Tasteful landscaping and gardening are very effective in increasing the sale value of homes and property. According to a recent article on OpenAgent, an investment in colourful plants, as well as practical garden spaces, can add at least $15,000 to the value of a home. Real estate agents have long extolled the value of simple flowering plants, which quickly enhance a property’s sale value.
Professional landscaping, such as decks, garden spaces, patios, and sitting areas, with fireplaces and pools, exemplify, to potential buyers, a space ready for restful family activities. Real estate agents tell us that professional landscaping can add 6 to 7 per cent to the value of a home, whereas, if you neglect your garden, it can lower the value of your home from between 5 and 15 per cent.
The 5-10% Rule
Looking to invest in your “curb-appeal”? Professionals state that the savvy homeowner will invest between 5 and 10 per cent of the value of his or her home into professional landscaping. By this math, a $700,000 family home should receive between $35,000 and $70,000 of landscaping attention. Wait, $70,000 worth of plants? No, not quite. Bear in mind that your landscaping projects, over the course of your stay in this home, will likely include additions and refurbishments to your outdoor living space. These may include lighting, gardening, water features, pavers, perhaps a new driveway, a patio or deck, and the ongoing upkeep of all of these aspects.
Do I need a Landscaper or a Gardener?
Let us first state that there is a definitive difference between these two terms. Landscaping is the art of designing and executing the construction of an agricultural space. It includes “softscaping” (what plants go where and in what type of soil) and “hardscaping” (setting up structures that are necessary for the agricultural space). Hardscaping can include the placement of pavers, walkways, lighting, watering systems, decks, planters, retaining walls and other built structures.
Landscaping begins with a design and leads into the construction of your garden space, as well as areas for people to congregate to enjoy them, and hardware to keep the plants healthy. Gardening, on the other hand, is the art of planting agriculture and providing for its needs, so that plants sprout, mature and continue to thrive for our enjoyment. Choose a landscaper when you need an agricultural space built. Choose a gardener when you need the space maintained. Landscaped homes must be gardened to assure they continue to thrive.
The Cost of Landscaping Starts with Design
A professional designer can draw up a landscape plan for around $850. A design with three-dimensional renderings can cost between $3000 and $6000. Is a three-dimensional plan a worthwhile investment? Consider that two-dimensional plans will exhibit an aerial perspective of your landscaping project, with associated elevations. Representations of plants, decks and pools, or water features, may be colourised, to indicate their approximate hue and the colour of tiles, paints or stains, that the builders intend to use. If the buyer has the option to view the products before construction, then a two-dimensional plan may be sufficient.
The advantage, however, of new three-dimensional rendering technology, lies in its accuracy in showcasing the finished project. New software can present the finished space with very minute details, including accurate paint, paver, and tile choices. These three-dimensional designs generally show layouts that provide an accurate and detailed look at the flora and surrounding architecture, from various angles and at different times of the day.
Your choice of a two- or three-dimensional rendering will depend upon your budget and attention to detail. A creative individual may prefer to design their own unique layout and then consult with a professional landscaper to supervise its construction. This assures that experienced professionals are leveraged on all aspects of the project. A landscaper will typically charge between $55 and $70 per hour for these services.
You will want to ensure that the landscaper you are considering is reputable and ready to handle the job at hand. Make sure they have a portfolio of projects, similar to the kind of work you’re looking for, proof of liability insurance and other licenses, a list of references, an expected timeline and quote for your project, and specialists on staff for the installation of the project you want.
You have your Design. Now What does Construction Cost?
- Installing new retaining walls and new plants about $3,000.
- Putting in new natural turf and garden lighting, $2,500.
- Planting new trees, bushes and foliage around $3,500.
How Much Does Landscaping Cost?
Complete landscaping jobs, with new plants, trees and lawn, in an empty backyard, typically cost around $6,000. The cost of a deck depends upon the size required and can be between $160 and $220 per square metre. A ground patio typically starts at $5,000 and can range to $50,000 when additional features, such as a pergola, seat wall, or fire pit, are added.
Landscapers may need to contract with utility professionals for some projects. Surveyors, Electricians and Plumbers are the most common. Surveyors will likely be added to projects wherein property boundaries are not obvious. On average they charge $165 per hour for their services. Electrician fees for wiring outdoor hardware depend upon the scope of the project, with installation costs for lighting systems ranging between $1,500 to $8,000. Costs, of course, depend upon the complexity of the project and the distance from the electrical source. Plumbers may be consulted for projects that bring potable water to outdoor spaces, such as outdoor kitchens, or to add irrigation systems for plants. Yard sprinklers, for instance, for a quarter hectare property can average from $4,000 to $8,000.
The cost of these projects should include the fair price of labour for your skilled professionals, along with material costs and permitting. Consultation will be a necessary delay in any project that adds or modifies utilities (such as electric, natural gas, or plumbing). In most circumstances, professionals from local government will need to inspect and approve plans before construction of new structures (electrical lines, gas and water for outdoor kitchens) will be approved. This measure ensures that new construction is up to local building code.
Keep Those Plants Flourishing! Maintenance is key!
After landscaping has been completed, and agriculture beautifully arranged, an investment of time or resources needs to be provided for its continued wellbeing. Homeowners may see fit to devote personal time to this activity, but professional services are available. They may be preferable, when and if professionals are responsible for the replacement of plants that fail, despite routine care.
How Much Does Gardening Cost?
Expect cost ranges as follows:
- Lawn mowing for between $45 and $80 per service, depending on the size of the lot.
- Pruning and hedging for between $49 and $178.
- Garden clean-up for between $50 and $100.
- Routine garden maintenance for between $47 and $109 per service.
- Soil and turf installation starts at $100 a service, levelling starts at $120 and soil removal at $80.
It is important to note that maintenance services may assess travel and set-up time into their cost. For optimum savings, seek a service provider who can fulfil all of your required tasks in one visit, or build a low maintenance garden that you can look after yourself.