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If you want to transform your garden, you should look into hard landscaping options first. Landscaping can completely transform your garden, offering a new place to entertain and inject some new life into your garden area. However, you need to plan hard landscaping carefully, remembering that all hard landscaping should be completed before soft landscaping which should be fitted around it. Soft landscaping refers to laying down lawns and grass, planting of bulbs and seeds, growing flowers and plants. Hard landscaping is the base structures and/or foundations such as paths, steps and driveways; terraces, porches, decking and patios; concrete slabs for paving; below surface level foundations for garages, sheds, greenhouses, conservatories or swimming pools; drainage and guttering; fencing repair and replacement; electric cable trenches for sheds or garages; and ponds or garden rockery. When it comes to hard landscaping, planning is the key to creating a relaxing and attractive garden area. Whatever type of hard landscaping you choose, there are several things to consider before purchasing any materials or hiring building contractors.
First of all, find out how much space you have to play with by measuring your garden to see how much can be squeezed in. You don't want your new hard landscaping features looking incongruous and out of place, for example patios usually require at least a 10x10 foot surface area to look "right". Positioning is important too, deciding what goes where is important to the overall look of your new garden. Patios and terraces are normally situated adjacent to the house, usually on the kitchen or conservatory, offering a transition into the main garden area. Choosing the materials your new hard landscape components are going to be made of can also have a significant impact, most clays and bricks offer a range of shapes and styles to design versatile spaces, but some materials weather at faster rates than others, so think about how much maintenance work you will need to keep your garden looking as good as new.
Garden landscaping is something many gardeners will do at some point, but hard landscaping is trickier than soft landscaping, so to attain great, safe, long lasting results, DIY should really be avoided unless you are a builder. Fortunately, hiring a landscape gardener is simple and cheaper than you might expect, with many local firms in competition, they are happy to provide a free, preliminary survey to check your design is feasible and their hourly rates are usually in the £10 to £20 per hour range. To get the most for your money you can compare a number of quotes from different contractors, while at the same time checking references and look over their portfolio beforehand. A quick and easy way to do this is using the free quote service on this site, click the "post a job" button to get started and have 3 or more local landscape gardeners get in touch to provide quotes and advice on your garden project.
To build paths, steps, driveways, terraces, porches, decking and patios, paving, foundations or garden rockery; hiring a landscape gardener will usually cost somewhere between £10 and £20 per hour. However for certain projects, such as block paving, some landscapers may charge by the square metre rather than an hourly rate, with typical costs of around £50 per square metre for labour only. To avoid any surprises, try and agree a fixed price for the entire project in advance.
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