How Much Do Landscape Boulders Cost?
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When most people think of landscaping projects, they imagine new sod, grass or fencing. However, landscaping rocks can add a new level of interest you didn’t know was possible. From crushed gravel walkways all the way up to enormous landscaping boulders, rock can be an eco-friendly and eye-catching addition to almost any outdoor space.
After reviewing the average landscaping boulder costs below, let ImproveNet connect you with up to four landscaping pros in your area!
Table of Contents
- Landscape Boulders Cost
- Landscape Boulders Installation Price
- Landscape Boulders Cost Factors
- Landscaping Rocks Advantages
- Landscaping Rocks Disadvantages
- Landscape Boulder Types
- Landscape Boulder Uses
- How To Choose The Right Landscape Boulder
- Where To Buy Landscape Boulders
- DIY Or Hire A Pro?
- Find A Landscaping Pro
Landscape Boulders Cost
Based on national research, the average costs for landscape boulders are:
- Average Minimum Cost of Landscaping Boulders: $100 per ton
- Average Maximum Cost of Landscaping Boulders: $600 per ton
Trying to pin down the exact cost of a landscaping boulder can be tricky, because a lot of the price depends on whether you use materials native to your city. For example, shipping a giant boulder across the country would be incredibly expensive, but bringing one from a nearby quarry a few miles away is a lot more affordable.
On average, however, buyers should expect to purchase boulders by the ton. Prices tend to start at $100 per ton and go all the way up to $600 per ton for unique colors or unusual arched shapes.
Landscape Boulders Installation Price
Thanks to the sheer size and weight of landscaping boulders, professional delivery and installation is almost always a necessity for homeowners. Even a boulder that could fit in the back of a car, for example, might weigh down the whole vehicle and probably, could not be removed by an average group of men. Therefore, it’s important to calculate delivery and installation costs when budgeting for landscaping boulders. Simply unloading a large boulder onto the desired spot on the property can cost as little as $40, and it’s almost always under $200, unless the boulder needs to be stacked, arranged or partially buried.
Landscape Boulders Cost Factors
As you’ve already seen, there are many factors that can increase or decrease your landscaping boulder price. Nonetheless, there are a few other cost considerations you can take advantage of to lower your landscape rock cost.
Number of Boulders
Needless to say, the more boulders you buy, the more you’re going to pay. While some suppliers or landscaping companies may offer certain bulk discounts, you’re still going to pay more for additional boulders.
Size of Boulders
All boulders and crushed stone were not created equal. Some are wider on bottom, making them very difficult to carry. Some are bigger and some are smaller. Once again, to no surprise, the heavier they are, the more expensive your landscape boulder cost will be.
Delivery & Installation
Most landscaping suppliers and companies offer installation as part of the landscape boulder price. If you do choose this option, delivery can really drive up the cost. This carries an even bigger impact if you’re delivering boulders from the other side of the country. The farther it goes, the more it costs.
Remember, these boulders are heavy. While you may think it’s worth delivering all boulders yourself, don’t underestimate the pure weight of these terrific landscaping features.
There are five dominant types of landscaping boulders, all coming in with different price points. We’ll jump into each type below, but just remember, if you want to keep costs down, go with simple shapes. Heavier and intricately designed boulders cost more.
When your boulder has to travel a long distance or go through multiple hands before landing in your yard, the overall price will go up. That’s why we always recommend you buy from a local landscaping boulder supplier. It limits the delivery costs and you’ll have a chance to negotiate the price. You won’t have the same options when you go through a landscaping company.
DIY or Hire A Pro
No matter what landscaping project you’re undertaking, every professional landscaper deserves fair compensation. However, if you forgo professional help, you will undoubtedly save money. However, you’ll have to call in some favors from a few strong friends.
Landscaping Rocks Advantages
Despite their high cost and demanding delivery process, people around the country are installing landscaping boulders, as well as river rocks. That’s because they bring a myriad of benefits with them.
Perhaps the most obvious reason to use boulders in landscaping is for the majestic and grand focal point they create in an outdoor space. In an otherwise ordinary garden, for example, a giant boulder will be an eye-catching addition and a conversation piece.
Boulders also tend to grow moss and lichen on their surface, which changes colors over time and reflects the seasons in a beautiful way. While some homeowners think that boulders simply won't work on their property or with their landscape design, the reality is that boulders come in all sizes, shapes and types of rock. You can find landscape boulders in white, black or even red, which means they work with homes in desert landscapes as well as evergreen forests. Finally, landscaping boulders cut down on water usage, and they may take the place of a large tree in an area where rainfall is limited.
Landscaping Rocks Disadvantages
While the pros of using landscaping boulders are numerous, there are also some drawbacks to adding these big items to a property. First and foremost, as you’ve read a few times by now, boulders are very heavy. This is not a one-person DIY job. If you do not hire pros, you need friends to help with installation.
Furthermore, landscape boulders do change color and even fade over time. This can be disconcerting, especially if you paid more for that lavish red color.
Finally, it’s hard to picture landscape boulders in your yard before they’re actually installed. That’s why we highly recommend you contact a landscape designer before buying landscape boulders.
Landscape Boulder Types
To many, a boulder is a round, large landscaping rock. While the size can fluctuate, as mentioned above, the actual shape can also vary from the more traditional round design. There are five general categories of boulder shapes, and most landscaping boulders can fit into one of the following categories:
- Low Vertical Boulder: Wider than it is tall
- Tall Vertical Boulder: Upright, taller than it is wide
- Arching Boulder: AKA Thrusting Stone, has a curved top
- Flat Boulder: Low profile, flat surface
- Reclining Boulder: Higher on one side than the other
Landscape Boulder Uses
There are dozens of different ways to use landscape boulders in your yard. While placing a large boulder in the middle of a grassy lawn might not strike you as artistic or elegant, large landscaping boulders can be a wonderful addition with a little bit of thought and creativity. Here are just a few of the most common ways homeowners around you are using landscape boulders:
- Large flat boulders used as seating
- To create a separation of spaces
- As a statement piece
- Surrounding a pool or as river stones
- As a retaining wall
- As a large planter
- Flanking natural stone steps
How To Choose The Right Landscape Boulder
Since boulders can vary so substantially in color and size, it can feel overwhelming when it comes time to choose just one or two for the entire landscape. While the right boulder can greatly improve the appeal of an outdoor space, the wrong one can take away from the area's beauty.
Since boulders are so heavy, getting it right the first time is important. Returning a boulder is not as simple as returning a piece of furniture from a local retailer. When picking landscaping boulders, think about where it will be used as well as what the objective will be. Then, consider which colors look best in the landscape and what the budget will be.
Note: Caliche boulders, made from calcium carbonate compressed underground, are a light gray color and are typically the most affordable option for homeowners.
Where To Buy Landscape Boulders
Unlike countertops or cabinets, there is not an endless supply of landscaping boulder manufacturers near you. It takes research to find the best boulders for the best possible price. Nonetheless, we of course have a few pointers when it comes to actually purchasing new landscape rocks.
While driving to your nearest Home Depot may be easier, big box retail stores do not know boulders like real landscaping suppliers. In fact, since they are hard to move, many retail shops do not stock a large variety of boulders, vastly limiting your options. All in all, we always recommend you find a local stone manufacturer and buy your landscape boulders from them. You won’t only have more options, but the price per ton should be less.
As you browse, remember that your landscape boulder will look very different in your actual yard. If you need help picturing large, irregular rocks in your yard, it may pay to contact a landscaping architect.
DIY Or Hire A Pro?
Unlike electrical projects, installing landscape boulders is not complicated. It is, however, very demanding. Some of these rocks weight more than 100 lbs. Professional landscaping companies and rock manufacturers have tools to carry the large load.
Given the strength needed to move all those boulders, we recommend hiring a pro.
Find A Landscaping Pro
Landscape boulders beautify any yard like no other landscaping feature. If you’re convinced the benefits outweigh investment, let us help you get in touch with up to four local landscaping companies.
Get free estimates from local landscaping contractors
Last updated on Mar 1, 2017