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Raised beds are a great way to raise your soil level making garden borders easier to work.
Very often ground level borders have shallow soil which is usually difficult to maintain.
This makes working the ground to a deep and loamy texture challenging.
Such conditions result in garden beds which are difficult to cultivate and work to a good standard.
Raised beds allow you to add a greater depth of quality topsoil to your borders. Raised beds also provide improved soil drainage and increased direct sunlight. The question is how much does it cost to build raised beds in my garden?
To answer this question we will have to identify the three most typical types of raised garden bed. In this article we will work out how much it costs to build timber sleeper, concrete block and brickwork raised beds.
To find an average price we will work to a case study of the average sized raised bed.
How large is the average raised garden bed?
The two most common types of raised garden bed projects are vegetable beds and side borders. Although raised vegetable beds are a common choice their average size varies greatly. Consequently we will use more commonly requested linear border raised beds.
These are long, linear garden beds which run along each fence line to either sides of a lawn. Analysing our most common raised bed quotations we have realised the average size of proposed, raised, garden beds.
The average raised garden bed is 15 metres long x 1 metre wide and 0.5 metres high. Hence we will work out the price to build each type of bed at these dimensions. We will also separate out material costs and landscaping labour rates.
This is so you can decide whether to build the beds yourself or hire a company. For each scenario we will divide the price by 15 metres to provide an average linear metre price.
Types of raised garden bed
Timber sleepers are an extremely popular way to build raised garden beds. Not only do these look great they are fast to build and do not require long continuous foundations. This makes them the most affordable way to build raised beds in the garden. However these will eventually degrade and could fail after 20 years.
Concrete block & rendered
Concrete block raised beds are extremely durable and hard wearing. These raised beds provide the greatest option for external finishes and effects. They can be rendered, painted, tiled, and clad with natural stone. However unlike timber sleepers these will require concrete foundations which can raise the costs substantially.
Raised beds built with brickwork are decorative and hard wearing. The benefit of brickwork is once built, it provides aesthetic facings instantly. This means unlike concrete is does not require extra effort and cost to render or clad it. However brickwork requires skilled labour and bricks are much more expensive than concrete. This makes raised beds built with brickwork the most expensive option.
How much does it cost to build raised timber sleeper beds?
Table breaking down materials and labour for a raised timber sleeper bed 15m x 1m x 0.5m
Table based on 125mm thick timber sleeper raised bed 15m long, 1m wide and 500mm high. Sleepers to be fixed to anchor posts concreted in every 3 metres.
How much does it cost to build concrete block rendered beds?
Table based on 140mm thick concrete raised bed 15m long 1m wide and 500mm high. Bed will be capped with sandstone copings and rendered
How much does it cost to build raised beds with brickwork?
Table based on 9inch brickwork raised bed 15m long 1m wide and 500mm high. Bed to have brick on edge soldier course to top of wall.
The cost of building a raised garden bed will depend on a series of factors. These will include local labour rates, materials used, access, profitability and risk. However from the data tables here we can conclude that:
The average sized raised bed filled with good quality topsoil will cost around £5,493.50
Thank you for reading our article on how much does it cost to build a raised garden. We hope there is enough data in the tables so you can get an idea of what your bed will cost. Why not check out our article onhow to build raised garden beds here.
If you are planning to build your new garden yourself check out our resources page.
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Paul Nicolaides has over 30 years of recreational gardening and 20 years of professional landscaping experience. He has worked for landscape contractors including design and build practices across London and the South East. In 2006 he qualified with a BA Hons degree and post graduate diploma in Landscape Architecture. In 2009 he founded Ecospaces an ecological landscaping practice which aims to improve social cohesion and reduce climate change through landscaping. In 2016 he founded Buckinghamshire Landscape Gardeners which designs and builds gardens across Buckinghamshire and the South East. This blog aims to provide easy problem solving information to its audience and encourage others to take up the joy of landscaping and gardening.