Next month will see the start of the end for our garden project. It started as JHogg on his own in the garden with some bricks and cement, and is ending with a landscaper completing work both front and back, including new fences all around. It is a big job and we are really excited to see it finished.
Over the last year we’ve had a bit of trial and error to find out what we should really be focusing on and what will sort itself out down the line. No matter what the final plans are for the garden itself, there are a few steps you could be taking to make the planning process simpler and keep the costs down.
1. Work out your priorities for the garden
For us, minimal garden maintenance was key. We didn’t want to have a lot of work to do in the garden to keep it looking nice. An area that we can just head out to whenever we wanted was our priority, with space for the children to play safely. We spent time working out where the sun hits at various times of day and used that to help us decide where to put our decking and where would be best left as lawn.
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2. Get quotes for the work
The work we want done is too much for us to do ourselves, so we got some garden quotes to see how affordable it would be to have someone come and complete the work for us. We got a few quotes, so we could make sure we were getting the best price for the job.
3. Take on some of the work yourself
We first got quotes last year, and decided we would reduce the cost by taking on part of the job ourselves. JHogg did most of the garden clearance, which was a lot of manual labour but no skill was needed. We couldn’t do all of the clearance ourselves – we have some large bushes that need the roots dug out – but quite a bit of labour time was cut by working out where we could do things ourselves.
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4. Pick long lasting materials
We are having a new patio, deck and railings, plus a new fence. There are lots of options when it comes to choosing materials and we are keen to keep costs down, but going for the cheapest materials isn’t beneficial in the long run. We need to be sure that our fencing won’t come down in high winds – an issue we have with our current fence! and that the decking can withstand the boys running around and playing on it for years to come.
5. Be patient
As much as I’d love the work to all be completed immediately, it’s not as easy as that. During the summer months gardeners can be very busy, but it is worth waiting for a good one to become available rather than rush it with the one with the most availability. It’s not a quick job but the end result should be more than worth it!
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