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Using Quoting Tools To Manage Your Garden Build Budget

10/10/2023 - Services

According to an article published by Houzz, 70% of homeowners set an initial budget for home renovations but only half of them managed to stick to that budget. 12% reported an overspend of 25%-49% while 5% went over budget by over 50%. From speaking with garden designers, landscapers and self builders on a daily basis, the Arbour Landscape Solutions team are confident that a similar survey carried out for garden makeovers would produce similar results.

Why Do Landscaping Projects Sometimes Go Over Budget?

The Houzz article states that overspend for 53% of their survey respondents was caused by products or services being more costly than expected, While 38% said they went over budget because the project was more complex than they realised it would be. 

At Arbour Landscape Solutions we know that landscaping projects sometimes don't go exactly to plan. Unexpected surprises such as underground water courses or problems with soil stability can usually be avoided with a thorough site survey before quoting. But often it's a lack of forward thinking that causes an overspend. Customers changing their mind about a feature part way through a build is a classic one, or deciding at the end of a project that they do want plants after all and then being underestimating the cost of procuring and installing those green elements.

How Can You Control Your Landscaping Budget?

Very few people have an unlimited budget for their landscaping and particularly when it comes at the end of a self-build project, it can be difficult to find that sweet spot between controlling costs without compromising on quality.

Arbour Landscape Solutions MD, Richard Bickler has teamed up with multi-award winning landscape professional Alan Sargent to share their top tips on managing prices.

  • enlightened Investing in (and reading!) a copy of Buying A Garden by Alan Sargent will ensure that you don’t overlook any potentially costly details or processes when planning your budget.

  • enlightened Start by make careful notes of any points you feel relate to your particular garden and desired results.

  • enlightened Schedule these items in order of importance, with priority first, on a sliding scale, in case your budget does not extend to all your wish list. For example, your main priority may be increased privacy, followed by play space for the children, an outdoor dining area, garden office, lush planting, lighting, a splash pool and dog washing station. If the budget doesn’t stretch far enough, the dog wash and splash pool would be the first to be crossed of the list. 

  • enlightened Make your wish list all about the functionality of the space and then work with a garden designer to decide which features will ensure that your garden meets your needs.

  • enlightened Engage a garden designer or design & build landscape company to provide you with a site survey. This is crucial to the design and build process and can save thousands of pounds in wasted time as your landscapers will be able to quote accurately for groundworks and labour from the outset. 

  • enlightened Collaborate carefully with your garden designer, your landscaper AND your supplier to ensure that you know exactly what processes and materials will be involved in your garden build. This will help you pin down some prices from the outset.

  • enlightened Be 100% settled and happy with your garden design and materials choices before beginning work. Any mid-project changes to the design could cause costs to escalate.

  • enlightened Having agreed your priorities, ask for an outline Bill of Quantities for the primary materials required for the project. 

  • enlightened Having obtained this bill, approach a potential supplier – preferably one who can supply all of the primary products in the schedule, paving, walling etc,  and obtain a price for the whole package, and negotiate a figure based on that list. (Don't forget to add 5% to material quantities for waste, more if there are multiple cuts required). Arbour Landscape Solutions offer a service whereby you can upload your materials list to their website for their team to price for you. Alternatively, use their quoting system to compare, contrast and ‘play’ with materials choices to see how the final price is affected.

  • enlightened You may be able to take advantage of bundled prices, where discounts are offered when certain materials are bundled together eg porcelain paving, slurry primer and grout.

  • enlightened Ask your supplier to arrange for materials to be delivered in as few drops as possible. Ideally, they could delivered in one operation, in a set order to enable them to be offloaded in the order they will be needed on site.This approach ensures the least expensive, most cost-effective way of conducting business, as it reduces wasted time and transport charges.

Which Quoting Tools Can Help Me Stay On Budget?

The Arbour Landscape Solutions team have incorporated a raft of quoting tools into their website so that you can access them 24/7 without the need to speak to a sales person (unless of course you want to ask us questions).

Simple Quote Builder:
An online tool which allows you to add products to a quote and then save your wish list online. The document is easy to edit - you can add or delete materials and change quantities whenever you want to. All VAT and delivery charges are shown clearly. You can build as many quotes as you want. That way you can ‘play’ with different scenarios. For example, you could compare the price. of a natural stone patio with the cost of a porcelain patio. You could even create a series of quotes for different phases of the build and see how delivery costs are affected.

Multi-User Quotes: 
Add your garden designer and landscaper to our multi-user facility so that you can collaborate over materials and pricing whilst working at separate locations.

Materials List (formerly known as My Bill Of Quantities):
Save yourself hours and hours of phone calls and trawling the internet by uploading your materials list to the Arbour Landscape Solutions website and allowing our team to price items for you. It’s a simple procedure and you’ll normally receive your quote within one working day.

Read our blog to learn more about online quoting tools from Arbour Landscape Solutions

Learn more about money saving bundles or landscaping materials.