Garden Designer’s fees

After reading through the various stages of the design process you will understand that the level of detail required by the garden design can vary significantly between gardens.

The amount of design work that we undertake is dependent on such factors as: the size of the garden, the extent of design issues that need to be addressed, and the aspirations of the client for the design.

The types of drawings required, whether 2D or 3D, working or presentation will vary between projects also.

Consequently, the design costs for each garden may vary significantly and will be specific to your particular project. However, in all cases, the cost of the consultation or design is calculated on the basis of time and expertise input by myself and/or my staff and the resources of my studio.

Fees that may be charged include:

  • Initial consultation meetings to agree the design requirements
  • Extensive on site consultations
  • Site survey work
  • Drawing up concept garden plans
  • Detailed design and finished plans
  • Planting plans
  • Fees for quantification and seeking prices
  • Fees to supervise construction

For many projects the input from my team and I includes consultation, survey, design time, tendering and project management.  The resultant fees can end up somewhere in the order of 8-15% of the overall value of the constructed project, in a similar vein to an architect’s fees.

Costs for building the garden

Many people are reluctant to tell their designer what their budget for the garden is, sometimes because they simply have no idea but often because they think in some way that this will influence the designers fee.  I would like to dispel that myth right here, right now!  I have described above how the designer fees are charged. They are calculated on expected time, expertise and travel input in accordance with what the client has asked for.

However, it would be really useful for the designer to know what your budget for the garden is as this will influence what design elements are included.  For example, there is no point in spending time/ money on getting a beautiful water feature designed if the construction budget is not there for it.

A good garden designer should be able to give you a rough idea of what spend you should be considering based on their initial discussion with you where you will have outlined your requirements.  And you should let the designer know if that is acceptable at the initial meeting.  However, remember this figure will be a guide only.  The final precise costs can only be calculated after the design plan has been fully completed.  At that stage, if the budget is outside your reach you should discuss with the designer what adjustments need to be made to bring it back on course.

Here’s a link to an article in The Daily Telegraph about the costs of building a garden.

Here’s a recent video interview, where I answer some questions on pricing.