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How Much Does Landscaping Cost?


Jun 09, 2020 by Liz Brumer

You've made your Pinterest (NYSE: PINS) board over winter, and you have your new yard makeover planned out, but now it's time to figure out how much landscaping costs. While landscaping cost varies greatly depending on what you want to accomplish, this article will give you a foundation to gauge the cost for landscaping your yard.

What is landscaping?

Landscaping generally means modifying the land to create curb appeal, an aesthetically pleasing or functional space surrounding the property. This almost always includes installing new or managing existing plants, trees, shrubs, and flowers. But it can also include manipulating the soil itself or constructing features for use within the outdoor space.

Landscaping prices

Landscaping costs will largely depend on the size of the project, the materials being used, and whether you are doing the work yourself or hiring a professional to complete the job. According to HomeAdvisor (NASDAQ: ANGI), the average cost for landscaping in 2020 was $3,318.

There are wide ranges in estimates for landscaping because it's greatly dependent on the scale and scope of your project and where you live for material and labor costs, as well as the types of plants or materials you select in your design. Selecting a water fountain versus a pond or gravel pathways versus flagstone pavers makes a big difference in the overall cost of your landscaping project.

It's generally recommended to spend no more than 10% of your home's value on a full-blown landscape renovation. With that in mind, a homeowner with a house value of $250,000 can expect to spend as much as $25,000, whereas a million-dollar homeowner might spend $100,000.

Basic maintenance

Landscaping maintenance is for projects that just need some touch-up. Although you may end up replacing some annuals or doing major tree work, it generally falls into the light work category. Maintenance projects can include:

  1. Regular lawn care.
  2. Annual or biannual refresh of annual plants.
  3. Mulch.
  4. Pruning of shrubs.
  5. Fertilizing.
  6. Tree work to include pruning, removal, and stump grinding.

If you're simply looking to catch up on installed landscape maintenance without removing and reinstalling major features, it will likely cost between $100 and $200 per month. Small projects like removing a tree stump or trimming an overgrown tree can cost as little as a few hundred dollars. However, this will vary by location and size of your yard as well as how densely things are planted or if there is easy access to the site.

Landscaping remodels

A full landscaping remodel is a large-scale project often used with new construction or to revitalize an old landscape design. This can range from a light or moderate remodel design to complex and expensive design projects. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, it may necessitate hiring a landscape architect or contractor to revamp the space.

A landscaping remodel project includes changing major features of the yard, including:

  1. Installing trees, hedges, or vegetable gardens.
  2. Laying pathways through the yard.
  3. Installing new sod or laying a grass alternative.
  4. Building structures such as a gazebo.
  5. Installing or replacing fencing.
  6. Installing a patio or deck.
  7. Adding a pond or firepit.

Landscaping remodels vary dramatically in cost and are solely dependent on the scale of the project and design. For example, grading the yard, installing irrigation, bringing in topsoil, and installing turfgrass is often necessary for new landscape design. While this will vary based on the size of your lawn area, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $6,500 for the lawn. You can save anywhere from $600 to $1,200 by seeding the lawn rather than installing turfgrass.

As you dive deeper into your landscape renovation, it may be helpful to separate out each component of the design to get a more finetuned estimate on landscaping cost. Consulting with several local landscapers and getting multiple quotes will also help you spot any irregularities in landscaping costs. You can always lower the cost of your landscaping by doing the work yourself. Just make sure you have a well-thought-out plan including avoiding planting trees too close to power lines or structures, like your home, garage, or fence line, and creating adequate drainage for the soil and yard area.

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Liz Brumer-Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Pinterest. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.