Photo by Jan Canty
The cost of landscaping depends on many different factors such as yard size, materials, and the type of landscaping you want.
You’ve been focusing on remodeling and sprucing up the inside of your home and love the results. Yet, when you pull up to your house, you notice your yard and landscaping need some work.
The first impression your home gives to the world is the front yard and that first impression can greatly add to the value of your own home. Some estimates suggest that quality landscaping can add between 7% and 14% to your home’s value.
Are you dreaming of giving your outdoor living space and yard a new look? Wondering about the cost of landscaping? How much will it actually be to hire a professional to help whip your yard into shape?
If you are hoping to spend this outdoor season enjoying a beautiful yard, we have the answers you need. Read on to learn about all the areas of your yard you should consider while landscaping. Learn about what to tackle and what it might cost to remodel your landscaping.
Yard Maintenance Cost
$400 per season is what you can expect to invest for home yard maintenance. There are two approaches to tackling your landscaping. One involves a complete remodel, so to speak, of your existing landscaping. More on this approach later.
The other approach involves doing some clean up and maintenance on your existing landscaping. Perhaps you feel okay about the way your yard is designed, but it just needs some sprucing up.
If your approach is to have some landscaping maintenance done, here’s what you might consider:
- Lawn care
- Edging of lawn and beds
- Shrub pruning
- Tree trimming
- Planting flowers
This approach doesn’t make drastic changes to your existing landscape layout, instead of it cleans up and gets your yard on a maintenance schedule.
You can expect to pay on average around $700 a season for yard care things like mowing, raking, trimming, and edging. An average of another $400 can be expected for fertilizer services. More and more, homeowners are recognizing the value in paying for yard care as it can be time-consuming on a regular basis.
Cost of Remodeling Your Landscape
The national average cost for remodeling your home’s landscape is between, $3,140 – $6,000. If you’re not happy with your current landscaping layout or look, it might be time for a more comprehensive remodeling of your outdoor spaces. This can become as detailed on all areas or just certain areas of your yard and landscaping as your budget allows.
Most experts suggest investing approximately 5% of your home’s value on landscaping. So, using the existing national median home value of $250,000, that would mean you should spend around $12,500 on landscaping. Of course, that depends on your current landscaping and what you want to be done when the job is completed.
So, how should you spend that money if you hope to completely remodel your landscaping? Ideas include:
- New hardscape like walkways
- Irrigation systems
- New beds for shrubs and flowers
- Outdoor living spaces
The cost for making major changes to your landscaping and outdoor living areas will depend on several factors. Where you live will impact the cost. Cost of living impacts the cost to hire professionals to do your work.
Other factors for the cost will include the size of your yard. The average yard size across America is a quarter acre. Obviously, the larger your yard, the more it will cost to landscape. Most contractors charge as a cost per hour, so you want to know their cost per hour and an estimate of how long they anticipate your job to take.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the areas you might consider as part of your landscaping overhaul.
Sod or Grassy Area Costs
There are several approaches you can take when it comes to your grassy areas. The simplest approach is to work on some grass maintenance. This might mean that you hire a yard service and get regular fertilizing started.
If you want a bigger overhaul, it might mean removing your current grass areas and changing them up. You have a few options if this is your approach:
- Spray grass seed
- New sod
- Artificial turf
Let’s take a closer look at the cost of the two most popular options.
Installing new sod gives your yard the immediate look of an established lawn. Sod costs between 14 and 60 cents per square foot. Once installed, you need to maintain it, including mowing, water, and fertilization. The average costs to maintain a 500 square foot yard with sod are $840 per year.
A new trend in landscaping is to install artificial turf in grassy areas. Many homeowners are seeing the short and long-term benefits of artificial turf.
It requires zero maintenance once it’s installed. It lasts for 25 to 30 years without the yearly upkeep of real grass. While you save on the yearly maintenance costs, it does cost more on the front end to install than sod.
Artificial turf costs run between $5 to $20 per square foot. While this price tag is heftier, after installation, you will have zero maintenance costs for the life of the turf.
Flower Bed Pricing
Flower beds are like the frosting on the cake. They add a pop of color to the rest of your landscaping features.
The first consideration is how many areas of your landscaping you want to include flowers. Flower beds tend to require more maintenance, so keep that in mind.
As part of your plan, you can have a few areas where you can plant flowers each season. You can choose to plant annuals that need to be replanted each year. They also require regular access to water.
You might also opt for perennials that come up yearly. Sometimes they require maintenance like pruning and fertilizing too.
Another option for flowers that might require less maintenance is to add pots of flowers on a walkway or the porch areas.
The cost for flowers will depend on whether you choose annuals, which tend to be less at purchase time, or perennials. Perennials cost more at purchase time, but last from year to year.
The first thing to consider with shrubs is whether you want to keep what you have or remove them and start over.
If you like what you have, the costs will be lower because only maintenance will be needed. Perhaps they will look better after a good pruning. Sometimes cutting them back and getting rid of old growth forces the bush to get new growth and fill out.
If you are changing the layout of landscaping or are creating front-yard landscaping, you might want to start over with shrubs. First, old shrubs need to be removed, which is a cost factor for landscapers. You would likely pay their hourly rate for this task.
Then your new landscape beds need to be organized and created. When purchasing shrubs you want to consider:
- Size, how big will they grow for height and width
Some shrubs and bushes are more formal because of their shape and pruning. Others are less formal and simply add color and texture to your landscaping picture.
Factors for cost include size, where they are purchased, and how unusual the variety is you select. Landscapers usually can purchase shrubs at discounted rates that homeowners might not have access to.
Cost For Mulching
Adding mulch to your flower and landscape beds is an excellent way to finish the look. A fresh layer of mulch can give your landscaping the finished and polished look your remodeling deserves.
When laying mulch, you should expect a 4-inch layer of fresh mulch to be installed. Many homeowners might opt to DIY this part of the job. Remember, your landscaper can likely purchase the mulch for less than you. They are also better equipped to install more quickly than you.
Factor in your time when considering such a labor-intensive task.
To pay for the mulch and the labor of a 300 square foot area, the average cost will be $248. This is a minimal cost for the amount of labor involved and considering the bigger investment you are making for a full landscaping overhaul.
If you are looking for one way to really add impact to your landscaping, it’s with trees. Mature trees are especially impactful. Trees also add:
- Texture to landscaping
Installing a mature tree in your yard can add 15% to 20% in value to your home. A mature tree, however, doesn’t come without cost. Trees can be valued at anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000 for landscaping. It’s believed homeowners can get a 109% value return on their investment when planting trees as part of their landscaping.
Not all trees have to cost that much. Talk with an experienced landscaper about trees that grow quickly and provide you with either the look or benefit you hope to achieve.
Many trees that get watered regularly can grow quickly, so it’s not necessary to spend as much on a fully mature tree.
Outdoor Lighting Expences
Outdoor lighting can extend the time you spend in your yard and outdoor living spaces. It can also increase safety when walkways are lit. Outdoor lighting also adds an element of ambiance to your landscaping plan.
Outdoor lighting is the hottest idea for outdoor living. Scroll a social media page and you’ll see all sorts of patio and deck areas with overhead lighting.
How does this impact your landscaping? There a whole variety of lighting options that are solar and require almost no installation other than sticking them in the ground. Your landscape plan should include where it’s important to add lighting.
You might, however, want lighting that doesn’t need solar power to work. You might want overhead strings of lights or lighting as part of a path that is hardwired and will always come on at certain times.
Then you need to make it a more planned part of your landscaping. You may need to find an electrician in addition to your landscaper to help with power sources for your lighting.
Water Element Costs
Another way to add interest to your landscaping is with water elements. Water elements might include:
Obviously, the more intricate the water feature, the more it will cost. Adding a small fountain to a landscape bed will be less costly than building a pond area in your landscaping.
There are some considerations for cost when adding a water feature. These include:
- Size of the water feature
- Hardscape feature needed for the water
- Plumbing or access to water
- Maintenance costs
You might already water in your yard, like a pond, and want to simply add a fountain to the water. If you want to build a water feature that previously didn’t exist, you will need to consider how to get water to the water feature. Often this means some plumbing and electrical work is needed. That will add to the cost of the water element.
Hardscaping and Outdoor Living Spaces
An important part of any landscaping project is the hardscape work. It’s not the glamorous or even pretty part of the landscaping, but it established the framework for the landscape plan. It can also be the most costly part of any landscape project because it is so labor-intensive.
Hardscape features include:
- Retaining walls
- Landscape bed borders
- Outdoor irrigation
- Fire pits
Before you begin any landscape project, you want to have a clear plan on your hardscape needs. For example, you don’t want to pay to install sod and then later decide you need to haul rocks to build a retaining wall. You certainly don’t want to install sod and then realize moving sprinklers is a hassle and need an irrigation system.
Hardscape features are where working with experts can really help your landscape plan. Landscapers often have landscape architects that work with them to help homeowners see the hardscape things that need to be done or that could be done to add real interest to the overall landscaping.
Of course, this is a more costly feature, but one that is often the most impactful when landscaping.
Outdoor living spaces have also become the rage as homeowners have spent more and more time at home. Make your outdoor living space part of your overall plan. This would include things like a patio area, outdoor kitchen, and a fire pit that allows your family to gather together in your yard.
Cost of Landscaping for Your Home
While the cost of landscaping can seem high at first glance, the investment really adds value to your home. Quality landscaping also makes your home more visually appealing for you if you’re not planning on moving anytime soon.
If you’re ready to invest in new landscaping, you want to hire the best professionals for the job. Check out our page to get estimates from a variety of landscapers in your area who can help you transform your outdoor spaces.