Garden Design and Landscaping Cost: Beauty Isn’t Cheap

Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Kyle Whitley

Garden Design and Landscaping Cost

Regardless of what your house looks like, landscaping affects the attractiveness of the whole property. The key to a successful and beautiful landscape is careful planning and design. Let’s look at the garden design and landscaping cost to take your landscape to the next level.

Landscaping Costs – New Construction

On new construction, the average cost to landscape is around $10,000.

While that seems like a lot of money,  it includes many different aspects of landscape design.  It includes the actual professional landscape design, new topsoil if required, grading, seeding, or sodding the lawn,  plants, a patio or deck, and possibly a walkway.

If you look at the cost broken down by all those smaller individual projects, it makes more sense and takes away some sticker shock.

One thing to keep in mind is the average cost. Costs could be lower, around $3000 for grass seeding, adding topsoil, and planting shrubs in the front of your home.

It could also be much much higher in the $20,000 range if you go all out with more decorative plantings, retaining walls if required, and possibly a gazebo.  Really the sky is the limit.


Landscaping Cost – New Construction

  • National average cost $10,000
  • Average range $8,000-$15,000
  • Average Minimum cost $3,000
  • Average Maximum cost $20,000 +

One variable that plays a large part in cost is where you are doing the landscaping on your property.

You should spend 10% of your home’s value on landscaping. It is appropriate for a landscaping budget of $40,000 to be used for a $400,000 house.

Landscaping Costs by Location on Your Property

The area you landscape can have an effect on your costs. Front yards are less expensive to landscape due to their smaller size and lack of elaborate features. A full garden usually costs more than typical landscaping in a front or backyard because it involves more features and planning.

Mulching bed around the house and bushes, wheel barrow along with a shovel.

Frontyard – $4,000 – $6,000

While the price of landscaping your front yard may be lower than other areas of your property, this area tends to have the most impact.  This does affect your curb appeal and could affect your home’s value.

Since this area is smaller generally hand doesn’t have major structures, costs could be less expensive.

Some of the items you might want to landscape in your front yard include walkways, trees, shrubs, and your lawn.

Backyard – $8,000 – $10,000

The backyard is about having fun and enjoying your home.  While any projects you do in the backyard will add some value to your home, the design doesn’t have to go along with the front yard landscaping or tie directly into the home’s overall look.

Homeowners tend to spend most of their money in the backyard for decks, patios, gazebos, pergolas, outdoor kitchens, and water features.

Full Garden – $8,000 – $20,000+
Creating a dedicated garden can be very expensive.  These require someone very knowledgeable in landscape design or a professional landscape designer.

There are more elaborate garden features, including walkways, sitting places, water features, and focal points. The overall costs are higher if the garden is more elaborate. Gardens that focus on plants, shrubs, and trees have lower costs than gardens with more hard landscaping.

Variables in Landscape Design Costs

There are many variables in the cost to landscape.

  • Your property’s size.
  • The elements you want to include in the design include a patio, water feature, fire pit, arbor, outdoor kitchen, landscape lighting, etc.
  • Fees are charged by landscape architects or landscape designer.
  • The space and features that already exist in your landscape
  • Your physical location
  • The topography or your landscape
  • Landscape design plan and details.


All of these variables can add to the cost of the final project.


What are the different types of Landscaping?

Landscaping Costs By Type

The three main types of landscaping are hardscape, soft scape, and xeriscaping. Costs for each type of landscaping can differ; here are some examples:


Hardscaping generally refers to nonorganic items in the landscape, like paths, decks, walls, fire pits, and pergolas.

Hardscape elements in your landscape could cost between $2000 and $45000.  These items are generally made of stone, wood, concrete, and metal, which drives the cost up tremendously in some cases.

You might be able to avoid some costs with hardscapes by purchasing prefabricated items instead of having them custom built.


Softscaping is the organic part of your landscape.  This would include your plants, flowers, trees, grass, shrubs, and flower beds.

Softscapes prices come in around $10 per square foot.  You can save some money by buying younger plants and trees, which cost a good deal less than mature plants and trees.


The landscaping is tailored for arid climates. It focuses on working with plants that occur naturally in an arid climate type with minimal water needs.

Xeriscaping costs similar to soft scaping, at around $10 a square foot.


 Landscaping Costs- By the Hour or By the square foot?

You can break the cost down based on how you will be charged for the projects you are looking to accomplish on your property. The main ways to charge for landscape project is by the hour or by the square foot.

Landscaping Costs Per Hour

For smaller jobs like lawn care and tree services, you can expect to pay between $50 and $100 per hour.

The hourly rate for a professional landscape contractor ranges anywhere from $50 to $100 an hour. The price depends on experience level, skill set, and location. A skilled gardener/landscaper with years of experience may command higher rates.


Landscaping Cost Per Square Foot

Larger jobs like an entire landscape installation for new construction or landscape renovation expect to pay $4 to $40 a square foot.
After installation, landscaping costs anywhere from $4 to $40 a square foot. The job’s complexity, the size of your yard, and where you are all affecting prices. Labor makes up around 80% of your total cost.

beautiful landscaped backyard green grass and walkway

Cost for Some Typical Landscape Projects

While the costs will vary depending on your location and design, below are a few typical projects and the associated landscape costs.
Lawn Fertilization
Fertilizing your lawn costs between $40 and $140.
Weed Control 
The price of weed control varies from $65 to $150. There are many forms of weed control. The cost is influenced by the weed type, location, and population. In certain parts of the landscape, weeds are widespread.
Weed control may be part of your regular landscaping if they come back often.
Tree Trimming
The cost to trim a tree varies from $80 to $350.  Trees can be trimmed to make them look better.
It is possible to trim them for functional reasons. Often a tree is trimmed to keep it away from power lines or to keep the tree away from a home where it might cause damage to the home.
Depending on the tree and how much trimming must be done, your total trimming costs can range.
Lawn Aeration
Lawn aeration costs between $200 and $900.
Aerating your lawn is important to keep it healthy. Water and fertilizer can’t penetrate the thick roots of your grass when it gets so dense.
Sometimes your soil is not able to support grass. You can get a healthier and more lush lawn or prepare your soil for new grass seed with the help of lawn aeration.
Tree Pruning 
The cost varies from $350 to $650. Pruning fruit trees is a great way to keep them in good health. Pruning is sometimes confused with tree trimming.
Tree trimming can be done to shape a tree or cut it back from houses and power lines. Pruning helps the tree remain healthy. Old and dead branches are removed so that your fruit trees can grow.
Sodding a Lawn
The cost to sod a lawn can be anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000. Even though sod provides an instant lawn, it is not used for large areas to lower costs.
Sodding can be used with other landscaping to create quick results.
Patio Installation
Installing a patio in your yard costs between $3,000 and $7,000.
Building a Deck
The cost to build a deck is between $5,000 and $15,000.
Sprinkler System Installation
Irrigation systems cost between $4,000 and $7,000. A sprinkler system saves water and makes caring for your lawn less painful.
Sprinkler systems are usually installed in large sections of grass, not everywhere. This way water is delivered to the parts or the lawn that need water on a regular basis.
Only the sprinkler heads are visible because they are plumbed below ground. They operate on a schedule that makes it easy to water.


For professional installation, mulching costs between $200 and $500 per application. If you’re having a hard time growing grass or just want to make the flowerbeds look better, you need mulch.

The mulch keeps your landscape at an ideal temperature and feeds the soil. It helps keep the soil moist and prevents weeds from taking over.

Mulch can be purchased for $2 to $5 per bag at your local hardware store. It’s recommended you install this yourself if you don’t already have a landscaper doing other work for you.

Landscape Rock

Depending on the rock type selected, the cost of landscaping rocks can range from $3 to $6 a square foot. Crushed granite and stone rock costs between $1 and $3 per square foot, while dry stack stone costs between $6 and $15 per square foot.

Garden Design and Landscaping Cost: Summing it Up

In short, many factors go into determining how much your garden or landscape design will cost. Your budget, what kind of design you’d prefer, and even whether you hire a pro or do it yourself. All of these factors matter when choosing the best design for your garden or landscape at your home.