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How Much Does A Landscape Designer Cost?

Most homeowners spend between $2,611 to $4,546 nationally.
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Beyond the trees and through the rough, there is a beautiful landscape in all backyards. That picture may not always be clear to the untrained eye. Fortunately, landscape designers are taught to see what others can’t and bring that picture to life. See why more homeowners are hiring landscaping designers and what their paying to hire local landscaping services.

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National Hire a Landscape Designer Costs

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Median Cost


Minimum Cost


Maximum Cost
Average Range:


National Average Cost $4,121
Minimum Cost $55
Maximum Cost $11,404
Average Range $2,611 to $4,546
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How do we get this data? This info is based on 1713 cost profiles, as reported by ImproveNet members.

Table of Contents

  1. Landscape Designers Cost
  2. Landscape Designer Cost Factors
  3. Why Hire Landscape Designers
  4. Landscape Designer Costs Vs. Landscape Architect Costs
  5. What’s Included In The Cost For Landscape Design?
  6. Landscape Design Plans
  7. Landscape Designers Beyond Planning
  8. Consider Xeriscaping
  9. Associated Landscape Design Costs
  10. Find Landscape Designers

Landscape Designers Cost

While there are many cost factors that affect the final landscape designer price, the average cost to hire a landscape designer is approximately $4,200. Bear in mind, fees vary considerably based on project and location. As you might expect, landscape designers in New York cost as little more than landscape designers in Albuquerque. In fact, the most in-depth projects may cost more than $10,000 to plan. Luckily, the best designers can optimize the use of space and materials to make the most of your budget.

While the total cost of landscape design should stay the same, designers have a few different cost structures. Some landscape designers have a fixed cost per project, while others charge by the hour ($50 - $100), day or square footage. It’s essential to know the pricing structure before you begin. This way, there won’t be any surprise fees during or after the project.

Landscape Designer Cost Factors

Landscape Designer Cost Factors

Several core considerations play a dominant role in shaping the final landscape design bill. If you want to limit your landscape design cost, bear all in mind as you search and negotiate with local landscape designers.

  1. Size of Project
  2. Scope of Project
  3. Education & Experience
  4. Permits

Size of Project

First and foremost, the size of your front or backyard will affect the cost for landscape design. Just like building a house, designing a larger yard costs more than a smaller yard. Clearly, we can’t change the size of our yards, but we can alter what’s included in the project. If you need to limit new landscaping costs, remove the front yard or a certain area in the backyard.

Scope of Project

All landscape designs were not created equal. For example, the wholesale redesign of a 5,000sf landscape with special features like a fish pond or gazebo will cost more than a plan for a small, decorative garden in your front yard. Other special features include flower beds, retaining walls or tree removal. Just know, each additional feature brings additional costs.

Education & Experience

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.

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 quality reviews.


Depending on your current landscape and the scope of your new landscape, you may need a permit before you begin. Permit prices vary by state and city, so it can be hard to estimate the average permit cost. Nonetheless, looking at national averages, permit prices range from $398 to $1,561, with an average cost of $979.

An easy way to save money on your permit is applying for it yourself. Most contractors will offer this service, but that of course comes with extra costs.

Why Hire A Landscape Designers

Why Hire Landscape Designers

Put simply, landscape designers can save you a lot of money over the life or your landscape. 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 over time.

Landscape designers know what can and can not be built. You may have a few crazy ideas in your head, but a professional landscape designer can take the feasible ideas and turn it into a reality. Working with landscapers all their lives, they know what will or will not work.

Additionally, landscape designers know all there is to know about plants, how they grow, where they grow best and how all fit into your overall landscape design. They’ll know what plants will look like in different seasons and what materials are compatible with your site.

Landscape designers can also help you come up with a budget after the design is finished. Since they have worked with builders and landscapers, they know the required services and all landscaping costs. Therefore, when you’re gathering multiple bids to turn the design into reality, their expertise could ensure you’re not getting ripped off.

Finally, some landscape designers offer more than just design services. We will get into specifics below, but many landscape designers offer project management beyond the design. This perk does cost more, but if you loved what they did with the design, it makes sense to keep them on until all is completed.

Landscape Designer Costs Vs. Landscape Architect Costs

While searching for a reputable landscape designer near you, you may come across a few landscape architects as well. They sound similar, but landscape designers and landscape architects serve different purposes and come with different costs.

Landscape Designers

Landscape Architects

Chooses plants that are native & aesthetically pleasing

Licensed & trained

Plans for new materials

Plans landscaping features

Guides landscapers

Works on larger restructuring projects

First off, landscape designers are more affordable than landscape architects. Landscape architects typically have additional education, certifications and licensure.

A landscape architect is a licensed professional who’s had training designing slopes, walls, outdoor structures and more. That license makes all the difference when it comes to the average landscape architect cost. These architects focus on altering the land so it’s safe and beautiful for all to enjoy.

While landscape designers hold some similarities, their work is much different. Having a license is not a requirement for a landscape designer, though they will have training. Landscape designers know the plants that are native to your area and what will work best in your backyard. Landscape designers choose what materials are ideal for the climate and makes sure the work is done as planned.

To see really what makes each unique, please refer to the video below:

What’s Included In The Cost For Landscape Design?

Every landscape design contract can be customized to fit your budget and your backyard remodel. Nonetheless, most landscape design contracts include the following:

  • Preparation of structural & material specifications
  • Creation of a budget
  • Designer's expertise

Additionally, most 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 (like you see on HGTV). Once your landscape designer proposes a plan, they should offer a realistic estimate that gives you an idea of the total project cost (labor prices included).

Landscape Design Plans

A quality landscape design is more than a drawing on paper. Just like a floor plan, a real landscape design includes a visual representation, whether on paper or via online, of your backyard using scaled dimensions. Beyond the actual footprint, real landscape plans add in everything you currently see in your backyard, such as flowers, trees, furniture, sheds and anything else you can think of.

Beyond what you can see, landscape designs also look at sun and shade, wet spots and privacy concerns. As you might expect, these aspects can and will affect what materials you use. Luckily, a trained landscape designer will know what materials to use based on the situation and climate in question.

To see how the pros actually form a landscape plan, please see Landscaping Network.

Landscape Design Plans

Landscape Designers Beyond Planning

The design phase of your renovation is just one step in the landscaping process. While some landscape designers only handle the planning, as we said earlier, others 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 should expect to pay between 10% and 20% for these supervisory services on top of material costs and subcontractor labor. Nonetheless, 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 homeowners. Some landscaping plans are even provided for free. While this sounds like a great deal, 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.

Consider Xeriscaping

If you’re working on a brand new backyard, you should consider macro-level improvements. If your city or state does not experience a lot of rain, has a water shortage or if you just want to improve climate change, you should consider xeriscaping.

Simply, xeriscaping is landscaping your yard in ways that reduce or eliminate the need for water. Beyond improving our planet, xeriscaping brings a host of advantages to all that install.

  1. Increases Property Value: Depending your area, good xeriscaping can significantly raise your property values (especially in dryer states).
  2. Saves Water: Xeriscaping can reduce landscape water by as much as 75%!
  3. Less Maintenance: Compared to landscapes that do not take advantage of xeriscaping, xeriscaped-yards require less maintenance.
  4. No fertilizers or pesticides: Finally, using plants native to your area will reduce the need for chemical supplements. This is not only cheaper, but also better for the environment.

Landscape Designers Beyond Planning

Associated Landscape Design Costs

If you’re considering hiring a landscape designer, other landscaping costs will come into play as well. After all, depending on their recommendation, extravagant landscapes can cost upwards of $10,000 to remodel or install. Therefore, before you hire a landscape designer, you should have a rough idea of some of the costs that could follow:


Minimum Cost

Maximum Cost

Mulch Delivery



Install Seeds



Landscape Curbing



Reslope Lawn



Install Water Fountain



Install Sod



Install Stone or Brick Wall



Install Artificial Grass or Turf



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Landscape designers bring your bold and bright backyard ideas to fruition. If you want to really upgrade your backyard this season, we can help. ImproveNet makes it easy to find reliable landscape designers in your area, for free!

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