How Much Does Landscaping Cost?

How Much Does Landscaping Cost?

If you’re looking for the average cost of landscaping, there’s a wide range of possibilities depending on where you live and what type of landscaping project you want to complete. A landscaping project could consist of new soil, a walkway, grading, planting, removal of trees or all of the above.

Of course, the price tag will vary. But in general, you can expect a landscaping cost estimate to be anywhere from $3,000 to $20,000 or more if you’re starting a completely new project, based on figures from FixrHomeGuide, and HomeAdvisor, which all help consumers find home-maintenance professionals.

How much does landscaping cost?

The two main drivers for your landscaping project’s total cost will be the prices of materials and the labor to install them.

Area Average cost
Front yard $3,000-$6,000
Back yard $7,000-$12,000
Garden $7,500-$20,000

Landscape labor costs range from $50 to $100 per hour. If you plan to work with a landscape designer or architect, your labor cost may approach $200 per hour. Landscaping pricing per square foot can range between $4 and $12.

Landscape project costs

If you have a project in mind, here are approximate costs for some common landscaping tasks:

Landscaping project Approximate cost
Sources: fixr.com, HomeGuide
Sprinkler installation $1,800 – $5,200
Deck installation $5,000-$20,000
Outdoor lighting installation $2,500-$5,000
Tree removal $500-$1,000
Fountain installation $1,250-$3,700
Pond installation $2,100-$9,000
Lawn seeding $550-$1,500
Flower garden planting $8,000-$20,000

Sprinkler installation

Installing sprinklers in your lawn is a way to keep your grass green without having to remember to water it. Sprinkler installation is more common in drier climates that don’t regularly get rain. A sprinkler system is typically installed underground, with only the sprinkler heads poking above the ground.

Deck installation

The cost to install a deck varies greatly, mostly depending on how big of a deck you want to build. The type of materials you use for your deck also play a part in the cost of installation. Wood and composite are the two main options for materials for your deck.

Outdoor lighting installation

Installing lighting is a great way to make your outdoor space more livable and make it easier to enjoy it at night. Costs for installing outdoor lighting hinge on how many and what type of lights you’re looking to install, as well as how far your outdoor lighting is from the nearest electric outlet.

Tree removal

There are many reasons you might want to remove a tree. The tree might have died or otherwise be a hazard, or you may need to remove it to install other landscaping. While you might be able to remove smaller trees yourself, you should definitely hire a professional to remove larger ones. They can also remove and/or grind the tree stump to give your outdoor space a cleaner look.

Fountain installation

Fountains are a soothing part of any front yard or backyard landscaping project. You can make your fountain the centerpiece of your yard or place it near your patio to provide soothing sound effects when you’re sitting outside. The costs of a fountain can vary greatly depending on the size of the structure and the material it’s made from.

Pond installation

Adding a pond to your yard can turn it into a full oasis, increasing the serenity in your backyard.  The location, size, and materials will all affect the price of a pond installation, as will the addition of plants, fish or turtles. Ponds that are lined and filtered will also be more expensive than unlined, unfiltered options.

Lawn seeding

If your lawn doesn’t have grass or it needs a total overhaul, lawn seeding is a way for patient homeowners to grow a new lawn. This method costs about $0.05 per square foot, which makes it a fairly affordable way to replace your yard. The lawn size and seed type will affect the total cost.

Flower garden

Planting a garden will completely change the look and feel of a home’s outdoor space. A complete garden may include — in addition to the flowers, bushes, mulch and plants — walkways, trellis and even a pergola, gazebo or seating area. Adding a brand new garden requires a lot of planning and a variety of materials. Depending on how elaborate your it is, you may end up paying a significant sum to renovate the space.

Costs by landscaping type

The price of an overall landscaping project is often broken down into certain categories:

  • Softscaping
  • Hardscaping
  • Xeriscaping

Softscaping costs

Softscaping expenses are anything associated with plant life: planting or removing flowers, trees, shrubs, and grass. You can expect these expenses to start at about $800 for most projects. Softscaping costs can easily approach thousands of dollars if you have a lot of space to fill. A large softscape job could be around $10,000. If you want a ballpark budget, assume $11 per square foot.

Hardscaping costs

Hardscaping costs are related to landscaping elements that are not organic: structures and constructions ranging from patios to gazebos to lighting. Hardscaping costs vary greatly depending on the nature of the job; the national average cost to install a gazebo is just over $5,700, for example, while the cost to install pea gravel is just $300-$400 on average.

Xeriscaping costs

Xeriscaping refers to projects that aim to reduce water usage and costs, and can refer to both foliage and systems: native plants, recycling rainwater and so forth. On average, the cost of xeriscaping is about $10 per square foot. That being said, because of the size of these projects, most start at $16,000.

Landscaping Type Typical Cost
Softscaping $800-$10,000
Hardscaping $2,000-$45,000
Xeriscaping $5,000-$18,000

How much does hiring a professional landscaper cost?

A professional landscaper or landscaping company can tackle a variety of tasks for your project, from overall design to purchasing materials to actual installation.

Hiring a professional landscaper can be expensive — depending on the work being done, it may cost anywhere from $50 to $200 per hour. While there is an up-front cost, hiring a professional landscaper can also save you money in the long run: They may know of ways to save on materials or labor that you’re not aware of.

Landscaping maintenance costs

No matter what type of landscaping you install, it will likely require some sort of ongoing maintenance. It’s important to do upkeep; a bit of preventive care can save you the cost of having to repair a project down the road.

Here are a few common landscaping maintenance chores and their price:

Type of maintenance Approximate cost
Weed control $75-$150
General cleanup $0-$500
Tree trimming $75-$300
Lawn fertilization $100 per treatment

Weed control

A “weed” is a layman’s term for any greenery that is not grass or desired in a specific part of your yard. You’ll want to regularly make sure that the right types of flora are growing where you want them. You might schedule treatments every couple of weeks or months.

General cleanup

Another important way to maintain your lawn is to do general cleanup of the yard and keep it in good shape (something you can do yourself for free on the weekends). Neglect your yard, and  it might cost hundreds of dollars for a professional to clean it up.

Tree trimming

If you have large trees on your property, you’ll want to trim them regularly. This helps keep your trees healthy and lessens the chances that any branches will cause problems in your yard or to your house. Trimming your trees can cost between $75 and $300 depending on their size and location.If you discover while having your trees trimmed that one or more of them has died, you may also need to pay to have the tree removed. This might include removal and/or grinding of the tree stump.

Lawn fertilization

Depending on where you live, what type of grass you have and how new your grass is, you might want to regularly fertilize your lawn. Fertilizing your lawn helps the grass grow and discourages other types of plants from growing where you don’t want them. Lawn fertilization typically occurs two or three times a year.

Tips for lowering landscaping costs

If you’re looking to lower your landscaping cost, there are a few strategies you can use:

  1. Do some of the labor yourself. Depending on your project and your skills, you may be able to complete certain landscaping projects DIY. This may work better if you are laying mulch or paver stones rather than cutting a tree down or building a brick walkway.
  2. Have a design in mind. Working with a landscape designer, architect or professional landscaper can be expensive. Instead of counting on them to come up with all the plans, have a few basic ideas before you meet with them. That can minimize the amount of time they spend on your project, keeping your costs down.
  3. Keep existing trees if possible. Trees, especially mature ones, are expensive to purchase and install. Try to incorporate existing trees into your landscaping plan so you don’t have to pay removal costs plus the price of a new tree.
  4. Save or reuse existing landscaping. Similarly, any existing landscaping that you can reuse will help keep your costs down.
  5. Work with a local nursery. Buying plants yourself from a local plant nursery can be more affordable than allowing a professional landscaper to bring in the plant life. Bonus: Your local nursery probably has a lot of native plants that are meant to thrive in your climate, and may offer advice and design ideas too.
  6. Replace mulch with pavers or rocks. Where you have extra mulch in your yard, consider replacing it with rocks. Rocks are often less expensive and require less long-term maintenance.

How do I pay for landscaping?

You have a few options to pay for landscaping, depending on how large or expensive your project is.

  • If your project is smaller, you might be able to pay for it as part of your regular monthly budget or save up for it over the course of a couple of months with a sinking fund.
  • A home improvement loan is an unsecured personal loan that you use for home improvement projects such as landscaping.
  • A home equity line of credit (HELOC) allows you to tap into the equity in your home and use it to improve the home’s value. You can borrow funds from a HELOC as you need them, and you’ll only be charged interest on the money you use.
  • With a home equity loan, you also tap into your home’s equity, but you get the entire loan amount up front. That means you’ll be charged interest on the whole amount, no matter how much of it you actually use.

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