Landscape Timbers Price Guide
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Landscape timbers are used to build planter boxes and raised beds for gardening. They can also be used to separate areas where plants are growing from areas of grass where children and pets are allowed to play. Landscape timbers can be used to form a retaining wall, reinforce a slope, make garden steps, build a picnic table or bench, or edge flower beds and paths.
Landscape timbers come in a variety of colors and materials. They are generally available in either 4-foot or 8-foot lengths, and unlike a plain log, these timbers are flat on the top and bottom so that they can be stacked or laid side by side for building. Treated timbers will last for an average of seven years before they need to be replaced, making them a cost-effective landscaping solution over materials that need replacements or repairs on a yearly basis.
- The average cost of treated landscape timbers is $1,420 for 175 linear feet.
- Most property owners pay $400 on average for 50 linear feet of treated landscape timbers.
- The average cost of untreated landscape timbers is $1,250 for 175 linear feet.
- The cost most property owners pay for untreated landscape timbers is $300, which covers 50 linear feet.
- The average cost of synthetic landscape timbers is $525, which covers 175 linear feet.
- The cost for 50 linear feet of synthetic landscape timbers is $150 on average.
Types of Landscape Timbers
There are two basic varieties of landscape timbers: synthetic and natural. Recycled plastic timbers are the most common type of synthetic log. Natural timbers are comprised of various types of wood. Untreated timbers are usually made of redwood or cedar and have some natural resistance to fungal growth, moisture and temperature extremes. These woods have a pleasing color, but they can also be painted to match other landscaping features.
Treated wood is the most common type of landscape timber used in the U.S. The logs are treated with oil-based preservatives that help stave off the growth of mold and fungi as well as damage that results from exposure to moisture, sun and air.
Benefits of Landscape Timbers
No matter what type of landscape timber a property owner selects, they all offer many benefits. These include:
- Landscape timbers are generally long lasting. The type made of recycled plastic could last for several decades while still retaining its appearance.
- Raised beds made of landscape timbers reduce the amount of weeding that needs to be done while allowing for an extended growing season and easier access to the plants.
- Landscape timbers are an economical choice and may cost less than what a property owner would pay for the same linear footage of brick, concrete curbing or other materials.
Choosing Landscape Timbers
Property owners who want to use landscaping timbers around a garden may prefer to avoid the chemical aspects of treated wood and instead opt for untreated or plastic timbers. When building a bench, steps, retaining wall, table or another structure out of landscape timbers, the durability and sturdiness of treated wood is a desirable option.
If landscape timbers are being used to create a path or delineate areas of the property for different purposes, wood timbers are preferable to plastic because the wood is easier to cut to size. When a natural landscaping timber begins to deteriorate, property owners should promptly replace the decaying log because pests such as carpenter ants and termites are attracted to decaying wood.
Installing Treated Wood Landscape Timbers
Some property owners find that wood treated with creosote or pentachlorophenol results in oils that coat the roots, stems and leaves of nearby plants. Creosote and pentachlorophenol may also release an odor that is offensive to sensitive individuals. Landscaping timbers that were treated with copper, chromium and arsenic mixtures should not be used around plants for human consumption. If handling landscaping timbers themselves, property owners should wear gloves to reduce their chemical exposure.
Home or property owners considering a project that makes use of landscaping timbers will need to consider additional costs besides the actual timbers.
- Some companies may charge a delivery fee based on the weight or the linear footage of the timbers.
- Having a landscaping crew place the timbers or build a structure such as a flower bed, path or a retaining wall out of the timbers will add to the cost of the project.
- If the area where the landscape timbers are to be placed is not level or has drainage problems, this will need to be addressed before the timbers are laid; otherwise, the timbers may deteriorate, rot or shift out of place. Leveling the soil and improving drainage can also add to the project cost.
Although there are many factors to consider when budgeting a home improvement project involving landscape timbers, the final result can be an attractive and functional barrier for use in any yard.
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Last updated on Sep 12, 2014