Garden design quote seems extorionate. Advice please x

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  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,618
    Some commenters seem very sanguine about now owning the plans and finding other designers, but it all seems like a grand waste of the clients' time to me. If you don't have various sets of plans to compare, and have never done such work before, how would you know what would work best? If you don't have itemised costs, how can you assess value for money? They look like they're on commission from Marshalls, which also skews the pitch.  
  • Well you've paid for the design now,so not much you can do about that,but there must be lots of landscapers who would work to the design and whom you could consult with on costs ,advantages or otherwise on materials.  
    I too,think the cost is extortionate!
    The whole truth is an instrument that can only be played by an expert.
  • Hi Dove. We have detailed drawings with measurements, materials etc (the drawings I posted just show the finished effect).
    To be fair, we asked for a simple modern design which I appreciate will not be everyone's cup of tea. 


  • Pansy, yes they are the people we're dealing with. They seemed like lovely people and have a nice studio and have done lots of other projects but obviously something is off for them to hit us with a 70k quote. Currently, we're still on good terms with them and we're giving them the opportunity to come back with a reasonable quote and tweak the design/materials to bring the cost down. If that fails, we'll go elsewhere. 
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,697
    Hi Dove. We have detailed drawings with measurements, materials etc (the drawings I posted just show the finished effect).
    To be fair, we asked for a simple modern design which I appreciate will not be everyone's cup of tea. 

    Copyright and/or intellectual property infringements would be difficult to show on such simple designs. 
    There may be small print on the detailed drawings about not being allowed to give them to another contractor for construction works, but that would be unusual and hard to enforce. Clauses in contracts that are not legal are not contractually binding, and in this case, I think it would be an infringement of Consumer Rights Laws to insist that only this guy's own team can build his design. 
    It would be an infringement of his IP to pass the drawings on to (say) a new buyer of the house, or one of your neighbours to build in their house. But you paid for the drawings to be used by you on your premises. In the normal practice of the industry, that means you can get those designs realised if you want to, or not if you chose and by whatever means you chose.

    But in any case, if you went to a young landscape company, showed them the 'final effect' drawings and asked them to create a design within a 15k budget based on those principles, I would expect them to be able to do so without further reference to the originals. You would only need to use them to talk around what you like about them and what you could compromise in order to achieve your budget.

    It's hard to say if 70k is reasonable for what they've drawn but it seems a lot and I think there would be ways to achieve what you've asked within your budget, albeit you may need to have lower spec finishes. 
    On and on the rain will fall, like tears from the star
    On and on the rain will say, how fragile we are
  • As far as I'm concerned, we own the drawings. We have paid for them and there is nothing in writing to say that we can't have someone else to do the work. Unless our designer drops his price dramatically, he has left us no choice but to go elsewhere.
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 3,767
    If you hire 'An award winning designer' you are going to pay elevated prices.  That said, if an initial budget of 15k was discussed, a 70k design is ridiculous.  Without having full detail of the design it's impossible to day whether 70k is reasonable.
    If you're happy with the plans I'd be inclined to look elsewhere for somebody to actually do the work.  Have you been provided with a fully detailed plan? i.e. planting layout, hard landscaping detail etc.
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,951
    I will repeat myself. The designs are yours to do with what you want. Unless you signed a contract that stated they would do the designs AND the finished product (which would be very unusual). 
    The designs look very simple. If you are happy with them take them to a couple of landscapers to price up. Unless there are hidden costs like extensive drainage or extensive clearing of the site or a steep slope, you should be able to do all that for £15k and a lot less. 
    One tip - do the planting yourselves. Most of the profit is in the planting!

    A lot of designers use a lot of Marshall products because they are widely available, reasonably priced and stock a good range. It is not a reflection on the skill of a particular garden designer. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 57,609
    hogweed said:
    ... A lot of designers use a lot of Marshall products because they are widely available, reasonably priced and stock a good range. It is not a reflection on the skill of a particular garden designer. 
    Absolutely  :)  Marshalls products are fine ... they'll also do the design for you and work out exactly how many of which products you need.

    https://www.marshalls.co.uk/homeowners/free-garden-patio-and-driveway-design-tools

      Easy peasy  :smile:
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 4,070
    The guy who laid my drive and paths did a great job at a reasonable price. He did have a tendancy to ring up at 11pm steaming drunk and ranting about his ex wife though. and he couldn't work in the cold which would have been fine if it hadn't have been February. He did always call to say he wouldn't be able to make it though but as I said it would have been late night calls and I couldn't always tell what he was saying. He had a bloke who worked with him who could work in the cold but couldn't make it the job without a lift from the other fella. I was chatting to him after they finished and it turns out he lived 2 streets away from my house. Let me know if you want their number :)
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