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Landscaping Cost Calculator

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Here’s a list of landscaping projects you’ll likely consider having done. Enter the details for each one and see the total cost below. This calculator assumes landscaping pros will provide all of the materials and do all of the labor.

These prices are ballpark only. There’s no substitute for having a professional come take a look at your lawn and giving you an exact quote for materials and labor to complete your project. In fact, you should get estimates from 3 pros. The easiest way to do this is by using a service like HomeAdvisor, who only recommends pre-screened, licensed pros. Using this service is free and eliminates the hassle of having to contact 3 pros and giving each one the details of your project. If you need help planning out your yard, you can use an online landscape design service – they’re simple, professional, and affordable.

Typical Costs for Common Landscaping Jobs

landscaper building flower bed

Landscaping can make your lawn and garden look amazing and increase the value of your home, but it can also be hard work. There are quite a lot of equipment and materials involved, as well as manual labor that can sometimes get very intense. This work is usually billed by the hour and/or by the square foot, and can cost between $8 and $16 per square foot and/or between $50 and $100 per hour for a team of two landscapers. However, landscaping encompasses all kinds of different tasks, and different jobs all vary in price depending on the current market where you live and the availability, but let’s take a look at some of the most popular landscaping jobs and what they usually cost. 

Tree Planting

Planting trees is hard work, so depending on what species of tree you’re having planted, a single small (5-10 feet) tree could cost between $150 and $300 to plant. Landscapers normally, however, provide some sort of discount for each tree if you have several planted at the same time, so it likely won’t be that high of a price for every single tree. Buying trees online is another way to save a lot. If you’re having a very large mature tree planted, it may require machinery or other equipment and therefore each large tree can cost upwards of $1,500. If planting certain trees requires more manpower as well, you’ll likely see an uptick in their hourly labor price if applicable. 

Shrub Planting

Shrub planting, as expected, is a bit cheaper than tree planting and ranges between $25 and $50 per shrub. Many landscapers also factor in an hourly rate for planting shrubs; for example, they may double the cost of the shrubs and then charge an additional $50 to $100 per hour. To save yourself money, you may want to purchase the shrubs on your own, as they normally come in three- or five- gallon containers and are easily transported. Keep in mind that if you opt to hire landscapers that are also designers, you may get charged more for the hourly fee, and/or the landscapers may charge between $4 and $10 for each square foot they design and install shrubs in. 

Retaining Walls

Whether you need retaining walls to redirect drainage from precipitation and watering or are using them for planting beds, the price will depend on how high you need the walls and the total area that is needed. In general, you are likely to pay around $5,000 for three-foot walls, but the overall price could be much more depending on the materials used and labor costs. The type of brick or wood you use is the first indication of price, as these can vary from $6 to $30. Natural stone walls, however, can cost upwards of $40, especially in certain areas. Professional retaining wall installers normally either charge around $50 per hour or around $25 per square foot. 

Laying Sod

laying sod

Laying sod is normally priced by square footage. Sod can cost anywhere between $0.30 and $0.80 per square foot, but a landscaper may charge you an overall fee more towards $0.85 and $1.90 per square foot to account for the labor involved. Many landscapers include laying sod in an overall labor fee because they are usually also going to plant flowers or do some other sort of landscaping job on it. Bear in mind that many people who lay sod may also want to install a sprinkler system, which can greatly increase the overall price. 

Building a Flower Bed

Flower beds are beautiful when they are completed, but they are quite laborious, especially if you do not have the foundation bed yet. The overall cost of building a flower bed will highly depend on how large it is, but just planting flowers in an existing flower bed can range from a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand. On the contrary, if the landscaper(s) need to build the flower bed, they may charge upwards of $3,000 for a large one. 

While landscapers usually stick to their hourly rate for building flower beds, what will really influence your final cost is the materials used. Most flower beds are made with either galvanized steel, PVC, vinyl, wood, or composite wood. Galvanized steel flower beds are usually on the cheaper end of things and can start around $100 for the materials, whereas composite wood is typically the most expensive, totaling over $200. There are pros and cons to each, primarily that wood looks more natural but galvanized steel is not susceptible to pests that can destroy your flowers. It is easy to build a PVC or vinyl flower bed, but many people worry that harmful chemicals from them can get into their flower beds. 

Spreading Mulch

Spreading mulch is another laborious task, so landscapers normally tack on an hourly rate of between $30 and $45 in addition to the square footage cost. Mulch is usually measured in terms of cubic feet, and while large bags of mulch are not super expensive and cost around $4, they are heavy and spreading the mulch out evenly and enough is hard work. Keep in mind, though, that there are many different types of mulch like pine bark, which is on the cheaper end, and rubber mulch, which can cost exponentially more. If you plan on purchasing the mulch in advance and are having it delivered to your house, the delivery can cost you an average of $100 due to the weight of the mulch. 

Landscaping Rocks

If you’re looking to install landscaping rocks in your yard, you can expect to pay a total project price of between $300 and $1,500. Of course, different types of rocks are more expensive, so the price of small rocks can vary between $50 and $100 per ton and larger rocks may cost between $100 and $400 per ton. Instead of an hourly fee, landscapers who install rocks typically charge anywhere from $25 and $100 per ton for labor. Note that rocks are obviously very heavy, so many people also have them delivered to their homes, which can also cost around $12 per ton. 

Xeriscaping

While xeriscaping is one of the pricier landscaping tasks, it can also save you time and money due to the low-maintenance setup as well as the fact that it requires little or no irrigation. Xeriscaping for smaller yards can cost $6,000, whereas prices for large yards and a lot of labor can cost towards $25,000. Professionals who complete xeriscaping normally charge both a price per square foot and a typical $50-$100 hourly labor fee due to the amount of work it takes. Options for xeriscaping that will affect your overall price include artificial turf, rocks, concrete, mulch, plants, and any type of irrigation if applicable. 

Conclusion

First and foremost, it is important to find landscapers that you trust. Getting references from friends, family, and the Internet before hiring someone is critical. Every landscaper will have a different fee schedule, and you want to make sure you’re getting a reasonable and honest price without compromising quality. When you’re interviewing prospective landscapers, be sure to ask for references and also inquire if the specific job you’re looking to have completed will be billed hourly, by square foot, or a mix of both. Once you’re satisfied with specific landscapers, you’re ready for them to get started. 

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