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Guide to Landscaping Costs

Last Updated Mar 29, 2018 · Written by Hannah Fester


Let’s face it, the outside of your home sets the scene for your entire property. A good looking exterior not only makes the neighbours jealous, but it makes the rest of world think you really have your stuff together. And who’s to say you don’t? With a little help from a local landscaper, this dream of an enviable outdoor space can be a blissful reality in no time at all! But to what cost, you ask? What is the price one has to pay to achieve their desired sanctuary? With a little help from our easy to follow cost guide, you will be able to chalk up a clear-cut estimate of your next landscaping job. But before we start crunching the numbers, there are a few other considerations you may want to think about ahead of time, such as: the scope of work a landscaper can do; how much work actually needs to be done to your property; if the proposed plan will increase the value of your home; whether the landscape plan is practical as well as appealing, and so on. We address these considerations and more, along with approximate costings for different landscaping jobs, so you know the rough price tag of your next landscaping project.

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I didn’t know a landscaper could do that!

Landscapers are pretty talented people - they have a plethora of skills under their belts that can turn your garden from drab to fab. Their main job is to make your outdoor space as aesthetically pleasing as it is practical - a desirable balance that is difficult to perfect. But remember, landscapers are the doers, not the designers. A garden designer or landscape architect is there to design the look and feel of your outdoor space, and will provide services such as; calculating precise measurements of your space, drawing up blueprints, and deciding what plants should go where, for instance. On the contrary, a landscaper will actually bring this concept to life, by planting the plants, erecting the walls, potting the flowers and paving the new path. It’s important to note here that the cost of a landscaper doesn’t include the cost of the initial garden designer or landscape architect, however many companies provide both of these services, so a total estimate can be given for all that is required, if need be.

So, what can the doers actually do? The breadth of skills a landscaper acquires is big - from installing garden beds, planting flowers, trees and other greenery, to building retaining walls, laying paving, erecting shaded areas such as pergolas, gazebos and patios, to even adding final touches like rocks and small bird baths to give your garden that lasting lift - a landscaper can do it all! As a result of their pretty lengthy remit, you’ll find that landscapers are licensed in one or more different trades. A concrete or paving licence would be needed for the jobs that button under hardscaping, whereas a builders licence would be needed for bigger jobs such as building a patio or pergola, for example.

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What actually needs doing?

The final cost of your landscaping project will ultimately depend on how much work needs doing and the materials involved to complete this work. As previously mentioned, a garden designer or landscape architect can help solve this problem for you. The initial meeting with the designer or architect will set the foundation for the amount of work that will need to be carried out by the landscaper, which starts to frame your budget already. The designer or landscaper will also strike that perfect balance of a functional yet beautiful garden for you, which is easier said than done! Once you’ve liaised with a designer, every element of your new garden will be ironed out, which will give you a comprehensive list of things you’ll need to budget for. After consulting a designer or architect, you may find that the job at hand isn’t a big or costly as you thought it to be, ultimately saving you a penny or two! It’s important to note, some of the bigger ticket landscaping costs you should be weary of, including: excavation work, retaining wall installation, decking, paving, laying of a driveway, installation of fences, softscaping, and of course, the cost of the garden designer or landscape architect.

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Costs

The size of the project at hand will be the major factor when estimating the final cost of your landscaping job. As a rule of thumb, it’s been assessed that landscaping will cost anywhere from 5% to 10% of the value of your home. Here is a quick guide for reference:

  • Homes valued at $400,000 can expect to pay approximately $20,000 to $40,000 for landscaping
  • Homes valued at $500,000 can expect to pay approximately $25,000 to $50,000 for landscaping
  • Homes valued at $600,000 can expect to pay approximately $30,000 to $60,000 for landscaping
  • Homes valued at $700,000 can expect to pay approximately $35,000 to $70,000 for landscaping
  • Homes valued at $800,000 can expect to pay approximately $40,000 to $80,000 for landscaping
  • Homes valued at $900,000 can expect to pay approximately $45,000 to $90,000 for landscaping

If you want to break it down to an hourly cost, you can budget anywhere from $55 to $70 per hour of work conducted by a professional, qualified landscaper. As for the garden designer or landscape architect, prices start at approximately $850 for basic plans to be drawn up.

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Value adding

Now, you may be thinking: this is all really starting to add up! And you’re not wrong. The cost of landscaping can be pricey, but rest assured, it is an investment just the same. While it can be a hit to the wallet, it’s important to keep in mind how landscaping can go a long way in terms of adding value to your home. Certain landscaping jobs can skyrocket a home’s value when done properly,for instance - installing a pool, opting for a sustainable, easy to manage garden, incorporating an alfresco dining space, building a patio (which is ideal as the value it adds is far greater than the cost of installation!), replacing pavers or even installing in a BBQ area. Consider what will work for your space and be sure to talk to your landscaper about the value these additions will add to your home compared to the price of having them installed.

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