Landscaping improves your home’s value and curb appeal. Landscaping takes on many forms, from installing trees, shrubs, and a lawn to creating a patio with a gazebo and walkways.
This results in a wide range of costs and a national average range of $8,000 to $15,000, depending on the project scope. Most homeowners with a ¼ acre of lawn and landscaping spend around $10,000 on professional designs, new soil, grading, grass seed, plants, patio, and a backyard walkway. This project’s low cost is around $3,000 for new grass seed, topsoil, and shrubs in the frontyard. The high cost is $20,000 for professional designs, new soil, and sod with a retaining wall, patio, gazebo, and xeriscaping.
|National average cost||$10,000|
Landscaping encompasses a range of projects, so it has a wide range of costs per square foot. The average price per square foot ranges from $5 to $20 a square foot, depending on what you do with the area. It is common to mix materials and landscaping across a property, meaning the cost per square foot is likely to change. For example, you may have new topsoil put down at $1 a square foot, with new seed added at $0.14 a square foot, but bluestone pavers average $30 a square foot installed. Adding water features, structures, and plants changes the average costs per square foot, which results in the average range of $5 to $20 a square foot, depending on the location and landscaping type.
Some landscapers charge by the hour, which ranges depending on their expertise and provided services. The physical labor of landscaping costs between $50 and $100 an hour, while landscaping designers often charge $200 an hour for planning, consultations, and design work.
To lower your costs, you do not have to contract with a landscaping designer if you have routine work done. If you are starting from scratch and want something unique, you must work with a landscaping designer. In this case, your hourly costs start at $200 until the physical work begins, when it drops to between $50 and $100 a square foot.
There is also a range in landscaping costs per acre. This depends largely on the space’s purpose, layout, and land condition. It is not uncommon for landscaping costs per acre to start at between $2,000 and $4,000 for basic turf and soil and rise, depending on what other work you have done.
You likely receive a per acre discount on some things if you have multiple acres. For example, your cost per foot likely drops if you have several acres where you want to plant grass because of the large number of feet.
However, if you have a single acre and want to landscape everything with gardens, shrubs, walkways, and fountains, your total costs could be much higher - closer to $10,000 or more. It mostly depends on your plans and how much of the space is being developed.
The area you landscape can impact your overall costs. Frontyards tend to be smaller and do not have as many elaborate features, so they tend to be less expensive to landscape. A full garden usually involves more features and professional planning, so it usually costs more than typical landscaping in a front or backyard.
|Location||Average Costs (Labor Included)|
|Frontyard||$4,000 - $6,000|
|Backyard||$8,000 - $10,000|
|Garden||$8,000 - $20,000|
The cost to landscape a frontyard is between $4,000 and $6,000. Frontyard landscaping has the biggest impact on curb appeal and value. This landscaping impacts the way your home looks when viewed with the important parts: the walkway, shrubs, trees, and lawn. Typically, there are no major structures in the frontyard, which means costs may be less expensive than backyards with patios and decks.
Landscaping a backyard costs between $8,000 and $10,000. Backyard landscaping is more about enjoyment than appearance. It still adds value, but there is less immediate impact and does not need to frame and work with the home as much. Backyards are usually where the most money is spent on paths, patios, gazebos, pergolas 1, and ponds, so the costs are typically higher.
The cost to landscape and create a garden averages $8,000 and $20,000. Gardens usually require professional planning and layouts, so their starting costs are typically higher. Gardens are also more likely to involve more elaborate features, including walkways, sitting places, water features, and focal points, including gazebos, pergolas, and fountains. The more elaborate the garden in size and layout, the higher the overall costs. Gardens that focus more on plants, shrubs, and trees usually have lower costs than those featuring more hardscaping. If you choose to include xeriscaping or elaborate hardscape features, your costs could be higher.
Landscaping can be grouped into four basic types, each with costs. These can be described as softscaping, which involves plants, xeriscaping 2 to conserve water, and hardscaping, which uses non-plant materials to shape the landscape and property maintenance. Each project has very different costs. They also produce varying looks for your space. Within each landscaping subtype, you can find a wide range of different looks and materials. It is common for many homes to combine some level of soft and hardscaping. Xeriscaping also uses a combination of hard and softscaping. Doing so in any space can enhance the usage and appearance, adding layers and depth to the design and providing more opportunities to interact with the landscaping.
Most types of softscaping require maintenance. These can be ongoing costs you need to keep up your yard and help it look its best.
|Type of Landscaping||Average Cost (Labor Included)|
|Maintenance||$100 - $4,000|
|Softscaping||$800 - $10,000|
|Hardscaping||$10,000 - $30,000|
|Xeriscaping||$16,000 - $18,000|
Any landscaping you do likely has ongoing maintenance costs. Some may only need to be done once or occasionally. Others need to be done regularly to keep your lawn, trees, and property healthy. Many landscaping companies offer a range of maintenance services. These may include one-time fees and visits, as well as maintenance plans that offer a slightly less expensive cost per visit, provided you sign up for a yearly or seasonal contract. Expect to pay between $100 and $4,000 in maintenance costs. Many of these costs may be one-time visits, but some may require ongoing care to help your landscaping look its best. Below is a cost breakdown by the various types of maintenance for most properties.
|Maintenance||Average Costs (Labor Included)|
|Weed Control||$65 - $150|
|Lawn Fertilization||$150 - $500|
|Tree Trimming||$175 - $750|
|Yard Clean Up||$200 - $500|
|Stump Removal||$200 - $700|
|Lawn Aeration||$220 - $870|
|Stump Grinding||$275 - $600|
The cost of weed control ranges from $65 to $150. Weed control takes many forms. The weed type, location, and population influence your final costs. Weeds are very common in certain parts of landscaping. Depending on how often they come back, weed control may be an ongoing part of your regular landscaping.
Fertilizing your lawn costs between $150 and $500. Fertilization helps your new grass or plants grow quickly. Fertilization has a range of costs, depending on the type, desired outcome, and yard size. Your area and grass type impact your fertilization types and schedule.
The cost to trim a tree is between $175 and $750. Trees do not often require frequent trimming, but when they do, it can be important. Trees can be trimmed for a better appearance. They can also be trimmed for functional reasons. A tree brushing against your home could make it easier for pests to enter, or a tree brushing power lines could put you at risk for outages. Your total trimming costs range, depending on the tree type and size and how much trimming must be done.
Yard cleanup costs average $200 to $500. If your yard is in bad shape, you may want to pay for a yard cleanup to remove things like leaves and debris before you start planning and planting. Yard cleanup can be done regularly, but if you have many trees, yard cleanup may be a seasonal affair. You can also choose to have this service done as needed - whenever you plan on planting new shrubs or having major work done.
The cost of stump removal averages $200 to $700. Stump removal can be done at the same time a tree is cut or any time after. Stump removal can be important if you choose to plant something new in the area. It can also discourage the stump from starting new growth. Removal can leave a large hole behind, which can increase your landscaping costs to fill it.
Lawn aeration costs between $220 and $870. Aeration is important to keep your lawn healthy. Sometimes, the roots of your grass can get so thick that water and fertilizer cannot penetrate it. Other times, your soil may not be able to support grass. With aeration, you can get a healthier and more lush lawn or prepare your soil for new grass seed or sod.
Stump grinding ranges from $275 to $600. Stump grinding can be done after cutting a tree down or at some point after. Stump grinding helps get the stump small enough so that it can sit below your lawn’s surface. This can remove it from sight without needing to worry about dealing with the hole. Grinding is not a good option if you intend to plant something new where the stump was.
Softscaping is one of the most common landscaping types. It is also the type of landscaping most people think of when they first consider this project. Softscaping refers to planting trees, grass, shrubs, flowers, and other plants. It has a wide range of costs because each plant has a different price, and the number of plants varies. Costs can also vary by the age, size, and number of plants used. Some landscapers may give you a discount if you purchase and plant multiples versus planting a single tree or shrub. Expect small projects to start at around $800 and large softscaping projects to cost up to $10,000.
|Type of Project||Average Costs (Labor Included)|
|Shrub Planting||$25 - $50|
|Tree Planting||$150 - $300|
|Tree Pruning||$350 - $650|
|Tree Removal||$400 - $900|
|Lawn Seeding||$550 - $1,500|
|Flower Bed Installation||$1,000 - $3,000|
|Sod Installation||$5,800 - $7,200|
Shrub planting costs between $25 and $50 a shrub. Larger fully grown shrubs cost more to plant than smaller or newer shrubs. Shrubs are commonly added to front landscaping close to the house. They can also be used in the backyard along paths or the sides of patios. It is common to plant various shrubs to add depth and interest.
The average cost to plant a tree is between $150 and $300. Trees can be planted in many areas in your yard. You can also choose to plant young trees that mature over time or plant fairly mature trees. The tree size and type you choose impacts your overall costs. Fruit trees and highly decorative trees cost more than young ornamental trees.
The cost of tree pruning ranges from $350 to $650. If you have fruit trees on your property, pruning is a great way to keep them healthy and fruit-bearing. Pruning is frequently confused with tree trimming. Trimming is done to shape a tree or cut it back from houses and power lines. Tree pruning keeps the tree healthy. It removes old and dead branches so that your fruit trees can produce.
Tree removal costs between $400 and $900. While landscaping deals with planting trees, sometimes you need to have one removed for new projects. So while most softscaping deals with planting, this is one type that does not. Removing a tree can help make room for patios, structures, paths, or new plant life. You may also sometimes need to remove a tree if it is dead and dangerous.
The cost to seed a lawn is between $550 and $1,500. Lawn seeding is the process of planting seeds to grow new grass. The total cost depends on the lawn size, seed type, and prep work. Use seeding to cover thin patches in an existing lawn or start a new lawn from scratch. Costs vary depending on the seed type and quantity.
The cost to have a flower bed put in your landscaping ranges from $1,000 to $3,000. Flower beds range in size, scale, and flower type and amount. Depending on your preferences, you may need to have professional design services, which raises the price. Flower beds can add color and character to your landscaping, wherever they are placed.
The average cost to sod a lawn is between $5,800 and $7,200. Sod provides an instant lawn, but it is generally not used for large areas to lower costs. It can be combined with other landscaping to produce quick results. If you want your front lawn to look good immediately, you can add sod and use grass seed in the back. Sod comes in many grass types like seed, which can create a range of costs.
Hardscaping is anything you do that does not involve plant life. This includes patios, walkways, decks, pergolas, gazebos, lighting, and other structures. Because hardscaping often involves costly materials and construction, it is usually expensive, with starting costs of about $10,000 to $30,000. Hardscaping helps you interact with your landscaping and improve your enjoyment.
|Type of Project||Average Costs (Labor Included)|
|Fire Pit||$300 - $1,400|
|Walkway||$500 - $900|
|Playground||$500 - $5,000|
|Landscape Curbing||$1,200 - $2,000|
|Water Fountain||$1,250 - $3,750|
|Pergola||$1,900 - $6,500|
|Patio||$2,000 - $8,000|
|Fencing||$2,000 - $10,000|
|Arbor||$2,500 - $4,500|
|Retaining Wall||$3,500 -$10,000|
|Deck||$5,000 - $15,000|
|Gazebo||$7,500 - $10,000|
|Porch||$12,000 - $30,000|
Firepits cost between $300 and $1,400. An outdoor fire pit can be a great addition to any yard. They can be simple and mobile or elaborate and built-in. You also have fuel choices. You can burn wood in most fire pits, but some more-contemporary models can also run on natural gas for a faster and easier fire.
Adding a walkway to your landscaping ranges from $500 to $900. Pathways and walkways are typical additions to most landscaping. They can be added to the front door or backyard, moving through the rest of the landscaping. They have a range of costs, depending on the material. Exotic materials cost the most, and things like gravel cost the least.
Building a playground in your yard costs between $500 and $5,000. Playgrounds come in a wide range of sizes and materials. They can be simple metal structures or elaborate wooden buildings. They can impact your surrounding landscaping, with things like mulch being a common addition to the area below and around the playground.
Landscape curbing averages $1,200 to $2,000. Curbing or edging gives your landscape a finished appearance. Popular materials for curbing include concrete and brick. Concrete edging can be done in two ways: preformed concrete blocks ($5 - $10 per linear foot) and poured concrete ($5 - $13 per linear foot). Although poured concrete is more attractive and easier to maintain, it is more expensive than preformed concrete. At $13 to $18 per linear foot, brick edging is more costly than concrete edging but can give you a different look that complements some homes.
Water fountains cost between $1,250 and $3,750 fully installed. Installation costs for a water fountain depend on the fountain size, materials, type, power supply, prep work, and labor. Fountains can be placed anywhere in your yard and made from several materials, from concrete to marble. The more elaborate your fountain, the higher its cost. You may want to landscape around your fountain to turn it into a focal point.
The cost to build a pergola averages $1,900 to $6,500. Pergolas are open structures that allow the air to flow through, while providing the area with shade and definition. They can be built of wood, vinyl, or fiberglass and come in many styles and sizes. Pergolas can be built attached to a home or farther out in the garden. They can also have plants trained over them for shade and interest.
Installing a patio in your yard costs between $2,000 and $8,000. Patios are very common additions to landscaping designs. They come in many shapes and materials and enhance your yard and enjoyment. Patios are usually installed beside the house and can often have a pergola above. You can also install a patio farther into a garden, such as near a fountain or other attraction.
Fencing in your landscaping ranges from $2,000 to $10,000. There are many fence types. Some are designed for security or to keep your children and pets safe. Others are for security and are taller, sturdier, and more private. Some are also purely decorative and designed to help enhance your landscaping. Make sure that whichever fence you choose, select one that meets your needs first and appearance second.
The cost to install an arbor is between $2,500 and $4,500. An arbor can be a beautiful addition to any yard. The standard height for an arbor is between 8 and 10 feet, which allows plenty of room to walk under, working as a transition point between two areas. They can include seats, have flowers or plants, and come in a range of materials and sizes. They make a beautiful entry point for more elaborate walking gardens or a simple gate addition.
The cost to build a retaining wall ranges from $3,500 to $10,000. Retaining walls are useful for preventing soil erosion and other issues. They also make beautiful additions to landscaping. They come in a range of materials, and you can extend them to build things like seats and border edges. The type of retaining wall you build can be influenced by the material, soil, and height and placement.
The cost to build a deck is between $5,000 and $15,000. Decks are sometimes added to the landscaping and can be used for relaxation and recreation. Most decks are built attached to the home, but you can also build a platform deck farther away. This could be done in the place of a patio or used in conjunction with a different structure like a pergola or gazebo.
The cost to build a gazebo averages $7,500 to $10,000. Gazebos serve as an attractive and useful outdoor living space. They can be built of many materials and take on several shapes, styles, and designs. Gazebos serve the same purpose as a pergola but have a finished roof and floor. This makes them more of an enclosed structure and adds to the price.
The cost to build a porch is between $12,000 and $30,000. A porch can enhance your home’s front, give you the look of a farmhouse, and increase your enjoyment. Porches come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. They can be a small addition at your front entrance or wrap around the sides. The larger and more elaborate the porch you build, the higher your total costs.
Xeriscaping improves water usage and conservation in hot and arid climates. It is most common in hot, dry climates where water may be at a premium. By xeriscaping, you have the ability to shape your landscaping and improve its appearance, without increasing the amount of water needed by your property. The process of xeriscaping uses a mix of materials to enhance your area and conserve water. The plants used are likely to be native to the area and more likely to need less water. Xeriscaping also has a wide range of materials and costs. Expect most projects to start at around $16,000 to $18,000. Below is a breakdown of the different projects you may use in this landscaping style.
|Type of Project||Average Costs (Labor Included)|
|Mulching||$150 - $400|
|Landscaping Stones||$250 - $2,500|
|Native Plant Installation||$2,000 - $5,000|
|Artificial Grass||$3,000 - $7,500|
|Irrigation||$4,000 - $6,000|
The average cost to install mulch in a yard is between $150 and $400. There are many types and kinds of mulch. It can be tree bark, gravel and other stones, or an artificial material like rubber. Mulch helps your plants retain moisture better. This can help in drought-prone areas where plants may lose moisture quickly without mulch.
The average cost to install landscaping stones ranges from $250 to $2,500. Landscaping stones are a great way to create unusual looks in a garden without needing plants or much water. They can help keep soil moist and in place when used as mulch around trees or shrubs. Dry river beds, rocks as mulch, and rock gardens are all attractive ways you can xeriscape. Landscaping stones come in a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes so that you can easily find some to complement your property.
The average cost to add native plants to your xeriscaping project is between $2,000 and $5,000. Native plants are great to add to a drought-prone area. They are often naturally drought-resistant and can thrive in your area. They can add color and shade and help prevent erosion in many spaces. Many xeriscaping projects include a few drought-resistant native plants, and many are the project’s focus.
Artificial grass averages $3,000 to $7,500. Artificial grass is a great addition to drought-prone areas. You can get an attractive, easy-to-maintain ground cover with artificial grass. This can help stop erosion and give kids and pets a place to play. You can use it to cover your entire yard or sections combined with native plants and other techniques to create an attractive yard.
Adding irrigation to your yard costs between $4,000 and $6,000. Many people who xeriscape also include an irrigation system 3. These can be misting systems that help bring water from areas nearby to your yard. They can keep your native plants healthier and do not rely on as much water as sprinkler systems. Irrigation works best if you have a water source nearby so that you are not worsening drought conditions.
If you have plants or grass in your yard, you may want to add a water system. Irrigation, misting, and sprinkler systems can keep your plants healthy and cut down on daily maintenance. Each system ranges in cost and consumption. The system size and installation style impact your total costs.
|Irrigation System||Average Costs (Labor Included)|
|Drip Irrigation||$500 - $1,200|
|Outdoor Misting System||$1,500 - $3,500|
|Sprinkler System||$4,000 - $7,000|
When starting from scratch on a new lot, landscaping costs significantly more. It is not uncommon for landscaping to be approximately 10% of your home’s value. So, a $400,000 home has around $40,000 in landscaping. Expect to pay about $200 an hour to get your landscaping started, with most projects taking several weeks to grade, add topsoil and seed, and do the basic planting and hardscaping.
Maintaining your landscaping can have additional costs, depending on the landscaping and how often it requires care. For example, some shrubs need regular trimming, while others do not require any. Grass needs to be mowed and often fertilized, but most hardscaping can go without regular maintenance for years.
Most companies offer a basic maintenance package and provide landscape services on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis as needed. Some provide one-time maintenance deals for specific projects as well.
Basic care is the bare minimum your yard or landscaping needs to look good and stay healthy. This can be routine cleanup, trimming, and mowing. If you need some extra work, such as fertilizing, you may pay an extra one-time fee. Most people with average yards and landscaping find that basic care is all that is necessary to keep them looking good long term.
|Weekly Cost||Biweekly Cost||Monthly Cost|
|$40 - $150||$50 - $200||$165 - $260|
Premium care includes all the same services as basic care, with additional services like regular fertilization, taking care of water features and fountains, and more involved levels of shrub trimming and other work. This care is needed for homes and properties with things like walking paths, exotic plants and trees, fruit-bearing trees, and other unusual additions. Like with basic care, you can add one-time options to get the total level of care your property needs.
|Weekly Cost||Biweekly Cost||Monthly Cost|
|$70 - $250||$90 - $300||$230 - $540|
Adding landscaping to your home is almost always worth the money. Landscaping can improve your home’s curb appeal, meaning it can make it more attractive to potential buyers. Landscaping can also have an ROI of between 200% and 400% and can increase your home’s value by more than 20% when done properly. Even simple landscaping can improve the way your property looks and improve your use of the space. More elaborate landscaping can dramatically improve your use of the space and can raise the value of your home at the same time.
A holistic approach and careful planning and design are key elements of beautiful landscaping, which is why most homeowners choose to work with a landscape designer or landscape architect to create the landscape of their dreams within their budget. Even homeowners who ultimately decide to do the actual planting themselves need a designer during the planning and design phase to avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes, such as planting plants that require a lot of sun in a shady spot and planting a tree too close to the foundation. Depending on your needs, a designer also helps you choose plants that are low-maintenance or complement each other and create beautiful designs.
During the design phase, the designer evaluates the need for grading or resloping the land. This is very important because if the water does not properly drain away from your home’s foundation, it can cause water damage and other issues like mold and mildew in no time. A landscape designer may charge $2,000 - $7,000 for a detailed plan, with most homeowners paying around $4,500 with verbal consultations charged additionally at the rate of $200 per hour.
Some of the most common landscaping design styles are as follows:
One of the most popular landscaping styles throughout the world, Mediterranean gardens are characterized by tiered fountains, terracotta pots, statuary, and plants that provide color, texture, and structure.
Japanese garden designs are heavily influenced by Buddhist, Taoist, and Shinto philosophies and use natural elements like plants, ornaments, rocks, and water to create a peaceful and spiritual atmosphere. Green is a color that is essential to a Japanese garden. You can use different shades of green to create a sense of quiet and calm.
The Tuscan garden style combines trademark plantings like rosemary, lavender, and Italian cypress with terracotta urns, natural stone, and bright colors like red, yellow, and orange.
The English invented the cottage garden so every piece of land was put into service to produce food for families. English cottage gardens are lush and free-flowering and give the impression of an unplanned landscape. White picket fences, charming birdhouses, wheelbarrows, arbors, and layered arrangements of classic, old-fashioned plants, such as peonies, foxgloves, pansies, cosmos, and roses, are trademark elements of this design.
Formal landscapes are characterized by simple geometric designs, symmetry, straight edges, long sightlines, classic urns, and traditional building materials.
The southwest landscape design incorporates Spanish and Native American details and is characterized by native plants and bold and colorful building materials that reflect the natural landscapes of the region.
Not all landscape designers offer installation services. If that is the case, you may need to hire a landscaping contractor or groundskeeper to bring the design to life.
Many people look at the cost of landscaping and wonder if they would be better off doing it themselves to save money. While landscaping is not inexpensive, many benefits come from hiring a professional service to care for your property.
Landscapers have a great deal of knowledge about the soil, climate, and what grows in your area. They know how and when to maintain it and what problems you might encounter. They can also help you frame and design your landscaping to best suit your yard and property for the best results. When you pay for professional landscaping services, you also get their knowledge, which is arguably the most important part.
If you have problems with drainage in your yard, a French drain can help. French drains 4 move the water from one end of your yard to another area where it can drain without causing soggy ground or foundation issues. A French drain costs around $4,500.
A pond can be a beautiful addition to any backyard. Installation costs for a pond depend on factors like shape, labor, and accessories. Some ponds are filtered and lined like pools, while others are left natural. They have an average cost of $9,000.
Outdoor lighting brightens your landscaping into the evening hours, making it usable longer. You can add lights to the area near your deck or patio or illuminate your entire yard, depending on how often you use it at night. Outdoor lighting costs around $3,500 to $4,500.
Outdoor kitchens are becoming very popular additions to most landscaping, allowing you to cook and entertain outside. Outdoor kitchens come in many shapes and sizes and can include a range of cooking, storage, and seating options. They have starting costs of $13,000.
Pools can add enjoyment to your yard while also enhancing your landscaping. Pools come in many shapes, sizes, and materials, with average costs of around $50,000.
Monthly landscape maintenance costs $100 to $300, depending on what you need.
This is determined mostly by where you live because different grasses perform better in some climates.
Generally, spring is the best time to landscape before it gets too hot for new plants.
Start slowly and do things in phases as you can afford them. Purchase plants and spend the money on professional design and labor.
The average cost to plant a shrub is between $25 and $50. Costs vary depending on the shrub type, size, and placement.
The average cost to plant a tree is between $150 and $300. Costs vary depending on the tree type and size, with mature trees costing more than saplings.