How much does a landscape architect cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a landscape architect cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a landscape architect cost?

5% – 20%average percentage of construction cost
$100 – $250average hourly rates
$1,000 – $6,000average total cost to hire

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

5% – 20% average percentage of construction cost

$100 – $250 average hourly rates

$1,000 – $6,000 average total cost to hire

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Sarah Noel
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Sarah Noel
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Landscape architect cost

A landscape architect costs $1,000 to $6,000 for design plans or 5% to 20% of the total project costs with installation supervision. The average hourly rate for a landscape architect is $100 to $250 per hour. Landscape architect free proposals are $200 to $500 for a 2-hour consultation on-site.

Landscape architect cost for plans
National average cost $3,500
Minimum cost $200
Maximum cost $10,000
Average range $1,000 to $6,000

Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.

Get free estimates from landscape architects near you.

Average cost to hire a landscaping architect

The following table shows the average cost to hire a landscaping architect:

Average cost to hire a landscaping architect
Fee type Average cost Includes:
Hourly rate $100 – $250
  • Extended consultations
  • Drawing design plans
  • Revisions
  • Filing for building permits
  • Travel time
Percentage of total project installation cost 5% – 20%
  • Initial consultation
  • Drawing design plans
  • Revisions
  • Permit prep & filing
  • Hiring subcontractors
  • Overseeing project installation
Initial consultation $200 – $500
  • First 2 hours
  • Site measurements
  • Property inspection
  • Gathering client requests
Design plans $1,000 – $6,000
  • Drawing 1 – 3 high-quality renderings
  • Stamped build plans
  • Minor plan revisions

Average hourly rate for landscape architect

The average hourly rate for a landscape architect is $100 to $250 per hour if they have associate or principal status at their firm. A junior architect or draftsperson costs $60 to $85 per hour to draw plans only. Total costs depend on the architect’s experience.

Average hourly rate for a landscape architect
Title Average hourly rate Involvement
Draftsperson / Intern / Junior architect $60 – $85
  • Creates computer designs & drawings from the head architect’s instructions
  • Revises drafts
  • Handles office duties
Associate $100 – $150
  • Principal architect’s main assistant
  • Helps in revising drafts
Principal $120 – $250
  • Manages all other architects & drafters
  • Leads collaboration with engineers
  • Monitors the site during construction

*Plan revisions cost $100 to $150 per hour.

A beautiful multi-level garden landscape with flower beds and retaining walls.
A beautiful multi-level garden landscape with flower beds and retaining walls.

Landscape architect fees as a percentage of project

Get free estimates from landscape architects near you.

Landscape architect fees are 5% to 20% of the total project installation cost for commercial-size or multi-acre projects. These fees often apply when they supervise construction of their designs. Architects prefer to charge hourly on most residential projects.

Landscape architect fee proposal

A landscape architect fee proposal costs $200 to $500 on average as part of the initial consultation. This estimate is typically 2 to 5 pages long for residential projects and up to 100 pages for complex commercial projects.

The fee proposal typically includes:

  • Project details, goals, and all services

  • Consultant costs

  • Crew descriptions with estimated labor time

  • Price list and budget limits

  • Project and payment schedule

  • Contract terms

Landscape architect design and building process & costs

The total cost of the design process by large landscape-architect firms covers multiple stages of design, plan production, and building observation. Drafting the final set of construction plans for permitting and contractor bidding costs the most.

Design process costs by project percentage
Stage Percentage of total project cost
Schematic design 25%
Design development 25%
Construction documents 35%
Construction administration 15%

*These percentages typically apply to commercial or municipal projects.

Cost factors for hiring a landscape architect include:

  • Project size – Bigger properties take longer to measure, inspect, and design.

  • Labor – The architect’s credentials and experience affect their rates. Fees are highest for top firms in metropolitan areas.

  • Surveys – Architects must make a revised property survey first if the one on record is inaccurate, which increases design time.

  • Number of documents – Clients with elaborate projects need several site plans and concept designs first, plus the final construction plans.

  • Level of detail – Plans with placeholders for features designed by subcontractors are cheaper than plans detailing all materials and finishes.

  • Topography – Hard-to-access properties, sloped land, and sites with obstacles or environmental concerns take longer to design.

  • Consultants – Large architect firms charge extra fees when assessments are necessary from engineers, soil scientists, or irrigation pros.

  • Revisions – Architects typically charge extra hourly fees for altering the plans.

  • Location – Fees increase for historical properties or in neighborhoods with strict design regulations.

  • Drainage – An exterior drainage system costs $1,000 to $4,000 on average for redirecting backyard surface water.

  • Soil type – Creating new garden beds in areas with nutrient-deficient soil costs more for installing extra compost, fertilizers, and soil amendments.

  • Soil testing – A soil test costs $10 to $500 on average for a soil profile and composition test.

  • Design elements – Total costs depend on the amount of hardscaping, special landscape features, and job complexity.

  • Existing space – Working around existing landscaping and objects increases the overall designing cost.

  • Permits – Big landscaping features each require separate permits. For example, retaining-wall permits cost $50 to $450, and concrete-patio permits cost $150 to $300.

  • Travel time – Extra hourly fees apply for driving outside the standard service area.

Hardscape feature costs

Common hardscape feature costs include:

Softscape feature costs

Common softscape feature costs include:

Get free estimates from landscape architects near you.
Stone landscape edging around flower beds in a residential yard.
Stone landscape edging around flower beds in a residential yard.

Landscape architect vs. landscape designer

A landscape architect makes construction-quality plans and charges more than designers according to their experience and qualifications. A landscape designer costs $50 to $150 per hour and makes basic conceptual drawings.

Landscape architect vs. landscape designer
Factor Landscape architect Landscape designer
Hourly rates $100 – $250 $50 – $150
  • University degree
  • State licenses
  • Knowledge of soil testing, botany, long-term-planting strategies, design organization, and horticulture
  • No licensing requirements in many states
  • General landscaping experience
Project types
  • Big residential sitesMulti-family residences
  • Business properties
  • Municipal sites & officesPublic parks
  • Small to medium residential sites
  • Single-family residences
Job description
  • Builds highly detailed construction plans with exact dimensions
  • Ideal for large-scale jobs that require city approval & permits
  • Works independently, for the city, or for large building firms
  • Planning only, or full-service design & build management
  • Creates conceptual designs
  • Ideal for small projects that don’t need permits
  • Designs only, or works with a design-and-build firm, garden center, or nursery
  • May have to consult an engineer or architect for large jobs
  • Knowledge of building codes & engineering
  • Structural design
  • Hardscaping
  • Drainage systems
  • Aesthetics
  • Plant choice
  • General topography

Is a landscape architect worth it?

Hiring a landscape architect is worth it for:

  • Getting permits for large-scale projects

  • Adding retaining walls, fences, patios, terraces, and other hardscaping features

  • Improving water conservation and drainage

  • Creating a sustainable, low-maintenance yard

  • Designing on challenging slopes or limited-access areas

  • Garden and lawn designs that match a homeowner’s lifestyle

  • Developing on a floodplain or heritage site

  • Creating a landscape that resists damage from natural disasters

  • Designing to match the home’s architecture

  • Improving the home’s curb appeal before selling

What does a landscape architect do?

A landscape architect’s work includes:

  • On-site consultations with total project cost estimations

  • Correcting old property surveys with new measurements

  • Creating the initial conceptual designs

  • Revising plans until the client approves

  • Drawing up and submitting official building plans for permits

  • Collaborate with engineers as needed to approve structure designs

  • Manage landscaping contractors during construction

  • Supervise site work daily

Getting estimates from landscape architects

Before hiring a landscape architect near you, be sure to:

  • Compare multiple quotes from companies with 5+ years of experience.

  • Verify that they have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in landscape architecture.

  • Check if they have licenses from:

  • American Society of Landscape Architects

  • State registration bureaus

  • Local landscaping and construction associations

  • Verify that they have a business license, surety bonds, and full liability insurance with worker’s compensation coverage.

  • Read their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Request an itemized estimate and contract upfront.

  • Beware of the lowest bids that often yield low-quality results.

  • Don’t give a full payment. Follow a payment plan instead.

Questions to ask

  • Have you supervised construction of a design like this one before?

  • How long have you been working as a landscape architect in this area?

  • Can you recommend contractors or suppliers you’ve worked with before?

  • Do you offer free consultations for new clients?

  • Can I see your portfolio and a list of references?

  • How will you design to meet my budget?

  • Which types of plants grow best in my soil type and climate?

  • Are you familiar with local building codes?

  • Will you consult a civil engineer about grading assessments?

  • Can you design construction-quality plans and pull permits for me?

  • What common extra fees are not in your estimate?

  • Who should I contact for revisions and project management?

  • Do you offer designs only, or does your firm supervise installation also?

  • How long will it take to create the plans, and how do you charge for revisions?

  • Will you create a 3D digital design or scaled drawings?

  • Which landscaping features are the most expensive and why?

  • How long will construction take?

  • Can you make a design that reduces yard maintenance?

  • Do you work with subcontractors?

  • How long will it take for the new plants to grow?

  • Do you offer any installation guarantees or warranties?

  • What’s your payment schedule, and do you offer payment plans?