Garden design quote seems extorionate. Advice please x

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  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 15,849
    It does sound very odd.

    The thing that worries me is the aspect of intellectual property. No way of knowing if your £1200 for the drawings was bound into an eventual agreement for the work to be done. The drawings may still belong to the designer even though you have handed over £1200. If that is the case, you wouldn’t be able to get another person to do work based on them, I shouldn’t think.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,057
    Fair point, something that needs checking.

    I'd still get somebody else to design (if necessary) and quote.
  • 15k to 70k is a massive jump.  I was shocked and have since felt very upset, embarrassed and angry.  We asked why the 15k we had been told over the phone had jumped to 70k and he said materials make up 50% of the cost and labour makes up the other 50%. He is a legit designer with awards.  This is his webpage: https://www.leicestershiregardendesign.co.uk/  
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,951
    The plans are yours to do what you like with them. What sort of plans did you get? Did you get:
    a. a pretty sketch of the finished areas? ie not drawn to scale?
    or b. a scaled plan of the areas
    or c. a scaled plan of the areas plus details of the hard landscaping ie exactly what type of paving, pavers, sizes etc
    or d. c plus technical drawings of the drives, edgings etc detailing how much hardcore etc would be laid, how the edgings were fixed etc.
    or e. d + planting plans detailing exact plants and how many. 

    If it was an 'award winning garden designer' then for £1200 I would only expect to get a. If you got anything more than that, then you are quids in. But they should have created something within your budget. 
    This is the bit that worries me 'When we first called, we went through some basic details and were told to expect a cost of around 15k. '. Did the designer visit the site? Did you sit down with him/her and discuss fully what you wanted? Did you reiterate your budget of £25000? Did he/she point out that some of your ideas were not possible for that budget??? 

    So far, I think you have got what you paid for. If you have not done the 'due diligence' bit by writing down what you expected and your budget, then it is really your problem.

    If you did receive b,c,d or e, then there is nothing to stop you taking those drawings and getting quotes from other landscapers. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 4,035
    It all depends on what you discussed at your initial meeting, what you subsequently asked for that was above and beyond that and whether you stated a maximum budget. As you said though it's only a quote so you don't have to accept it. Get a comparison quote from another company or maybe get a QS to price up the work and see what they think it should cost. The materials would be pretty simple to quantify I imagine and then it's just an estimate of labour costs on top. Building work is currently very expensive and good builders are booked up several projects in advance despite this.

    It is very hard for designers to predict costs at the early stages of a project. I get asked at initial meetings (house designs) for a rough idea of how much the project will cost and it's an impossible question to answer with any accuracy. Having said that if you had discussed an initial price based on a firm brief and a budget had been set then any increases should have been discussed during the design stage otherwise it's a bit unprofessional of them to design above budget.
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,057
     We asked why the 15k we had been told over the phone had jumped to 70k and he said materials make up 50% of the cost and labour makes up the other 50%.
    But they must have known all that when they gave the initial estimate??? Find somebody else (young, keen and hungry!). Write off the £1200 if necessary.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 15,849
    edited April 2018
    I would really get professional advice on intellectual property here. See this, for example


    It’s my belief that he deliberately suggested a low price for the job to encourage you to pay for the drawings. Once you had paid for those, the cost could go up to what he probably thought you would pay.

    You could approach him and ask his permission to give the drawings to a cheaper third party.


    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • We asked how much for a new drive and simple garden design at the front and a new patio and simple design at the back.  We were told to expect to pay approx. 15k which we were fine with.  We have 3d drawings to scale, with measurements in colour with labels of materials.  I'm happy with the drawings and have no issue with the cost of them.  I'm just shocked at the quote of the work being 70k.  Has anyone paid a pro landscaper/designer to create their garden? How much did you pay and what did you get for your money? (sorry that's a forward question but I would be grateful if you could share your experience) 
  • Thanks Pansyface.  I have since had that suspicion too :(
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