Stonemason Landscapes Logo - Romford - Hornchurch - Upminster - Brentwood - Gidea ParkStonemason Landscapes Logo - Romford - Hornchurch - Upminster - Brentwood - Gidea Park

Expanding Your Living Space Outside

Landline: 01708 709498
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Stonemason Landscapes

Romford - Gidea Park - Hornchurch - Upminster - Brentwood

Understanding the Impact of Gardens on Property Value
A well-maintained garden can significantly increase your property value. Studies have shown that gardens can add up to 20% more value to your home. The curb appeal created by a beautiful garden makes your property more attractive to potential buyers. Additionally, a garden adds valuable outdoor space, which is highly valued by homebuyers. By investing in your garden, you are not only enhancing the aesthetics of your home but also increasing its value. Capture the right buyer's attention and maximize your property's value with a great garden.
Redmayne Arnold & Harris

Why does a garden increase the value of my house?
Gardens, whether they are the front or rear are likely the first thing to be seen by those looking to view your property. A nicely presented garden alone can be seen to add 20% to your house value and past research has shown that approximately 70% of home buyers would pay more for a property with an outdoor green space. A further study showed that 57% of people that did not have a garden at their property, would look for one when looking for a new home.

So a well designed and executed £10,000 garden makeover on a £350,000 property could add around 20% or £70,000 to the property value, that's a £60,000 profit on your garden makeover, also the curb appeal could start a bidding war between buyers increasing the value further.

Fancy Interior fittings do not add much value to your property and in our experience most people rip out the interior to make it their own once they move in, however that is not the case for the garden and therefor a garden makeover is a solid, functional and enjoyable investment for your property.

Pricing a hard landscaping project

The average garden makeover including measuring the site, design, planning and liaisons with clients costs us around £500 to produce a full garden makeover plan, design and quote with only an average of 10% of quotes accepted we have to cover large costs per accepted quote.

Prices reflect current market prices not necessarily the price the client paid.

£19,000 Including Summer House Garden Office

Small Full Garden Makeover
This Garden Required:
Design service, clearance,
tree root removal, excessive ground work, 2 fences, fence painting, garden levelling, summer house garden office & concrete base, gutter & water management for garden office. porcelain patio with custom stone compass feature, circle artificial lawn & edging, water feature, lighting and plants.

Additional Price Increases:
No driveway for parking, materials and skips.
Tiny front garden for materials storage.
Limited street parking for service vehicles and waste management.
Excessive waste management.
Access through house with tight turns.

Large Garden Makeover
This Garden Required:
Design service, clearance
, excessive ground work, garden levelling, concrete base ready for summer house, garage interior and exterior renovation with wooden floors and plasterboard walls, gutter & water management for outbuilding, garden tap pipe work extended under lawn for garden tap at bottom of garden, levelling upper tier of garden, wooden sleeper retaining walls and steps, path from existing house patio to new raised patio at bottom of garden, large lawn and lighting.

Additional Price Increases:
Due to a long garden with most work taking place at the bottom far end extra time had to be considered as fatigue sets in quickly for workers manoeuvring waste and materials back and forth through the large long garden.

Pricing a hard landscaping project

£22,000 Including Garage Outbuilding Renovation

Small Garden Makeover
This Garden Required:
Design service, clearance
, small raised corner cobblestone patio with concrete foundations for retaining walls, imitation wooden sleeper raised planter and path, patio at rear of house extended, aggregates and rocks, water feature, plants and lighting.

Additional Price Increases:
Due to a small garden it made manoeuvring around and operating tools and machinery awkward and dangerous with little space for material storage at the front of the house also this did put a small increase to the cost of this small project.
This project took place in winter and rained most of the time, the project had a permanent canopy erected over the garden so on occasion work could still commence, this is why we cover for bad weather risks in our profit margins.

Pricing a hard landscaping project

£7,500 Including Plants

Small Front Garden Makeover
This Garden Required:
Design service, clearance
, old wall dismantle and disposal, concrete path removal, small raised planter feature in middle of the garden. porcelain paving path from gate to house, premium black ice aggregates, custom gate and premium blue engineering bricks, rendering and painted brick wall.

Additional Price Increases:
Due to a small garden it made manoeuvring around and operating tools and machinery awkward and dangerous with little space for materials and storage this did put a small increase to the cost of this small project.
One thing to note with this brick wall is that the foundation under the existing wall was usable, if you need foundations installed for your brick wall this will increase the costs significantly.

Pricing a hard landscaping project

£5,500 Including Plants

Medium Garden Makeover
This Garden Required:
Design service, clearance
, curves, brick and sleeper planter bench with bbq preparation bar top, foundation for seating planter, porcelain paving, lawn and edging, raised multi tier sleeper planters, circle step into summer house, large steps in to back of house, cedar look custom made fence and plants.

Additional Price Increases:
This project was attempted during winter and therefor much of the time was below suitable temperatures for cementing meaning this project required delay expectations covered in our profit margins.

The client did make a saving by sourcing and purchasing their own porcelain paving slabs.

Pricing a hard landscaping project

£11,000 Including Porcelain Paving Slabs

Pricing a hard landscaping job can be a complex process that requires careful planning and consideration of each project's specific location.
Factors such as the terrain, available resources, tree or plant roots and size of the area all play a significant role in determining the final cost of the job.
The terrain can impact the excavation times and site preparation required, while the availability of resources can impact the cost significantly to.

Designing and creating a small garden may appear to be an easy job, but it requires careful planning and execution, with limited space, there is less room for heavy machinery, tools, equipment and multiple workers to operate.
On the other hand, a larger garden requires a more significant distance to travel to obtain resources and dispose of waste.

This means that careful planning is crucial to ensure that the work can be completed in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Additionally, the size of the area can impact the amount of labour required, which also affects the overall cost, therefore, it's important for us to carefully assess each project before providing a quote to ensure that we accurately account for all of the necessary factors.

How Do We Price A Project?

Upon arrival at a project site.
The availability of parking spaces, storage space for materials and waste management is the first factor to consider when pricing a project.

A project requires ample space for service vehicles, deliveries, equipment, storage of materials, and waste management.

When parking space is limited, it may be necessary to travel a greater distance between the project and the service vehicles, this is because not all equipment can be on the job site at the same time, and much of it remains on the vehicles until needed.

It is crucial to prioritize waste management within a projects budget and having it on site or directly outside for efficient waste disposal.

Limited parking space can lead to a major increase in costs as it will be an inconvenience for deliveries and unloading of materials, this can result in higher estimated costs for the project due to longer waiting times for the trucks and delivery vehicles.
When parking is limited, it can also cause traffic congestion and pressure for the workers unloading materials or equipment, making the process even more frustrating and time-consuming.

If there is a need to bring tools, equipment, machinery, or waste through a building or home, it can lead to a significant increase in costs and become a daily inconvenience for the workers and residents of the home.
This is because such activities require additional resources, such as labour time attempting to preserve a home or make awkward turns through doors and passages with wheel barrows and bulky equipment or materials, in some cases furniture moved, doors unhinged or kitchen units may need to be removed to make transport through a home possible.
If heavy waste, machinery and equipment may need to be transported through the property it can lead to damages to the buildings interior and or furnishings.
This all slows down the usual rate of work for the team.

When considering a job, it is important to take into account the access and obstacles that may be present. Narrow passages and turns, along with awkward turns, steps, and security doors or gates can all slow down the usual rate of work.
it is crucial to consider these factors before committing to a price and quote, failure to do so can result in a job taking longer than anticipated, which can lead to frustration and additional costs.
It is important to be thorough in assessing the accessibility of a job site and to communicate any potential obstacles with the client before beginning work, by doing so, we can ensure that we are accurately pricing our services and providing quality work in a timely manner.

Workers need access to a toilet, it is important that we check if there is one available on site, if there isn't, then a porter loo may be necessary to provide an alternative solution.
It's important to ensure that workers have access to proper facilities, even when working in remote or isolated areas, so that they can maintain their health and well-being.
If there are no public facilities nearby or use of on-site facilities, then a portable toilet will be added to the costs of the project.

When you decide to have a garden makeover project, it is crucial to keep in mind that the client is responsible for all expenses, including water and electricity supply.
Since it is the client's garden, it is their obligation to either provide water and electricity on-site or cover the expenses of stored water and electricity and transportation to the project location.
This requirement can significantly increase the total cost of the project.

When a client has a clear vision for their garden makeover, it may seem like the planning process would be quick and easy, however, it still takes a significant amount of time, there is travel time to first visit the project site and time with the client understanding their requirements, potentially up to 2 or even 4 hours travel, talking to a client and measuring the site.

Depending on the size of the project and how complex the work may be, usually around 5 to 40 hours of work including time once we leave the site are needed to properly plan and arrange all the necessary details and costs of materials and labour.
If a contractor gives you a price on the spot they may be regretting it later as this will be an poorly thought through quote that we cannot afford to do, the contractor may also decide they want to increase your price after they have started due to realising their own mistake rushing the pricing process.

A contractor that goes away to work out the costs of your project is one that is doing a thorough and efficient job considering all aspects not just the template price that most contractors carry.

Because of this, the cost of the project must reflect the time and effort put into the planning process.
In order to provide a quick accurate quote, it is important for the client to have a clear idea of what they want, if a garden design service is needed, the client should expect a prepaid charge for the professional services rendered.
Overall, a beautiful and well-planned garden requires a significant investment of time and resources.

Remember that before we have secured a project and collected any form of payment we have already potentially committed a minimal of 2 hours of work for potentially 2 workers that roughly values £150 not including fuel costs and admin workers liaison time with clients taking details, entering data and arranging appointments.
If it is a large project then it could be up to around 20 to 40 hours of planning and liaisons with clients that costs around £700 to £1,300 and no guarantee our quote will even be accepted.
As around 10% of quotes are accepted this means our profit margins on each accepted project quote must cover the costs of quoting for the projects we did not secure to make it possible to stay in business.

Your garden is a unique space in your home that in most cases is bigger than any room in your house and unlike any other garden.
While your kitchen may be made of lightweight, cheap materials crafted in a factory by machines on a production line, your garden is a different story, it is constructed from heavy, raw materials and requires hard-working individuals to turn it into a beautiful space.

The garden itself becomes the production line, with humans as machines performing skilled labour and back-breaking work to create your personal oasis.
Due to the nature of this work, it makes sense that your garden should cost more than your kitchen.

When comparing your garden makeover budget to other large expenses, it's important to note that your car for example is mass produced by machines on a factory production line, while gardens are unique and not made in factories.
Most gardens are larger than most cars and cars tend to have a uniform appearance due to the manufacturing process so it's important to appreciate the individuality and natural beauty of a garden, while also recognizing the practicality and convenience of a car, take a moment to appreciate the differences in production process and value the human effort and craftsmanship achieved over days and weeks rather than mass produced products created in a fraction of the time by machines.

You may be lucky and your car could serve its purpose for 10 or more years however if executed right and maintained well your garden should outlive your car, kitchen, furniture and any room in your house and still be enjoyed and appreciated 20 or more years after installation.

As a company with salaries, bills and overheads to pay, we have a specific approach to pricing our services.
We apply a profit margin to every aspect of our operations, including, admin, labour, materials and waste management.
This means that we take into account the cost of all these elements when setting our prices, and add a profit margin on top to ensure our business remains sustainable and profitable.
By doing this, we can ensure that we provide high-quality services to our clients while also making a reasonable profit. We believe that this approach is fair and transparent, and it allows us to maintain our reputation in the industry as a reliable and trustworthy provider of services.

In spite of adverse weather conditions preventing us from completing tasks, we are obliged to pay our team by law. Our profit margins need to account for this, as we cannot deny payment to our workers solely due to weather limitations.
It is our responsibility as an employer to ensure that our team is compensated fairly, even if certain circumstances are beyond our control.

While it may be frustrating to experience delays or setbacks due to weather, we must prioritize the well-being and security of our employees above all else, by taking proactive measures to mitigate the financial impact of weather-related disruptions so we can maintain a positive and ethical workplace culture.

In order to prepare for extreme weather events such as sun and rain, it is necessary to generate profit margins on every project, regardless of how smoothly the operation went, this is because the profit margins from one project may not be enough to cover any potential losses or delays in other projects.
Therefore, it is important to plan ahead and ensure that every project is profitable, even if it seems like it will be easy to complete, by doing this, we can guarantee that we have the financial resources to deal with any unexpected challenges that may arise in the future.

Ultimately, this will help us to maintain our reputation as a reliable and efficient company, capable of delivering high-quality projects under any circumstances.

Again in comparison your kitchen can be produced and installed regardless of the weather conditions, but unfortunately the same cannot be said for your garden.
The production and installation of your garden is weather dependent and we cannot risk having workers attempt to work on it during extreme weather, this could lead to a delay in completing the project and potentially unsafe working conditions for our workers, also cement cannot be used during rain or extreme heat and most of what we do uses cement.
Most garden projects heavily rely on the use of cement and concrete, but it is important to note that this material cannot be used during extreme weather conditions.
Rain and extreme heat can cause problems with the curing process, which can lead to structural issues down the line, unfortunately most of the work we install uses cement.
Then there is electricity that also cannot be used in extreme weather, high temperatures can cause tools and machinery to overheat whilst the rain makes electrical tools and equipment dangerous to use.

A skilled sole trader with low wage temp workers:
If there is 1 worker onsite whom is also running the business from home after each day onsite whom then experiences 1 day delay it has cost the business 1 workers day salary.

A small company with a small team:
If there is 4 workers onsite whom are not running the business and 1 admin worker taking calls and performing office tasks whom experience the same 1 day delay as the sole trader it has cost the business 5 days salaries.

As we live in a very wet country with extreme heat during the summer you can see how quickly funds can run out just from weather delays let alone other endless unforeseen circumstances like unsuitable infrastructure of our road networks causing days and weeks of delays when there is road works or accidents, unstable economy and the constant increases in the cost of resources that all must be covered for.

As you can see producing a handcrafted garden or feature can be a challenging task as there are many unforeseen and unpredictable circumstances that need to be covered.
Attention to detail and planning is critical, so with sufficient funding, proper planning, design, and execution, a stunning garden or feature can be created that will outlive your car or kitchen and will bring joy and satisfaction for years to come.

For a business to secure consistent work requires large amounts of resources and investment that all comes from the profit margins of each project, remember profit margins guarantee every worker a daily salary regardless of circumstances that are out of anyone's control.

If you was to attempt to achieve your garden makeover yourself you would need to supply your own electricity, water and waste management and potentially manage space for materials , waste management and deliveries in a potentially unsuitable street or property.

You will be able to obtain materials at the same rate as us so you can make a saving there however as a business we cannot supply goods at the cost price we obtained them for, from paving slabs and tiles to waste management.
Often our clients will arrange waste management and order their own paving slabs to help make a saving.
Some other things you can do but we cant for example:
You can chose and afford to spend many days driving around to different local suppliers trying to find just the right paving slab, brick or tile.
You can chose only days that have the perfect weather to perform the tasks you wish.
You could chose to go to a supplier or garden centre when there is few customers or when there is little traffic.
You can chose to attempt tasks alone that ideally need multiple people to help.
As a company it is a way more complex task than as an individual attempting a garden makeover, therefore unfortunately we cannot do these things.
Every element of our work or supplies needs to be well managed and have profit margins to keep us in business.

One last thing to remember and that is regarding cheap quotes, these are usually achieved by using inferior materials, methods and techniques.
Whatever company or individual you chose to create your garden be sure they do not use crushed concrete or tarmac road chippings as a foundation and base for paving, patios or driveways, crushed concrete or road chippings will break down quickly compared to the correct but more expensive material Type 1 MOT Sub-base.
Ask your landscaper to use Type 1 MOT Sub-base for a foundation or base to any paving, driveway or patio.

Another poor method some landscapers may use is to not put full beds of cement under the slabs, some landscapers will only put a small blob of cement under each corner of a slab and if your lucky one in the middle to.

Be sure they have quoted for the correct materials and enough sand and cement for full beds under your slabs.

Also be sure your landscaper is correctly disposing of waste, many produce cheap quotes by fly tipping the projects waste, this may include some traces to your address that would lead authorities to you as the suspect

At a minimal our profit margins must cover the following basic costs to stay in business.

  • Admin salaries.

  • Storage & maintenance of tools equipment, machinery & vehicles.

  • Insurance for workers, clients, tools, equipment, machinery & vehicles.

  • Fuel for vehicles and machinery.

  • Electricity for computers & tech required to operate the companies office computers, database & phone lines.

  • Phone line rental internet & phone bills.

  • Physical advertising & promotions.

  • Digital online advertising & promotions.

  • Online data usage & storage.

  • Website hosting & development.

  • Domain name rental.

  • Property maintenance.

  • Time spent with clients.

  • Designing.

  • Planning.

  • Expected delays from unsuitable weather conditions expected throughout a whole year not just the expected weather delays on a current project.