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How much does levelling a garden cost?
There is no doubt that having a personal garden space can be a true blessing. However a garden which has uneven gradients and steep slopes can be uncomfortable to navigate.
Ball games, social events and general gardening can become very much more cumbersome in sloping gardens.
Even gardens which have relatively level boundaries can have many undulating dips and mounds. Hence the question is often asked; how much does it cost to level a garden?
Obviously unpacking this simple question contains an avalanche of variables. However in an attempt to seek an average answer to the question there are some safe assumptions;
Based on these assumptions in order to work out an average levelling cost we will need to formulate a case study. We will need to identify the size of the average garden to form a base plan for our case study.
Then we will need to look at the range of gradients tackled in the average garden levelling project. From this we will identify a median garden gradient value to use for our case study site.
We will then price up the hypothetical project to identify an average, garden, levelling, price per square metre. We will separate out materials and landscaping labour rates in case you wish to carry out the project yourself.
How much does it cost to level the average sized garden with the average gradient?
Working out your garden gradient
Working out the gradient, percentage or fall for your garden is very beneficial for working out costs. Not all slopes are naturally consistent but identifying an average fall will assist in your calculations.
Normally levelling a garden involves raising the lower parts up as it is easier to fill in than excavate out. To work out your gardens gradient you will need to run a level line from the highest to the lowest point.
The best way to do this is with a laser level and a series of timber stakes. The stakes can be driven securely into ground and a horizontal line marked where the laser contacts. This can also be done with a string line, spirit level and pegs.
With a measuring tape you can take a record of the average depth that will need to be filled. This can then be multiplied by the surface area to work out the fill in cubic metres.
In order to level this garden we will build a concrete retaining wall around whole low perimeter of the site. This will require excavating a foundation of 600mm deep and 400mm wide stepping up at the sides. Wet concrete will then be poured to the foundations to create a level base for concrete block work.
The a new retaining wall will be built using concrete blocks laid on their side (215mm thick) The new wall will be built around the sides of the garden to meet the highest level. This will create a level perimeter all the way round the garden.
Soil excavated from the foundations can be levelled into the low parts of the garden. These can be tracked in with an excavator to compact the sub-soil as much as possible. Lorry loads of topsoil will need to be consolidated within the retained boundary.
To complete the levelling project we will allow working the topsoil to a consistent level and then lay a new lawn. This should provide a good average case study example for levelling the average garden.
Table costs based on levelling 10m x 20m garden with a 1:10 slope and new lawn
Thank you for reading our article on how much does levelling a garden cost. Why not read our article on how to level your garden here.
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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.