Posted: 06/06/2014 at 13:34
Hi Flaz & welcome to the world of gardening.
If you have a real problem with moles you will have an uphill task trying to get rid of them - especially if your neighbours have paved gardens making yours the nicest space to visit! Lots of threads on this site about trying to get rid of them but they are something many of us have to learn to live with (speak from experience!). You could try contacting a pest control company - depends how you feel about such things - but even they have only limited success with moles & they often come back if the area is attractive to them.
A good lawn does look lovely but it sounds as though it could be hard work to prepare it & might be even more attractive to the moles when you've finished (better lawn = more worms = more mole food!) A small lawn can also be relatively time consuming to maintain.
Wondered if you have considered other alternatives which might look equally as good in a small space and be less attractive to moles. A gravel garden for instance could allow you to plant to soften it but still provide areas for seating/ sunbathing / BBQ etc and you wouldn't need to mow and edge it every week (and the moles would be less noticeable if they still visit).
Depends how you want to use the garden really and how big the overall area is (is it just the lawn or are there borders etc already established?)
Good luck & enjoy your new space whatever you choose to do with it