Question by homebuyeratl: What is a fair price to pay for a landscape master plan?
I have a yard with a lot of large trees, but limited shrubs. I want to add 50-75 plants of the 1-3 gallon size.
I can do the planting myself, but was wondering what a fair price is to have a landscaper come out and draw up a plan that is ideal to constraints such as day-time shade, water run-off, the mature size of the plant, etc.
The property is less than half an acre, and already has several established trees.
Answer by www.hort.net
Of course, I’m going to give the typical ‘it all depends’ answer.
If you’re going for something big with hardscapes, water features, etc. you can expect to pay a lot of money — $ 10K wouldn’t be unreasonable.
It sounds like you just want to have some plants put in where they’ll grow best, which would be much cheaper.
There are two factors that will impact the price: the quality of drawing and the level of plant knowledge that the designer has.
The latter is probably more important, so make sure that whoever you pick knows what the plants need to survive and also has a good knowledge of less common species. Many designers have a limited plant palette and will only choose plants available from a big box stores. Of course, only picking those plants *will* keep the price down, so maybe that’s advantageous. I prefer a more diverse palette for wildlife, disease protection, and the ‘wow’ factor.
If you live anywhere near a college (including community colleges) or a university, see if you can hire a landscape architecture (LA) or horticulture student. Ask to see their work beforehand and offer $ 200 or so. A student in LA will be happy to get the experience and fodder for their portfolio.
Another option is to approach a nursery. Many nurseries have designers on-staff who might work up a free (or really cheap) plan if you use their stock. Just make sure that they’re reputable or else they’ll try pawning their excess stock off on you.
If you’re just paying a hobbyist, $ 200-$ 500 would probably be fine. Again, it depends on how detailed the drawings have to be, etc. Figure $ 25/hour for the work. This is generally what I charge. It goes up if I need to provide cross-sectional views and/or drawings, if I need to survey the property for elevation changes, and if I need construction details for decks/benches/patios, etc.
If you hire a professional designer I think it would be in the $ 1000-$ 1500 range, or $ 2500 if you hire an actual landscape architect.
These prices could be slightly higher or lower depending on your location. If you’re more rural expect them to drop a little.
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!