A beautifully landscaped home can improve your day-to-day life, while enhancing the curb appeal of your home. Depending upon your needs for landscaping design and whether you plan to do it yourself or hire a professional, landscaping costs can greatly vary.
In this post, we’ll share more about the benefits of quality landscaping, what some current landscaping trends are, and typical landscaping costs. Finally, we’ll also share smart strategies on how to budget and pay for a landscaping project.
What Are Some Benefits of Landscaping?
Landscaping can add beauty to a home, and it can also add to the property’s value. According to Homelight’s Q2 2020 Top Agent Insight Report , this is one of the best home improvements to increase a home’s marketability and value to buyers.
When a home has curb appeal, it will likely garner more interest among home buyers, so the investment in a well-landscaped home can be worth the expense. Plus, studies cited by Texas A&M University show remarkable and surprising potential benefits associated with being surrounded by plants, including:
• Improved concentration and memory.
• Elevated moods.
• Reduced likelihood of stress-related depression.
• Accelerated healing.
• Improved relationships.
• Boosted levels of compassion.
• Increased energy.
• Boosted performance.
• Better learning environment.
What Are Some Current Landscaping Trends?
Outdoor home improvements and gardening, in general, have increased in interest and popularity over recent years, with more people taking refuge in personal spaces rather than public ones.
A popular movement in the landscaping world is growing your own food. Blending landscaping and food production, such as planting herbs and edible plants into your existing garden is possible. Even when space is limited, using containers or trellising plants to grow vertically can make an outdoor space inviting. If you have children, getting them involved in growing their own veggies might even make them more interested in eating healthy foods.
After growing your own food, you might want to dazzle people with your grilling skills, so including a dream outdoor kitchen might be a welcome addition to a landscaping project. Combining hardscaping and softscaping in a yard can make for a balanced landscaping plan.
Using landscaping to enhance nature is another popular trend. For example, creating a pollinator garden or incorporating native plant species can help biodiversity thrive and provide habitat for birds, butterflies, and other species. Homeowners in more arid climates can practice good environmental stewardship through xeriscaping, which involves the use of low-water plants.
How Can Landscaping be Budgeted For?
First, give yourself permission to dream, to think big. What does your ideal landscaping look like? Feel like?
Then, create a list of both needs and wants. In your “needs” column, list repairs that must be done for safety’s sake, ranging from drainage challenges, broken fences, toxic plants that need to be removed, tree removal, and so forth.
Walk around your property as you make this list and imagine what the property could look like with the stunning new landscaping you’re envisioning. Perhaps some of the ideas listed above have inspired you in an unexpected direction. Have fun and add these ideas to your “wants” column.
Now, prioritize your list and be clear about which items are optional (perhaps a special type of trellis material for climbing roses) and which are not (trip hazards where you plan to add outdoor seating). Be sure to write down your priorities.
Initially, you might wonder if this is time well spent, but once you get into the midst of your project, you may run across new landscaping ideas. When this happens, it’s important to be able to ground yourself by reviewing what you prioritized and why.
According to Houzz, about 60% to 70% of choices that get made impulsively cost more than what was included in the original budget. Sometimes, things are added on the spur of the moment because you discover they’re necessary. Other times, they’re not. So, review your priorities and make your decision thoughtfully based upon your original plan.
Next, determine how much you can realistically spend, keeping in mind how quality landscaping can add significant value to your home. Then, it might make sense to talk to several professional landscapers to get estimates. Professionals will also be able to let you know if your plans are realistic for your property. Even if you intend to do some of the work yourself, these professionals will likely share information you hadn’t yet considered. (Hiring them in the off-season might save you money, too.)
Add a cushion of 10% to 20% and then determine if you can fund this out of savings, or if you’ll need to finance any part of your landscaping plan.
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How Much Does Landscaping Cost?
Now that you’ve done preliminary landscape budget planning, here’s a look at the average cost of landscaping. Small projects — creating an average-sized flower bed or trimming shrubs, for example — might cost around $1,000 on average, with landscaping costs for larger, more complex projects being $10,000 or more.
If you’re planning a larger project, the American Society of Landscape Architects recommends that you budget your project at 10% to 20% of the value of your home.
If you plan to use a designer for your project, it might cost $50 to $150 per hour for a professional landscape architect to draw up plans, choose the plants, and find and purchase materials. For a small yard or garden space, the total cost might be between $400 to $1,800, depending on the complexity of the design.
What Is Landscaping Cost Per Square Foot?
According to HomeAdvisor, the cost of landscaping runs between $4 and $40 per square foot. For basic services and intermediate projects, such as aerating, flower planting, and installing garden beds, this range reduces to just $4 to $10 per square foot.
Landscaping costs are influenced by a variety of factors, including geography, type of project, and the materials used. Figuring out the dimensions of the project area can help figure out cost estimates.
Landscaping prices can exceed $10 per square foot when the job includes additional time, labor, or equipment to tear out and replace greenery or hardscape surfaces.
How Much Does New Landscaping Installation Cost?
Starting from scratch can be challenging, but having a blank slate opens up possibilities for curating your outdoor spaces.
To install landscaping staples, such as grass, walkways, basic shrubs, and a handful of trees, you can expect to pay between $3,000 and $15,000, depending on property size and personal preferences. The cost of new landscaping can go up significantly when components like fencing, sprinkler systems, and patios are tacked on.
Sometimes new landscaping is necessary due to a larger construction project like installing a pool or building an addition to your home. Consider how these improvements will impact your home value if using the 10% rule of thumb for budgeting landscaping costs.
What Will It Cost to Maintain Landscaping?
Often, maintaining what you have is less costly than installing new landscaping. The amount of maintenance you need will depend on landscape design, local climate, and how much of a DIY approach you’re comfortable with. For basic maintenance needs, budgeting between $100 to $200 per month for an average property is reasonable.
Lawn care is usually the most frequent maintenance task. If your property is a half-acre or smaller, each mowing could run between $25 and $50.
Mulching is another common maintenance job if your property’s landscaping includes younger trees, flower beds, or shrubs. Many hardware and garden stores sell mulch by the bag for a few dollars or offer bulk delivery by truck. Spreading the mulch yourself can further cut landscaping maintenance costs.
What Are Some Options to Finance a Landscaping Project?
If you’ve decided to invest in your home’s value through landscaping, but the price point is above what you can afford using savings alone, then it may make sense to weigh the pros and cons of using a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or a personal loan to pay for the landscaping.
Financing a Landscaping Project With a Home Equity Loan
In certain circumstances, a HELOC may make sense. If, for example, you have significant home equity and plan to borrow a large amount to fund landscaping costs, a HELOC may offer a relatively low interest rate. Plus, the payments could be tax deductible if the use of the funds meets IRS requirements. Something to keep in mind, however, is that with a HELOC, you may need to pay for an appraisal and go through a more detailed application and approval process than you might with an unsecured personal loan.
Financing a Landscaping Project With a Personal Loan
An advantage of using an unsecured personal loan is that it doesn’t tie up any equity in your home. Fees are typically less than a HELOC (in some cases no fees at all) and the application and approval processes are typically pretty fast. One disadvantage is that interest rates for unsecured personal loans can be higher than those for HELOCs because there is no collateral backing the loan.
Home renovations are one of the most efficient ways to boost home values, and landscaping can be an excellent way to improve both its appearance and value. Choosing a SoFi Personal Loan for your landscaping project may be a choice worth considering for multiple reasons. With a home improvement loan from SoFi, you won’t tie up equity in your home, interest rates are fixed, there are no fees, and the application process is quick.
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