How Much Does Landscaping Cost?

Navigating the process of selecting a landscaper can be quite a burden. Between all of the types of landscapers, different regions, and quality of work, it can be incredibly difficult to get a sense of what landscaping should cost. Our goal here is to at the very least give you a general sense of at least what one landscaping company here in Seattle costs. The pricing is far from definite because there are too many variables that impact the final cost, but here we hope to give some clarity about the types of things that impact those costs and what a typical Seattle home may expect for various landscaping projects.

Our pricing listed is for three main areas of focus:

Pricing Overview Landscape Design & Installation

cost of landscaping services

At Seattle Sustainable Landscapes, we try to be transparent about costs and expectations. The cost of landscaping services is influenced by a combination of factors, each playing a crucial role in determining the overall investment in your project. We also like our clients to keep in mind that we will not be the cheapest option. In landscaping, many are willing to cut corners. From not paying taxes, skipping steps in the installation process, poor communication, no overhead (still living at their parent’s house) to being naïve about how much it will cost them so they lose money on your project (or charge you more after you finish). There are countless reasons why companies have different pricing.

Here are several factors that can impact the price of your project:

  1. Scope of Project: The scale and intricacy of your landscaping project play a role in cost determination. Larger projects or those with intricate designs demand more resources, time, and expertise. The complexity of the designs impacts costs, as it influences the amount of labor, materials, and design effort required for successful execution.
  2. Material Choices: Our commitment to sustainability extends to offering a diverse range of materials at varying price points. We do not like to use cheap materials. Your choice of materials will directly impact the overall cost of the project. Additionally, there are often different materials that can be used to create a similar function – a gravel patio is less expensive than a paver patio because of labor, expertise required, and material costs.
  3. Design Complexity: The uniqueness and intricacy of your custom design can influence costs due to the additional design time and specialized materials required. Intricate features, personalized elements, and complex layouts contribute to the overall design complexity, impacting the resources needed for implementation. Often our customers opt for a less formal design approach to reduce these costs, think sketch instead of blueprint.
  4. Quality of Materials: Clients have the flexibility to choose between standard and premium quality materials. While premium materials may have a higher upfront cost, they often offer enhanced durability, aesthetics, and long-term value. Our team collaborates with you to strike the right balance between quality and budget, ensuring your project meets aesthetic and functional requirements. This can be the type of wood for a fence, the type of paver, or the maturity of a plant specimen, same use case different cost. Often these changes are negligible but there are times when a material change may be 10X the material cost.
  5. Access to Property: The topography and accessibility of your property can significantly affect project timelines and costs. Factors such as staircases, hills, fences, and gates impact our ease of access. In instances where access is challenging, additional time and effort may be required, potentially extending the project duration and influencing costs. Our team evaluates access conditions during the initial consultation to provide accurate estimates.
  6. Project Management: Certain projects may necessitate additional project management efforts to ensure smooth execution. Factors such as complex designs, intricate features, or the need for permitting can increase the level of project management required. The coordination of various elements, adherence to timelines, and obtaining necessary permits are essential aspects that contribute to project costs.

Another common example would be a complete refresh of a garden requires less project management than a more meticulous alteration of a mature densely planted garden.

At Seattle Sustainable Landscapes, our pricing structure reflects a commitment to quality, sustainability, and client satisfaction. By understanding and considering these factors, we work collaboratively with our clients to tailor landscaping solutions that not only meet their vision but also align with their budgetary expectations.

Service-Specific Pricing

Our goal here is to help share some typical expectations. These types of services can have a drastic range depending on all of the factors that we discuss throughout this page. We will know how this will apply directly to you once we have an opportunity to see your space and understand your needs. With that said, we hope this helps!

Landscape Design
Formal Design typically starts at $2,500 for small projects, prices increase with design complexity and property size. Often our clients prefer a less formal design process to reduce the costs. Formal design is usually incorporated into larger projects from $25,000 to $100,000+. We’ve found that most of our clients prefer the process that we lay out in our Design + Installation process which results in something that more closely resembles a sketch as opposed to a blueprint.
Native Plant Installation

Typically ranges from $5,000 to $10,000, depending on plant varieties and the area covered. This varies drastically depending on the plant budget and how detailed the client wants the design process. The maturity of the plants is a significant factor, there can be a difference in years of care for that plant at the grower and nursery, it also takes longer to install mature plants.

Irrigation Systems

Our typical irrigation system for a Seattle home is about $5-10K, but that varies on size and complexity. There are cheaper options for what we like to call a “homeowner special.” Some systems are significantly more expensive if they require many zones or have difficult terrain to navigate.

  • Some examples that could increase the cost:
    Significant elevation changes, going under or through retaining walls can be quite time-consuming.
  • Crossing barriers, and going under or through sidewalks, pathways, and driveways can impact the overall cost.
  • Varied plant needs, a common situation that leads to more work is having significantly different needs for the plants. You may want an extra small zone for edibles, or extra zones due to shade and sun areas. Spray zones and drip zones can be another factor a small patch of garden bed or lawn may need a new zone from a functionality standpoint. Ideally, these areas although small can be micromanaged to ensure sustainability and water efficiency.
  • Poor water conditions on the property. It is not uncommon for old houses to have galvanized pipes that are beginning to fail. Everything may have been replaced inside but the piping from the water meter to the house may be old and rusting causing it to close like a clogged artery. There are other reasons why water issues can occur, but bad water flow or pressure can result in additional zones being required.

Prices vary widely, from $5,000 for basic projects to $20,000+ for extensive hardscaping with premium materials. The starting point is typically about $40-50 per square foot for patios and pathways. Another under-considered factor is the difficulty of installation if we are using rectangular pavers on a curved pathway or patio many pieces need to be carefully cut which can significantly increase the time required for installation. Natural stone can have a huge variance. The difference between a stepping-stone path vs. an interconnect flagstone patio has a massive impact on labor and material costs. Gravel can be a great alternative to create a less expensive hardscape, but some decorative gravels are also quite expensive.

As patios get larger they tend to be cheaper by the square foot, so large patios are often less expensive per square foot.

  • Some factors that can impact the costs include:
    The shape of the patio. If you select a rectangular paver and a curved patio that will require additional cuts to the paver blocks resulting in additional work required in the installation and waste in the materials. Curved options are often lovely, but may cost more or be optimized with different pieces.
  • Size – the larger the patio the less it will cost by the square foot.
  • Access, patios require a lot of heavy material. A 100 square foot patio is ~7000 lbs of material. If the patio is a hard-to-reach area that will impact the cost. Also if it is easy to get heavy equipment on the property that can save a lot of time in the installation process.

Pricing of pathways is interesting because of the variance in material options. Pathways can be made out of mulch, gravel, flagstones, bricks, pavers, decking, and concrete. The pricing varies significantly depending on that. Additionally, the depth of the pathway can vary between 2”-8” and it may or may not have edging or need a retaining wall. A small pathway could easily range between $500 and $5,000. If you have a long and wide pathway it can be significantly more than that.

There can be a significant difference between a steppingstone pathway in which settling is not a concern and a formally installed walkway. I often like to think of these as ranging from $20-60/ft^2.

Pathways are very similar in terms of the cost factors to a patio, they are often the exact same installation process, and vary based on these factors:

  • The shape of the pathway. If you select a rectangular paver and a curved pathway that will require additional cuts to the paver blocks resulting in additional work required in the installation and waste in the materials. Given the ratio of edges to middle sections comparing patios and pathways curves are an even more significant factor for rectangular pavers. We tend to do a majority of flagstone pathways because they are beautiful a very functional when it comes to meandering and curved pathways.
  • Size–the larger the pathway the less it will cost by the square foot. The width of a pathway is a significant factor.
  • Access, pathways require a lot of heavy material. If the pathway is in a hard-to-reach area that will impact the cost. Similar to patios, good access for heavy equipment can reduce costs.
  • Stepping stones instead of solid pathways. This is an exceptional way to reduce costs. Often the base does not need to be as thick because settling is less of a factor for stepping stones given the gaps in between shifting tend to be less of a factor compared to a contiguous section of the pathway.
Fence Installation

Fence pricing can vary significantly. An easy rule of thumb is $100 per linear foot, but the styles, materials, and total project size can impact the overall cost.The common factors of access, overall size, and material selection play a role here as well.

Lighting Systems

Our typical installation for a Seattle home is about 15 lights for $10,000K. Again, this can vary significantly based on materials, difficulty of installation, number of lights, functionality and more. Lighting functionality has continued to improve, now you can have an app on your phone that will control the color of the lights, the brightness of the lights and turn certain sections of lights on and off independently.

Landscape Design
Formal Design typically starts at $2,500 for small projects, prices increase with design complexity and property size. Often our clients prefer a less formal design process to reduce the costs. Formal design is usually incorporated into larger projects from $25,000 to $100,000+. We’ve found that most of our clients prefer the process that we lay out in our Design + Installation process which results in something that more closely resembles a sketch as opposed to a blueprint.

Pricing can vary widely, it may range from $1,000 to move a downspout to 10’s of thousands for a substantial drainage project like a large French drain. The reason why is that the scope of work can be a 4” wide by 12” deep trench that goes into a small catch basin. Or maybe a 3’ wide by 3’ deep trench that wraps all the way around a house.

Pergola Installation

Pricing often falls in the $10-15K range for a pergola. As with all landscaping, the materials and size can make a huge impact on the overall cost.

Get a Customized Estimate

Every project is unique, and so is its cost. Contact us to discuss your landscaping needs, and we’ll provide a detailed, personalized estimate.

Begin Your Sustainable Landscaping Journey

Transform your outdoor space with Seattle Sustainable Landscapes. Reach out today for a consultation and a custom quote tailored to your specific needs and budget.

From Our Clients

“This has been my favorite home improvement project. This company literally made me a yard where there previously was overgrowth, concrete, large stumps and rocks. They were able to complete the project on time and their cost was much more reasonable than others I interviewed. The project lead Fernando was hard working and communicative. The owner David (and Jeff previously) as well as the GM Chris all stayed in touch throughout the project. I would definitely use them for other projects in the future”

Monica C.

“The team put in an irrigation system in our front and back yard, cleaned everything up and added many new plants to the sunny and shady areas around our home. The owner was very personable, explained everything well and did exactly what he said he was going to do. He was fantastic to work with. His team was wonderful, super hard workers, and very friendly. They helped create color and beauty in every nook and cranny of our yard. My husband and I are very thankful we used this company.”

Jacqueline H.

“Happy with my choice. I had a very small townhouse backyard that was a bit of a mess (low quality builder-grade plantings) and had somewhat of an idea what to do with it. They provided good advice and the final result turned out very well. Finished ahead of schedule too! One year later and I'm still happy with the result. I definitely won't forget the attention and responsiveness of this company. Thanks a bunch! ”

Heidi W.

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