Landscaping can cost anywhere from $20 an hour for minor work to $350 or more per hour for large and elaborate landscaping jobs.There are some big variables in the cost of landscaping works. Also it will depend greatly on the size of your garden, is it a small courtyard garden, or a large backyard? Is it a new house landscape cost you need to work out? or a garden renovation?
The first step to working out your landscaping budget is working out what landscaping elements you need.As with most things, planning early and getting the layout right is paramount in getting your budget on track and ending up with an excellent finished result.
Hard landscaping will cost more in both labour costs and materials. So if you require extensive driveways, pathways, retaining walls or timber structures then obviously your costs will increase. Unfortunately there is little in the way of cost cuttings on hard landscaping. Sourcing second hand materials can help, but the labour element will not be flexible. For the handy homeowner you can attempt elements of your landscaping, but there will be certain landscaping works that will require the professionals and additional tradesmen such as plumbers, electricians and carpenters.
Estimating Your Landscaping Costs
According to landscaping professionals, if you’re starting from scratch, expect your landscaping to cost somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of the value of your home. If the landscaping job is not too complex, such as lawns and gardens on a level block, it will be closer to 5 percent. Landscaping a new house will obviously cost more, as there will be a blank canvas needing lots of landscaping. A more elaborate landscaping job will be closer to 10 percent. While imperfect, landscapers say doing a quick estimate using this rule of thumb can help you determine if the quotes you get are realistic.
The next step in estimating your landscaping costs is in determining the greatest unusual costs. For example:
Do rocks need to be removed? Hiring an excavating company to remove boulders can dramatically add to the cost of the job.
Is access difficult? In an extreme case, access problems can make landscaping prohibitively expensive.
Do old structures or objects need to be removed before landscaping can be done. If so, their removal and disposal has to be factored in.
What hard landscaping elements do you require in your garden?
Next, cost your large area materials, such as soil, turf, pavers, and retaining walls. Contact local suppliers and find out the costs of materials per square metre. Then get out your tape measure and figure out your square metre totals. Add 5 to 10 percent, just to be on the safe side.
Are there any extra features you need to get costings for? Water features, for example, can range from a few hundreds dollars to thousands of dollars if you want something like a waterfall flowing into a large pond. An entertaining area or pergola will add to your overall costs.
After you have calculated your costs, you will be in a better position to compare quotes from landscapers and make informed cost adjustments if necessary. While landscaping can add significantly to the value of your property, industry authorities recommend that to be cost-effective, the cost of landscaping should not exceed 20 percent of the total value of your property. In most cases, your landscaping costs will be within the “ballpark” estimate outlined above, but bear this in mind if an expensive feature has stretched your budget.
Save Money Landscaping by DIY
DIY landscaping is one way of reducing your landscaping expenses. There are several ways of cutting your budget buy doing it yourself. Some of the more achievable DIY jobs include;
- Tidying up your site and removing any leftover rubbish or building rubble.
- Adding new garden soil.
- Pruning existing plants and trees if possible
- Preparing your garden beds, lawn and edging
- Setting up basic drainage
- Planting your plants. Extra money can be saved here by installing young, immature plants.
- Installing irrigation systems
- Mulching the gardens.
The above are relatively easy way to reduce your landscaping costs by doing some of the work yourself.