An exquisite landscaping project enhances the appearance of your home in countless ways. The proper implementation of a landscaping idea could also increase the value of your house by as much as 15%. Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce the cost of landscaping without affecting its charm and top-notch outlook.
The cost of landscaping is one of the most significant barriers for homeowners getting started with such a project. Landscaping costs and associated expenses vary depending on the kind of exterior you plan for your house. Nonetheless, you will probably save a considerable chunk of money if you learn to invest in the right direction.
In this article, I will tell you how to design the cheapest landscaping project without compromising its beauty and features. Additionally, you will be able to point out things that can help you reduce the landscaping costs in many ways.
What Is the Cheapest Way to Landscape?
There is no definite answer to this question as gardeners’ opinions vary significantly in this regard. However, we will stress the planning aspect the most. Indeed, you will execute everything flawlessly if you learn the art of cost-efficient planning in everything.
The landscaping expenses rely on the homeowners’ personal preferences and the type of exterior they want. That is why it is always a good idea to set your priorities before heading to cost reduction. You can plan things like the type of garden you want, including a running track for kids, the addition of a pool, and the layout ideas you wish to execute, for instance.
After selecting everything associated with the landscaping project, it is a good idea to think about cost minimization to complete the project on the budget you have set.
The following guidelines will assist you in creating the most cost-effective landscaping project for your home.
You can go for substantial amounts of permeable hardscape structures, including gravel, granite, and little ornamental pebbles if you have a mighty lawn. These structures can cover a significant portion of your space at minimal expense without affecting the overall beauty.
Many benefits come with the use of hardscape architecture. Most importantly, it is possible to use them for walkways by mixing them with precast pavers. Easy mobility is another crucial advantage of such structures. With a better replacement, you may easily change the location of a granite-related structure within minutes.
However, you cannot overuse them as they can destroy the charm of the entire landscape. So, stay within the limits set by designers. You can use granite and gravel to enhance your landscape if you talk with planners. However, never go against their suggestions as they have experience in handling such things.
Remodel Existing Elements
You can use plenty of elements from your current landscape to save a lot on cost and effort. For example, you can remodel patio covers instead of disposing of them, hardscape structures, ornamental plants, and other related things.
Good quality patio covers cost more than $1,000 these days. Some models can go as high as $10,000, although you can use a cost-efficient solution to prevent the piling up of cost. It is also possible to use an existing patio cover if it is in good shape and paint its cover in the color of your choice to revive its magnificence.
You can also use an excellent combination of decorative layers to prevent the waste of the concrete and granite-related structures mentioned above. Similarly, you can store the ornamental plants inside your home until the existing landscape overhaul starts. Then, you can easily install them at the place of your choice once everything else gets ready.
New homeowners who don’t have a landscape may not be able to implement this idea. However, if you already have such a project in your home and want to change its design, you can follow this suggestion.
Preserve Existing Trees
Another thing that can help you create a cost-effective landscape for your home is the preservation of existing trees within your home. Instead of wasting old trees, you should try to preserve them whenever possible. It takes decades for a tree to reach its mature age, hence why we should always try to protect existing trees.
Not anyone can afford to buy well-grown trees. Some of them cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars for rare or exquisite varieties. For this reason, it is worth spending a few dollars on tree preservation, even if it entails hiring a professional.
Go for Precast Structures
Selecting a precast structure instead of a customized one can save you hundreds of dollars. In addition, these already-made structures are inexpensive compared to customized ones because workshops produce them in bulk. As a result, the cost per unit of these structures decreases significantly.
When it comes to prefabricated structures, you can go for the following items, based on your requirements:
- Patio covers
- Seating arrangements
- Fire pits
- Barbecue tools
You are very likely to save lots of money when you opt for a prefabricated structure. However, you need to keep one thing in mind before making your choice.
Always consult with the designer of the landscape before making any purchase. Consider a cost-effective solution only if it does not alter the layout and appearance of your choice. There is no reason for making a landscape that does not suit your preferences.
A cost-efficient way of creating a stunning landscape design is by employing an ample amount of ornamental grass as such grasses do not cost much and cover plenty of space. But, most importantly, you will get to admire the lush green appearance of these plants that enhances the beauty of your landscape in many folds.
Overall, there are many benefits of using ornamental grass in your landscape. First of all, you will not have to water it regularly. Thus, it saves homeowners lots of time and effort. Second, when it comes to maintenance and other related things, ornamental grass costs way less than natural grass, which requires fertilizers and weed sprays, to name a couple.
Low-growing perennial plants are another cherished choice of professional gardeners in this regard. Instead of buying expensive plants, they replace a small percentage of plants with low-growing perennials, as they do not cost much.
Avoid Buying Large Trees
When you do not have existing grown trees in your yard, the only option seems to be buying new ones. However, we strongly advise against purchasing large trees from outside.
Indeed, treehouses tend to sell large trees for a high price. As a result, a massive chunk of the landscaping budget would be utilized in buying these bulky trees. Additionally, you have some fair chances of failure in the growth of these giant trees when displaced from one point to another.
Your home’s environment and soil conditions may be very different from those of a nursery. As a result, you may end up wasting your time and money if you buy large trees without doing proper research and consulting with gardeners and designers.
Luckily, there are several things you can do to avoid getting into this situation. The most common and result-oriented approach is to buy smaller plants that suit your house’s environment and soil conditions. Small plants and shrubs can easily be displaced from one place to another without any complexities.
Benefits of Opting for Smaller Trees
One significant benefit of choosing smaller trees is the cost. Indeed, for the price of one large tree, you can purchase tens of smaller, high-quality trees. In this way, you will have many trees of your choice, and chances of growth failure also decrease to a large extent.
Small trees also consume far less water than bigger ones. Therefore, you will also save lots of water by going for a smaller tree. However, fewer water requirements do not mean the growth gets compromised. Instead, small trees experience a more extensive growth compared to bigger ones.
To obtain the best results, you should prepare your soil in a way that ensures the growth of the seeds you’ve bought.
However, it requires homeowners’ perseverance and consistent hard work to grow these tiny plants successfully. Overall, in terms of cost savings, buying a collection of small trees is well worth your consideration.
Go for Japanese Cedar Tubs
If you are looking for the cheapest landscaping options, you should consider avoiding the construction of concrete pools. A fiberglass in-house pool also comes with a hefty price tag. In general, you have to spend over $30,000 on the construction of these swimming pools. However, I have a solution for you if you still want to enjoy the water in the summer.
There are multiple cost-effective alternatives for you to consider to save a considerable chunk of the cost, the most popular one among these being Japanese Cedar tubs, which offer a premium experience and replicate the joy of concrete swimming pools.
The most amazing part is that these Japanese spa tubs cost only a fraction of the price of a larger swimming pool without sacrificing the experience for the user. But, of course, you can also go for a high-end bathtub that replicates the experience of an in-house swimming pool.
However, it is pertinent to mention that if you can afford to spend over $30,000 on a swimming pool without compromising your budget for the rest of your backyard, you should not eliminate this option.
Keep Future Customization in Mind
This rule applies to anything you buy for a perfect outdoor landscape. Priorities change over time. That is why you should have a good idea of what to use today to assist you in future projects.
Consider how you can have future customizations when making a choice regarding the equipment for your landscape. Doing so will save you significant time and effort by avoiding the frequent replacement of various items. You should pay detailed attention to potential future customization when buying these particular items:
- Furniture for seating arrangements
- Patio covers
- Ornamental grass
- Decorative layers of concrete
One thing that can help you in this regard is internet shopping. Instead of visiting local shops, search the web to see how different sellers offer their products. This hack will help you estimate the exact cost of these items.
Not only that, but online shopping offers a diversity of choices for buyers. You can explore multiple options based on products offering different quality, price tags, and sizes within a matter of minutes.
That is why we always recommend our readers to check the options available online before visiting local shops in their areas.
But those are not the only recommendations you should follow! See more below.
If you want to improve the overall look and functionality of your garden or yard, you should consider landscaping. One thing that you should know about this process, though, is that it can be extremely pricy. Why is landscaping so expensive? Read our article to find out.
What Else Can You Do in This Regard?
There are many other things that you can do to prevent financial loss and future headaches. Pay attention to the following details to get the job done without any complexities.
Understand Your Environment
Before diving into plant selection, it is always a good idea to understand the dynamics of the plants within your environment. For example, investigate the soil type, climate conditions, and moisture levels in the air. Additionally, it would help if you researched the native plant species that are usually found in your surroundings.
Buying local plant species will help you in many ways. Most importantly, you will not risk growth failure and the death of plants, as the natural conditions will help them grow organically.
For instance, all your investment goes to waste if you spend $15,000 on exquisite plants that cannot sustain the local growing conditions. Therefore, a well-researched homeowner will likely establish a stunning landscape compared to one who follows the bandwagon.
How to Research Local Varieties of Plants
You can find the typical varieties evolving in your environment in many ways and through multiple sources. Firstly, try to find online the relevant species of plants suitable to the local growing conditions. The internet is full of information, so you surely will find plenty of data regarding the area you live in and the appropriate varieties of plants.
Another hack is to visit multiple nurseries and home improvement centers for the sake of gathering information. Try to maximize your visits to various local nurseries if you are looking for the perfect choice. Talk to salespeople there as well as other customers making purchases. In this way, you will have a never-ending list of plants that you can locally grow.
Things to Remember While Buying Plants
After finalizing a list of selected plant varieties, you are all set to go for the purchase process. At this stage, you can reduce costs significantly by applying several tips. The first thing to do is compare prices, which a lot of homeowners forget to do.
While you visit multiple nurseries to establish a perfect selection of plants, don’t forget to ask about the prices. First, make a comparison between different local sellers and talk to other consumers.
Next, search online for the lowest prices, after comparing the costs of local nurseries and home improvement stores. By using websites correctly, you can filter out the prices of thousands of sellers. In this way, you will have an accurate idea of what makes a reasonable deal for the plant varieties you have selected.
However, you should add up shipping costs to the final calculation of online prices. Besides, there may be some custom duties if you want to export a plant from abroad. Add in all the costs associated with a particular plant found online to make a fair comparison.
Look for Deals
It is not unusual to expect discount deals on plants. Both local and online sellers offer plenty of promotional discounts to increase their sales. They may also offer discounts on particular events, such as Christmas.
Although, saving money and being economical come at a cost. The only thing that can help you in this is doing research. Yes, you read that right!
You will have to visit all the nearest nurseries and decoration centers if you are looking for a bang for the buck. As mentioned earlier, while you’re there, talk to their sales representative, ask for discounts, and you’ll definitely end up with a great deal.
What Can You Do to Avoid Frequent Maintenance?
Once you have bought all the plant varieties on your list, it’s time to focus on the timely management of things to avoid any financial loss and dying out of trees. You can follow these guidelines to maintain a lush green lawn in a breeze.
It takes thousands of dollars to acquire exquisite varieties of plants. Even some locally grown types are also costly. Therefore, you need to pay detailed attention to the maintenance of your yard after planting trees.
Trees for Dry Areas
You can go for some attractive varieties of desert plants if you want to avoid frequent watering and regular maintenance. However, planting many desert trees will not make any significant difference to the value and appearance of your house.
That is why you can select only a couple of desert plant varieties if you want to benefit from less watering and management.
Benefits of a Rainy Environment
There is nothing to worry about regarding the regular watering of plants in rainy areas. You can plant any local tree in those areas without worrying about the maintenance and hassle of frequent watering. As a result, you can save yourself from a hectic maintenance routine.
Having followed all the suggestions above, now is the perfect time to think about ways to further lower your landscaping costs.
Aside from plants and outdoor furniture, when planning the budget of your landscaping project, you also need to consider the hardscape elements that you want to build, such as fences, walkways, and gazebos. To help you gauge how much money you need to set aside for these projects, read our guide to backyard hardscapes’ cost and plan you budget accordingly.
How to Cut Down Landscaping Costs?
Once you have set up the cheapest landscaping option for your home, it is time to think about the further reduction of your expenses. By following these guidelines, you can significantly cut your landscaping expenses.
Manage Your Watering Time
Watering is one of the most significant expenses incurring after setting up the perfect landscape. You cannot afford to see your plants dying due to water loss after spending thousands on their purchase.
In addition to plants, the grass in your lawn also requires a regular, considerable chunk of water for natural growth. Besides, a home’s water requirements increase according to the size of the yard and the number of trees.
You can do many things to avoid the waste of water resources and get the most out of your water utilization. However, the following two suggestions outperform many others.
Water Early in the Morning
A considerable percentage of irrigated water is wasted in the process of evaporation. That is why we always stress choosing a timetable that involves zero to minimal evaporation rate.
With that in mind, the best time to irrigate plants and green grass is early in the morning, before the sun rises. Due to the absence of excessive heat and sunlight, the rate of evaporation becomes minimal. Therefore, a lot of water can be saved if you start irrigating your lawn before dawn.
However, if you have difficulties waking up early, like us, you probably need another approach. For example, you can go for a modern irrigation system.
Use of Advanced Irrigation System
Installing modern irrigation may be costly. However, the system benefits you in the long run. More specifically, if the landscape in your home covers a vast area, you should go for one as it will ease the process of maintenance in many ways.
If you are unable to water your lawn yourself, an irrigation system automatically does it for you. First, you can specify an irrigation timetable for your yard, after which the irrigation system starts irrigating things based on the set timeframe.
Asks for Discounts from Service Providers
This suggestion is only suitable for people who have hired a company for regular landscape management. It is not uncommon to find plenty of companies that offer maintenance services for managing landscapes. Contrary to common beliefs, you do not have to have a mighty lawn for hiring a company.
You may contact any company to discuss such services after giving them information, such as the surface of your lawn, number of trees, varieties of plants, type of grass, and more.
Once you are satisfied with a company’s services and cost plan, you can sign a contract for the regular maintenance of your lawn. Keep in mind that you can ask the enterprise for a discount if you sign a long-term contract — let’s say, a year. Chances are that many companies will offer multiple discount rates as the competition is high in big cities.
Involve Your Kids in the Management
Involving kids in lawn management and landscape maintenance is a fruitful business. It is a win-win situation for both parents and children.
As far as parents are concerned, they will be happy to see their kids’ engagement with nature and plants. Indeed, this lawn management hobby can help keep your kids away from the internet and mobile games. They will learn time management, commitment, maturity, hard work, dedication, and countless other skills.
Besides, it will be an engaging hobby that enhances the physical and psychological aspects of your kids’ lives. All in all, it will be nothing less than an adventure for them.
This may seem strange at first, but regular mulching can reduce one’s costs. Most people forget mulching for years as they want to avoid the overall costs associated with it.
However, regardless of the mulch’s quality and existing condition, it would be best to change it at least once a year. If you did not already know, mulch is one of the vital things to maintain the perfect growth of your lawn and its attractiveness.
A high-quality layer of mulch resists weeds’ growth, besides providing necessary moisture for the development of your plants. Additionally, this layer will help maintain a temperature that suits your plants’ growth. Last but not least, mulching once a year will enhance the beauty and charm of your lawn manifolds.
However, if you fail to replace existing mulch once a year, you will eventually have to spend more on things such as weed controller sprays, fertilizers, and other related items.
Another common approach to cutting down landscaping costs is to replace plants that require regular, costly maintenance. The problem intensifies if you live in a region where water resources are scarce, and you have to pay sky-rocketing water bills.
Replacing plants that require a lot of water with varieties that need less water is a good idea in this regard.
Perfect green lawns and flourishing gardens are things that every homeowner wishes they have in their property. This is not impossible, but it does come at a cost. Having the perfect landscape in your home requires significant budget and effort. However, by following the guidelines outlined in this post, you will be able to save a considerable amount of money.
If you want a beautiful yard on a budget, you will need to put consistent efforts into landscaping, from the planning phase to the execution phase, without forgetting the importance of making research-based decisions. There are a lot of things that needs to be done when it comes to landscaping, but as long as you remember what we shared in this article and tackle things one at a time, you will be able to achieve the landscape of your dreams on a budget.