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Joe_the_Gardener


Latest posts by Joe_the_Gardener

Trellis screen - any idea how much?

Posted: 19/11/2012 at 16:38

Further thoughts on the price of a day's work.

Say your gardener wants to earn about the national average wage, which I believe is about £23,000 gross. Assuming he aims to work 40 hours a week and takes 4 weeks holiday plus a few bank holidays and odd days to go to the school play, etc. - he will work about 235 days a year, which looks like £100/day before tax. Or to put it in hourly terms, 1880 hours at just over £12/hour.

Now the downside.

He has to pay tax andNational Insurance  on his profit. Until I  get around to doing my accounts I can't remember how much N.I. is. 7 or 8%, I think. He also needs to find the running costs of a work vehicle, contributions to a private pension (check out with a provider what it would cost to give yourself even £5,000 a year in retirement, and remember, no employer contributions), buy tools (a power strimmer suitable for heavy work starts at around £300 - check costs of hedgecutter, mower, etc. - real ones, not toys), buy insurance - third party and his own health and accident. Then a whole lot of consumables - gloves and other personal equipment, office stuff............

Then start thinking about  those 235 days. Just now, when the days are barely eight hours long, the weather's often rubbish, and many gardens are too wet to do anything with (and that's before it snows and freezes) that 40 hours a week starts to look insanely optimistic. So cash-flow will be tricky.

So he's got to work harder and longer when it is fit, and charge a lot more than the above figures to earn a reasonable bottom line. And it's not the sort of job where he fancies still working at that pace when he's 60+.

So don't be too surprised at the gardener's quote!

Joe

Planting an Art-Deco Raised Border

Posted: 19/11/2012 at 14:51

The health risk to humans is extreme loss of temper, and only the dog-owners can cure it.

Advice on planting native hedgerow please

Posted: 16/11/2012 at 17:10

Helen,

Thanks for your reply; I was concerned about maintenance, but if you have access to the back of the hedge that's great. The side that faces the path will need to be well trimmed, especially as there are some spiky characters in the mix. Looks a super project!

Joe 

Advice on planting native hedgerow please

Posted: 15/11/2012 at 17:12

Helen,

Is it your garden on the left of the picture behind the fence?

Joe

sparrows

Posted: 14/11/2012 at 19:48

Is that Obelixx the Ghost?

Trellis screen - any idea how much?

Posted: 14/11/2012 at 19:41

Abby,

Four tanalised 8ft fenceposts at least 80mm dia or square - from £10 each. Trellis could cost anything from £20 to £60 per panel, depending on quality and how 'see-through' it is. As someone said above, if it's a windy site you would go for thicker posts and less dense panelling. Add £20 for screws and fixing brackets. £20 for enough concreting materials to set the posts in. Labour to dig four holes 2ft deep, set the posts in concrete and fix the panels, and to fetch the materials onto site and clean up afterwards. Add a bit for overheads for coming to quote for the job.

I'd say a summer day's work for one man - what that would cost may to some extent depend where you live.

Ask your quoters where you can see examples of their work. Word of mouth is a good recommendation. Remember, you only want to do this job once, so you need someone who can make it look good and do a solid job. Make sure they're insured for third party risks, covering damage to property and to people, not to mention services (gas, water, electricity...do you know where these, and drains, are?) - if they're evasive about insurance tell them to sling their hook. Get fixed-price quotes in writing; it's up to them to satisfy themselves they've identified all the snags, but be honest about any possible problems - for instance if you've buried a lot of concrete or tree stumps on the site, or if you know there are drains, etc. they're entitled to be told.

I'm sure I've missed things, but good luck,

Joe

How do I create extra height to my existing fence?

Posted: 14/11/2012 at 10:07

Rose,

Do find out whether the responsibility for maintaining the boundary fence is yours or your neighbour's.This should be on the deeds.

Do let the neighbours know what you intend to do.

Do take Jo's advice to make a free-standing plant-supporting fence in your own garden instead of trying to add anything to the existing fence. Builders' fences are not always that good. By building your own you can use some really good posts well set in the ground The more you can afford to bring this fence into your garden the more height of the adjoining houses you will screen.

Joe

Planting an Art-Deco Raised Border

Posted: 14/11/2012 at 09:55

Looks like the sort of pressure-treated softwood that you can cut to size from any proper timber merchant.

sparrows

Posted: 14/11/2012 at 09:44

It is indeed their nature, but most cat-owners are not prepared to admit it, or else excuse it by saying that other predators are far worse. During visits to my gardens it is only too obvious what a sad and unecessary toll cats take on birds. There are many countries where cats (and of course other predators) have been introduced and wreaked havoc on native species; David Attenborough referred to one of these cases last week on his 'Attenborough's Ark' programme.

sparrows

Posted: 13/11/2012 at 17:12

There's nothing more cheerful than a hedgeful of sparrows chirping away.

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