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How Much Does Landscape Design Cost?

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Key Takeaways
Hourly Rates: $50 – $150
Total Cost to Hire: $700 – $3,000
National Average: $1,850
Hiring Considerations: Project size, complexity, designer type

In our exploration of landscape design costs, we aim to provide clear and comprehensive information to guide your decision-making process. Understanding the variances in pricing and what factors influence these changes will help you budget effectively for landscape design services.

$50 – $150 Average Hourly Rates

Landscape designers typically charge between $50 and $150 per hour. The rates can vary based on the designer’s experience, location, and the complexity of the project. Freelance designers usually charge less than those who are part of a larger design-and-build firm.

$700 – $3,000 Average Total Cost to Hire

The total cost to hire a landscape designer can range from $700 to $3,000 for an average landscape project. This figure includes initial consultations, the creation of a design plan, and sometimes the overseeing of the project during implementation.

Landscape Design Cost

When considering landscape design, it’s crucial to understand the various costs involved. Below is a table outlining the national averages.

Average Cost of Landscape Design
National average cost
Minimum cost
Maximum cost
Average range

Factors Affecting Landscape Design Costs

  • Project Size: Larger projects typically cost more.
  • Complexity: More complex designs with features such as lighting, water elements, and extensive hardscaping considerably increase costs.
  • Designer Experience: Experienced designers with proven portfolios may charge higher rates.

Average Cost to Hire a Landscape Designer

The cost to hire a landscape designer can be broken down further into specific fee types.

Cost to Hire a Landscape Designer
Fee Type
Initial consultation
Hourly rate
Fixed fee – small project
Fixed fee – medium project
Fixed fee – large project

Landscape Designer Consultation Hourly Rates

Below are the detailed hourly rates depending on the designer type.

Landscape Designer Cost Per Hour
Designer Types
Freelance designer
Designer at design-and-build landscaping firm

Landscape Designer Fees as a Percentage of Project

Some landscape designers charge fees as a percentage of the total project cost. This can range between 10% and 20%, depending on the agreement and project details.

Landscape Design Plan Cost

The cost for different landscape design plans varies based on the project type, size, and complexity.

Landscape Design Cost by Plan Type
Project Type / Size / Complexity
Minimum / small size / basic design
Average / medium size / minimal hardscaping
High-end / large size / complex with extra features

Garden Design Cost

When considering garden design, the cost will typically fall within the same range as general landscape design, depending on factors such as plant selection, garden size, and the addition of garden features like fountains or garden paths.

Landscape Design Features & Prices

The cost of landscape design features can be divided into hardscape and softscape categories.

Hardscape Features and Prices

Hardscaping includes elements such as patios, walkways, retaining walls, and water features, which tend to increase the overall cost due to the labor and materials involved. Examples of hardscape features and their prices include:

  • Patios: $2,000 – $5,000
  • Walkways: $1,500 – $4,000
  • Retaining Walls: $3,000 – $8,000
  • Water Features: $5,000 – $10,000

Softscape Planting Costs

Softscaping involves the addition of plants, trees, and shrubs to enhance the natural aesthetics of the landscape. Costs differ based on plant types, sizes, and quantities.

  • Trees: $150 – $1,000
  • Shrubs: $30 – $300 each
  • Flower Beds: $500 – $3,000

Landscape Designer vs. Architect Cost

Understanding the difference between hiring a landscape designer and a landscape architect can help determine which professional is best suited for your project.

Landscape Designer vs. Architect Cost
Hourly rates
  • No licensing requirements in many states
  • General gardening & landscaping experience


  • College degree
  • State licenses
  • Expertise in soil types, botany, long-term planting strategies, design organization, & horticulture

| **Project types**

  • Small to medium residential
  • Single-family residences


  • Large residential
  • Multi-family residences
  • Commercial properties
  • City buildings
  • Office complexes
  • Public parks

| **Job description**

  • Creates conceptual designs
  • Ideal for small projects that don’t need permits
  • Designs only, or works with a design-and-build firm, garden center, or nursery
  • May have to consult an engineer or architect for complex hardscaping jobs


  • Makes highly detailed construction plans with exact dimensions
  • Ideal for large jobs that require city approval & permits
  • Works independently, for the city, or for large building firms
  • Planning only, or full-service design & build management
  • Collaborates with other professionals

| **Specialty**

  • Aesthetics
  • Plant choice
  • General topography


  • Complex technical knowledge
  • Structural design
  • Hardscaping
  • Drainage systems
  • Grading & elevation changes


Landscape Designer FAQs

What Does a Landscape Designer Do?

A landscape designer creates plans and layouts for outdoor spaces, focusing on enhancing aesthetic appeal and functionality. They may provide designs that include plant selection, outdoor structures, lighting, and walkways. Some designers also oversee the installation process.

When Should I Hire a Landscape Designer?

You should consider hiring a landscape designer when you are planning a major overhaul of your outdoor space, need professional guidance on plant selection, or when your project includes complex elements like hardscaping or water features. Hiring early in the project ensures cohesive and well-integrated design plans.

Is a Landscape Designer Worth It?

Hiring a landscape designer is worth the investment if you want a professionally designed landscape that enhances the beauty and value of your property. They bring expertise in plant selection, design principles, and project management, ensuring a high-quality result that meets your needs and preferences.

Getting Estimates From Residential Landscape Designers

When planning to hire a landscape designer, getting detailed estimates is crucial. Collecting multiple quotes allows you to compare services and pricing, ensuring you get the best value for your investment.

Questions to Ask

Here are some questions you should ask potential landscape designers:

  • Can you provide examples of past projects and client references?
  • What are your qualifications and experience in landscape design?
  • What services are included in your fee?
  • How do you handle project changes or additional work?
  • What is your projected timeline for completion?

Understanding the costs and services associated with landscape design helps homeowners make informed decisions, ensuring a beautiful and functional outdoor space. By comparing estimates and asking the right questions, you can find a landscape designer who meets your needs and fits your budget.

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