How much does it cost to lay turf?


In this post, we will be looking at how much it will cost to lay your own turf compared to having a professional gardening or landscaping company come to install your turf. In order to do this, we will use a 50 squared meter garden to work out the costs involved, and then break it down to ‘per squared meter’ making it easier for you to see how much you should be paying to have new turf in your garden!

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How easy is it to lay new turf myself?

As a professional gardener, I know that I should be saying “definitely get a professional to do the work for you” but the reality is that it really isn’t that hard to install new grass yourself. I can honestly say that I don’t think the quality of my work when installing new turf is much different to when I first started many years ago. Providing that you are a hands on person then I am sure that this will be a job that you can do, but it isn’t the laying of the grass that is the hard part, it’s the labor intensive preparation work involved that is the hard bit!

What tools will I need to lay new turf?

To compare the costs involved when installing new turf yourself compared to paying a professional, lets see what tools will be needed that you will need to pay out for, since the gardener will carry his own tools. Of course you can rent some of these items out in order to save some money.

  • Spade £10
  • Wheel barrow £30
  • Scaffolding board £20
  • Turf cutter £10 (you can always use a standard wood saw)
  • Steaks & builders line (if you will be leveling the ground) £30
  • Lawn rake £10
  • Landscaping rake £30
  • Scarifier or Tiller £50 (if using a cheap electric one, although I would recommend renting a heavy duty petrol one for around £90)

Looking at the above, there really isn’t that many tools needed when laying your new turf, and all of it comes to around £190. It’s always worth having an extra pare of hands to help you out so try to get an extra spade and wheel barrow etc..

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What materials will I need to lay new turf in my garden?

As written above, we are going to work out which materials are needed if we were going to turf an area of 50 squared meters. This will allow us to work out what you should be paying per squared meter at the end of this post.

5 x Ton bags of top soil £250
We usually use 1 ton bag of top soil per 10 squared meters of turf. Each bag costs us approximately £50.

50 x rolls of turf £250
As a professional landscape gardener, we would get a discount on turf, paying just £3.00 per squared meter. If you will be purchasing this from a retail company such as B&Q then you should expect to pay around £5.00 per roll. Usually, each roll equates to 1 squared meter of grass.

1 x 8 yard skip £280
You should get an 8 yard skip per 50 squared meters of turf, but be sure to check with the skip company first as many only allow up to 7 yards for earth and rubble. To be honest, a 7 yard skip should be OK too. In my experience, no matter how small the area is that you will be turfing, never get less than a 6 yard skip as any lower than this and it will be classed as a mini skip…Tiny! A 6 yard skip should set you back £180.

Looking at the above, the total amount for all materials should cost approximately £780. If you are looking to lay the turf yourself over a 50 squared meter area, then you can already see that for tools and materials, this would come to £970, so expect to pay around £1000. But lets see how much you should expect to pay a professional landscape gardener to install and lay the new turf in your garden.

How much should I expect to pay a landscape gardener to lay my new turf?

Since we have all of the material costs above to cover 50 squared meters of turf (approximately £1000) lets look at what we should expect to pay for labor costs. Remember that my landscape gardening company is based just outside of North London, so I would imagine that with the cost of living more expensive the closer to London that you are here in the UK, then I would hope that you would benefit from from cheaper rates the further out that you are.

I charge £22.50 per hour, per person. For a job like this there would be 2 of us coming to install the new turf, meaning that you will be paying £50 per hour for the 2 of us, equivalent to £280.00 per day.

We would spend the first day digging out the old turf and using the wheelbarrow to take the earth to the skip, with the second day laying and installing the new turf. This means that in normal conditions, we would charge approximately £560.00 to install the new turf, but we would usually ask the customer to allow for an extra ‘half a day’ just to be safe. This means that the quote would say £560 – £700 for labor. This means that for labor and materials, you should expect to pay a professional landscape gardener around £1500 – £1700 to complete the hole job and have your new grass laid.


How much you should pay to have new turf laid per squared meter

If we divide the above numbers by 50 then this will give us the price per squared meter, although we will need to first remove the skip from the equation and add it as an optional extra, since this won’t reduce in price with the area of the turfing job.

Cost per squared meter of materials, if laying the turf yourself
£10.60 per squared meter for materials. This excludes the £280 skip and £190 tools.

Cost per squared meter of having turf installed by a professional company
£28 per squared meter for all materials and labour. This excludes the £280 skip.

This means that you should expect to pay 3 times the amount compared to laying the new turf yourself. But in hind site, the company will most likely be able to complete the work in a fraction of the time that you would be able to as well as the fact that the preparation of the work is just so labour intensive with the digging out of old turf, lifting the wheelbarrows into the skip etc..

How do I learn how to lay new turf myself?

If you would like instructions on how to lay new turf yourself and transform your garden, why not take a look at our ‘full guide on how to lay your own lawn turf’ by clicking here.

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