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How long should you wait for a landscaper to install your driveway or patio?

Hiring a landscaper to transform your garden or driveway is a big decision. After gathering multiple quotes and undertaking checks to ensure you aren’t hiring a rogue landscaper, it’s also advisable to consider the waiting time they provide. What’s the average waiting time for a landscaper to complete your project? With over 16 years’ experience in the industry, both working for other landscaping companies and successfully running his own, Aura Landscapes’ Director and landscaper Mike Warman has found reputable landscapers will have at least 3 months waiting time. However, there are factors that can affect this, such as customers encountering unexpected circumstances and cancelling their project. Another factor is the time of year, with the landscaping industry experiencing peaks at certain periods. With a new year, we all look towards a fresh start in January and transforming your home can often … Continue reading

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Garden Makeover Shows – Love ’em or Hate ’em?

Personally as a landscaper I hate these garden makeover shows – they get right on my nerves as they promise the garden of your dreams for a minuscule price. Last week I watched a garden makeover show (that shall remain nameless) where the homeowners wanted a garden with a theme of Africa for the grand budget of £6,000 – I laughed and thought no way. So it starts with the design – god awful designs presented to clearly un-knowing homeowners who have no clue what is a good design, what is a realistic budget and clearly what is good landscaping. They were over the moon and chose their favourite design, this then progressed to the build…cue shockingly bad landscaping! Now the soft landscaping may have been acceptable (I’m no expert) but the hard landscaping well let’s just say it left … Continue reading

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Small Garden – 12 Tips for the Design & Build

Many homeowners have small gardens and the challenge is what can we do with them to make them usable and beautiful? Read our tips to consider when looking at designing and building your dream small garden space: Furniture – can take up a lot of space, consider building in seating areas or buying foldaway items that can be stored away. Fire Pits – can be built into the design and make the area cosy whilst not taking up much space Use Pots –pots are a must for planting in small spaces and great for roof terraces and balcony gardens too Lighting – good use of light can make the space seem bigger than it is and the right lighting goes a long way in creating the right atmosphere Plants – think about size you don’t want  to use overly large … Continue reading

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It’s that time of year where homeowners are thinking of their gardens and outdoor spaces and it can be daunting to know where to start. Many homeowners have discovered Houzz and are using this platform to source products, research and hire professionals. Over 2 million homeowners in the UK are using Houzz to create and share idea books and connect with professionals on the site in order to renovate their gardens and outdoor spaces. We thought it would be a good idea to look back on the UK gardens and outdoor spaces trends from 2016 according to the UK Houzz report 2016. You may find it interesting… Over 1,000 UK homeowners were surveyed who were planning, had started or had recently completed a garden project: 90% updated structural elements of their gardens and outdoor spaces (such as patios, sheds, decking) … Continue reading

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Driveways, Drainage & Planning – All You Need to Know

The Legislation On 1st October 2008 new rules apply for householders wanting to pave over their front gardens.This legislation states that driveways must have adequate drainage if there is any possibility water is able to run onto public paths or highways. However, You will not need planning permission if a new or replacement driveway of any size uses permeable (or porous) surfacing which allows water to drain through, such as gravel, permeable concrete block paving or porous asphalt, or if the rainwater is directed to a lawn or border or to a purpose built soakaway. If the surface to be covered is more than five square metres planning permission will be needed for laying traditional, impermeable driveways that do not provide a drainage solution (as per above options) for the water to run to a permeable area. While many approved … Continue reading

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How to find the best landscaper in Hampshire

When you are looking for the best landscaper to carry out your project where do you start? My guess is most probably the internet. However finding the right landscaper to do the best job can be complicated the more you search. We thought we would help you with your landscaper search by giving you a few starting points to help you on your way…   Approved contractor lists: to ensure you get the best landscaper that installs to the highest standards, search approved contractor lists such as the Marshalls Register or Bradstone Approved. If you select three contractors from a list like this they should all install to the same standard, the price difference in quotes should be down to detail and skill. http://www.marshalls.co.uk/homeowners/approved-garden-and-driveway-installers    2. Trustmark: TrustMark is a government endorsed scheme. There are scheme       operators … Continue reading

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What can a garden add to your home?

Have you started thinking about your garden over winter and thinking it’s time to get it ready for summer? You want it to be an extra ‘room’ on the home and become a great place to entertain friends and family? Not sure what to spend on the garden transformation or know what value it will add to your home? We explore below why more and more homeowners are choosing to look at their garden transformation with a view to adding space and adding value to their home… So, what value can a great garden add to a property? Approximately 20% to your property value! 20% added value is around £60,000 based on the UK average home price! That’s a huge gain when you decide to sell yet many homeowners fell that they don’t want to spend lots of money on … Continue reading

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Large Landscaping Project – Setting Out & Managing

How did we, a small landscaping contractor from Southampton secure a large landscaping project (our largest contract to date) out of area and manage it you ask? Let’s start at the beginning… Bath Rugby Club wanted a large landscaping project completed at their training ground, Farleigh House. They approached Marshalls, as the leading product manufacturer in the UK who put forward three of their best award winning domestic contractors who were a part of their register.The brief was to create a large car parking area, lay paths and create a paved awards atrium with steps (lots of them) for the rugby clubs training facilities situated at Farleigh House.The products they chose to complete the project was Marshalls Antique Silver Sawn Sandstone plus step kits, Scoutmoor Setts for the paved areas and Tegula Drivesett Traditional kerbs. It was imperative that the … Continue reading

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What keeps you creative? – Mike Warman

Our Director Mike is the creative brains behind our garden transformations. After meeting you at your 1:1 consultation, Mike creates a bespoke garden design. Mike always produces hand drawn, watercolour designs that are creative and practical. He’s done this for over 11 years… …So I decided to ask, what keeps him creative? “New products are always inspiring and allow me to regularly add new elements to designs. There are many options available to home owners today, much more than some are aware of!” From the Marshalls range alone, you can choose from sandstone to plank porcelain paving! Within his designs, Mike incorporates both aesthetic appeal and practicality. But don’t just take our word for it, here’s what our customers have to say: “Mike has soul. To me, he is an artist. He presented beautiful hand-drawn designs and has managed to make them a reality in the installation … Continue reading

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TrustMark – Why is it important to you?

Unfortunately, there are still a lot of unregulated industries – landscaping being one of them, and this can sometimes prove daunting to homeowners who are looking to have work completed on their garden or driveway. But fortunately, there are organisations in place where you can go to find reputable and trustworthy tradesmen. A great place to start is to look at http://www.trustmark.org.uk/. What is TrustMark? TrustMark is a government endorsed scheme. There are scheme operators who inspect companies providing services, and establish if they’re reputable and trustworthy tradesmen. Those companies who make the cut become TrustMark Approved, and they can bear the TrustMark logo. What are the companies evaluated on? They’re checked on their trading practices, customer service and technical skills, and have insurance backed guarantees available to cover high value work. All companies have their work independently inspected by … Continue reading

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