How Much Does Landscaping Cost: Average Pricing By Project (2023 Update)

how much does landscaping cost for hardscape

A beautifully designed and well-maintained landscape can not only enhance the aesthetics of your home but also significantly add to its value. But how much does landscaping cost, and what factors influence the overall expense? In this blog post, we will delve into the various aspects that contribute to landscaping costs, compare DIY landscaping with hiring a professional, and share some valuable tips on how to save money on your landscaping projects.

Key Takeaways

  • Landscaping costs vary based on yard size, materials, equipment and labor.

  • DIY landscaping has advantages and disadvantages. However, hiring a professional also requires careful consideration of the pros/cons.

  • Planning ahead, budgeting strategically & selecting cost-effective materials can help reduce overall landscaping costs while increasing property value.

Understanding Landscaping Costs

Landscaping costs depend on various factors such as yard size, materials, equipment, and labor. On average, the national average landscaping cost is approximately $12,825, which includes both the creation of new landscapes and the maintenance of existing ones. Some common landscaping services and their associated costs include gardener services, leaf removal, lawn aeration, tree stump removal, and fill dirt, among others. So, how much does landscaping cost? It ultimately depends on the specific needs and requirements of each project.

Additional costs, such as gasoline, oil, and repairs, may also affect the overall bill for the services rendered by a landscaping company.

Yard Size and Complexity

The size and complexity of your yard play a significant role in determining backyard landscaping costs. Here are some examples of estimated costs for different types of yards, with the assumption that one cubic yard of material is used:

  1. Small backyard garden design: $300 – $600

  2. Medium-sized yard with basic landscaping features: $1,000 – $3,000

  3. Large yard with extensive landscaping and hardscaping: $5,000 – $10,000

It is important to note that these are just rough estimates, and actual costs may vary depending on location, materials used, or specific design requirements.

A DIY cost breakdown for a 5 by 12-foot flower bed filled with native plants to reduce maintenance costs can greatly vary depending on the plants and materials chosen. In general, the cost of landscaping services is approximately $9 to $12 per square foot, with softscaping costs typically being lower than hardscaping costs. Recognizing the role of yard size and complexity in landscaping costs will empower you to make more informed decisions about your landscaping project and budget.

Materials and Equipment

The cost of materials and equipment for landscaping projects can fluctuate significantly, influencing the total cost of the project. Here are some examples of cost ranges for different landscaping tasks:

  1. Constructing a deck with a professional landscaper: $3,920 – $10,540

  2. Planting a tree or a bush: $25 – $3,000 (depending on the type and size of the plant)

  3. Artificial turf installation: $6 – $17 per square foot

These are just a few examples, and the actual cost may vary depending on various factors.

Other landscaping materials and services, such as mulch installation, patio installation, and deck installation, also vary in price. Shipping costs and the cost of labor for installing these materials can further impact the overall cost of your landscaping project. Knowing the various costs associated with materials and equipment enables you to make better and smarter choices when planning your landscaping project, potentially saving money.

Labor Costs

how much does landscape labor cost

Labor costs for landscaping projects vary depending on the number of workers, their level of expertise, and the complexity of the project. Labor fees can differ depending on the location and are generally billed by the hour unless you hire a regular landscaping service. On average, it typically ranges from $133 to $370 per month.

That being said, certain landscaping projects may require more time than others and may necessitate additional personnel onsite. Specific services, such as tree trimming, lawn fertilization, and weed removal, could add more costs to your overall fees. Being aware of the factors that influence labor costs allows you to more accurately anticipate the overall cost of your landscaping project and make wiser decisions when hiring landscaping professionals.

Cost Breakdown by Landscaping Services

Landscaping costs can be broken down into three primary categories:

  1. Softscaping: involves the incorporation of plants, soil, and other organic materials into one’s yard

  2. Hardscaping: involves the incorporation of non-organic materials, such as stone, concrete, and wood

  3. Maintenance services

The typical expense of softscaping services is approximately $9 to $12 per square foot, while hardscaping costs typically range from $15 to $50 per square foot.

Softscaping Services

Softscaping services can range from $800 to $10,000 total, depending on the scope of the project. Softscaping involves things like planting grass, flowers, bushes, trees, and other living plants, which are classified as annuals, biennials, and perennials, depending on their flowering period. The cost of softscaping services is determined by a variety of factors, such as the soft and hard landscaping used, the size of the project and yard, material and shipping costs, labor and machinery fees, and the overall scope of work and materials used, including the option of incorporating artificial grass.

The selection of plants can also have an effect on the cost of softscaping. For example:

  • Annuals, which only survive for one growing season, may need to be replaced more often, leading to higher costs.

  • Biennials, which live for two growing seasons, may necessitate less frequent replacement but still incur some extra cost.

  • Perennials, however, have longer lifespans and may require less frequent replacement, potentially reducing the overall cost of softscaping.

Hardscaping Services

Hardscaping services can range from $300 to $45,400, depending on the size and type of the project. Hardscaping refers to any non-horticultural elements, such as fire pits and patios, which require the use of materials like stone, concrete, and wood. The cost of hardscaping services is determined by a variety of factors, such as the size of the project and yard, the type and quality of materials utilized, the intricacy of the design and installation, the amount of labor needed, and the location and accessibility of the site.

Some popular hardscaping elements include:

  • Retaining walls

  • Walkways

  • Patios

  • Decks

All of these elements can have varying costs depending on the materials and labor involved. Comprehending factors that steer the cost of hardscaping services will help you plan and budget your outdoor space improvements more effectively.

Maintenance Services

Homeowners also may look towards regular monthly or seasonal landscaping maintenance services. These regular maintenance services, such as lawn mowing, fertilization, and tree trimming, are essential to keeping your landscape looking its best. The cost of regular landscaping services can be quite substantial, averaging from $133 to $370 per month. Tree trimming costs typically range between $255 and $655 per tree, while lawn fertilization services can cost between $120 and $480.

Investing in regular maintenance services guarantees the health and longevity of your landscape, which ultimately enhances its curb appeal and value. It’s important to weigh the costs of these services against the potential benefits they provide in terms of maintaining your outdoor space and increasing your property’s overall value.

DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

how much does it cost to hire a professional landscaper

Deciding between DIY landscaping and hiring a professional often comes down to weighing the potential cost savings against the time and effort required for a DIY project. DIY landscaping can be cost-effective but requires a lot of your own time and effort, whereas enlisting a professional guarantees quality work but may be more costly.

Some tasks, such as lawn mowing, fertilization, and tree trimming, can be accomplished by homeowners with basic yard maintenance skills.

Pros and Cons of DIY Landscaping

DIY landscaping can be cost-effective and provide a sense of satisfaction, as you have a direct hand in transforming your outdoor space. However, it may be time-consuming and may necessitate specialized expertise, such as design skills, plant knowledge, construction skills, and maintenance skills. Additionally, homeowners may need to invest in tools such as shovels, rakes, pruning shears, trowels, hand cultivators, pole pruners, garden hoses, loppers, and hedge trimmers for DIY landscaping.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Professional

The advantages of engaging a professional landscaper include the assurance of quality work, the potential for time savings, and access to superior tools and equipment. The disadvantages of engaging a professional landscaper include the associated cost, the possibility of scheduling conflicts, and a reduced level of control over the outcome. Furthermore, there may be apprehensions about the utilization of excessive fertilizers and the attendant safety risks.

A careful consideration of the pros and cons of DIY landscaping versus hiring a professional aids in making an informed decision that aligns with your needs, budget, and envisioned outcome for your outdoor space.

Tips for Saving Money on Landscaping

Strategic planning, budgeting, selecting cost-effective materials, and wisely timing your project can help save money on your landscaping endeavors. Keeping these factors in mind and executing cost-saving strategies allows you to create an attractive outdoor space without overspending.

1) Planning and Budgeting

Creating a budget and planning your landscaping project can help you avoid unexpected costs and ensure you stay within your financial limits. To create a landscaping budget, you should:

  1. Determine your spending limit

  2. Discuss the budget with a landscaping professional

  3. Obtain at least three estimates

  4. Analyze your property

  5. Make a wish list of features and materials to include in your project.

Setting aside money for unexpected costs or contingencies can also help you manage any unanticipated expenses that may arise during your landscaping project.

2) Choosing Affordable Materials

Opting for less expensive materials and plants can help reduce overall landscaping costs. Some examples of cost-effective materials for landscaping projects include:

  • Mulch

  • Shredded leaves

  • Pea gravel

  • Bark

  • Rocks

  • Brick chips

  • Sand

  • Pine needles

By selecting cost-effective materials, you can still create a beautiful and functional landscape without overspending on high-priced materials.

3) Timing Your Project

Scheduling your landscaping project during off-peak seasons, such as winter, or when materials and labor are more affordable, can also help you save money. Demand for landscaping projects tends to increase during the warmer months, leading to higher prices.

Conversely, during the winter months, landscaping projects are less common, which can lead to lower prices. By planning your project strategically, you can take advantage of cost savings and ensure your landscaping project is completed in a timely manner.

Regional Landscaping Cost Variations

Landscaping costs can vary by region due to differences in labor, materials, and climate in those areas. For example, the cost of labor may differ according to the locality, similarly to the cost of materials. Climate can also have an impact on the cost of landscaping, as certain plants may not be able to thrive in certain climates, so other, more costly plants are required.

Awareness of regional variations in landscaping costs allows for better planning and budgeting for your landscaping project in your specific location, with the guidance of a landscape architect or a landscape designer.

Landscaping’s Impact on Property Value

how much does landscaping cost compared to property value?

A well-designed and maintained landscape can significantly increase property value, making it a worthwhile investment for homeowners. Some landscaping features that can potentially increase the value of a home include:

  • Healthy trees and shrubs

  • Front pathways

  • Functional outdoor lighting

  • Outdoor living spaces in the backyard

  • Automatic sprinkler systems

It is worthwhile for homeowners to invest in such features. With well-designed and well-maintained landscaping, the value of a home can be augmented by up to 10% to 12%.

Whether you decide to tackle landscaping projects yourself or hire a professional, investing in the appearance and functionality of your outdoor space can yield significant returns in terms of property value. Careful planning and budgeting, selecting cost-effective materials, and considering regional cost differences will assist you in creating an appealing landscape that enhances your home’s value while adhering to your budget.


In conclusion, landscaping costs can be influenced by various factors such as yard size, materials, equipment, labor, and regional variations. Understanding these factors and implementing cost-saving strategies can help you create a beautiful and functional outdoor space without overspending. Whether you choose DIY landscaping or hire a professional, investing in a well-designed and maintained landscape can significantly increase your property value, making it a worthwhile endeavor for homeowners.

By carefully planning and budgeting for your landscaping project, selecting affordable materials, timing your project strategically, and considering regional cost variations, you can create a beautiful landscape that enhances the value of your home while staying within your financial means.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do most landscapers charge per hour?

On average, professional landscapers charge between $50 to $100 per hour for labor. The cost can vary depending on the location and type of services needed. Specialized services may cost more than the standard rate.

Why does landscaping cost so much?

Landscaping can be costly due to labor and material costs, as well as shipping and contractor fees. Many projects are time-consuming, requiring imported materials and a full-time team, which comes at an added expense each year.

Are landscaping prices negotiable?

Landscaping prices are typically negotiable, as long as the customer is reasonable and allows for services to be adjusted instead of requesting a lower price directly. However, while it is possible to get a better deal, it is important to ensure that you will still receive a quality service.

How do you calculate labor cost for landscaping?

To calculate labor cost for landscaping, determine the hourly rate for your employees or subcontractors and multiply it by the estimated time for each task to arrive at a labor cost estimate. Then add the cost of materials needed for each task to the labor cost estimate to get the total cost estimate for the job.

What is the average cost of landscaping?

The average cost of landscaping is around $12,825, which covers planning, installation, and maintenance.