Ashburn, VA

How Much Does Landscaping Cost?

$50 – $100 Per Hour ($4 to $12 Per SF)

Landscaping costs vary depending on the size of the job and how many landscapers it requires. For small jobs such as lawn care or tree service, you can expect to pay $50 to $100 per hour. For larger jobs such as installation, prices range from $4 to $12 per square foot. When starting from scratch, most homeowners will spend between $3,000 and $15,950 for landscaping. Get free estimates from landscapers near you.


In most situations, landscaping includes designing and planning your land usage, getting the land ready, and planting or installing your desired additions. Unless you are an experienced landscape designer, it’s usually something best left to experienced professionals. Let's take a look at all the landscaping prices, including material and installation costs below.

Table Of Contents

  1. Landscaping Costs
  2. Landscaping Prices
  3. Landscaping Maintenance Cost
  4. Landscaping Material Costs
  5. Additional Backyard Landscaping Costs
  6. Landscaping Costs By Type
  7. Landscaping Styles
  8. Landscape Design Cost
  9. Types of Grass
  10. New Construction Landscaping
  11. Tips Before You Start
  12. Selecting Your Landscaper
  13. Landscaping Companies

Landscaping Costs

Landscaping costs vary depending on the size of the job and how many landscapers it requires. For small jobs such as lawn care or tree service, you can expect to pay $50 to $100 per hour. For larger jobs such as landscaping installation, you can expect to pay $4 to $12 per square foot.

Landscaping Costs
Landscaping Average Cost
Per Square Foot $4 – $12 per square foot
Per Hour $50 – $100 per hour
New Installation $3,000 – $15,950

Landscaping Cost Per Square Foot

On average, landscaping costs $4 to $12 per square foot after installation. Prices depend on the size of your yard, where you are located, and the complexity of the job. Labor is the biggest expense at around 80% of your total cost.

Landscapers will charge about 115% more than the cost of the grass sod, plants, and shrubbery.

Landscaping Costs Per Hour

On average, landscapers charge between $50 and $100 per hour. Prices depend on the size of the job and how many Landscapers it requires. Landscaping labor costs $25 to $50 per hour per crew member. For standard lawn care, it takes a two-person crew 30 minutes to cut your lawn which comes out to about $100 an hour.

New Landscaping Installation Cost

The cost to landscape a new house ranges from $3,000 to $15,950 depending on the size of the yard. If you're starting from scratch, expect to pay much more than one-time projects. New landscaping installation will require four or more landscapers over several weeks with an average cost of $200 per hour including materials and labor.

Landscaping Network says, “When deciding on a budget keep in mind that investing in professional landscaping will greatly add to the value of your home. A general rule of thumb is to spend 10% of your home's value on landscaping. So, if you have a $400,000 house, then a landscaping budget of $40,000 is appropriate.”

Beautiful Landscaping

Landscaping Prices

Landscaping prices start at $300 to $800 for small maintenance tasks and range from $2,000 to $4,000 for large jobs such as sod or sprinkler installation. The average homeowner spends $3,000 to $15,950 for new landscaping installation for their home.

Average Landscaping Prices List

Here are the most popular landscaping projects and a price list. We'll cover each one in detail for you:

Landscaping Prices List
Landscaping Average Cost
Landscaping Installation (from scratch) $3,000 - $15,950
Lawn Seeding $300 - $700
Sod Installation $1,100 for the sod or $3,000 installed
Mulching Costs $200 - $500
Artificial Turf Installation $3,000 - $4,000
Sprinkler System Installation $2,150 - $4,000
Landscape Curbing $800 - $1,500
Lawn Mowing $25 - $50
Misting System Install $1,000 - $2,500
Pond Installation $2,155 and $3,218
Water Fountain Installation $2,000
Tree Trimming $250 - $500
Tree Removal $12 - $13 /foot ($200 - $600 /tree)
Lawn Grading $125 per cubic yard of dirt
Landscape Design $50–100 per hour
Landscaping Maintenance $100–200 per month
Landscaping Permits Up to $1,000

Lawn Seeding Cost

Grass seed costs approx. $0.05/sqft, which will only cost about $100 for the same 2,000-square-foot lawn or $700 for a professional to seed your yard for you. The downside to sowing seed versus laying sod is that it is not an instant result.

First, each type of grass has a peak seeding and growing season you might miss and then have to wait on. Then, depending on the type of grass seed you decide to sow, it can take anywhere from 5 to 30 days before the grass will germinate. Until it does, the soil has to be kept wet—not too much or the seed will wash away, and not too little or the grass will dry out and not produce a lawn you are proud of.

Standard advice is to water the lawn every 2–3 days with even coverage, but not for too long, because then the water will continue on down past the seeds. No matter which type of grass you choose, get a good sprinkler system that provides excellent coverage and allows for scheduling, so your lawn doesn’t get forgotten about when life gets busy.

Sod Installation Cost

If you get grass sod installed, you will instantly have grass which will quickly blend together until you can’t see where each sod starts and stops. This instant solution is significantly more expensive than seeding a lawn because the grass has to be grown somewhere else, looked after, watered, cut up, and transported to your home before being laid down.

Depending on where you live and the type of grass you select, sod costs about $0.55 per square foot—$1,100 just for the sod or $3,000 installed for a lawn of 2,000 square feet.

Average Sod Prices by Type

Sod Type Average Cost
Bermuda Sod $0.30 - $0.75 /sqft
Fescue Sod $0.31 - $0.63 /sqft
St. Augustine Sod $0.20 - $0.50 /sqft
Zoysia Sod $0.40 - $0.55 /sqft
Planting new grass or laying sod is always a significant part of landscaping. Check out all the grass types for your landscaping project.

Landscaping Design

Artificial Turf Installation Cost

For many reasons—including maintenance, maintenance costs, and water conservation—many homeowners are installing synthetic grass. Imagine never needing to mow, fertilize, reseed, water, or pay for a sprinkler system.

As LIM Home Solutions in Van Nuys, CA, says,

“As the water supply becomes scarcer, it becomes more difficult for homeowners and landscapers to maintain natural grass lawns, with fines as high as $10,000 for illegal watering... replacing your natural lawn with artificial turf has become the more practical option.”

Have your designer take measurements and show you some design ideas, along with all the different options possible. You will receive a 2D design layout so you can see what your finished yard will look like once the synthetic turf is installed. Artificial turf will cost most homeowners $3,000 - $4,000 to install and will usually come with an 8–15-year warranty.

Sprinkler System Installation Cost

Sprinklers are essential to keeping your landscaping investment maintained and healthy. Rather than having to take the time out of your busy day, consider getting a sprinkler system that provides great coverage and allows for easy scheduling.

The cost of a sprinkler system will vary based on the size of your lawn and if you already have landscaping installed or not. Typically, homeowners can expect to pay between $2,150 and $4,000 for a complete system.

Landscape Curbing Installation Cost

Landscape curbing creates a visually appealing look and is essential to show where one area ends and another begins. Curbing can get extensive quickly and may contain retaining walls, concrete, bricks, rock and more. Depending on the materials and extent of your curbing, you can expect to pay between $800 - $1,500 for a professional installation.

Landscaping Curbing Retaining Wall Stairs Walkway

Misting System Installation Cost

If you live in an area with a warmer climate, a misting system is an excellent addition to the overall comfort of your new landscape. Instead of installing an awning or pergola, an outdoor misting system is one of the most natural and most effective ways to cool an outdoor area. If this sounds appealing to you, be prepared to spend $1,000 - $2,500 for installation.

Pond Installation Cost

Ponds are a great addition to your landscape if you don't have quite enough room for a pool but still want something exotic. Plus, guests and kids will love to see the Koi fish swim! Depending on the size, location, and materials used for your pond, you can expect to pay between $2,155 and $3,218 to have a new pond professionally installed.

Landscaping Pond

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Water Fountain Installation Cost

To make your landscaping project complete, consider adding a water fountain. Water fountains bring a serene feeling and actually increase the value of your home. Also, the water they use is recycled, and they are low maintenance to keep running. For a professional water fountain installation, set aside at least $2,000.

Landscaping Water Fountain

Lawn Grading Cost

Changing the terrain of your land through re-sloping or grading will incur its own additional cost of $125 per cubic yard of dirt to be moved or about $1,600 total. The contractor will need to be able to get some big equipment in, and that may require removing some fencing or gates.

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Landscaping Maintenance Cost

For general landscaping maintenance, lawn care, gardening, and up keep, the average homeowner will spend $100 - $200/month. Expect to pay more for a company with a few employees than an individual because of overhead costs. The cost will also depend on the size of your yard, your location, and the amount of work you need to have done regularly.

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Lawn Care Prices

Hiring a landscaper to mow and maintain your yard, you will likely spend between $25 and $50 per visit.

Here’s a more detailed look at lawn care prices:

Mow Frequency 1/8 Acre 1/4 Acre 1/3 Acre 1/2 Acre 1 Acre
Weekly $23.66 $29.79 $42.94 $52.14 $84.56
Biweekly $24.97 $35.05 $42.94 $63.53 $88.06
Monthly $28.92 $38.99 $46.00 $63.97 $93.32

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Mulching Costs

Mulching costs between $200 and $500 per application for professional installation. If you're having trouble growing grass or just looking to spice up the flowerbeds, you'll need to mulch. Mulching feeds the soil and surrounding plants and keeps your landscape at an ideal temperature. Also, it helps retain moisture and prevents weeds from taking over.

You can buy mulch at your local hardware store for $2 to $5 per bag (1 cubic foot). Mulch delivery can be expensive, so unless you're landscaper is already doing other projects for you it's recommended you install this yourself.

Tree Trimming Costs

Hiring someone to trim just one tree can cost up to $1,000, with $250 to $500 being the typical price range for trimming a tree. And keep in mind that those prices cover one-time service for just one tree. If you’ve got several trees around your house that need to be trimmed or trees must be trimmed several times a year, the bill will go up accordingly.

Tree Removal Costs

Tree removal is based on a price per foot, with average costs being $12–$13/foot. Expect the following:

Height Average Cost
Up to 25 feet
The root system is small, and the trunk is thin.
$150 – $500
25 - 75 feet
The difference in price can vary dramatically depending on the root depth and trunk diameter.
$200 – $1,000
Over 75 feet
A crane is needed to remove huge trees, with care taken to remove root systems without damaging utility or plumbing lines nearby.
$1,500 and up

Landscaping Material Costs

Here are some popular landscaping materials and their average national cost. Keep in mind these prices do not include installation.

Landscaping Material Average Cost
Composting $25 - $33 /yard
Flood Lights $200 - $500 /light
Grass Pavers $3 - $10 /sqft
Landscape Boulders $150 /ton
Landscape Gravel $20 - $30 /sqft
Landscape Fabric $1.50 - $2 /sqft
Landscape Rocks $0.05 - $0.30 /lb
Landscape Timbers $5 - $7 /linear ft.
Lawn Edging $1 - $5 /ft
Lawn Fertilization $40 - $60 /application
Lawn Replacement $1 - $2 /sqft
Lawn Turf $5 - $20 /sqft
Retaining Wall $15 - $20 /sqft

Cost Of Landscaping Rocks

The average cost of landscaping rocks is $3 to$6 per square foot depending on the rock type selected. Crushed granite and crushed stone rock costs between $1 and $3 per square foot while granite pavers and dry stack stone costs between $6 and $15 per square foot.

Rock Type Average Cost
Crushed Granite $1 - $3 /sqft
Granite Pavers $6 /sqft
Crushed Stone $1 - $2 /sqft
Stone Steps $100 - $300 /each
Dry Stack Stone $6 - $15 /sqft

Landscaping Walkway Gravel Stone Brick Shrubs

Including installation, you can expect to pay $15 per sq. foot for a walkway.

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Additional Backyard Landscaping Costs

All the following prices are for the average size of that item/installation. See HomeGuide’s other cost guides for more detailed info about installation costs on each.

Landscaping Cost Estimator

Landscaping Cost Estimator
Additional Options Average Cost
Asphalt Driveway (20' x 24') $4,200
Concrete driveway $5,500
Deck $7,230
Patio $2,500
Gazebo $1,000
Retaining wall $4,900
Drainage $3,200
Sprinkler system $2,150
Sprinkler Heads $2 - $10
Outdoor misting $2,100
Fountain $2,600
Pond $2,850
Awning $2,500
Fencing $10 /foot
Walkway $15 /sqft
Retaining wall $20 /sqft
Lighting $4,500
Patio cover $5,500
Outdoor fireplace $4,000
Swimming pool $20,000+

Concrete Patio Bistro

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Fence Material Costs

Fence Material Average Cost
Board Wood Fencing $8 - $13 /linear ft.
Wood Fence $7 - $15 /linear ft.
Board On Board Fencing $8 - $16 /panel
Wood Picket Fencing $15 - $21 /linear ft.
Vinyl Fencing $25 - $40 /linear ft.
Vinyl Chain Link Fencing $11 - $14 /linear ft.
Vinyl Coated Chain Link Fencing $14 - $21 /linear ft.
Electric Fencing $600 - $1,100
Glass Fencing $61 - $87 /linear ft.
Redwood Fencing $12 - $18 /linear ft.
Cedar Fencing $1 - $6 /plank
Aluminum Fencing $15 - $60 /linear ft.
Wrought Iron Fencing $20 - $30 /linear ft.
Chain Link Fencing $8 - $15 /linear ft.
Split Rail Fencing $10 - $25 /linear ft.
Stockade Fencing $8 - $15 /linear ft.
Cyclone Fencing $5 - $20 /sqft
Shadowbox Fencing $6 - $15 /linear ft.

Landscaping Costs By Type

The 3 main types of landscaping are hardscaping, softscaping, and xeriscaping. Here are their average prices for landscaping installation:

Landscaping Costs By Type
Landscaping Types Average Cost
Hardscaping $2,000 to $45,000
Softscaping $11 per square foot
Xeriscaping $10 per square foot

Hardscaping

This is the industry terminology used to describe the design, planning, and implementation of non-living items in the decoration of land. This includes paths, gazebos, patios, decks, retaining walls, pergolas, etc. Depending on what needs to be constructed, the work usually involves working with materials like wood, brick, concrete, stone, and metal.

Trex Decking

Elements of landscaping that fall into this category will range in cost from around $2,000 to $45,000. To save money on hardscaping, consider buying prefabricated items like a readymade firepit rather than a custom-built stone one.

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Softscaping

The softscaping category encompasses all the vital components like plants, trees, shrubs, and flowerbeds. Within softscaping, the items fall into classifications of annuals, biennials, and perennials. Each of these classifications produces flowers which will form seeds.

Landscaping Patio Flowers Trees

Where they differ is in the typical lifespan of each category member. Softscaping works out at about $11 per square foot. To save money, buy younger plants and trees. Your yard will end up looking the same; it will just take a little longer to grow into the plan.

Xeriscaping

This landscaping is tailored for arid climates and allows for minimal water use. It focuses on working with plants that occur naturally in that climate type, like purple fountain grass, yellow pampas grass, Mexican feather grass, blue oat grass, autumn joy sedum, and aloe vera—all plants that have the same minimal need for water.

When professionally installed, costs can run close to $10 per square foot, but having a professional plan out your land use could cost as little as a few hundred dollars or as much as $5,000, or higher, for a more boutique designer. Consider, though, the savings in water bills no matter who you choose to design it all.

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Landscape Design Cost

A professional will visit your property and work up a plan that matches the creative vision you have for the land. Expect to pay $50–100 per hour for both the design phase and the implementation phase.

For high-end designers, expect $10,000–$15,000 for these. Within this planning phase, there are two distinct disciplines and associated costs. In general, a landscape architect will work on areas to do with the land and hardscaping, while designers are more involved with visuals and the softscaping arena, covering plants, etc.

Landscaping Design

What does a landscape architect do?

Landscape architects have a university degree from a school accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) in landscape architecture, and they have secured a license at the state level. The scope of their work covers architectural elements of a more structural nature, including the design of and solving issues with the following:

  • Any and all design or implementation around driveways, entries, and/or service lines
  • Design of exterior structures
  • Drainage and irrigation issues and systems
  • Topography
  • Retaining walls

Architects focus more on larger commercial projects, while designers are engaged in smaller-scale projects like residential development.

An architect will charge about twice the price a designer will, but many landscape architect firms will have designers on staff, enabling them to be a one-stop shop for the entire design phase and eliminating the need to find two solutions.

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What does a landscape designer do?

While many landscape designers have taken college courses, others are self-taught or have grown up in the family business. Some designers may have an education similar to that of a landscape architect, but without the state license, they are restricted to operating as a designer.

The Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) encourages members to engage in continued education and offers a program to certify members based on their completed projects. Ultimately, creating an outdoor space to relax in and enjoy is a worthwhile investment.

Work with designers like Ecocentrix Landscape Architecture in Santa Monica, California. In reference to how their design work showcases their stylistic range and high quality, they say:

“Our design of luxury residences and estates is immediately mood altering, celebrating the sensual and tactile temperament that is the fabric of landscape. We artfully engage color and light to further amplify our language of style and complement our living, breathing, palette.”

As with any landscaping company, their portfolio can tell you a lot about the quality of their work.

Landscaping Styles

A landscape designer can help you narrow down your list of features to a consistent theme. It is very possible that they will be able to walk you through a range of examples to illustrate the most popular styles in landscaping, including:

  • Traditional - In traditional gardens, there is a definite “designed” influence from the use of symmetry and repeated patterns and geometric shapes in the layout. The more modern take on the traditional garden bears visual similarities but leans away from the wealthy intent, and more toward practical aspects with portions to cultivate vegetables and fruit, as well as spaces that include BBQ grills, fireplaces, and even a full outdoor kitchen. Traditional styles include Cape Cod, colonial and English gardens.
  • Cape Cod - These gardens and homes feature pergolas, picket fences, shutters, window boxes, birdhouses, and birdbaths; along with native grasses and a color palette that includes coastal home colors like white, cream, light yellow, and light gray.
  • Colonial - This style is in line with elements contributing to the survival of the early settlers, when there was little focus on decoration and more on baking, keeping insects at bay, and cooking. Today’s elements include a functional focus with stone walls, picket fences, stone paving, arbors, and an unstructured array of flowers with pastel colors.
  • English - The English garden style has a distinct lack of symmetry and overall formality. Manicured lawns spread across less than flat topography and are mixed with cobblestone paths, and it is not uncommon to see replica statues sprinkled around in an otherwise rustic and organic setting.
  • Mediterranean - Mediterranean style is a fusion of similar yet distinct cultures manifesting in historical looks—using statues, tiered fountains, terracotta pots, bocce balls, and columns. In a stylish, casual setting, these structures are offset with the smell of herbs and the appearance of ornamental grass, lavender plants, and the sound of water; and some cover from the elegant stature of cypress trees. Subsets of Mediterranean style are Spanish, French, Tuscan and Southwest landscaping.
  • French - During the Renaissance, French royals designed gardens to offer a profound display of extravagance for their visitors. Today, the elements that draw from this period include cast-iron garden seating, glazed pots, columns, birdbaths, gravel, simple furniture, terraces, and fountains.
  • Spanish - Driven by a principle of creating individual spaces in the garden, Spanish gardens not only incorporate walled sections, but they also include patio and courtyard areas with tiered fountains, Saltillo tiles, Cantera stone, urns, and terraces. These overlook reflecting pools surrounded by grass lawns, arches, and benches, all designed to follow a symmetrical layout strictly.
  • For softscaping—working in choices that do well in the heat and without much rain—common Spanish style elements include fruit trees like citrus and fig, Blue Pacific Junipers, olive trees; and herbs like rosemary, fennel, and oregano. For some color, many homeowners opt for drought-tolerant flowering plants like hazel Spanish lavender and yucca plants.
  • Tuscan - The Tuscan style features a lot of stone paths and walls, with spaces punctuated with box hedges and plants in terracotta pots. These yards often feature gravel paths leading the visitor through a maze which has benches—to allow the weary to rest.
  • Southwest - This style fits with the arid conditions of the region. With influences rooted in Native American and Spanish culture, the resulting look is rich with red clay pavers, terracotta tiles, fountains, plaster, and wood. Bright construction materials are used with Native American details and colors of nature, including red, brown, orange, and yellow.
  • Country - Inspired by Victorian gardens and their practical themes, these could include a space for a vegetable and herb garden, fruit trees, and even beehives and birdhouses. Traditional beauty is not the focus, so flowers are often used as filler, as seen in farmhouse and ranch styles.
  • Japanese - Japanese-style gardens are very peaceful, with their focus on nature and use of water, ornaments, plants, and rocks to create a space that lends itself to a lifestyle of meditation.
  • Modern - The modern style has the central intent of creating contrasts with wood, metal, and concrete. It is not uncommon for the designers to leave the natural look of the concrete rather than paint or stain it. It’s designed to create a sophisticated look.
  • Tropical - Sun, shade, and water give off the tropical vibe, along with large, lush plants and bold colors. These yards are almost always sprinkled with palm trees and usually include a pool with faux boulders, waterfalls, and ledges to jump off, and a turquoise interior finish in the pool. They often sport tiki torches and statues, hammocks, bamboo fences, and a thatched roof on the sun shades or patio—where you can sit on teak furniture with bright and colorful cushions.

Swimming Pool

Which types of grass should I plant?

Planting new grass or laying sod is always a major part of landscaping. It is essential to know what the differences are and how they will direct your choice in the matter.

Of all the different types of grass that are suitable for a lawn, they generally fall into one of two categories: creeping and bunch.

  • Creeping - An example of creeping grass is Bermuda, which has a high tolerance for higher temperatures and is typically found in lawns all across the south. It grows along runners either above or below ground.
  • Bunch - Bunch grows in a manner more consistent with the majority of plant life: it spreads out from the center in bunches. Mowing it higher will protect the center.

Warm climate grass

Light foot traffic

  • Bentgrass - tolerates acidic soil and full sun
  • Bluegrass - pH 6.5-7 neutral soil and full sun
  • Fine fescue - suitable in most soils and full sun or shade

Heavy foot traffic

  • Perennial ryegrass - suitable in most soils and full sun
  • Tall fescue - suitable in most soils and full sun or partial

Cool climate grass

Light foot traffic

  • Centipede - tolerates acidic soil and full or partial sun
  • Bahia - suitable in most soils and full or partial sun

Heavy foot traffic

  • Bermuda - best in light, textured soil, and full or partial sun
  • St. Augustine - best in sandy soil and full, or partial sun
  • Zoysia - pH 5.5–6.5 slightly acidic soil and full partial sun

The state you live in will determine if you have a single grass type lawn or a blend of multiple grass types to ensure coverage throughout the year.

Northern areas—from Northern California across to New York—will generally have a single grass planted. The zone from Southern California cutting across through north Texas and finishing in North Carolina will usually feature mixed grasses, while the area to the south won’t require a blend, but single grasses suited to the heat.

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New Construction Landscaping

Landscaping the yard in a newly constructed home will incur a significant cost compared to that of an improvement or enhancement of existing landscaping.

Testing Soil Quality

It is not uncommon for home builders to use soil of a lower quality around a new home once construction has been completed. First of all, have a soil sample tested to establish its nutritional content, composition, and acidity. All possible components will vary at different depths, so if using a DIY kit, make sure to follow the instructions regarding depth carefully before mailing off the samples.

If the soil is determined to be too sandy, you can improve it with the introduction of between 3”–4” of well-rotted manure or other organic compost. Additionally, distribute mulch from leaves, hay, straw, bark, or wood chips around your plants to retain moisture content and to aid in cooling the soil. Enhancing an existing lawn and yard will generally include more softscaping than hardscaping.

Landscaping Permit Cost

Your designer and contractor should be well versed in permitting procedures and requirements because of their experience working on projects locally. Unless you are planning something truly out of the ordinary, like a tropical style space with a pool on your front lawn, you should be given permission to carry out your landscaping plans, but it is best to check. A national average for landscaping permits is $1,000. Either have your landscaper apply for them, or save a little money by doing that yourself.

Front or back yard

Most homes will have a similar, if not identical, setback regulation that governs the least distance for how far back from the street each house must be. Some people end up putting a lot more time, money, and effort into the land around the front of their property for the sake of street appeal, and especially to add value to the property coming up to a sale. It is likely, however, that the backyard gets the lion's share of investment in light of its level of use.

Tips Before You Start

When should I start my landscaping project?

Spring is the best time of the year for most landscaping work—between April and May. This eight-week period will give plants a great start and time to build strength before the summer months approach.

Right before fall arrives, you have another opportunity to deliver the last round of essential groundwork to prepare your property for winter. If possible, plan to have construction completed in time to take advantage of the perfect planting times.

While hardscaping can be done during any season, the softscaping work must be completed before summer or winter, and scheduling landscapers during these busy times can be difficult. The best way around being charged premium prices would be to lock down the work dates with your chosen landscaper as soon possible.

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How do I save money with my landscaping project?

Consider landscaping your yard in stages. Design the whole project with your landscape designer or architect and then take care of installing your future yard one step at a time. Make sure each contractor sees the plans before doing their part so he/she can set things in place to ensure the next part of the job is smooth, such as installing all the water pipes and electrical conduits and wires.

For example, do the electrical and water work, lay the sod, and plant the trees in year one, add or pour the patio and pathways and shrubbery in year two, and put in a pool in year three.

State Issued Rebates

Many state governments in warmer climates, especially California, are offering rebates to any homeowners that alter their landscaping to use less water and/or make their yards more permeable. Approval is required in advance for most of your rebates so you can know if the money has been set aside for them or not. Included are turf replacements, native plants, storm/rainwater retention, permeable hardscape, water-saving sprinklers.

Landscaping Checklist

  1. Budget – Know your budget for the entire project, to include the planning phase as well as the implementation phase.
  2. Schedule – Allow one to two weeks for the plans to come together as you work with your chosen landscape designer, and one and a half to two and a half weeks for the average landscaping job that doesn’t include building a deck, swimming pool, reflecting pool, arbor, pergola, or significant amounts of terrain grading or alteration.
  3. Permits – Get informed on the permits or regulatory compliance, or have your contractor take care of this aspect of the project.
  4. Selection – Go through the selection process to lock down your landscape designer. Check with prospective contractors on exactly how to be the most prepared for the first meeting to make sure they can hit the ground running with your plans. Depending on exactly what you want to be done, finding out things like where there are underground water, power, or even septic systems will help them.
  5. Visuals – Before your entire project plan is set in stone, your designer should be able to provide you with some layout plans and other visuals to give you an idea of how it will look when it is all in place.
  6. Physical Work – Find the right professionals for physical work. Check with the designer for any information on things to look for or avoid in a contracting company, any recommendations, and any information you could share with your potential contractors to make sure the project is a good fit for them. Your designer will usually have his/her list of favorites from past projects they have worked on together.

Creations Landscape Designs has been in business in Tustin, California, for ten years. She has a 25-page checklist on her website for what to think about before talking to a landscape designer. Her guide covers understanding your garden needs, hiring a landscape designer, preparing and meeting with the landscape designer, the design process, and after-installation tips. Her guide, while specific to California, has many useful tips no matter where you live, and it can be found here.

Finding Your Landscaping Company

  1. Make a list of 3 to 5 landscaping contractors before you make your final selection of who will do the design work and who to hire for the landscaping.
  2. A+ rated with the Better Business Bureau, and have high reviews on HomeGuide.
  3. Some landscaping companies have a lot more knowledge and experience when it comes to plants, arbor care, etc. Decide in advance how much specialist care you want.
  4. Ask landscaping contractors for a copy of their certificate of insurance so you know for a fact that you won’t be held liable for any accidents while they are working on your property.
  5. Selecting the lowest-priced vendor in any profession is rarely the path to getting the job done, or done within your established timeframe.

Find your landscaping designer today, and we hope you enjoy your beautiful new yard for many years to come.

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