Landscaping and gardening can be two of the most cost-effective ways to add value to your home. How much do they cost, though?
Landscaping and gardening are two different subjects. Landscaping involves a full plan, including softscaping (soil and plants) and hardscaping (pavers, a driveway, a retaining wall and other built structures). Gardening can be simply tidying up your existing garden or improving it.
In between the two is landscape gardening, which can involve improving your existing garden beyond basic improvements.
"According to real estate agents and landscaping experts, landscaping can add at least an extra 6 to 7 percent to the value of your home."
How much does landscaping cost?
Landscaping can be done by a landscape designer who can manage all aspects of your landscape design. A garden designer can create a design for you and may be able to manage gardeners, but usually won't be qualified to oversee construction.
As a general rule, average landscaping costs are between 5 and 10 percent of the value of your home. This means if your home is valued at $600,000, you can expect to set aside between $30,000 to $60,000 for landscaping. That seems like a lot, but remember, landscaping includes driveways, patios, decking and other hardscaping. You may spend more or less on your landscaping, but in general, 5 percent should cover your gardens, your driveway and your patio or decking.
You may also need a retaining wall or want to install a pergola or swimming pool. A swimming pool is part of your landscaping, but isn't included in general landscaping costs.
Where does your money go when you engage the services of a landscaper?
It starts with planning your landscape. Just as you need a house plan to build your house, you need a plan for your landscaping:
- A garden designer can draw a plan for around $850
- A full garden design complete with 3D renderings can cost between $3000 and $6000
How much you choose to spend will depend on your budget and the scale of your job. Here's an idea of some common landscaping jobs and how much they typically cost:
- Installing new retaining walls and new plants: $3000
- Putting in new natural turf and garden lighting: $2500
- Planting multiple new trees, bushes and foliage: $3500
- Complete landscaping job with new plants, trees and lawn on empty backyard: $6000
- Building a deck: $160-$220 per square metre
After you have your plan, you can start your landscaping project. You may be able to do it alone, but a landscaper can supervise the project for you and you may get better results. In general, an experienced landscaper will charge between $55 and $70 per hour for their service.
That can be money well-spent, because they know how to organise trades and can help you finish the landscaping faster and without paying more for the various trades involved in the project.
How much does gardening cost?
If you have an existing garden and want to prepare your home for sale, you shouldn't have to pay for a full landscaping job. You may only need to hire a garden maintenance service to tidy up your garden. Garden maintenance services usually charge between $40 and $60 per hour.
However, the cost of gardening will also depend on the task, the complexity of it and other factors, such as the yard size.
Here are some common gardening jobs and their cost ranges:
- Lawn mowing: $45-$80
- Pruning/hedging: $49-$178
- Garden clean up: $50-$100
- Garden maintenance: $47-$109
Keep in mind, garden maintenance services also factor travel and set-up time into their cost. To get the best price for tidying up your garden, choose a service that can do everything that needs to be done for you and ask them to do the whole job. That way, you won't be paying more for "bits and pieces" of work over an extended period.
If you're thinking of selling your property, some essential jobs you may need to do to increase your garden appeal include:
- Weeding your lawn and garden
- Adding plants to empty spots in your garden
- Adding flowering plants to your garden
You might also want to add garden edging to tidy up the areas between your lawn and garden.
If you feel you need to make an even better impression on buyers, consider doing more landscape gardening. This might involve some excavation work to create levels or "zones" in your garden. Keep your budget in mind when you do this.
Landscaping and gardening can add at least $15,000 to the value of your home. In many cases, it can add much greater value, especially if you have engaged in landscaping rather than just a garden tidy and cleanup.
According to real estate agents and landscaping experts, landscaping can add 6 to 7 percent to the value of your home. On the flip side, if you neglect your garden, it can lower the value of your home between 5 and 15 percent.
Think of your landscaping as both softscaping and hardscaping. Both may need work to boost the value of your home. You may also need to refresh your decking or clean your patio pavers and perhaps add some decorative elements to your garden.
“Your fences may need repairs or painting and if you have brickwork, think about having your bricks cleaned or you may even want to have them rendered to improve their appeal.”
Pot plants aren't expensive and can help lift the appearance of your garden. Your fences may need repairs or painting and if you have brickwork, think about having your bricks cleaned or you may even want to have them rendered to improve their appeal.
An experienced real estate agent can help you decide how much to spend on landscaping. They can also help you budget for other costs that can improve your streetscape. For example, if you have an old cement driveway, it can spoil the appearance of your home and landscape. You don't necessarily have to replace your driveway, but you can have it repaired, painted or resurfaced.
"One thing you don't want to do is neglect your landscaping in favour of renovations that buyers won't notice."
One thing you don't want to do is neglect your landscaping in favour of renovations that buyers won't notice. Yes, you need to make necessary repairs, but buyers are generally most impressed by the appearance of a property. They will notice good landscaping. It will tell them you take pride in your property and they will be willing to pay more to move into a home they can take pride in, too.