How much does a landscape architect cost?
How much does a landscape architect cost?
5% – 20% average percentage of construction cost
$100 – $250 average hourly rates
$1,000 – $6,000 average total cost to hire
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.
|National average cost||$3,500|
|Average range||$1,000 to $6,000|
Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.
Average cost to hire a landscaping architect
The following table shows the average cost to hire a landscaping architect:
|Fee type||Average cost||Includes:|
|Hourly rate||$100 – $250||
|Percentage of total project installation cost||5% – 20%||
|Initial consultation||$200 – $500||
|Design plans||$1,000 – $6,000||
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.
|Title||Average hourly rate||Involvement|
|Draftsperson / Intern / Junior architect||$60 – $85||
|Associate||$100 – $150||
|Principal||$120 – $250||
*Plan revisions cost $100 to $150 per hour.
Landscape architect fees as a percentage of project
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
Crew descriptions with estimated labor time
Price list and budget limits
Project and payment schedule
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.
|Stage||Percentage of total project cost|
*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:
The cost to build a pond is $2,900 to $15,600.
Fence installation costs $13 to $25 per linear foot.
A retaining wall costs $40 to $300 per linear foot.
The cost to build a pool is $1,800 to $5,000 for aboveground models or $28,000 to $55,000 for in-ground types.
Hot tub installation costs $4,000 to $15,000 on average.
The cost to build a deck is $15 to $30 per square foot.
A concrete slab costs $4 to $8 per square foot installed.
A concrete patio costs $4 to $12 per square foot installed.
A water fountain costs $1,500 to $8,800 installed.
Flower bed installation costs $20 to $65 per square foot for a raised bed with plants.
A rain garden costs $5 to $15 per square foot and manages stormwater runoff.
Landscaping lighting costs $2,000 to $5,000.
A pergola costs $10 to $65 per square foot on average.
A gazebo costs $30 to$100 per square foot on average.
A basic outdoor kitchen costs $5,000 to $15,000.
A fire pit costs $325 to $2,000 on average.
Softscape feature costs
Common softscape feature costs include:
The cost to plant flowers is $10 to $30 per pot.
The cost to plant a tree is $200 to $700 per tree.
Hedge planting costs $10 to $45 per linear foot.
Bush and shrub planting costs $25 to $85 per shrub.
The cost of seeding a lawn is $300 to $1,350.
Sod installation costs $1 to $2 per square foot.
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.
|Factor||Landscape architect||Landscape designer|
|Hourly rates||$100 – $250||$50 – $150|
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?