Whether you are a keen gardener or a complete beginner, it is always a good idea to plan your makeover to have the greatest chance of success. Here is a step by step guide to help you on your way to the garden of your dreams!

Setting your objective

It is really important to consider whether you are renovating your forever garden or planning to sell or rent your property. 

If you are planning to sell or rent, you should be aware of the areas ceiling price. There is no point in extravagantly renovation garden if it will not help to generate greater yields. Secondly, consider who your target buyer is, are they are family, young professional or newly retired? This will make a difference to the type of garden you create. For example, a family might want a nice lawn for their kids to run around, whereas a young professional may want a minimal maintenance garden.

Particularly if you are renovating your whole garden as part of your forever home, it could be a good idea to get some inspiration to solidify the type of garden you desire. This will enable you to generate a concise plan of achieving your new garden look rather than making it up as you go along, which may be costly.

A garden designer may be able to help you achieve the most for your budget. However, if you are on a tight budget, you could draw out your garden yourself to help you visualise the look you desire, it doesn’t have to be intricate, and you don’t necessarily need a designer to do it for you.

Decide what’s staying and what’s going

Depending on your budget should decide what features of the existing garden you would like to keep and which parts you will redo. If you are on a tight budget, it might be a good idea to spruce up your existing garden rather than create an entirely new look. However, you must choose which areas to keep carefully. It may be more beneficial to redo your old decking than remove a mature tree that may cost thousands of pounds.

Perhaps make a list of the essential areas to renovate in your garden, then research the cost of renovating that area (leaving some contingencies) and finally sit down and plan how many of the most significant issues you can fix. But also bear in mind that you want to create a coherent look.

Setting your budget

As a ballpark, you can expect a simple small garden that retains existing features to cost in the region of £6000 to £8000 after including professional fees, materials, plants and contractors. A completely new garden could set you back over £10,000, with a large garden costing around £15,000 to £25,000.

Some designers recommend spending 5 to 15% of your house price, and others advise £100 to £200 per square meter. The bottom line is to work out how much you can afford to spend and compare that against your list of needs and wants. Analyse what you can afford in your budget, then consider where you can save if you have some extra elements that you cannot afford. 

Remember that the cost of your garden renovation will be higher if there are more structural areas to remove compared to an already flat surface. Therefore, if your budget is tight, you could think about removing the old walls and paving yourself to make some savings.

Budget top tips:

-         Moving drainage and clearing your site cost extra.

-         Avoid curving garden borders that require a high degree of accuracy.

-         Use cheaper recycled and reclaimed materials.

-         Consider covering or cladding rather than removing.

-         Plants are cheaper hardscapes.


Designer or DIY?

Choosing between a designer and doing it yourself may depend on your budget, spare time and prior gardening experience. If your budget allows it, a designer can provide you with their professional advice on the best design, materials and approach for you and your garden, potentially saving you money in the long run. If you can’t afford to use a designer throughout your project, you could arrange a consultation in which the designer could point you in the right direction.

Alternatively, you may friends and family that are gardeners and landscapers who advise and potentially even carry out the more technical work such as laying paving and decking.

If you decide to renovate your garden yourself, you should first consider the different areas of your garden by working out which areas get light at what time of the day? A compass (often an application on a mobile phone) can be a helpful tool to find out which direction your garden faces and begin to design your garden accordingly. Remember also to consider which parts of your garden can be seen from your neighbours’ windows.

Armed with this information, you can go off and get some inspiration from your favourite website, magazine articles, social media etc. and begin to draft a design of your new garden. Then decide from your inspiration what materials and plants that you will use.

Finally, consider extras such as garden cabins, sheds or courtyards. A bar, gym, jacuzzi, or games room at the end of your garden may be the piste de resistance to your new garden haven. EcoGreenCabins offer a sleek modern affordable solution to the conservatory that does not require planning permission. Click here to find out more about EcoGreenCabins.