Why Is Landscaping So Expensive? (Cost Included!)

Landscaped backyard

Landscaping is a process that consists of modifying the existing design of a piece of land or garden, making it more attractive. Landscaping offers a host of benefits; one of them being the opportunity to make good use of your land. Apart from that, it also adds more beauty to your property, thus increasing its value.

Another benefit of landscaping your property is that it helps protect the environment. However, that is only true when you introduce natural habitats or native plants to the process.

Furthermore, it’s also worth noting that there are a few disadvantages to landscaping your property. First, it requires a lot of your time and effort. But that’s not all. Indeed, landscaping your property also requires a financial investment, which could be worth up to tens of thousands of dollars depending on what you want. That said, here’s a burning question: why is landscaping so expensive?

Landscaping is expensive because of many factors, such as the size of your yard, its location, and your taste in materials and plants. You’ll also pay local laborers to do the essential weeding and edging. Speaking of taste, some of the features that affect landscaping costs include a patio, outdoor kitchen, and pool.

No doubt, landscaping requires a lot of upfront financial investments. However, in the long run, you’ll achieve a massive boost in your ROI. In this post, I’ll share everything you need to know about the cost of landscaping your property, including the cheapest way to do it.


What Makes Landscaping So Expensive?

As stated earlier, many factors affect the cost of landscaping. Some of them include the size of your available land, your taste, required materials and their source, plants, local labor costs, location, and many more. Let’s take them one at a time, and see how each factor affects the price of landscaping your property.

1. Your taste

One of the main factors that affect the price of landscaping your home is your taste. If you have high taste, you’ll automatically have to pay more to get the job done.

For instance, having different features such as a pool, outdoor kitchen, patio, gas fire pits, and much more can affect the landscaping project’s cost.

If you didn’t already know, having a custom patio may cost you between $5,000 and $15,000. Of course, this depends on the type of materials used, such as steel, wood, or aluminum. The same price range also applies if you’re planning to install a gas fire pit.

As far as building pools and spas are concerned, they require more upfront financial investment than the first two features. For a standard pool and landscaping, you can count between $30,000 to $100,000.

2. Property size

Apart from your taste, another factor that affects the cost of landscaping is your property’s size. If you’re planning to work on a bigger size, you’ll have to invest more money.

Although the property’s size often affects landscaping cost, it’s worth noting that this isn’t the primary determinant. Indeed, a small-sized property may cost more than a big one if what you’re looking for is special attention.

3. Labor cost

Labor cost is another factor that affects the overall cost of landscaping. The size of the site and your needs will determine the number of laborers that you need for your project, as well as the time each of them will spend on it.

That said, if you have a big site, you should expect many laborers to work on it. For instance, let’s say you have seven people working in your yard for 8 hours daily for five days. It means you’ll have to pay each of them between $10 to $20 per hour. That’s about $5,600 ($800 × 7) for laborers to complete the job.

4.  Maintenance

Landscaping requires many maintenance services as well. These include mowing, edging, blowing, integrated pest management, and tree and shrub pruning. All these services require different equipment and personnel, whose prices can vary.


If you want to improve the overall appearance of your yard, you should consider landscaping. While this process typically costs a lot of money, there are some things that you can do to lessen your expenses. Read our article to find out how to cut down the cost of landscaping


What is the most expensive part of landscaping?

Let’s face it, every aspect of landscaping is expensive. If you’re not considering building a swimming pool and spa, I’ll say that the local labor cost is the costliest of all of them. That is because you’ll have to pay the worker hourly for the number of days spent doing the landscaping.

However, if you require special attention, including creating a pool in your yard, then I’d say this is the most expensive part of landscaping. As mentioned earlier, you may have to spend between $30,000 and $100,000 to get the job executed successfully.


Is Landscaping Worth the Money?

There’s no denying that landscaping is costly to perform. But is it worth the money? The simple answer to the burning question is yes.

According to expertsOpens in a new tab., landscaping adds up to 10% to the value of your house. It means you can expect a massive boost when trying to resell your property. However, this will vary depending on the type of landscaping and the original value of the property.

Apart from ROI, other benefits attached to landscaping your property include the following.

1. Cooler temperatures

By landscaping your home, one of the many things in it for you is cooler temperatures. In case you didn’t know, a grass lawn can provide you with a more favorable temperature than concrete or asphalt floors. With better conditions around your home, you’ll only have to rely, to a minimal extent, on the usage of air conditioning. The indirect benefit of that is that it will save a few bucks when it is hot.

2. Shades and better views

Landscaping tends to provide shade around your home, especially when it is hot. It means you can always sit outdoors in the shade and achieve better views.

3. Aesthetics and health benefits

Another benefit attached to landscaping is that it helps improve the aesthetic of your home. Furthermore, this also helps improve your quality of life. Staring at beautiful nature around your home can help you get rid of stress, which is good for your health.


How Much Should You Spend on Landscaping?

The answer to this question depends on what you want to achieve. If you’re only interested in introducing retaining walls, you’ll spend about $50 to $150 per square foot. For a solid hardscape, however, you should budget about $15 to $50 per square foot.

On the other hand, custom patios are a bit expensive. One should cost you between $5,000 to $20,000. And if what you’re looking for is to create a pool (sourceOpens in a new tab.) and spa around your home, get ready to spend between $30,000 and $100,000, depending on the size.

Overall, the price of having permanent landscape lighting around your home should fall between $2,500 to $10,000. Again, the type of materials used will determine how much you’ll be spending on the project. Furthermore, if you’re considering creating customized seats on the site, you shouldn’t spend up to $15,000.


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. 


What Is the Cheapest Way to Landscape?

The best and cheapest way to landscape your property is to avoid using expensive materials or adding costly features, such as a patio or pool.

There are several different ideas that you can use if you have a tight budget for landscaping your home. Check out some of them below.

1. Mulching

Mulching offers a host of benefits during the landscaping process. One of them is that it helps mitigate the amount of water and weeding required by your garden. However, the process itself is expensive.

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to landscape your property, I advise you to utilize mulch alternatives, such as grass clippings, pine needles, and compost. These processes are cheap and effective in reducing water and weed in your garden.

2. Use old tires

Another cheap and practical idea for landscaping your property is to use old tires. One of the many ways to do that is by using them as hanging containers. Doing so will help you save a few bucks required to get hanging baskets of flowers.

You can also use tires if you’re looking to build seats outside your home. Doing so will save you money as well.

3. Use cheap natural perennial ground cover

Perennial ground covers are also great if you’re considering the cheapest way to landscape your yard.

Some of the cheapest ground covers you can consider using for landscaping your property include creeping periwinkle, walk-on-me thyme, moss phlox, violets and pansies, and early snow glories. Interestingly, all these plants sell at a very affordable price — about $5 or less per plant.

4.  Build an outdoor fire pit

Gas fire pits are quite expensive as they cost between $5,000 to $15,000. One of the best and cheapest alternatives is to build your own fire pit using concrete retaining wall blocks. This approach shouldn’t cost you more than $1.25 per block. Other options include using cinder block caps, concrete fire bowls, or dirt floor fire rings.



You can consider landscaping as a form of investment. You will need to shell out money now to get it done, but in the future when you plan to sell your property, you will earn a profit because the landscaping that you did increased the value of your home. 

The cost of landscaping varies depending on a couple of reasons, such as the size of your property and personal taste. To figure out an estimate cost for your landscaping project, list down the things that you want to get done and use the information that we shared in this article to come up with a budget. 

Landscaping is generally an expensive process, but if you are on a budget, there are a couple of things that you can do to lower the cost of this project. If you are aiming to landscape on a tight budget, make sure to go for good quality alternatives to not waste your efforts in making your yard beautiful.

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