Get a Handle on Landscape Costs

Dreaming of a landscape project? Use our tips to get an accurate picture of the cost of your project.


From designing a new patio to making plans for a front yard overhaul, landscape projects are intriguing to plan; however, when it comes time to put real cost figures to the pictures on paper or the vision in your head, things can get tricky. Come along as we walk through the process of estimating landscape costs. Like any home improvement project, costs can vary once you get into the project, but thoughtful estimation provides a ballpark figure that you can budget on. 

Begin with a Solid Plan

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The more you know about your landscape project from the very beginning, the more efficiently it will come together. Efficiency equals reduced cost when it comes to working with contractors or purchasing landscape product.

For example, if you take time to create a backyard master plan—a comprehensive landscape plan for your entire space—you might realize that you need brick pavers for a patio as well as a walkway to access the space from the garage. Buying pavers for both projects might translate into cost savings due to the quantity you are purchasing. Check out our easy Plan-a-Garden tool here. 

You can draft a landscape plan yourself or you can employ the services of a landscape professional. Depending on the size and scope of the project, along with the terrain changes necessary to make it all happen, the experience and expertise of a landscape professional might be essential. Inquire with friends and neighbors about great landscape designers in your area. Give the professionals a call to learn about their project fees. Consider hiring a designer to review the master plan you created.

Estimate Your Project

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If any part of your project requires the services of a contractor, get at least two bids and review the bids line by line. Be sure to note plant sizes and specific hardscaping products, such as pavers. Plants vary widely in size and quality and this is usually reflected in a reputable estimate. Hardscaping materials have less cost variance but there are notable differences between products.

Before selecting a contractor, take time to follow up on references and tour their landscape facility to view potential plants for your project as well as look at hardscape material.

Phase It In

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After making a comprehensive plan and putting together an estimate of landscape costs, consider completing your project in phases if necessary. Not only is phasing in a landscape budget-friendly, it is also lifestyle-friendly.

Facing an entire summer spent renovating the backyard can be overwhelming and might prevent you from getting the project started. A couple weekends of building a patio and another weekend spent planting trees and shrubs around the new space is doable. Add building a pond and renovating the lawn to the above projects and you will have consumed much of your leisure time for the summer.

It is also possible to complete a contractor-produced landscape project in phases. For efficiency, group parts of the project that require specific equipment or product into the same phase when possible. Plant all the trees in one phase. Build the patio and walkway in another phase. Add an extensive perennial border in another phase.

Plan and Shop Smart

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It is well-known that quality landscaping adds great value to your home. Get the most bang for your landscaping dollars with our money-saving gardening and landscaping tips. Our 45 tips will help you stretch your dollars while adding color, function, and fun to the landscape that you'll enjoy for years to come. 

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