Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to the questions we get asked quite regularly. We hope you find the information useful, but if you do need further information then please don't hesitate to contact us

Do I need a garden design?

Good question…

Most of our project work is design led. This makes sure you are making the most of the space and getting the best value for money. It also means that you and us are both clear on what we are delivering because there is documentation in the form of plans and visuals we have agreed on. I hope you believe us that saving on a design is false economy: The difference between most ‘DYI’ design jobs and a job that has been designed and executed accordingly is immediately apparent.The quality of your final result is in the detailing, in the way the materials are combined and the use of a consistent visual language throughout the project. And that is without considering the solutions a good design can bring to your space that you wouldn’t have thought of. Landscaping isn’t like a few cushions that you can replace if you don’t like them, it’s something you will live with for many years and that can either give you joy every time you look at it or it can be the cause of regret. We like to deliver joy!
... however for very straight forward pieces of work a design may not be required. Talk to us and we will give you an honest answer.

Why use a design and build contractor?

The good thing about our team is that we know that whatever we design can be built and accurately translated onto the site and within the agreed budget. During the design process, our wider team are also involved in consideration for construction methods and on-site logistics. We understand there is nothing worse than a vision that can’t be delivered. For you, it also means that there is one point of contact and that all the responsibility rests with us. There is no finger pointing between 3rd party designers or subcontractors when a nimble and coordinated approach is required, especially when there are changes or if unexpected situations arise during the project’s construction phase.

How much will my garden design cost?

Our design work is priced according to the complexities involved. One is the scope of your project. Level patio and deck areas with raised and associated planting are the most straight forward whereas outdoor kitchens and bespoke built-in seating areas and steep sites, to name a few, involve more detailing and require a topographical survey. Most of our clients come to us for our unique 3D designs, examples of which you can see in our Design Studio section. These designs detail every aspect of your project and usually include lighting designs. Some projects can be communicated in a 2D format, for which packages start from £1000.  As a guideline, the design of a project can be approximated as a proportion of the overall project cost. For Design-only providers, this ranges from 20% for small projects to 10% as the project value increases. We are able to offer better rates, however, design and planning is a time consuming and important part of the project and saving on this process truly is false economy. Here are some external sources outlining typical charging structures for comparison: how-much-does-a-garden-designer-cost?It is important to note that a good design will save time and costs in last minute or mid project changes that always arise when planning is less thorough. As such, we can guarantee that our design will pay for itself.

Can I just buy a design?

Yes you can! Although people like the easy process from design to build, clients such as developers and contractors often use our work to submit as part of a wider planning process.

What’s the design process?

Exploratory session We make an initial visit bringing with us loads of ideas and buckets of inspiration. In this session we get the ball rolling leaving you with an outline concept and getting you thinking! If you found this helpful, we can arrange a free 1 hour envisioning session with our designer.

Envisioning session Following on from our exploratory session, we hope you have had time to digest and think further about our suggestions. During the ‘envisioning session’ we bring all the ideas together on site in conjunction with our designer. We will also discuss budget implications and how we can achieve the best result within those constraints. Following our time together we, will send you a brief that outlines every aspect of your requirements that we discussed so you can check and approve this. The brief forms the basis for our quotation for producing a professional design that will provide solutions for everything on your ‘must-have’ and your ‘would love to have’ lists.
Design phase We aim to produce all our designs within 4 weeks. This is a really exciting part of the process as we work with you to bring the garden to life through beautiful designs and illustrations. We prepare a presentation that includes coloured visuals, plans and images that communicate every part of the design. See our case studies to find out what you can expect to receive. We submit this design to you and address any questions or comments you have. We find that a good brief results in a design that is usually 95% on target. We will then integrate any revision requests. This is part of the design process and is included in the design cost. We then reissue the finalised design for your approval.
Construction quote phase. Once the design has been approved, we prepare all the take-offs, specifications, plant sizes etc required to prepare a construction quote for you. If you would like to proceed with the work and haven’t reserved a slot, we will schedule one for you. 

Are you team qualified?

Definitely! Staff development is a fundamental part of our commitment to provide a first-class service. We have an enthusiastic and talented team each specialising in different elements of the outdoor sector. All our staff our DBS checked for peace of mind and safety.

Who will undertake the work?

We as a company do not subcontract out any of our work. This is what sets us apart from most companies. We employ a specialist team of fully skilled uniformed landscapers that will undertake all elements of your project. All work is assigned a team leader who will be your first point of contact on site. The team leaders are supported by a project coordinator and office staff and are part of a well-oiled machine.

Do I need to be at home during the works?

We endeavour to cause minimal disruption to our customers’ personal lives while we undertake any project work. As long as we have access to the area and an outside tap and electric supply, that’s all we need.... although we never say no to a cup of tea! 

Can I see some of your previous work

Be our guest…..we have a show garden located at Corker Outdoor Living in Paddock Wood, or we can arrange for you to visit either one of our ongoing projects, or one that has been recently completed.

Are you insured and what safeguards do I have?

We are fully insured, as we are approved contractors for both the public and private sectors. We have cover for up to 10 million pounds. All of our work is undertaken under a set of terms and conditions that protect both the client and contractor. For larger projects we set up a staged payment contract setting out milestones for payments. We also have a voluntarily customer charter an example of which we send with quotations, and as members of BALI and other industry bodies we adhere to the highest standards of service to our customers.

Do you belong to any trade organisations or authoritative bodies?

Yes we do… our company takes pride in being industry leaders in showcasing innovative products, materials and equipment. We are proud to be associated with the following bodies:

BALI : British Association of Landscape Industries

CIS :  Constructionline

CHAS : Contractor Accredited Health& Safety Scheme

IOG: Institute of Groundsmanship

RHS: We are RHS ambassadors

We have also written industry wide commentary and submitted articles for industry leading publications

Our Terms and Conditions

DEFINITIONS

 When the following words with capital letters are used in these Terms, this is what they will mean:

 Commencement Date: means the date We will start the Works at your Site.

Contract: means the agreement between You and Us to undertake the Services as described in your Order to Us.

Contractor: means the contractor providing the Services.

Intellectual Property: means the plans, drawings and Specifications submitted by the Contractor (whether before or after supply of the Works).

Materials: means any raw materials necessary to provide the Services

Quotation: means the written estimate provided by the Contractor for supply of the Works.

Site: means the location where the Works are to be provided by the Contractor.

Specification: means details as described in the Quotation describing the services provided by the Contractor.

Terms: the terms and conditions set out in this document.

We/Our/Us: means the Contractor described in clause 13.

Works: means the services described in the Quotation.

You: means you as the Client 

OUR CONTRACT WITH YOU

These are the terms and conditions on which We supply the Services to you. Please ensure that you read these Terms carefully, and check that the details in these Terms are complete and accurate as detailed in Our Quotation. If you think that there is a mistake, please contact Us to discuss. We will confirm any changes in writing to avoid any confusion between you and Us. 

1.      QUOTATIONS

1.1    The quotation is valid for a period of thirty days from the date shown in the quotation and thereafter lapses automatically,unless specified otherwise in the quotation. Quotations for Living products are valid for 14 days.

1.2    A Deposit is payable once a quotation is approved for all works which require materials (see Cl 5.5).

1.3   The quotation is based on conditions known at the time of viewing.You will pay any extra works or costs due to unknown difficulties or changes which are not within the quotation.

1.4   Acceptance of the quotation involves acceptance of these terms and conditions and will lead to a binding contract between the parties. It should be noted that any attempted or any actual cancellation thereof by You may involve You in a claim for recovery by Us of any loss or expense incurred as a result, including a claim for loss of profit.

1.4   Within Our quotation we may have listed product specifications and general details pertaining to the products selected. If this is the case, we recommend that you review the products selected ensuring you are fully aware of any variances, tolerances and finishes that can occur with natural and man-made products prior to installation.  

Natural product disclaimer

Natural products such as stone and wood are products of nature and as such are subject to natural variations in colour, veining and spotting. Therefore, these products tend to vary from shipment to shipment and the sample piece chosen by the Client may not match exactly (100%) the material the Client receives. 

2.       VARIATIONS/CHANGES

2.1  Variations to the Works as specified in the quotation will only be undertaken when agreed between Us and You and upon instructions given in writing by You to Us. Oral instructions will not be accepted. It should be noted that site personnel have no authority to alter the contract in any way. The price of any additional work will be based upon costs prevailing at the date of the instruction.

2.2    Inthe event that requirements change due to insufficient information having been provided, defects found in existing installations, etc. You will be liable for any additional expense incurred.

3.  THE SCOPE OF THE WORK

3.1.   We shall carry out and complete the works described in the quotation/ specification in a good and workmanlike manner. We shall have no obligation to execute any further work unless otherwise agreed in writing between the parties. If there shall be any discrepancy between any specification and drawing, the description contained in the specification shall prevail over the drawing.

3.2  You the Client are responsible for obtaining any necessary planning permission for the works and for complying with statutory requirements or consents.

3.3  We reserve the right to refuse to carry out any work which is in breach of the Building Regulations / Planning Permissions/ Tree Preservation Orders or which we believe to be in breach of the same or the spirit in which they are intended. 

4.  UNFORESEEN COSTS

4.1   You will be liable to meet the cost of any additional work, services or fittings that need to be provided to rectify any event or situation which arises during the works that are unexpected or are beyond Our control. We cannot be held responsible for such events or situations.

4.2  Where You the Client supplies a product or requires collaboration with third party contractors, it is Your responsibility to liaise with suppliers and ensure products and services are delivered or carried out within the agreed timeframes.  Delays caused to the schedule by third party products or contractors outside Our control will be charged at the standard hourly rate for labour and equipment. 

5.  PAYMENT COSTS

5.1   You the Client accepts that You will pay to Us the Contractor, the contract sums together with Value Added Tax properly chargeable upon the contract sum.

5.2   All accounts are net and do not provide for any discounts nor retentions unless otherwise agreed.

5.3   All accounts are payable within seven days from date of invoice. If you do not make any payment due to Us by the due date for payment, interest may be charged from the due date of payment of all invoices at 3% per annum above the Base Lending Rate of Barclay’s Bank PLC. This interest shall accrue daily from the due date until the date of actual payment of the overdue amount, whether before or after judgment. You must pay Us interest together with any overdue amount.

5.4    However, if you dispute an invoice in good faith and contact Us to let Us know promptly after you have received an invoice that you dispute it, clause 5.3 will not apply for the period of the dispute.

5.5   The payment schedule shall be as follows.

        Forall Works up to £5,000 (+vat) in value which require materials:

·        A deposit towards materials shall be made by You to Us upon approval of our quotation.

·        A final payment to be paid within seven days of completion of works.

 For quotations of £5,000 - £10,000 (+vat) invalue:

·        A non-refundable holding deposit of £250+ vat shall be paid by You to Us on approval of the quotation to reserve a place.

·        A deposit towards materials shall be made by Youto Us 4-5 weeks prior to commencement of the Works (NB if works are due to commence less than 4 weeks from acceptance, the holding deposit will be waived and the deposit will become due).

·        A final payment to be paid within seven days of completion of works.

For quotations more than £10,000 (+ vat) in value

·        We will set up a Stage Payments Contract. The terms will be as follows:

·        A non-refundable holding deposit of £500+ vat shall be paid by You to Us on approval of the quotation to reserve a place.

·        A deposit towards materials shall be made by Youto Us 4-5 weeks prior to commencement of work.

·        Stage payments shall be made as detailed in the Stage Payments Contract.

·        A final payment shall be due within seven days of completion of works.

 For Landscape Design Work:

·        Upon your approval of the design fee, we will issue an invoice for 50% of the fee, which is due prior to commencement of the design work.

·        The design will be based on the brief approved by you and includes one revision as detailed in your quote.

·        The balance is payable on completion of the concept design. On receipt of the balance, we will make any revisions you require and prepare your quotation.

 NB We do not accept credit card payments over£2,000 per total job.

  6.   THE SITE

 6.1    You agree to give Us full possession of the Site together with proper and adequate access to allow Us to carry out the Services from the Commencement Date.

6.2    You warrant that the Site is free of springs, flooding, rock, tree stumps, (unless specified to be removed under the Quotation), mine workings, covered wells, or other cavities, running sand, service pipes and cables. Sewage or land drains, foundations and sub-structure of former buildings or other hazards or obstructions which are not reasonably apparent by visual inspection of the surface of the Site or which have not been made known by You to Us in writing prior to the date of the Quotation. 

6.3     Without prejudices to your rights and remedies, where you are in breach of clause 6.1 above and the Site is found to be affected by problems described in clause 6.2 and additional Services are necessary to complete the Works, We shall inform you of the same and  

(a)       provide you with a further quotation with an estimate of the cost to undertake the additional work to deal with the problems identified which will be valid for 7 days.

(b)      in the event that the further quotation is not accepted by You within the 7 days specified, We reserve the right to terminate this contract in accordance with clause 14 Our Right to cancel. 

6.4    You agree to provide access to water, electricity and toilet facilities wherever possible for use by Us in carrying out the Works agreed. The provisions of these services and facilities shall be at the sole cost of You the Client. If portable toilet facilities are required, the cost be added to Your account.

6.5    You will be responsible for ensuring the safety of Your children, family members, pets, animals, and visitors at all times whilst the Works are being carried out on Your premises.  We request that the ground is free from animal faeces.

6.6    It is Our policy to reduce unnecessary landfill and waste. Where possible, suitable materials will be recycled on site. This in no way affects the quality of work supplied but has a positive effect on the environment and in most cases offers savings on project costs. Any waste removed from site will be at the Client’s cost and provision for removal of Works waste will have been made in your quotation. Any additional waste not associated with the Works will not be removed unless agreed in writing and priced accordingly. 

7.     MATERIALS ON SITE

7.1          Materials delivered to site become Your responsibility and We accept no loss, damage, or expense after delivery of the materials to site for any reason. We shall not be liable for any loss or theft of materials from site. Any additional materials required following damage, loss or theft shall be at Your expense.

7.2          All materials brought to site which prove to be in excess to the Work’s requirements shall remain the property of and shall be removable by Us who shall have the right to enter the site for that purpose. 

8.     DELAY AND DISRPUTION

8.1          We undertake to use all reasonable endeavors to complete the Works within a reasonable time or by a specified date if agreed. Under no circumstances shall We incur any liability to You for any untimely performance or delays arising from force majeure, adverse weather conditions, causes attributable to the Client, war or other hostilities or any event beyond his reasonable control.

8.2          Any delays / disruptions may incur additional costs if We are unable to have regular reasonable access to the site. 

9.    OUR LIABILITY TO YOU

9.1         If We fail to comply with these Terms, We are responsible for loss or damage you suffer that is a foreseeable result of Our breach of the Terms or Our negligence, but We are not responsible for any loss or damage that is not foreseeable. Loss or damage is foreseeable if they were an obvious consequence of our breach or if they were contemplated by you and Us at the time we entered this contract.  

9.2         We will make good any damage to your property caused by Us during installation of the Works. However, We are not responsible for the cost of repairing any pre-existing faults or damage to your property that We discover in the course of installation of the Works by Us. 

9.3         We only supply the Works for domestic and private use. You agree not to use the Services for any commercial, business or re-sale purpose, and We have no liability to you for any loss of profit,loss of business, business interruption, or loss of business opportunity. 

9.4         You agree that no Site is free from weeds and that accumulated weed growth and dormant weed cannot be eradicated in certain locations and that We shall have no liability for any subsequent weed growth. 

9.5         Following completion of the Order, You agree to be responsible for the continuing maintenance of the Site, unless otherwise agreed by You and Us. We advise You to consult our website for our product specific care notes. 

9.6         We do not exclude or limit in any way Our liability for:

(a)        death or personal injury caused by Our negligence or the negligence of Our employees,agents or subcontractors.

(b)        fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation.

(c)        breach of the terms implied by section 2 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982(title and quiet possession);

(d)        breach of the terms implied by sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 (description, satisfactory quality, fitness for purpose and samples) ;and

(e)        defective products under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.  

10.    EVENTS OUTSIDE OUR CONTROL 

10.1        We will not be liable or responsible for any failure to perform, or delay in performance of, any of Our obligations under these Terms that is caused by an Event Outside Our Control.  This means any act or event beyond Our reasonable control, including without limitation strikes, lockouts or other industrial action by third parties, civil commotion,riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack, war (whetherdeclared or not) or threat or preparation for war, fire, explosion, storm,adverse weather, flood, earthquake, subsidence, epidemic or other natural disaster, or failure of public or private telecommunications networks. 

10.2        If an Event Outside Our Control takes place that affects the performance of Our obligations under these Terms:

(a)     We will contact you as soon as reasonably possible to notify you; and

(b)      Our obligations under these Terms will be suspended and the time for performance of Our obligations will be extended for the duration of the Event Outside Our Control. Where the Event Outside Our Control affects Our completion of the Works, We will restart the Works as soon as reasonably possible after the Event Outside Our Control is over. 

10.3        You may cancel the contract if an Event Outside Our Control takes place and you no longer wish Us to provide the Works.Please see your cancellation rights under clause 11. We will only cancel thecontract if the Event Outside Our Control continues for longer than [ ] weeks in accordance with Our cancellation rights in clause 11. 

11.     YOUR RIGHTS TO CANCEL AND APPLICABLE REFUND 

11.1        Before We begin your Works, you have the following rights to cancel the Works as follows:

(a)       You may cancel your Works at any time before the start date by contacting Us. We will confirm your cancellation in writing to you.

(b)      If you cancel under clause 12.2(a) and you have made an advance payment, We will refund this to you.

(c)       However,if you cancel under clause 12.2 (a) and We have already started Works by that time, you will pay Us any costs We reasonably incurred in starting the Works,and this charge will be deducted from any refund that is due to you or, if no refund is due to you, invoiced to you. We will tell you what these costs are when you contact Us. However, where you have cancelled because of Our failure to comply with these Terms (except where We have been affected by an Event Outside Our Control), you do not have to make any payment to Us. 

11.2        Once We have begun Your Works, you may cancel the contract at any time by providing Us with at least [10 ] calendar days' notice in writing. Any advance payment you have made will be refunded to you less materials purchased, and number of days’ labour incurred. 

11.3        Once We have begun to provide the Services to you, you may cancel the contract for Services with immediate effect by giving Us written notice if:

(a)           We break this contract in any material way and We do not correct or fix the situation within [7 ] days of you asking Us to in writing;

(b)           Wego into liquidation or a receiver or an administrator is appointed over Our assets.

(c)           We are affected by an Event Outside Our Control. 

12.    OUR RIGHTS TO CANCEL AND APPLICABLE REFUND 

12.1        We may cancel the Contract at any time with immediate effect by giving you written notice if:

(a)         You do not pay Us when you are supposed to as set out in clause 5.3. This does not affect Our right to charge you interest under clause 5.5; or

(b)         You break the Contract in any other material way, and You do not correct or fix the situation within Seven (7) days of Us asking you to in writing. Breaking the Contract includes (but is not limited to) the following:

(c)         You fail to allow Us access to the Site as stated in clause 6.3.

(d)         You breach your promise in clause 6.2.

(e)         You decline our further quotation for additional work as stated in clause 6.3. 

13.   INFORMATIONABOUT US AND HOW TO CONTACT US 

13.1        Our full details are:

Green Oak Services (Kent) Ltd, registered in England and Wales, company registration number 8257878,

registered office and address: Unit 2 Mascalls Pound Farm, Paddock Wood, TN12 6LT.

Our registered VAT number is 152 5798 85. 

13.2        If you have any questions or if you have any complaints, please contact Us. You can contact Us by telephoning Our customer service team at 01892 833488 or bye-mailing Us at enquiries@greenoakservices.co.uk.

  13.3        Ify ou wish to contact Us in writing, or if any clause in these Terms requires you to give Us notice in writing (for example, to cancel the contract), you can send this to Us by e-mail, by hand, or by pre-paid post. We will confirm receipt of this by contacting you in writing. If We have to contact you or give you notice in writing, We will do so by e-mail, by hand, or by pre-paid post to the address you have provided to Us.  

14.   HOW WE WILL COLLECT AND USE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION

 We will collect and process your personal information in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).  Personal information collected will be processed for the reasons outlined in this clause.

 14.1        We will use the personal information you provide to Us to:

(a)           provide a Quotation.

(b)           provide the Works.

(c)           process your payment for such Works.    

 14.2        We use the information you provide primarily for the provision of services to you and for related purposes including updating and enhancing Client records,analysis to help us manage our business, statutory returns, and legal and regulatory compliance. Please note that our work for you may require us to give information to third parties such as professional advisers. This is for the legitimate interest in relation to your matter. We may from time to time want to send you information which we think might be of interest to you. We are unable to send any updates, invitations to events, newsletters in the event that you have not expressly opted in to this.

 15.    OTHER IMPORTANT TERMS

15.1        We may transfer Our rights and obligations under these Terms to another organisation, and We will always notify you in writing if this happens, but this will not affect your rights or Our obligations under these Terms.

15.2        You may only transfer your rights or your obligations under these Terms to another person if We agree in writing.

15.3        This contract is between you and Us. No other person shall have any rights to enforce any of its terms.

15.4        Each of the paragraphs of these Terms operates separately. If any court or relevant authority decides that any of them are unlawful, the remaining paragraphs will remain in full force and effect.

15.5        If We fail to insist that you perform any of your obligations under these Terms, or if We do not enforce Our rights against you, or if We delay in doing so, that will not mean that We have waived Our rights against you and will not mean that you do not have to comply with those obligations. If We do waive a default by you, We will only do so in writing, and that will not mean that We will automatically waive any later default by you.

15.6        These Terms are governed by English law. You and We both agree to submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts. However, if you are a resident of Northern Ireland you may also bring proceedings in Northern Ireland, and if you are a resident of Scotland, you may also bring proceedings in Scotland.

 16.  WARRANTIES

We guarantee that all plants and trees supplied are inherently healthy when planted. Responsibility cannot be accepted for loss after planting since subsequent site conditions are beyond the Contractor’s control.

 17.   HEALTH AND SAFETY

We will take appropriate and practical measures to ensure the environment in which works are being carried out is safe to avoid risk of injury to Us or other parties; you the Client are expected to do the same.Outside of working hours, where works are ongoing, We accept no liability for the actions of You or other household members or guests which result in damage or injury to persons or property.

We reserve the right to refuse to undertake work in an environment which is deemed to be unsafe or where the works are unsafe, illegal (or out with the spirit of the Building Regulations) or where We consider the other parties will be put at risk because of the works being undertaken.

If You notice any situation, property, equipment, or materials that You believe to be unsafe You must inform Us immediately.

If any form of asbestos or other hazardous material covered by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations is discovered onsite, We will notify You and may cease work until it has been removed and disposed of in compliance with the relevant legislation. The cost of remova land disposal shall be met by You