Why Is Landscaping So Expensive?

  • By: Mike Hale
  • Date: July 17, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Landscaping is a beautiful way to refresh your home’s appearance and increase the property’s value by a large margin. But, you’ll see that it’s not that cheap to do landscaping around your house when you go into the numbers. Depending on what you want to do, the costs keep piling up. So, why is landscaping so expensive?

Two main factors affect the cost of landscaping: materials and labor. Even the most basic weeding and edging require at least a couple of workers paid by the hour, and the materials can be pretty expensive. That doesn’t even include preparation costs, tools, gas, etc.

It all comes down to what you want to do with your landscaping and its importance to make it profitable. If you are landscaping your home, you want to make it as incredible as possible. You’re not selling your home, so you don’t have to worry about making landscaping profitable.

But, if you are looking to increase the value of a property you are trying to sell, you need to be careful that the expenses aren’t more extensive than the increase in the property’s value.

water feature landscape

Why Does Landscaping Cost So Much?

There are too many factors that increase the price of landscaping. You pay for the materials, the labor, and any unforeseen circumstances. Not to mention, you also need to pay for the plants you want or other accessories you want to use when landscaping your backyard.

You can add millions of features, so I’m not going to delve into all the possible costs. I’ll stick to the basics – which can also be quite expensive on their own. For instance, many people don’t consider stuff that isn’t visible, such as pipe channeling or making concrete foundations. 

You should be aware that everything affects the price, even the time of the year, the location, the choice of materials, the size of the land, etc.

What is the most expensive part of landscaping?

As I said, there is so much stuff that affects the price of landscaping. Regularly, the labor is what ends up being the most expensive part of landscaping. Let’s say you’ll need three workers, working for three days, eight hours a day. They get paid $10-$20 an hour, which means you’ll pay between $750 and $1500 – just for the workers. 

That doesn’t even include the material costs, the location, or any other factor I’ve mentioned earlier, so it’s easy to see how the expenses can climb up rapidly. The most expensive part of the landscaping overall is building a swimming pool. It can cost upwards of $10000-$20000, but it’s not something you have to do as an essential landscaping feature.

How Much Should You Spend On Landscaping?

Again, it all depends on what you want to achieve. If you just want to spruce up some details to make the property look more beautiful or well maintained, a budget of $5000-$10000 is more than enough to do that.

But, if you want a complete makeover to increase the value of a property, it can be a much more significant investment, with the costs going upwards of $15000, all the way up to $100000.

The simplest way to determine how much to spend on landscaping is to determine the property’s value and spend 5-10% of that on landscaping. That ensures that the project will be up to par with the rest of the property. Just make sure not to go over that number by a lot because that’ll significantly reduce the margin of profit you can make.

Is Landscaping Worth The Money?

If done right, landscaping can not only be worth the money, but it can bring you significant profits and increase the value of a property you’re trying to sell. It can increase the value by as much as 20%. If you spend only 5-10% of the property value on landscaping, you can make a considerable profit.

However, some features don’t increase the property’s value as much as they cost, especially if you’re using expensive materials. You should also always be aware that there can be setbacks, and those setbacks can hurt your budget very significantly. 

For instance, a leaky pipe can cause you to have to do plumbing all over again, costing way more than you previously thought it would be. You should always determine your final budget and be careful with what you’re doing with your landscaping. As the costs rise, so do your chances of making a profit.

What is the cheapest way to do landscaping?

You don’t have to use the most expensive materials to make your landscaping project profitable. Weeding, edging, and adding a few plants can be cheap but make the entire backyard appear a lot more beautiful. There are also many fantastic do-it-yourself ideas you can implement to reduce the costs of landscaping.

For instance, repurposing old tires as decorations can work out incredibly. You can use them as flower planters, make seats, or even small ponds. Also, adding some color to your backyard can be very effective. Go for a new paint job on the fence, plant some colorful flowers, etc. That can refresh the entire backyard and make it look much more beautiful and costs little to nothing.

Planting a tree in your backyard gives you so many different opportunities, too. It provides you with shade in the summer, and you can build around it to make it even more remarkable. And, the best part, it costs almost nothing. You can use many more DIY hacks to do cheap landscaping. All you need is a little bit of creativity.

Landscaping Cost Examples

To help you understand what some landscaping ideas cost approximately, I’ve taken a few examples that can help you determine what you need.

If you want a lovely oasis to relax in, with some lush vegetation and stone-ground, you’ll need right around $20000. That includes the plants, the stones, benches, and some wonderful lanterns.

To add an outdoor kitchen, you have to include the cost of appliances, plumbing, and furniture. That raises the price to around $40000 to $50000. Adding a fireplace and a koi pond will cost at least $20000 more, and finally, digging and building a swimming pool can raise your overall expenses to around $100000.

The more you want to do, the more labor it takes, so the costs go up accordingly. It’s important to know what your budget is, explore the prices of each feature, ask the contractor how long will it take to finish the job, and that’ll give you an excellent approximation of the overall expenses.