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Guide to Landscaping Costs

Last Updated May 8, 2015 · Written by Rob Schneider

Landscaping projects can vary significantly in size and complexity. Until your plans are finalised and a landscaper has given you your final quote, you won't know the exact cost, but this guide to landscaping costs will help you estimate your costs.

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What Landscapers Can Do

Landscapers can do everything from designing your garden to creating an entire landscape. A full landscaping service will be licensed to offer a wide range of services, including:
  • Landscape design
  • Landscape construction
  • Horiculture and arborist services
  • Irrigation, paving, tiling and concreting
  • Stonemasonry and bricklaying
  • Structural landscaping (pergolas, patios, gazebos, etc.)
  • Fencing and general carpentry
  • Retaining walls
Some landscaping companies specialise in gardening only, while others are full-service landscapers. It's important that they or their subcontractors are appropriately licensed. If you need to have a retaining wall installed, for instance, you may need to get a council permit and a structural engineer may need to supervise the project.

How Landscapers Estimate Costs

Landscapers are often asked for cost estimates before they have an opportunity to inspect a property or create a design. While they cannot give an accurate quote with so little information, they recommend estimating landscaping costs at 5 to 10 percent of the value of the home for a full landscaping job. A simple landscaping job on an easily accessible, flat block of land will be on the low end of the scale, while a more complex job will be closer to 10 percent.

Estimating Your Landscaping Costs

To get a better idea of what your landscaping costs will be, you'll need to take a closer look at the scope of your project and what has to be done. Some costs you will need to consider include:
  • Hiring an excavating company to remove boulders can add to the cost of the job.
  • Access problems can add to the cost of the project.
  • If old structures, a tree or other large objects need to be removed, they will add to the cost of the job.
Next, you will need to consider materials costs, such as sod, turf, pavers, and retaining walls. Contact local suppliers and find out the costs of materials per square metre. Then get out your tape measure and figure out your square metre totals. Add 5 to 10 percent, just to be on the safe side.

Are there any extraordinary features you need to get costings for? Water features, for example, can range from a few hundreds dollars to thousands of dollars if you want something like a waterfall flowing into a large pond. Structural landscaping, such as pergola, is another added cost.

After you have calculated your costs, you will be in a better position to compare quotes from landscapers and make informed cost adjustments if necessary.  While landscaping can add signifcantly to the value of your property, industry experts recommend that to be cost-effective, the cost of landscaping should not exceed 20 percent of the total value of your property.
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