Landscape Update Cost

How much does it cost to have a landscaping update done?

Landscaping has a huge impact on the look and value of a home. Perhaps more than with other projects, there are an incredible amount of variables in landscaping cost, including the location, climate, scale, and existing conditions.

For this example, we'll look at the cost of landscaping a new, standard 5000 square foot backyard without existing landscaping. The average cost is $5-$8 per square foot. Some landscaping aspects can be done on your own, but hiring a professional throughout the project is always recommended.

Cost breakdown

  • Materials: the cost of the project largely depends on the landscaping features. Common features include:
    • Grass: the least expensive option is hydroseed ($0.50-$1 per square foot), up to artificial turf ($8-$12 per square foot).
    • Plants: the cost of plants is incredibly reliant on the type and number of plants you are installing, the style of your landscaping, and your climate and location. In general, plan to spend one-third to half of your materials budget on plants, meaning they would cost $8,500-$20,000 for this example.
    • Patio: material costs range from less expensive concrete ($6-$7 per square foot) to most expensive flagstone 1 ($15-$30 per square foot).
    • Fountain: The least expensive option is a standalone bird bath ($150-$300), up to a freestanding wall fountain ($600-$1,200).
  • Before any work can be done, the land needs to be leveled 2 to the desired steepness. Depending on the current condition and grade 2 of the land, this can add an additional $500-$1000, plus another one to two days of work or $360-$1200.
  • Labor: Landscapers generally charge $45-$75 per hour. Depending on the work required, landscaping can take anywhere from one week to one month or more or $1800-$12,000.
  • Landscape designers typically charge either by hour (average of $50-$75 per hour) or by a percentage of the total cost (average 10%-15%), which means it would cost $2500-$6000 for this project.

Enhancement and improvement costs

  • Depending on the climate, you may need an automatic sprinkler system 3, which runs about $0.75-$1 per square foot.
  • This example considers new landscaping, but if you need to remove and dispose of existing landscaping or overgrowth, it will impact your total cost. For a 5000 square foot yard with a medium amount of landscaping, plan on adding an additional $1000-$2000 to your budget. That price could easily rise with plants that are more difficult to remove or if you need to remove structures, such as a patio or deck.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Landscaping is also expensive to maintain in most cases, meaning that a landscaping project costs aren't finished when the last tree is planted.
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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Flagstone: A piece of rock, usually sedimentary, that has been split into layers. It is commonly used for paving and walkways, and is also used for fences and roofing
2 Leveled: (Also known as Grade) The process of evening out the ground's surface, making it either flat or sloped.
3 Sprinkler system: Set of equipment used to irrigate lawns

Cost to have a landscaping update done varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zipcode

Compared to national average
Albuquerque, NM
-14%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Austin, TX
+13%
Birmingham, AL
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Columbus, GA
-20%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Conroe, TX
+21%
Corona, CA
+19%
Cupertino, CA
+33%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Denver, CO
+1%
Dublin, CA
+35%
El Mirage, AZ
-2%
El Paso, TX
-28%
Elk Grove, CA
+6%
Fountain, CO
-4%
Garland, TX
+8%
Gilbert, AZ
-2%
Gilroy, CA
+13%
Glendale, AZ
-2%
Irvine, CA
+23%
La Habra, CA
+19%
La Mirada, CA
+19%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Lathrop, CA
+4%
Lexington, KY
+1%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Lubbock, TX
-22%
Magnolia, TX
+14%
Mesa, AZ
-2%
Miami, FL
+1%
Modesto, CA
-12%
Oceanside, CA
+8%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Pasadena, CA
+15%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Providence, RI
+13%
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
+23%
Reno, NV
0%
Riverton, UT
-6%
Roseville, CA
+6%
Round Rock, TX
-5%
Sacramento, CA
+8%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
Saint Paul, MN
+20%
Saint Petersburg, FL
-11%

Labor cost in your zipcode

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Methodology and sources