Simple Garden Landscape Design
Nationally, the average price paid to a landscape designer is about $5, 200. The range for most homeowners is between $4, 200 and $6, 200, but keep in mind that fees can vary considerably. The most in-depth projects may cost more than $10, 000 to plan due to the significant number of variables at play. The best designers can optimize the use of space and materials to make the most of your budget.
Landscape designers charge by the plan, project, or for their time. Some adhere to a fixed project cost while others have a daily or hourly rate. It is essential to learn your desired designer's pricing policies before you get started. Note that designs are usually priced by the square foot.
Scope of the Design
Landscape design is an investment. Investing in a quality designer can net savings on other aspects of the installation. Talented designers are able to identify the natural advantages of your specific plot and plan accordingly, blending cost-effective and benefit-rich elements that will ultimately enable you to recoup the design costs many times over.
Several core considerations play a dominant role in shaping the final bill. These include the size of the property, the extent of the area to be landscaped and the special features desired by the homeowner. For example, the wholesale redesign of a 5, 000-square-foot lot with special features like a fish pond or gazebo will cost more than a plan for a small, decorative garden in your front yard.
When you purchase basic landscape design services, you are paying for the preparation of structural and material specifications, the creation of a budget, and the designer's expertise. Clients receive an initial two-dimensional design. You may also get a planting plan, construction plan, maintenance guide and even three-dimensional CAD imaging that lets you tour your future landscape. Once your landscape designer proposes a plan, they should offer a realistic estimate that gives you an idea of the total project cost.
Professional Design Expertise
Landscape designers vary significantly in their qualifications and education, and this can impact the price of their labor. Some, for instance, have professional certification with the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, or APLD. Note that a landscape designer is often more affordable than a landscape architect. Landscape architects typically have additional education, certifications and licensure. More complex projects, however, may require the services of a licensed architect.
The highest-quality designers can charge thousands of dollars for their work. On the other hand, relatively inexperienced designers may charge just a few hundred dollars. Those with less experience generally charge less money. While this could mean sub-par workmanship, it could also be a good deal if the designer is new but has a desirable portfolio and solid references.
The design phase of your renovation is just one step in the landscaping process. While some landscape designers only handle the planning, others will see projects through to the end, hiring and directing subcontractors to complete all installation work. Designers who only plan generally don't need bonding and insurance, making their work more affordable.
Homeowners can expect to pay around 10 to 20 percent for these supervisory services on top of material costs and subcontractor labor. Hiring a landscape designer to oversee building can be a good deal for the consumer. The greater the designer's role in the project, the higher the cost of their services.
Firms that handle both the design and build phases of an installation sometimes undersell their self-employed counterparts when pricing designs for customers. Some landscaping plans are even provided for free. While this would seem to benefit the consumer, it can mean steep markups when it comes time to build. Hiring an independent professional can ensure that your designer is working with your best interests in mind.