How well your home is landscaped has a significant impact on the overall appeal of your property. Sadly, most new homeowners fail to appreciate the impact that high-quality outdoor landscaping can have.

This guide will explain typical landscaping jobs and what their respective prices are. Landscaping can involve a variety of different materials including steel, brick, concrete, wood and more, so it helps to be able to appreciate the different pricing components for each project.

Landscaping is also quite a broad term. We’re going to explore the costs for the various kinds of landscaping projects so you have a better idea of what the cost really includes.

Different types of landscaping

What exactly is landscaping anyway? Sure, it concerns the movement of earth and the levelling or sloping of areas, but that only forms a foundation for what goes on top.

We can’t really talk about the cost of landscaping until we define the exact type of landscaping job. Typical jobs involved in a wider landscaping project might include:

  • Timber decking and patios
  • Pergolas, verandahs, gazebos, and arbours
  • Synthetic turf
  • Natural turf
  • Excavation work
  • Driveways
  • Planting of trees, bushes. and vegetation
  • Design and consultation
  • Drafting, blueprints, and 3D drawings
  • Ponds, pools, and water features
  • Statues and other design features
  • Retaining walls

We’re taking a wide definition of landscaping to include all of the above. Some people believe that landscaping refers only to the alteration of the earth, as the land is literally being sculpted.

This is a major consideration. However, a landscaping professional can provide you with a vision and also supply the tradespeople who can complete connected activities such as concrete professionals for the driveways, carpenters for the outdoor wooden structures, and gardeners for planting trees.

This means that you can have all the activities coordinated under one professional, often at a better price than you would get if you hired them all separately. It will also be done more efficiently.

After all, swimming pools and retaining walls are part of the landscape. If you try to build them after the initial landscaping, it could upset the overall look and feel of the area, especially if it’s done wrong!

The cost of general landscaping services

Landscaping is often broken into landscape design, landscape construction, and landscape horticulture. You’ll pay around $800 for a basic set of drawings and $3,000-6,000 for a much more detailed series of 3D renderings. This is the landscape design stage, and its importance cannot be understated. Without the correct visualisation, you won’t get the landscaping that your home deserves.

For the landscaping construction elements, there are many phases. We’ve broken that down into separate elements in the table below. You have many options when it comes to landscape construction, and the price can balloon outward if you don’t pay close attention to them. It’s the additional features that can really add to cost.

Landscape horticulture refers to the initial planting of trees and foliage (and the careful selection of them in the first place). It also refers to the maintenance of the garden. You might pay between $2,000-4,000 for the planting of trees, bushes, and shrubs. The hourly rates for garden maintenance services are about $40-60. Garden maintenance jobs might include lawn mowing, watering, fertilization, trimming, pruning, and weed removal.

Landscaping can also be broken up into softscaping and hardscaping. Softscaping refers to the green elements such as trees, earth, and shrubs. Hardscaping refers to structural elements such as decking, driveways, pools, and pergolas.

The cost of various landscaping projects

There are so many kinds of outdoor improvements that you can do that you need to really think clearly and visualise what you are looking for. You also want to pay close attention to costs. These projects are best done in the initial stages when you are doing the landscaping.

There are various reasons for completing these projects while doing the wider landscaping project. It makes it more affordable, and it’s also easier to adhere to various council requirements regarding the size of outdoor improvements.

The costs in the table below are priced per square metre and are for both supply and installation. This serves to give you a better indication depending on the size of your outdoor area. Note that sloping sites or sites that are difficult to landscape (hard to access, rock beds underneath, uneven terrain) will require additional work and costs.

Landscaping Project Low End Medium High End
Timber Decking $200 $300 $400
Plain Concrete Driveway $50 $75 $90
Exposed Aggregate Concrete Driveway $100 $125 $150
Artificial Grass $40 $60 $80
Natural Grass $10 $25 $40
Retaining Wall $150 $250 $350
Pergola $15 $30 $45

What is the price for landscaping a new home?

If you’ve bought a new home and are trying to figure out how much you’ll pay for landscaping, a general rule of thumb is between 5-10%. This means that if you are building a house for $800,000, you can expect to pay $40,000-80,000 for a decent garden landscape.

Obviously, this is quite a general figure. But if you’re building a high-quality house, then you need to create a landscape to match. This figure will cover decking, driveways, and patios.

This is also not a completely sunk cost. Landscaping can add about 5-8% to the resale value of a property, so it’s well worth the investment. Just be sure to factor in the cost of maintenance, which can add up over time.

Can I do the landscaping myself to reduce the costs?

Most projects are too big and have too many moving parts. It can also be quite boring for those without an active interest – you’re literally moving dirt around in most cases. And it’s quite frustrating being unable to get the right slope and gradient on the earth after hours of work.

The benefit of hiring a landscaping professional is not just that each job will be done well. It’s more that the entire project will be perfectly coordinated and will come together beautifully. It’s pretty much impossible to manage the various aspects well unless you have significant experience. You need to obtain council approvals, source the materials, hire the contractors, and do it all in the right order to a good standard. It’s a lot of work!

How can I reduce the costs of landscaping?

There are some ways you can actually reduce the cost of landscaping. One way is to work with a high-quality landscaping service so you get things right from the outset. Clear planning and understanding the industry are actually the main priority here. And it’s a good thing you found this article, as it is the first step into gaining a deeper understanding of what landscaping entails and how much you’ll pay.

For reducing costs, think long term. If you really want to have a giant and lush green garden, you’re going to pay a fortune over the years in watering, weeding, fertilization, mowing, and maintenance costs. Artificial grass is a more cost-effective approach. The same applies to composite decking over hardwood; hardwood decking won’t last as long and requires more maintenance.

Where possible, opt for a long-term, sustainable approach to reduce the costs of landscaping. A well-designed landscape might cost more upfront but save money in maintenance costs as well as increasing the resale value of your home. Think more creatively: it may be better to increase cost short term if it creates value or saves you money over the long term.

How can I calculate my landscaping cost?

There is no standard price of landscaping per square metre. This would not make sense because landscaping can include various projects like timber decking, concrete driveways, or pools, all of which have vastly different prices on a square metre basis. But it’s still useful to know the total area that needs to be landscaped and the projects you are looking to undertake. This should give you a ballpark figure.

You’ll want to identify what specific outdoor projects you are looking for (decking, driveway, plants, and trees) and investigate the cost for each of these individually. When you have more of an idea, you can then approach a landscaping specialist to coordinate all of the activities and for further advice and clarification regarding costs and execution.

Remember that a landscape designer can only give you what you are looking for. So you need to be clear about what it is that you are actually looking for. Do you want a sustainable garden, a garden for kids to play in, an elaborate outdoor space, or a private area for close friends and family? The more clear the picture, the more accurate the end result.

Where can I find a high-quality landscaping service in Sydney?

You have already found them at Manna Landscapes. We specialise in providing beautifully designed landscapes in Sydney and have a fantastic reputation in the area for the quality of our work.

We have a great appreciation for well-designed landscapes and help our clients get the outcomes they’re looking for. The exterior of your home is an area that deserves time and attention, and neglect will only cost you in the long run.

Manna Landscapes has been in business for over 25 years, and we can help with all of your landscaping needs from design to execution to garden maintenance. We offer the best landscaping at affordable rates.

Call now on 0415 837 699, and let’s get started on your exciting new project.