Reseearch by insurer finds people are unwilling to pay realistic prices

The public fails to appreciate what garden work costs

A survey by insurance company AXA shows that the public underestimates the cost and value of landscape and garden work, and is unwilling to pay a fair rate.

The report finds that overall, British householders are prepared to spend on average just £473 per year on upkeep and improvement of their gardens, equating to an investment of just £9 per week. But a quarter of the nation’s garden owners that they only spent between £1 and £100 on them last year.

While few people would call a professional to design or plant their garden (10%), most would call in professional help when it comes to hard landscaping, such as building a wall (64%), terrace or decking (61%) or putting up fencing (58%). And a similar number – 59% – would ask for help in felling a tree.

The study found, however, that expectations of the price of these jobs were largely unrealistic. The average householder would expect to pay just £390 for a garden design. The true cost, even for a small garden, is generally four times that figure on today’s market.

Similarly, people expected to pay below £400 for common building tasks: £378 for terracing, £290 for a pond installation and £364 for fence construction.

‘People working in the trades have a massive education job to do when they meet clients,’ commented Gareth Howell, Managing Director of AXA Insurance. ‘…having a good portfolio of work where you can demonstrate value and results is one good step, as well as diversifying your customer base as much as possible to ensure a lower reliance on purely residential work.’

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