Garden Levelling Cost

By Emma
Last updated 7th May 2024 - Reading time: 26 mins
At a glance
  • The average cost of levelling a garden is around £5,500
  • The job will take approximately 1 - 2 days to complete
In this article, you'll discover the following:
  • A complete pricing breakdown which includes cost factors to consider, along with what such a task usually involves
  • How long the job should approximately take and a general overview of what types of services can be performed
  • How to find and hire a gardener

Welcome to our levelling a garden cost guide!

We cover all the costs you can expect when levelling your garden, including labour fees, material costs and other relevant information you may need to consider.

To give you some idea in terms of an average cost, you're looking at around £5,500.

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levelling garden

Average Cost of Garden Levelling:

Depending on the complexity of the job, it usually takes: 1 – 2 days


How Much Does It Cost To Level A Garden?

One of the many advantages of levelling a sloping garden is that it can offer significantly more space. The cost of levelling a garden varies depending on several factors, but it is usually hundreds of pounds.

Calculating your garden's gradient, percentage, or fall is extremely useful in calculating costs. While not all slopes are consistent, determining an average fall will assist you in your calculations.

Levelling a garden usually involves raising the lower parts because it is easier to fill than excavate. Draw a line from the maximum height to the lowest point in your garden to calculate the gradient.

So, what are the average garden levelling prices?

A typical-sized garden that is flatter but not too uneven will cost between £1,000 and £2,000 to level.

However, if you have a steep garden, levelling it out will require a lot of digging and can cost up to £5,000 - £7,000, or if you want it to be two layers to two tiers, you could consider paying £10,000 for the digging and retaining wall.

If you have some uneven bumps in your garden, all you have to do to level them is remove higher spots and fill lower spots. The cost level would be much lower as this doesn't require much work and effort.

If you have a lot of ridges in your garden, you may have to start from scratch, including estimating how much soil to dig, digging up those slopes, removing soil, and then planning for turf, a patio, or whatever you want.

It will take significantly more effort and thus time to properly level it than in a less uneven area. Over time, this will be more expensive.

There's also the cost of getting rid of the waste soil. It is critical to ending with a level area, or you will create more problems than you solve. A retaining wall will also be required to withstand the build-up of soil pressure.

Terraced models that are complex and ornate and serve as a solution for lengthy steep slopes can cost several hundreds of pounds and require the services of a garden designer.

Are different rakes necessary for the lawn or is there one that's suitable for all maintenance jobs?

"Depending on what you need to do? If you are levelling soil too lay grass use a tarmac rake I find these are very good, if it's too get rid of leafs off grass general grass rake is best for most things hope this helps"

Garden Levelling Prices

How much does garden levelling cost? Take a look at the table below:

Job Cost
Levelling an average-sized garden £1,000 - £2,000
Levelling a sloped garden £5,000 - £7,000
Two layers to two tiers £10,000
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Supply Only Costs

Labour costs can be quite high sometimes; therefore, most of us enjoy doing our repairs. However, levelling a garden is difficult, but if you want to save money and do the job yourself, we will review the supplies you need to level your garden here. You may need some garden levelling tools to complete the job.

Topdressing is the answer for any 2 to 3cm deep depressions in the lawn. Buy a top-dressing mixture or make your own by combining two parts sand, two parts topsoil, which will cost £50 - £70 in bulk and one part compost which costs £40 - £90.

Fill in the sinkholes evenly with your feet or a rake, which will cost between £5 and £15 before watering. Compact the soil, then fill in the bald spot with this top dressing and grass seed for £2 - £15 each.

You can level an area by hand if you're putting in a patio or laying decking in your garden. However, whether you're laying decking or paving slabs, you must dig out the space required to size and level it at the start of your project before proceeding as needed. This is because decking costs between £10 and £15 per m2, whereas paving slabs cost between £3 and £13 per slab.

Mini diggers are small and designed to work in tight spaces; just make sure they have access if you're working in the back of the house; they could be expensive, costing £1,000 or more.

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Additional Costs

Several factors influence the cost of levelling a garden. While putting a price on each of these aspects is difficult since they differ from case to case, it is better to understand each factor before hiring a garden designer to avoid surprises.

This section will cover the various extra costs that could be added to the cost of levelling your garden.

Patio Cost

The average price of laying a patio in a 20 square metre area ranges between £900 and £2,500. This price includes excavating the area, laying the foundations, purchasing, and laying the patio slabs.


Prices will vary depending on the materials used; for instance, budget options including concrete and brick patio slabs start at £15 per square metre, whereas premium patios are typically made of slate, which varies from £900 to £3,800 for installation, and a stone patio can cost up to £4,600.

If you would like further information, please refer to our guide on the costs of patio design and installation.

Landscaping Cost

If you did hire a landscaper to place turf, the average cost would be £260 to £300 for a 20m2 area and £650 to £750 for a 50m2 area. Artificial grass costs around £1300 to £1600 for a 20m2 area and up to £3250 to £4000 for a 50m2 area.

Decking would cost around £600 to £750 for a six-metre square area or £1000 to £1250 for a ten-square-metre area. So if you want a raised vegetable bed built, expect to pay £120 to £520 for a 4m2 area.

When it comes to adding a patio, the cost is around £360 to £480 for a 4m2 area or £800 to £1200 for a 10m2 area. Building a one-square-metre pond in the back garden will cost between £260 and £530.

The landscaping cost can be affected by the size of the garden, easy accessibility, and where you live. Property location is important because landscapers, like construction companies in general, charge different rates in different regions.

If you would like further information, please refer to our guide on the costs of landscaping.

Garden Waste Removal

Several factors determine garden clearance prices. These are the amount of waste you have, your type, and how you want it removed.

It can cost between £15 and £300 to hire companies with a van to come and eliminate your garden rubbish. The low end of this range assumes you have very little waste. The highest level of protection covers up to 2 tonnes of waste. This price includes labour and disposal fees. You must sit back and watch as the company disposes of your garbage.

Another possibility is to rent a skip and then fill it yourself. Skip hire costs between £70 and £400, varying according to the size of the skip required. You can take your time with the work and dispose of other waste at the same time if necessary.

If you just get rid of a tiny portion of garden waste regularly, check to see if your municipality has a garden waste removal programme. These are either free or cost between £150 and £200 per year. Everything is up to your local government.

If you would like further information, please refer to our guide on the costs of removing garden waste.

Garden Fencing

The cost of fence installation and substitute is determined by two major factors: the amount of fence that needs to be replaced and the type of fencing chosen.

For example, if you only need a short section of fence, such as down one side of your garden, the installation will cost around £500 - £700 and take about a day. This would result in a 6ft tall fence in the most popular style.

Garden fence

If you need to fit the fence all around the entire perimeter of your garden and want a more modern look, the fencing cost could range between £2,000 and £3,000.

If you would like further information, please refer to our guide on the costs of replacing garden fences.

Any additional garden maintenance will cost extra too.

Labour Costs and Timescales

Professional garden levellers charge around £100 to £180 per day or £8 to £15 per hour for simple projects, which is an important factor in determining garden costs.

Gardeners will pay higher rates for different jobs; for example, turfing costs between £30 and £40 per square metre of labour.

Professional fence installation costs between £20 and £50 per square metre, whereas decking installation costs around £20 and £50 per square metre.

Most gardeners charge by the hour. For example, hourly rates for deep cleaning can range between £15 and £20 per hour, while hedge cutting can cost between £90 and £120 per hour. The location and size of the company you choose also impact labour rates.

Big businesses in the north of England, for example, charge between £30 and £40 per hour, whereas a standard size garden maintenance company can charge between £45 and £50 per hour.

Although it may be tempting to save money by levelling a sloping garden yourself in the UK, hiring a professional will save you money in the long run.

This is because a professional will know the precise slope measurements and the thickness and requirements of the retaining wall to resist years of changing weather conditions.

  • The measurements of your garden - if your garden is small, levelling a big space will take less and more time.
  • The number of people assisting - if more people assist, the work will be completed in fewer days, and vice versa.
  • The steepness of the slope - what kind of levelling do you require? Would you rather have a raised or lowered garden? It will take longer to level a raised garden than a lower garden.

It should take 1 - 2 days to level a garden; however, the time it takes for your garden to recover and settle depends on where you live and the size of your garden. The table below shows how long it takes to level a garden.

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Cost Factors of Garden Levelling

When levelling your garden, extra costs may appear, increasing your overall cost. Therefore, here we will go through the different cost factors of garden levelling and what they include.

levelling garden

Garden Dimensions and Accessibility

The more square metres you have, the more costly it is to level a sloping garden in the UK. A larger land area would require more manpower to clean, fill, and prepare and would take longer to complete.

In addition, larger equipment, such as bulldozers and excavators, may sometimes be required, incurring additional costs.

If you live in the countryside, the cost of transporting a big piece of equipment may be higher. In addition, potential obstacles such as gates, fences, or other issues that may affect the location's accessibility must be flagged with the contractor before the site visit.

Soil, Terrain, and Slope

Each slope is unique, with some being more difficult than others. Shallow slopes will require less time and materials than steep slopes.

When trees, shrubs, rocks, and fences must be washed, eliminated, or rearranged, the proposal becomes more difficult. It may take some time to excavate and transport large trees and rocks.

You may need to hire an earthmoving contractor if you need to move elements. But, of course, this would incur additional costs.

Materials and Equipment to be Used

Two materials are required for garden levelling. First, to begin, fill the slope with dirt and soil. Second, a retaining wall will be required to keep the dirt together and secure the land.

The supplies used to fill the land, including dirt and topsoil, can affect the overall cost. Because the goal is to grow an effective and abundant garden, high-quality topsoil is essential.

In addition to topsoil, fill dirt is an important material for levelling your sloping garden. Although fill dirt is often cheap, the cost of transporting, digging, hauling, and attempting to remove it is not.

A retaining wall and the materials used to build it, in addition to dirt and soil, are important factors in calculating levelling garden costs in the UK. For example, concrete blocks are frequently more costly than other materials but last longer. On the other hand, breezeblocks are less expensive but harder to hide.

If you want a surface that matches the building of your home, you can use house bricks or natural stone.

When constructing a retaining wall, remember that the structure must be strong enough to withstand heavy rainfall and future wear and tear. Replacing a concrete barrier may prove to be more expensive than the initial investment and uncomfortable in the future.


The price of levelling and turfing a garden depends on where you live. For example, most lawn care services or garden levelling service fees are more expensive in London and the South-East than in the North or West UK.

But, of course, larger garden service companies will charge more for their services than local self-employed gardeners.

Minimum Charge

Labourers may establish a minimum wage in some cases. On the one hand, this could appear as a cost added to your overall bill in the form of a different minimum charge. However, in some cases, it may be an extension of an existing charge.

Assume you are charged workers face a fee, for example. You will be charged for two days of work if the job takes a day or three hours and one day or seven hours.

What's Involved in Garden Levelling?

The process and logic are the same if the slope is facing away from or toward your house. However, if the slope is facing your house, you should leave a walkway between the retaining wall and the house. This enables access and drainage.

levelling garden

Remember that, while it may not appear to be much on paper, this is a lot of work in practice. Follow the steps in the guide below to level a sloping grade:

Make Sure You Have Permission

This is a critical first step that is frequently overlooked. Check with energy providers and your local council to ensure that there are no wires under your garden that will be damaged and that the work you are planning does not require planning permission. If planning permission is required, ensure you have it before beginning work!

Calculate The Slope's Rise and Run

This step will allow you to determine the height of the retaining wall. A string is tied between two stakes, one at the top and one at the bottom of the slope.

The string is known as the 'run,' and its height on the second stake is known as the 'rise.' The string on the top stake should be at ground level and extend to meet the other stake. Place a spirit level on the line at this point to ensure it is level.

This step determines the height of your retaining wall and the amount of soil required to fill the gap behind it. Remembering back to high school math, the rise and run measurements provide two sides of a triangle, the area of which can be calculated.

The approximate volume of the space behind the retaining wall can be calculated by multiplying the area of this triangle by the size of your retaining wall.

Water The Area Where You Will Be Digging

Aim to do this at least 24 hours before digging to make the ground easier to work with. But be careful not to overwater wet soil can be just as difficult to work with dry soil.

Construct A Newly Constructed Retaining Wall Using Wooden Sleepers.

A retaining wall may necessitate some heavy lifting. A retaining wall is intended to support newly raised land in your garden and keep your lovely new flat lawn from collapsing after rain.

The retaining wall resists the pressure of the soil and the water that soaks into it when it rains. Therefore, it's critical that the components used for the wall be strong enough to prevent it from collapsing, but we'll go over that in the next section.

Aim for a retaining wall that is no more than two feet tall. Beyond this point, they are subjected to high-pressure levels, increasing the likelihood of collapse. If your sloped garden has a rise of more than two feet, consider constructing a series of terraces instead.

Soil Should Be Piled Up Behind the Retaining Wall

Pile soil behind the retaining wall once it is in place and stable. This soil will be the foundation of your new, level garden, so proceed cautiously until the level ground is achieved.

You can order topsoil to fill the gap underneath your retaining wall if you only raise a lawn. However, if you are lowering a section of the lawn, you can fill the gap behind the retaining wall with soil taken from here.

Check That the New Lawn Is Level

To ensure that your lawn is flat, use a spirit level. Before compacting the soil, ensure it is level and at the proper level.

You may need to add or remove some soil before proceeding to the next step. Again, gauging the level by eye is a good starting point, but the spirit level you used will also come in handy here: lay it out on the lawn in a few places to ensure everything is flat and even.

You can also use the stakes and string method: place a stake in each corner of your lawn and run string between them at an even peak on each stake. If you want to ensure that your soil has enough nutrients, add a uniform layer of compost at this stage.

Soil Should Be Compacted

Now that the soil has been levelled, compacting it will aid in removing any air and cavities. This step reduces the possibility of bumps and lumps appearing in your newly levelled garden after the next rain.

In addition, it protects the retaining wall's structural integrity by exposing it to more constant pressures.

Create A New Lawn

It's now time to plant or lay grass over the exposed soil. If you're starting from seed, scatter the seeds evenly over the soil according to the instructions on the seed packet.

If you're using turf, ensure the sheets are as flat and close together as possible. It will be nearly impossible to see the lines or gaps between the various pieces once they have taken root.

To flatten a lawn, compact the turf roller. If you went that route, get the soil compactor out again and run it over the turf. This will encourage the roots to grow faster and ensure the grass is safe to walk on.

Can I Install Garden Levelling Myself?

Levelling your garden is an easy DIY task that can be done. However, multiple factors could make the job more difficult for you. Therefore here we will go through what to keep an eye on when levelling your garden by yourself.

woman levelling a garden

If you do it yourself, try to use the soil you dig up to level other areas. However, skips are very pricey, and removing soil quickly increases the job's cost.

Labour is the main area where you can save money, but keep in mind what we said earlier about the scope of this job. If possible, level your lawn in early spring to give your new grass the best chance of growing strong over the summer.

A professional could also access bulldozers, bobcat machines, and excavators. A professional would be aware of the areas that need to be protected from soil erosion and would be able to quickly locate dirt fill and topsoil.

A professional might easily test the state of soil quality on your property to assist in the preparation of the necessary type conducive to plant growth. In addition, a professional would be aware of the necessary permits and permissions for the project and would assist you in applying for and preparing for them.

Hiring a professional will help ensure that your project is well-executed and will last for years or decades to give you the best bang for your buck. It will also save you the time and effort of digging dirt, relocating land, borrowing heavy machinery, and obtaining various materials.

Building Regulations & Planning Permission for Garden Levelling

It's a popular misunderstanding that planning laws only apply to structures. However, some changes to the grounds and gardens are subject to planning permission and/or building control. Garden designers and landscape contractors who understand the rules and regulations will assist you in avoiding problems.

They'll also be familiar with CDM regulations, which will come into play once construction begins. In addition, we will discuss any building regulations or planning permission required for garden levelling here.

Any increase in garden level that exceeds 300mm requires planning. It is recommended that when constructing a retaining structure, you consider building codes. You will undoubtedly have drainage issues.

Types of Garden Levelling

Suggest planting flower beds and vegetables if your slope is manageable. Seeding flowers and vegetables will maintain your soil healthy and improve drainage, as you never want exposed soil.

It will save you a lot of time and money while also improving the appearance and functionality of your gardVariousious methods for levelling a sloping garden are required based on the intensity of your slopes red. We'll review the various methods for levelling a garden and their benefits and drawbacks.

Create Low Terraces

One method for levelling a sloping garden is to build stair-like terraces to assist in the planting of your plants and vegetables. Terraces can also be an excellent recreational space, allowing you to display your newly improved garden at all those summer barbecues!

low terrace

Small jobs can be as simple as shifting soil in your garden and then bracing the area where the stairs will be built. If you think this is the case, there is no need to buy fill dirt to help with the stair structure.

You may also seek advice from a landscaper for larger jobs to determine your best options. After that, you can surround the steps with your preferred brick, stone, or wood. The earlier you start planting, the better because it will help prevent erosion.

Vegetables are an excellent option for erosion prevention and drainage improvement. However, when protecting your soil from plants, you must proceed with caution. The terraces can only be kept stable by plants with deep roots or rhizomes, whose tree roots interlock beneath the soil.


  • ✔ Simple and inexpensive


  • ✖ Not appropriate for small gardens

Steep Slope Terracing

Terracing steeply sloping gardens require more effort than simply moving soil around the garden. Terracing your garden is still an outstanding way to correct a slope, but it requires more attention and reinforcement.

When levelling a steep slope, moving quickly is critical to avoid harming your house's foundation. If you're resolving the slope by yourself, you must first identify the source of the problem. It is also crucial to select the appropriate and correct measures.

To level a sloping garden, the following materials can be used:

  • Stone retaining walls are built with pre-formed concrete blocks, breeze blocks, house bricks, or stone. They are all extremely dependable for terracing and levelling
  • Reclaimed railway - if you want a low-cost is. They are built to last because of the tar used to treat them. But unfortunately, this is also one of their drawbacks, as they are highly sticky to the touch or sit on
  • You could put them on the bottom of your structure and top them with non-sticky blocks
  • New railway sleepers are being put in place. They are less environmentally harmful but more expensive than reclaimed railway sleepers. In addition, they must be treated over time to prevent rotting
  • Gabion-base - They are reasonably priced, strong, and made of strong wire mesh. Gabions, which can be filled with stone or rubble of your choice, are becoming incredibly common for constructing retaining walls


  • ✔ A wide range of options
  • ✔ Various colours


  • ✖ Expensive

The Retaining Structure

Terracing can be replaced with a retaining wall around the garden. This is a great option if you do not have a lot of space or don't want to go through a lengthy terracing process.

retaining wall

Fill dirt will be required to fill the space around your garden's natural level and your new retaining wall. It is advised that your retaining wall not exceed 2 feet in height. Because of the weight of the soil and rainwater, they are subjected to a great deal of pressure.

If you want to make it taller, ensure that your retaining wall is mildly leaning back into the soil for support. You also must use sturdy materials to build your wall. The materials mentioned above are ideal because they are strong and dependable.


  • ✔ Good for smaller gardens
  • ✔ Easy to do


  • ✖ Must use study materials

Hiring Contractors for Garden Levelling Checklist

Even if you enjoy gardening, hiring a professional gardener can help you save money and time in the long run. A gardener can assist you in selecting the best plants for your soil and lawn layout.

Quality plants can be costly over time, but they can help you make the best decisions. A gardener can also help you maintain your garden and lawn while at work or on vacation, so you don't have to worry about it.

Asking people you trust for recommendations is the quickest and easiest way to hire a gardener. A quick online search can also turn up reputable gardeners in your area. Look for those with top marks, extensive reviews, and specialisations in the project category you're looking for.

Some gardeners work independently, while a larger landscaping company employs others. Both types are acceptable if they meet the demands and your requirements.

Regardless of your garden expectations, you'll need to hire a gardener who is qualified for the job. In most states, a gardener must have a licence, liability insurance, and the necessary equipment to operate.

Most licencing requirements vary by state, but they must be at least 18 years old and pass a certification exam in most cases.

Before hiring a gardener, inquire about their experience and working style to ensure a good fit. When contacting prospective gardeners, don't forget to ask:

  • How long have you or your company been in business?
  • What kind of project experience do you have?
  • Can you confirm that you have all of the necessary permits and licences?
  • Do you have any references I could contact?
  • What is the project's timeline?
  • How do you normally deal with weeds and pests?


How do you level a garden by hand?

Spread a thin coating of topsoil into the hole, watering lightly as you go, and then replace the turf patch, pressing it back into place with your hand or foot.

Is it easy to level a garden?

To get rid of lumps, carefully lift the turf and eliminate the soil beneath it until the slope is level with the rest of the garden. Then, replace the turf and compact it after installation. You can level an area by hand if you're putting in a patio or laying decking in your garden.

Is it possible to level a garden with sand?

The request for a levelling mixture of topsoil, compost, or fine sand is known as top-dressing. Mulch and plant debris should be avoided in the soil as they can suffocate the grass. The best sand to use plays sand, which can be bought at any home improvement store. A typical mixture contains 40% sand, 40% topsoil, and 20% compost.

What is the best way to level a garden?

To make quick and easy adjustments, use small string line spirit levels. Divide the area into 3 x 3m sections and string lines slightly above the desired soil level. Work your way around the area with a rake or a large flat spirit level to ensure it is level with the string line.

Is levelling a garden worth it?

The UK is known as a gardener's paradise, and the value of homes with large, usable gardens is rising - a recent study discovered that a decent garden could increase property value by an astounding 20%. Levelling your garden to make it a flatter, more uniform space is one such garden improvement to consider.


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