At Acre Design, we often find that when our clients are building a self-build home, home extension or renovation, the garden design is left until last. You probably have a long list of things to plan and consider including: bathrooms, kitchens, materials, fixtures and fittings, furniture and so on. However, with even the smallest budget, spending wisely on your garden can have a huge impact on your satisfactions with your project as whole. A well thought out garden space can also have a big impact on the value of your home, so it is well worth considering! Even if you plan on carrying out the gardening and landscaping work yourself, developing a plan early on will be beneficial.

When you begin your project, you will have an idea of the funds you have available to spend. We recommending allocating some of your budget to the garden space at the start of your project. Who wants large, beautiful bi-fold doors if the scenery beyond them is a disaster?

Practical considerations

If you’re a self-builder, this is a really advantageous position to be in, in terms of landscaping. However, you may also come across a few challenges here. You’ll need to consider: access, driveways, garages, and storage, as well as the normal garden wants. If your budget is limited, you may consider focusing your budget on permanent fixtures such as access and your driveway. Greenery, turf and landscaping can always be completed in the future, once your budget has replenished a little. You may be surprised to learn that a well-built driveway can cost around £20,000.

If you are building an extension to your home, you will need to consider how to maintain privacy in your new space. Will any new windows be more visible to your neighbours? Do you need to think about screening off?

Planting early on is a good idea if you wish to use hedges and plants for privacy or protection from the elements (as a windbreak perhaps). Most hedges can take around 5 years to grow to their full height and provide the desired screening effect. It is also far more cost effective and easy to purchase and plant younger, smaller plants than it is to purchase and plant established, larger hedges and plants. Mature plants are readily available to purchase, however the cost of this is significantly more than a young plant or seed.

Fences are a great, short term, cheap and easy option for your boundaries but they can lack kerb appeal. Brick and stone walls can cost upwards of £300 a metre. Therefore, fencing and hedgerows can be a very cost-effective solution. Also, studies show that looking at greenery and plants boosts our mood. Good garden design is good for your health too!


Budgeting for the highest quality that you can afford for your garage, shed or driveway is a good idea. These elements will all add to the value and overall aesthetics of your home. Thinking of your project as a whole plot is key – you want to feel delighted every time you pull onto your driveway in front of your beautiful new home, for example. You may think that your front door and hallway will give that all important first impression. It is more likely to be the overall appearance of your home from the outside that will impress you, your family and friends and even perspective buyers in the future.

Utilise your existing garden design

If you have some garden items in place already, it is worth working these in to your plans to save money and effort. You can then spend your budget on other upgrades! Often, when you extend your home it can be disruptive to your garden. The building work can take its toll on plants and grass and the new structure can disturb the layout somewhat. If there are some plants you know you would like to keep, make sure you protect these during the build. You could even move them out of the way where possible. Working alongside your project design, you could plan pathways and terraces that flow from and to your new extension.

Lastly, research suggests that a well-designed garden can add up to 20% to the value of your home! consider your garden as a long term investment, one for your enjoyment and for future financial gain.

We hope that you find this information helpful, at Acre Design Newcastle we are passionate about all things design and would love to discuss your project with you in detail.

Take a look at our recent projects for further inspiration! Get in touch to arrange a free, no obligation consultation at your home