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Average Backyard Landscaping Costs

Backyard landscaping is an excellent way to add value and aesthetic appeal to your home. With a bit of effort and some careful planning, you can create an outdoor living space that you and your family will enjoy for years to come. It’s also important to consider the costs associated with landscaping projects before you start in order to ensure that the project remains within budget.

Landscaping costs vary significantly, depending on materials used, project complexity, and your geographic location. To help give you an idea of what might be involved cost-wise for your backyard landscaping project, we have provided some general guidelines here related to the average cost of certain backyard landscaping elements. Keep in mind that individual costs may be more or less than are outlined here depending on the particular features chosen.

Here are some general guidelines for the cost of certain backyard landscaping elements:

  • Materials – cost varies depending on the type of materials used.
  • Project complexity – cost varies depending on the complexity of the project.
  • Geographic location – cost varies depending on your geographic location.

How much does it cost for backyard landscaping

Backyard landscaping is a great way to enhance the look and feel of your outdoor area. But with any landscaping project, there are associated costs. This article will provide an overview of the different costs associated with backyard landscaping, so you can better prepare for how much you might need to budget for your project.

Design and Planning

Design and planning are likely to make up a significant portion of your project costs. These services are offered by professional landscapers, and should be considered seriously if you’re looking for expert advice on placement, soil types, drainage or unique hardscaping design.

Typical planning fees are $75-$150 per hour for the plan plus additional fees for seeking material and labor estimates. Plans averaged approximately $2,200 in 2019, with some ranging as low as $600 or as high as $5,000 depending on the complexity of the design and level of detail required. For very small projects such as edging a flowerbed or adding a small retaining border these considerations may not be necessary.

Materials and Labor

When planning and budgeting for a landscape project, it is important to consider all of the costs – materials (ex. plants, sod, soil, mulch) and labor. Labor includes the cost of hiring a landscaping company to plan, prepare and install the landscape project.

The price of materials can vary widely depending on the type of landscaping project you are doing; an elaborate backyard with a patio might include different costs than installing a new lawn or adding some shrubs. To determine the cost of materials for your particular landscaping project, it is best to ask for quotes from several different suppliers and then compare prices.

In terms of labor costs for your backyard landscaping project, most professional landscapers will provide an estimate based on the complexity and size of the job. On average, labor costs can range anywhere from $1 per square foot all the way up to $12 or more per square foot depending on your needs. This includes time spent planning, installing as well as follow-up visits and/or maintenance tasks that may be necessary over time.


When it comes to estimating the average backyard landscaping costs, maintenance should be taken into account as it is an essential part of keeping a beautiful landscape design looking its best. Consistent upkeep can help keep the project looking fresh or new for years to come. Depending on the size of your backyard, different approaches and materials may be used.

  • Mowing: Mowing is one of the most basic and essential parts of maintaining a lawn or grass field in any order. This typically requires specialized equipment depending on the size, terrain, and vegetation of your landscape – mowers are relatively inexpensive purchases but can become more expensive with special features. Labor costs are also an important factor to consider as this includes personnel expenses as well as time spent tending to all elements (cut grass).
  • Weeding: Weeds can take over landscapes quickly if they aren’t tended to properly, leading to a messy appearance and poor curb appeal in no time at all. Regular weeding sessions are key in keeping weeds away and ensure that desired vegetation receives proper nurture to thrive. Specialized herbicides may be needed depending on weed species; besides products, labor costs must be taken into account when budgeting for this activity too.
  • Trimming: Few things make a landscape look less neat than overgrown shrubs along borders or edges – trimming not only helps with aesthetic value but also keeps shrubs from eating up usable space around your property! Special tools may be required for selective trimming (deciding which branches/leaves stay or go) as well as regular upkeep tasks such as hedging or pruning for larger plants; these usually require more specialized labor prices too when compared with mowing or weeding services.

Common Landscaping Projects

When looking to upgrade your backyard with landscaping, there are many common projects you may want to consider. From creating a patio to building a new fence, there are various projects that can significantly improve the look and feel of your home’s backyard. Each project comes with its own unique cost and labor considerations. Let’s take a closer look at the most common landscaping projects and their associated costs:

Planting Trees and Shrubs

When landscaping your back yard, you may consider planting trees and shrubs to provide additional structure and color. The costs associated with these projects will vary depending on the size and type of tree/shrub being planted as well as any soil preparation or irrigation needs.

Trees can be a great addition to any outdoor space, offering shade, ambience, and even fruit or flowers. However, they are not always inexpensive investments. Depending on the size of the tree, it may cost $500 to several thousand dollars to source and plant. Shrubs are generally less expensive than trees but may require more frequent maintenance due to their smaller size and shallower roots systems.

When working with nurseries or online retailers for purchasing trees and shrubs, clients should consider factors such as pest-resistance, disease-resistance, hardiness ratings in their region, water needs (drought tolerance), soil type (clay versus sandy soils) as well as native species that are better adapted for your climate zone. Furthermore, certain areas require a licensed arborist (tree specialist) if removal or transport is required beyond a couple inches of soil disturbance so checking permits prior to commencing any project is recommended if applicable in your area.

Installing a Patio or Deck

Installing a patio or deck is one of the most popular backyard landscaping projects. A wooden deck or patio provides a comfortable outdoor space where you can relax or entertain guests. Additionally, it can reduce the amount of grass in your backyard and help control erosion on sloped land.

When selecting materials, you should consider climate and maintenance requirements. Unfinished wood decks will require periodic staining and sealing to remain water-resistant, while composite decking is much lower maintenance. Stone and brick patios require installation by a professional mason, though they are low maintenance once fully installed.

The cost to build a patio of an average size (12×18 feet) is typically between $2,000–$5,000 depending on your choice of materials and complexity of your design. Wooden decks typically cost less than stone patios but more than composite decks; however, all three materials are good options for both form and function at various price points that cater to your landscaping budget.

Installing a Fence

Installing a fence is a great way to give your outdoor space some privacy and security while also adding to the overall aesthetic. The cost of installing a fence will vary depending on factors such as the material used, dimensions and complexity of the project. Generally, an average residential backyard fence will range from $1,500–$3,000 depending on the length and height. It is important to note that the type of material used will significantly impact the price. For example, wood fencing tends to be more affordable than aluminum or vinyl fencing.

To determine what type of fence is most appropriate for your needs and budget, it is best to consult with a professional landscaping contractor. They can provide you with estimations for different types of fences and also offer insight on which type may be best for your landscape’s needs. Additionally, they can also explain any potential permit requirements or restrictions that may be associated with installing different types of fences in certain locations or neighborhoods.

With a completed plan in hand you are ready to start transforming your backyard into an outdoor paradise!

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Installing a Water Feature

Installing a water feature is becoming one of the more popular backyard landscaping projects, due to its aesthetic value, as well as its ability to evoke a sense of serenity and tranquility. A pond, fountain or waterfall can be an ideal addition to any outdoor space. The cost to install water features can range from $1000-$5000 depending on the size, style, material and complexity of the designs that you choose.

Fountains typically require much less maintenance than ponds or waterfalls, with costs ranging from $50 for a smaller tabletop fountain up to $3000 for larger designs with intricate rock formations. Prefabricated pond kits are easy to assemble and are made from durable materials such as resin or rubber. These can range in price from $500 up to around $2000 depending on whether there is an existing system or if it needs to be custom built. Waterfall installations require careful planning for proper drainage, but could cost anywhere between $3000-$10,000 depending upon the features desired.

Factors that Impact Cost

Backyard landscaping can be a great way to transform your yard into something beautiful. Of course, one of the main questions that comes up is “how much does it cost for backyard landscaping?” Well, there are a few factors that will impact the cost of your backyard landscaping project. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that can influence the cost:

Size of the Yard

The size of the yard is an important factor to consider when calculating landscaping costs. Obviously, larger yards need more materials, labor, and equipment to complete the project than smaller yards do. The cost of a landscaping project also depends on the shape of the area that needs to be covered. An irregularly shaped yard or one with many trees will take longer and may require additional labor, materials and equipment in order to properly landscape the area compared with a flat terrain.

It is important to take into account potential access or problems related to large trees when budgeting for a landscaping project. It is also important to factor in any existing features that already exist in the backyard such as:

  • Rocky terrain
  • Streams
  • Ponds
  • Gardening beds that have been established previously

which could potentially need additional work in order for it to commit with your design.

Quality of Materials

Quality of materials is often the biggest factor impacting the cost of backyard landscaping. Costs can range from a few hundred to many thousands of dollars depending on the quality and size of plants and trees, materials and construction required.

For example, hardscaping features such as walkways, patios and retaining walls are more expensive if made with natural stone or brick than with concrete or pavers. Planting shrubs, flowers or trees are also priced based on quality due to differences in size, color and root systems. When choosing high-end materials such as tropical foliage, memberships to wholesale nurseries can provide more affordable options. Topsoil costs more than subsoil and should also be taken into account when calculating total costs.

Seasonal Variations

When considering your backyard landscape design, budget and cost of install should be at the forefront of your planning. Seasonal fluctuations can cause costs to vary significantly, so it’s important to understand what factors impact cost when inputting a budget.

Mid-spring and in the fall are usually considered the best times to start landscaping projects since the weather is mild and gardens thrive in cooler climates. When choosing a season for planting shrubs, trees, flowers and other greenery, consider the following seasonal variations that will impact cost:

  • Weather Factors: Certain types of plants require specific climates for optimal growth and flowering. Extreme temperatures too high or low may damage large planted items such as trees, large shrubs and flowers that need some degree of heat to propagate properly. Different regions experience different kinds of weather temperatures throughout the year due to regional location, making it important to consider climate when factoring in seasonal cost estimations.
  • Tools & Equipment: Maintenance is often necessary once annual plantings have been completed. Proper pruning shears or other gardening tools may be needed during certain times of year if perennials need pruned or dead flower foliage must be removed from garden beds or planters. Prices of tools typically increase during peak planting times due to market demand – resulting in higher seasonal costs if invested in around said periods.
  • Labor Costs: Labor expenses generally run higher during peak seasons as traditional landscaping firms are focusing primarily on outdoor maintenance tasks like mowing lawns and pulling weeds as opposed to larger scale installation projects like grading yards for patios or walkways for landscape designs. It’s wise to consider this when assessing labor costs depending on your project needs – as specialty craftsmen might need extended contracts leading up towards end-of-season maintenance duties like preparing soil beds for winter dormancy periods where productivity is affected by usually cooler temperatures alongside lower light exposure from reduced sunlight hours per day during particular months.

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How to Save Money

Backyard landscaping can transform your outdoor space, but the cost can be prohibitive. Before you start planning your project, it’s important to be aware of the average costs of backyard landscaping and how you can save money.

In this article, we will discuss the factors that influence backyard landscaping costs and how you can save money with your backyard landscaping project.

DIY Projects

Do-it-yourself (DIY) landscaping projects can be a money saver for homeowners who are looking to spruce up their outdoor living space. Utilizing DIY projects may require a bit more patience and dedication, but it might also help you save up to 30% of the cost for materials and labor if done correctly compared to employing a professional landscaper.

When undertaking DIY projects for your backyard, consider these following elements:

  • Inventory the tools and equipment that you have on hand. Determine what materials and tools will be necessary to complete the project.
  • Choose an appropriate project that aligns with your skill level. Don’t start out tackling complicated tasks like installing a water feature or large patio without prior experience as it could cost you more money in the long run.
  • Carefully plan out each step of the project before starting out; break larger tasks into small, manageable steps so that you do not miss any crucial steps during the process.
  • Research each step of your project thoroughly before executing; there are numerous online resources available for visual tips and tricks on how to complete various landscape jobs correctly!
  • Finally, enlist the help of friends or family who have experience in landscaping or from those with similar projects completed; their insight can save time or even further reduce costs!

Shopping Around for Supplies

When it comes to landscaping projects, the cost of supplies can add up quickly. It is important to shop around when purchasing supplies for any backyard project so that you can get the best price for what you need. Prices can differ greatly from one store to another, especially on more expensive items such as plants, trees, mulch and soil conditioner.

Price-compare among multiple retailers and local nurseries before making a purchase decision. If you are shopping in bulk for materials such as mulch or pebbles for your backyard redesign, consider checking online stores and wholesalers who often offer very competitive prices and low-cost or free delivery options. You may be able to find exactly what you’re looking for at a fraction of the cost that retail outlets charge.

Furthermore, it pays to explore the well-stocked shelves of hardware stores like Lowes and Home Depot before committing to expensive pieces which can usually be recreated using simple supplies like fencing or wood pieces along with a few cans of weatherproof exterior paint in colors that match your desired palette. DIY projects often turn out just as nice as professionally designed items – but without the high price tag attached!

Hiring the Right Professional

When you’re starting a landscaping project, it’s important to hire the right professional. Make sure to do your research before you hire anyone and get multiple estimates. A reliable, experienced professional will be worth the extra money in the long run and can help you save money by better assessing soil types, deciding which plants need special care, and helping you make smart decisions about which plants will thrive in your yard. A good pro can also help diagnose existing damage that needs repair and suggest cost-effective ways to fix it.

It is essential to ask questions and make sure the person or company is familiar with installing various type of products such as mulch, stone, gravel, retaining walls etc. This will provide more cost-effective options for your backyard landscaping project.

Lastly, consider hiring an irrigation contractor or landscape services to install an automated system with efficient nozzles that will help conserve water and avoid overwatering. Additionally, confirm with the contractor if there are any permits required or if they conform to local rules and regulations related to water conservancy.


No matter the type of backyard landscaping, it’s important to remember that the cost of having any landscaping project completed should not be underestimated. To save yourself time and money, research the different costs involved in each type of landscaping and speak with reputable, experienced professionals while planning your backyard project. Doing so will ensure that you get the most bang for your buck.

Additionally, homeowners should consider potential future investments they may need to make when landscaping their backyard – such as

  • weekly lawn care
  • yearly fertilization

– which will help maintain a well-maintained landscape and help keep their property values up for years to come.