Tuesday, 16 February 2010

2. How much can I spend ?– what is my budget? - Part 2

Before I set up GardenEye, a customer wanted to screen off his view of the road with some mature evergreen shrubs. It was impossible to get him to understand that big plants cost lots of money. I got a plan in place for about a 10k spend – which seemed reasonable, after shopping around at three reputable nurseries. This was then reduced to a 5K budget which reduced the plan to its skeleton. Even after explaining that this was a minimal requirement for the plants (if he wanted them mature - which he did) and a digger would be required, compost brought in, stakes, ties, making good the site AND labour – and this was a fairly big area – he still couldn’t get it.

‘Can’t you just dig a hole and shove ‘em in?’... well, No, I can’t.
Eventually he bought half a dozen small random evergreen 10 litre pots and, well, shoved ‘em in. If I had known that he would be happy with small evergreens, I could have helped, but I was not given a budget and therefore he could have avoided some interesting planting choices and arrangements as a result. 
So the point is, whether you have a small part of the garden that needs redoing, or a fence - or the whole thing - Try and get a feel for your budget spend.  GardenEye can help you by understanding the budget and giving you sensible clear advice and direction to have the garden you desire.

If you can’t give a budget then there is the likelihood that the garden budget will be guessed for you. That will be determined by what cars you drive, how you dress, the style of the house etc. And it is horribly presumptuous.
This generalising gives landscapers a bad name, because if the client says he wants everything, has a good appearance, a new million £ house and cars etc, there can easily be an assumption that he might be prepared to spend 100k on his project rather than the 30k he actually had in mind, and this affects the entire garden project.

GardenEye however is designed to work with the client and serve their best interests at all times. If the budget is 20k and three companies price on exactly the same thing -at over 25k –then that is how much it is going to cost, and either the materials or the plan will have to change. We will not be fooled or conned by the contractors but we ensure that they are charging sensibly themselves and will highlight odd prices when they come in.
We try to give the client the reassurance that they are paying the right money, and get great value for their project, and contractors the opportunity to avoid the wrath of the client and a project handed to them from GardenEye. Win, win for all.

As a Rule of Thumb and a rough cost guide for having a complete garden redevelopment is half the amount you have or are likely to have spent on doing up your house or 5-10% of the value of your property  – if you want a better garden than just a few random evergreen plants shoved in... or you can concentrate on having areas done bit by bit as your budget allows. 

...And a glorious reminder of what flowers look like, roll on Spring.

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