Construction crews often remove the topsoil from new home sites, leaving lifeless, hard earth behind. In other cases, topsoil of poor quality must be replaced. The price of topsoil varies by purchase---packaged vs. bulk. If delivery is required, the cost is higher.
Topsoil is typically sold in bags at nursery and home improvement stores or by the cubic yard through landscaping firms. As of 2010, the cost for bags of top soil ranged from £2 to £5 per cubic foot, depending on your region and the type of soil purchased. The price for bulk soil was £9 to £13 per cubic yard picked up, and £1.90 to £3 more to have it delivered.
Bulk soil is much more economical than bagged soils, and is usually the best choice unless you have a very small area to fill. You may inspect it before you buy it to ensure it is of good quality. Distributing bulk soil can be more labour intensive than using bags. Typically, the soil is delivered and dumped in your driveway. You then must load it into a wheel barrow and haul it to your garden area.
Whether you choose bulk or bagged topsoil, look for a quality mix that has around 2 per cent amendments, such as compost or peat moss. The soil should have a pH between 5.5 and 7.5. Look for a soil with a dark colour and fine, loamy texture. If the soil clumps in your hand it probably won't drain well; if it contains mostly sand, it won't retain moisture. A bargain, low-quality top soil will cost you more in the long run in terms of the health of your plants.