The short answer is no…
A number of companies providing landscaping services will offer to carry out the work at a lower price if you pay them cash, rather than bank transfer or cheque.
This almost certainly means they are operating illegally, by evading VAT and income tax. They are able to undercut their more honest competitors by up to 40% and still make more profit on their income! However, both the company offering the no tax discount and the customer accepting the offer are criminally liable, and fortunately hundreds of people are successfully convicted for this by the courts each year.
All reputable and established landscaping companies will be VAT registered, plain and simple, meaning they are obliged to charge VAT on all work they carry out.
Three simple reasons why you should avoid cash only cowboys:
The short answer is yes, compared to some others…
The fact that we not only operate our company legally, but also ethically, means that we are very rarely the cheapest quote you can find.
N.B. We believe there is a difference between “good value” and “cheap”. However, if your main consideration is getting the work done as cheaply as possible, you may want to look elsewhere!
Ethical – how?
It is an undeniable fact that much of the natural stone paving which ends up on the patios and driveways of the UK is quarried by children as young as 5 years old on wages of less than £1 per day, normally in India or China.
From 2014, The Landscape Company Ltd always give the option of using certified ethically sourced natural stone products to all of our customers. This means that we pay a few £ more for every square metre of paving we purchase, and it means we probably make less profit than our competitors, but we think the small sacrifice is worth it, and we hope our customers do too!
Although it’s relatively cheap to supply and easy to install, and can look quite attractive once installed, we’re not impressed with its long term durability, colour fade or it’s lack of flexibility when it comes to making patch repairs etc. We’re also not keen on the fact that it needs re-colouring and re-sealing periodically after installation, so we have made a conscious decision not to include it in our range of services.
Yes, and no…
We get so many requests for quotes that it is difficult to fit everyone in (we even had enquiries on Christmas Day last year!). During very busy periods, we will charge a nominal fee to ensure that the customer is serious about the project. The fee is payable on attendance, after which we provide a full written quote for the work, having discussed the customer requirements in detail. If the customer decides to go ahead with the work the fee is refunded from the final bill (so in essence the quote is free).
The way we look at it is this- a typical spend on a full garden landscaping project is £10K-£20K upwards. On this basis our fee for quoting would may work out at around 0.025% of the total project spend – a small price to pay to find the right contractor in our opinion.
Why – this might sound cliched, but it’s true: