How to Estimate the Cost of Your Landscape Design

How much will your landscape design cost? From small jobs to elaborate designs, calculating the cost is quite complex. With the wrong calculations, you could be left paying more than expected and racking up unwanted debt. You can also set yourself up for despair if you miscalculate prices of goods and services and plan too quickly.

If your budget is low, you can opt for free design plans; however, this could set you up for disaster. With so many factors and things to worry about, hiring a professional may be a wise choice. Depending on the size of your design, you could potentially take care of it yourself, but save the bigger jobs for the experts who know how to get the job done correctly.

Even if you go with a professional, you should be able to estimate the cost so you can prepare in advance. Many homeowners do not have large budgets and need to save over time. By estimating the approximate cost, you can put away a little money each month and save up for your project. Tip: Always overestimate! If you ever tackled a home project you know that 99% of the time it goes over budget.

Scope of project

As stated before, the overall size of your property and scope of project will be one of the largest factors in determining the total cost of your project. Landscape design is priced by the sq.ft. Assess the size of the project, whether your entire yard or a small garden plot, and write out an itemized list of everything you will need.

Features

Figure out which features you would like installed in your landscape. Consider every detail from large additions to small features such as fountains and decorative rocks. This is where the money adds up. If you are not familiar with the prices of these items, you can seriously miscalculate.

If you do not know which features you want, start by defining an overall style. Do you like elegant landscapes? Serene? Zen-like? Once you determine your style, research and find images online of landscapes you like. Write down the features present in your images and compile a list of must-haves, possible, and maybes. List the approximate prices of each to get an idea of your overall budget. Don’t forget to include installation costs, lighting, and any other associated costs like drainage and wiring.

Lighting

Once you map out your features, consider the type of lighting. If you have a focal point, spotlight it for maximum effect. Ensure your landscape is safe with the proper amount of illumination on driveways, walkways, path and steps. Consider solar or low-voltage LED lights to save money on energy. Add up your fixtures and approximate the prices.

The Estimate

Your landscape professional will offer you a detailed plan of your design and instructions if you choose to do the work yourself. This cost of material and labor will be added to the estimate if you hire him/her to complete the job. If you can find a professional who designs and does the installation, you may save money on your project. Ask about packages as well since many designers offer discounts for bulk purchases. Good luck!

 

How to Select the Right Plants for Your Landscape

Your plants are the essence of your landscape. They provide the bulk of the design and cater to the overall style and feel of the space.

Due to the importance of plants and the role they play in landscape design, many homeowners get stuck in the selection phase because they are afraid to make a mistake. They plot and plan but never arrive at the buying phase as they are trying to perfect their designs for fear of making a wrong choice.

Fortunately, most plants can be changed if they do not work out so don’t sweat the small stuff. Additionally, if you take the time to consider only the essentials, you will feel more prepared to make your selections.

Here are some tips to starting the process:

Theme

Choose plants that compliment your overall design theme. What is your style? Are you drawn to romantic shapes? A streamlined, clean look? Research each plant online before purchasing to view how they look and their overall style. If you feel you are over your head, consider hiring a professional or search for your style first and see what comes up for plants in that particular theme.

Use

Use is one of the most important aspects of landscape design because it allows a plant’s true function to materialize. When contemplating how you will use a plant, ask yourself these questions:

Do you need plants around your focal points?
Is the soil string enough for the plants to grow in their locations?
How large will the plant grow and will it ever overpower items around it?
Will they be used to cover up an eyesore?
Are you creating an entertainment space?

As you can see, there are many questions to answer when choosing your plants. But, don’t get overwhelmed. Think about your unique landscape and walk yourself through each area while asking yourself questions like the ones above. Don’t get too stuck in the details though or you will never get it accomplished.

The Future

While choosing plants for the present, you must also consider the future. Think about how large the plants will grow and if they will crowd out other features. Determine the light each plant will need and plant them accordingly so they are allowed to flourish in their environment. Consider their maintenance and whether you are willing to take the extra time to keep them beautiful. If not, stick with low-maintenance plants and shrubs. Also, find out the type of soil in which they thrive and their ideal climate for growth. There is nothing worse than choosing a lot of plants and seeing them die along with your hard work.

Consistency

Lastly, make sure each plant is similar so your entire landscape looks like one cohesive whole. They should be of a similar style even though they may appear different. Exercise smooth transitions from one plant to the next and be careful about adding any plant that doesn’t look like it belongs. It will stick out like an eyesore.

Consult with a landscape design professional if any part of the project feels too overwhelming. It’s better to get expert help than to put it off. In the end, you will be happy you did.