Home Improvement

How much does landscaping cost?

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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. You can expect a landscaping estimate to be anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000 or more if you’re starting a completely new project, based on figures from Fixr and HomeGuide, which both help consumers find home-maintenance professionals.

How much does landscaping cost?

The average landscaping cost will depend on where you live and what you include in your project. The two main drivers for your landscaping 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 pricing ranges from $50 to $100 per hour for labor to install your project. 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.

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 regular maintenance; 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 costs:

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. If you regularly clean and keep your yard in good shape, this is something you can do yourself for free on the weekends. If your yard is in bad shape and has lots of deferred maintenance, 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. 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.

Landscape project costs

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

Landscaping project Approximate cost
Sprinkler installation $5,000-$7,000
Deck installation $5,000-$20,000
Outdoor lighting installation $2,500-$5,000
Tree removal $500-$1,000

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 your space 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 wires.

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.

How much does hiring a professional landscaper cost?

A professional landscaper can tackle a variety of tasks for your project, such as helping come up with ideas for your spaces or purchasing materials. Depending on who you hire, a professional landscaping company may be able to do all landscape installation as well.

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. That’s because they may know of ways to save on materials or labor that you’re not aware of.

4 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 do some of the labor yourself. 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 trees if possible. Trees, especially larger, more mature ones, are expensive to purchase and install. Try to incorporate existing trees into your landscaping plan.
  4. Save or reuse existing landscaping. Similarly, any existing landscaping that you can reuse will help keep your costs down.

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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Written by
Dan Miller
Points and Miles Expert Contributor
Dan Miller is a contributing writer for Bankrate. Dan writes about loans, home equity and debt management.
Edited by
Associate loans editor