What is the Typical Cost of a Landscape?

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Implementing a landscape design can be a costly investment, but one that can add tremendous value and additional space to your home. So what’s the typical cost of landscaping? 

While there is not an industry standard, the short is – the cost of the landscape will depend greatly on the location, size, scope and materials. You can expect a small planting job for a front yard to range in a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. But if you are building a multi-tiered backyard or masterplan containing components like hardscape patios, stairs, structures, retaining walls and plantings you can expect a landscape to cost in the range of a few hundred thousand dollars.

There are a few key components that every successful landscape should include. However, each of these components will affect the overall cost in accordance with: type of plants, type of materials, yard access and the complexity of the design.

If you need help with calculating what your project might cost then download our FREE Construction Estimation Handbook that provides helpful tips for estimating any home improvement projects like landscaping!

This handbook is perfect for understanding typical costs of the main features listed above as well as industry standards on landscape labor hours and what to consider when estimating a landscape plan.

What are the main features to include in a landscape?

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When designing a landscape for a residential property, there are several important features that you must consider. While the plants and yard decor are important to your overall design, they are not the only consideration. The placement of components in the landscape is equally as important to create a functional exterior space.

Patio Space

The most important component of a backyard landscape for entertaining is an area for dining and gathering. Whether this space is planned for a front yard or backyard, patios should be viewed as an extension of the interior space. If you are planning for a small bistro set on the front of the house to enjoy morning coffee or planning a backyard oasis to enjoy with family and friends during sunset hours, these patios should create additional spaces that either bridge connections or provide for additional space the interior does not account for. 

Fireplace / Firepit

When planning the layout of your backyard landscape, take into account how the fire feature will fit into the overall design. The location should be in a spot where it is easily visible from other parts of the yard and you should consider the number of people that will use it. If you plan to host a large gathering, you may want to consider a space where only the family can gather. Or perhaps, you would prefer to spend some time with your family and friends in the evening. This is a great way to get the most out of the space you have.

Outdoor Lighting

Another main component to consider when planning a backyard design is the lighting. Proper lighting is an important element of any outdoor entertaining area but also can make your home feel secure and safe at night. Positioning uplighting on large deciduous trees can make your home feel larger than it is using existing elements nearby. There are different types of lighting that illuminate differently, so consider reviewing the benefits of solar or low-voltage wiring. 

Water Features

Water features may seem like an expensive and maintenance-heavy landscape item, however this is one of the only landscape features homeowners cannot put in their house. Architectural water features can supply outdoor space with a distinct noise, and can drown out the sound of  nearby streets or active areas, making your space feel serene and undisturbed. These elements can be placed in strategic locations to help direct the viewer’s eyes to your home. Lastly, it is important to consider the scale, form, colour, and texture of these elements. It will be important to choose materials that will last for many years and will withstand weather.

Plantings

The most important element of a landscape design is the choice of plants due to its performative qualities of providing shade or reducing water. The types of plants vary greatly, and you should select the one that cohesively ties elements of the property together and should consider textures, blooming seasons and colors when selecting plants. The landscape should include the right mix of plants. For example, you should plant native species of plants. This will make it easier for the birds to find the plants that you want. To read more about native plants near you, click here.

Outdoor Structure

A well-designed backyard will incorporate a mix of components but a pergola is a great choice for backyard entertaining. Its design can match your home and create a certain feel. Having a screened porch and a play area is another great option for backyard entertaining. A screened porch keeps the bugs out while extending the living space. Whether it’s a sunroom or a covered patio, a screened porch will maximize your living space. And, a gazebo can provide shelter when it’s sunny. You’ll want to have a gazebo in your backyard so that you can have both outdoor dining and entertainment in one location.

Swimming Pool

This last one is for those who have the room for it. If you have the space, a swimming pool is essential to have in your yard. Although, one must consider the several different types of components this main feature can unconditionally include. With many municipalities, when in-ground swimming pools are installed, fences are required to be installed around the pool to provide safety. Additionally, storage and extra concrete pads could also be required to cover plumbing fixtures needed to supply the pool. 

How can yard access affect the cost?

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Several factors affect the cost of a landscape and one major expense can lie at the accessibility of the property. A difficult-to-access yard will make the landscape more expensive which may require construction crews making more trips to reach the area, renting special equipment, or repairing the damage done during the duration of the project.

When a landscape is being designed, a good landscape will be functional but yet attractive. The layout of a landscape design should create connections between the inside and outside–even during implementation. In other words, with the right amount of access, construction crews will easily be able to access the yard and bring in their equipment having no real difficulty. Unique situations like cranning a modular pool system over a house is possible but not common. These large procedures will quickly increase costs. 

A landscaping project should be done based on the needs of the homeowner. It should be designed to complement the house. A good landscape will not only look beautiful, but will also be easy to maintain. And if you have the yard size to play with, the access will be seamless from the inside to the outside.

One key solution before any project begins is having other contractors like masons, plumbers, and carpenters become familiar with the project. The design process should be collaborative and this will help speed up the process. Collaboration between all parties, just like anything, is key to the success of any project.

In general, costs associated with a landscape can range widely, but they can also be easily broken down into categories based on the size of your property. 

The smallest area, such as a front yard, can cost as little as $2,700 to as much as $30,000, while a large property can require several acres of landscaping and can cost upwards of $100,000-$500,000.

How to estimate a landscape plan?

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To estimate the cost of residential landscaping, you need to know what type of plants, structures, and water features you would like to have. These factors will affect the cost per square foot. The average cost per square foot varies from $5 to $20 per square foot. You should have a rough idea of the overall area of your property and the style of landscaping you want. 

The materials used to create your landscape will depend on the materials that you choose. Concrete and brick curbing are popular choices for landscaping. A preformed concrete block will cost between $5 and $10 per linear foot while poured concrete will cost from $15 to $18 per linear foot. However, poured concrete is more durable and more attractive. Additionally, brick curbing will be more expensive than preformed concrete. Depending on the style of your house, you can use either of these materials.

You can expect the costs of residential landscaping to be higher if you have an acre of land or more. Then you can begin adding additions such as a pool or an outdoor kitchen. If you choose to include these items in your landscape, they will cost an additional four to six thousand dollars. If you decide to install a swimming pool, that expenditure needs to be factored into the total costs as well.

If you need help with calculating what your project might cost then download our FREE Construction Estimation Handbook that provides helpful tips for estimating any home improvement projects like landscaping!

This handbook is perfect for understanding typical costs of the main features listed above as well as industry standards on landscape labor hours and what to consider when estimating a landscape plan.

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