise ….. the list goes on. An experienced landscaper will have come across (and solved) these problems before. He or she will be able to suggest practical and cost effective design ideas that will work for you.
Don’t Underestimate The Technical Knowledge Needed To Build A Garden
A patio is not just a patio. It is carefully laid for rainwater management, stability, longevity, frost resistance, safety and much more. Likewise a raised deck is more than a few planks nailed together. The decking support joists need to be the right size and spacing to be able to support you, your guests, your furniture and more. Get it wrong and there could be a nasty accident.
If your garden is sloping or if you are building platforms at different levels you may need retaining walls. These need careful engineering – they have to hold back a lot of heavy soil.
Pergolas and garden structures must be able to stand up in heavy winds, support their own roofs and possibly the weight of climbing plants too. To say nothing of anyone leaning against them.
Landscapers are brickies, carpenters, tilers and plumbers as well as understanding lighting systems, plants, trees, planning regulations and more. It takes years to accumulate all of this knowledge.
It takes many years of practice and training to be able to complete landscaping work to a really high standard
Can You Actually Save Money If You Hire A Landscaper?
Hiring a professional landscaper – as opposed to somebody who just calls themselves a landscaper, is potentially cheaper than either attempting the work yourself or engaging a rogue trade. Imagine spending thousands of pounds on materials and putting lots of time into a project only for it to fail. That’s expensive!
As you learn landscaping skills, things get wasted or broken. That’s all par for the course. But it also increases your costs. Break a few pavers as you try to trim them to size and all of a sudden that’s another £100 gone….not great! An experienced landscaper will normally get it right first time. And if they don’t, then they’re working to a quote, it’s on their head not yours.
It may feel as though hiring a landscaper costs a lot of money, but try to think of your garden makeover as an investment that will last for year. If it’s done well, it won’t need any major repairs for at least 15-20 years. And for a well laid patio, you’re taking about decades of use without any bother whatsoever.
I guess it’s a bit like buying cars. Buy an old banger and the purchase price won’t hurt you too much, but the cost (and the inconvenience) of frequent repairs will quickly start to rack up. On the other hand, buy a newer model and it will cost you more in the first instance but be a lot cheaper to keep on the road.
CDM Regulations – Ignore Them At Your Peril
The Construction Design and Management Regulations (2015) are all about taking responsibility for Health and Safety on site. They apply to landscaping just as much as construction and involve being able to plan and manage a project so that it is as safe as possible.
When you hire a landscaper, you can appoint them as Principal Contractor and that means that all responsibility for compliance with CDM Regulations passes to the landscaper. You won’t have to worry about it any more. And in the unlikely event that there is an accident during your garden makeover, it won’t be you who needs to answer to the Health and Safety Executive.
Honestly – it’s worth hiring a landscaper just to give yourself peace of mind.
Quality of Workmanship
If you’ve ever watched TV Programs like The Great British Bake Off or Sewing Bee, you will probably have noticed how the contestants’ work improves as the series continues. They are learning from experience and rookie mistakes are less likely to happen towards the end of the competition than at the beginning.
Landscaping works on the same principals. The more you do, the better you get. If you want a high standard of finish on your garden makeover, hire a landscaper with as much experience as possible. Ideally, choose a Company that is a member of the APL. APL members’ work is regularly vetted for its quality.
Get The Job Done Quicker
Don’t be fooled by TV Garden Makeover programmes. They are very heavily edited and more often than not the clock starts once the garden has been cleared. There’s no way that anyone can complete a top quality garden refurb in just 3 days. Especially not by someone who is inexperienced and possibly not as physically fit as somebody who is landscaping 6 days a week, 48 weeks a year. (Yes, landscapers have holidays too!)
When you start a major garden project you have two choices. You can do the work yourself learning the skills as you go and waking up with sore muscles for days afterwards. OR you can hire a landscaper who will work faster, more efficiently and get the job done quicker.
Hiring a landscaper normally means that they will start work on an appointed date, and keep on working until the project is finished. No digging up the garden and leaving holes all over it until you have time to tackle the next phase of the work. No spending every weekend working on the garden when you could be having fun somewhere else. And no running backwards and forwards to the builders merchants every time you miscalculate quantities or inadvertently break or waste stuff.
When you hire a landscaper he or she will provide all of the equipment needed to get the work done quickly – you don’t need to go the the expense of buying or hiring tools.
Project Management And Project Costs
When you hire a landscaper you are passing on the responsibility for project management and for managing the budget. Most landscapers work on a quote, and if you stick to your side of the contract (ie don’t change the job specification once it’s started) your project should come in on budget.
From time to time, there may be extra costs – for example if the price of materials has risen sharply between agreeing a price and starting work – then your landscaper will discuss this with you and find a way to minimise the impact. An experienced landscaper can always find a way to make the budget work.
Will You Hire A Landscaper For Your Garden Makeover?
If you are still undecided on whether or not to hire a landscaper, I can recommend that you read the book “Buying A Garden” by Alan Sargent. Alan explains what’s involved in designing and building the garden of your dreams and shares tips on every aspect of landscaping.