Groundwork Contractors

1 April 2022 – 7 Minute Read

The Cost of Groundworks

Whether you’re taking on a landscaping project or need to lay the foundation for your brand-new extension - working with a reliable Groundworker is a must.

A good groundworker will be able to thoroughly investigate your project site, and make useful recommendations based on the soil type, location, and any site history. They’ll also be able to correctly install pipe systems and build foundations - making sure that your project has the strongest base possible.

In some cases, working with a groundworker is a legal requirement - and making sure that your foundations are correctly laid the first time can save you a lot of cash later. This leads to the most important question - how much do groundworks cost?

If you’re searching for reliable but affordable Groundworkers to help with your next construction project - this handy guide is here to help. With information on the prices of different jobs, and tips on finding the right service for you - you’ll have everything you need to know!

Groundwork Cost Guide

As every groundwork project is unique, you will often be charged per square meter, instead of per hour or per day. This means that the larger your building site, the higher your final cost will be.

Your groundworker will need to visit your location before they make a quote, to make sure that they’ve factored in every aspect of the site. Things like trees, soil quality, and nearby basements can all affect the total cost of the work - so it’s best to let your groundworker know as much information as possible, to get the most accurate quote.

It’s also important to allow some room in your budget, in case poor weather conditions, or unexpected issues affect your groundwork project. In general, setting aside 10% of your project fee should be enough to cover any extra costs.

Standard Groundwork Rates

If you’re trying to make sense of your project costs, here are some of the ways your groundworker may charge for their work, and the main factors that can affect your overall fee:

Daily Groundwork Costs

Most groundworkers will work out their fee based on the size of the project. However, some might offer daily rates, especially if they’re working on a long or complicated project. The average daily rate for groundworkers is £175 per day in the UK.

Keep in mind that daily rates may not always include materials costs, so you should discuss this with your groundworker beforehand.

What is the cost of groundworks per square meter?

In general, when you take on a groundworks project, your contractor will charge you per square meter.

For new foundations, the average cost per square meter will be £125. If you require deeper foundations, you may need to pay up to £150 per square meter.

For landscaping services, you can expect to pay an average of £110 per square meter for paving, or £31 per square meter for turf.

Does my location affect groundwork costs?

Yes, your location will affect the cost of your groundwork project.

In general, if you’re based in the South of the UK, or within the London area, you will have to pay more for construction projects. It’s also worth considering how easy it is to get to your project site, because working in a hard to access place can require more time and money.

Not only this, but the soil type in your area can also impact your project cost. If you live in an area with loam-based soil, you’re in luck! Loam is the best soil for building foundations in and means your site will require less preparation.

However, if your soil includes a lot of clay or peat, it can damage your freshly laid foundations, so your site will require more costly preparations.

Materials Costs

For foundation laying, you can usually expect the materials cost to be included in the rate per square meter.

However, if your project requires specific machinery or extra landscaping items to repair damage, you may have to cover these fees. For example, hiring a digger for a week will cost £140 per day to hire, including transportation costs.

Average Labour Costs for Groundworks Services

To make it easier to budget for your next project, here are some of the standard services offered by most groundworkers, and how much they cost on average:

Excavation

Whether they’re preparing for foundation laying, or simply helping with landscaping, your groundworker will be able to help with excavation.

In general, a groundworker will charge you per meter cubed of soil removed. For foundations, expect to pay £27 per meter cubed on average. Regular soil excavation will be in a similar range, but if you’re hoping to dig a basement, the rate per meter cubed is £2,500.

Foundation Laying

Foundation laying is one of the main jobs that groundworkers will take on - and it makes up a big proportion of your total building groundworks costs.

The most common type of foundation is the ‘deep strip’, and many businesses will base their quotes on the cost of this style. On average, deep strip foundations will cost you £110 per square meter - so an area of 30 m2 will total £3,300.

If you’re looking for a set of foundations that can be laid in just a day or two - you should consider trench fill foundations. They average £135 per square meter, so an area of 30m2 will come to £4,050.

If you’re wondering about the cost of groundworks for an extension, the rate per square meter will usually stay the same for single and multi-story projects. However, single-story extensions do tend to have a larger footprint, so you may pay more for foundations due to the larger project area.

It’s always a good idea to keep 10% of your project quote in the budget - just in case. Unexpected problems like tree roots, uneven land, or contaminated soil can boost your final project costs - but the extra 10% should make sure you’re covered.

Foundation Removal

Your groundworker can also help you to remove foundations from your project site. This can cost an average of £1,250 - but this will depend on how big your site is, the type of foundation you want to be removed, and whether the foundations are part of a building.

Most businesses will dispose of the construction waste for you - so you won’t have to worry about added costs!

Landscaping

Your groundworker will also be able to help with landscaping costs, whether that includes restoring the project site, or simply renovating your garden space.

Landscaping costs tend to average £95 per square meter, but this can vary depending on the work you’re looking for. For example, laying turf often costs £31 per square meter, whereas wooden decking comes to £130 per square meter.

Your groundworker will be able to discuss landscaping costs with you in more detail and will generally offer different pricing tiers that depend on the quality of the materials you choose.

Overall Building Groundworks Costs

Groundwork Service Average Cost
Foundation Excavation £27 per meter cubed
Trench Fill Foundation Laying £110 per meter squared
Deep Strip Foundation Laying £135 per meter squared
Foundation Removal £1,250
Landscaping £95 per meter squared

How to Find the Right Groundworker for You

If you’re struggling to choose which Groundworker is right for your project - here are 3 useful tips that will help you have confidence in your decision:

Check Their Reviews

One of the best ways to check a groundworker is reliable is to look at their track record!

You can often find lots of detailed reviews online, which will let you know whether you’ve chosen the right service for your needs. Look for reviews that mention how good the final product was, and that also mention how punctual, friendly, and professional a business was.

You can also ask family members if they’ve worked with a good groundworker in the past, or even ask your architect for recommendations, if you’re using one.

Get a Second Opinion

When you’re trying to decide on the right groundworker, it’s a good idea to get quotes from a few different businesses. This way, you can get a good idea of the standard prices in your area and will be able to compare the benefits of each provider.

Getting a second opinion is also useful if you’re concerned you haven’t been offered a fair deal. It’s important to double-check if you’re ever unsure about a service.

Ask About Certification

It’s essential to make sure that your groundworker is fully certified and insured. This will help reassure you that they’re properly skilled and make it less likely that you run into problems later.

Many reliable groundworkers will even be registered with a trade association. These groundworkers will be regulated by the association, and will have to follow certain professional standards, which can put your mind at ease.

If you’re searching for reliable local groundworkers, then search our online database now!