Landscaping Costs Guide

Landscaping Cost Guide 2020

Creating the yard of your dreams can seem like a daunting (and expensive) task. Luckily, there are both DIY and professional solutions for landscaping elements that will enhance your outdoor space for years to come. Doing your research, finding the best prices and avoiding redundant tasks can save you thousands of dollars down the line.

You may be surprised to learn that items like paved patios, water features, and a perfectly lush lawn aren’t out of reach. Here’s a price guide separated out by seasons to help you through it.

Winter Landscaping

Ready to spruce up your landscaping this winter? Make it easy on yourself and build your to-do list around making permanent updates versus seasonal plants. Winter is a great time to install patios, new driveways, outdoor kitchens, pools, and other permanent elements so they’re ready to enjoy when spring and summer roll around.

modern paved patio

Paved Patios & Driveways

In Mediterranean climates like San Diego, the winter can be an opportune time to install or clean and seal paved patios, driveways or walkways. While other gardening and landscaping projects take a back seat until spring, pavers can be installed or maintained all year round.

The most important step when installing pavers is doing your research. Knowing exactly what you want, finding the best deals and avoiding redundant steps can save you time and money. Getting the job done the right way the first time will save you a ton.

Cost to Install and Maintain Pavers

Cleaning and Sealing Pavers
Restoring your pavers to their original look and protecting them with sealant is a great way to give your home’s landscaping a quick boost. For those interested in cleaning and sealing their pavers, plan on spending anywhere between $1.35 and $2 per square foot.

Installing Pavers
When installing new pavers professionally, plan on spending anywhere between $11.30-$16.10 per square foot for a 1,000 square foot project. A project of this size will typically cost between $11,260 and $16,082 depending upon the materials and complexity. Below is a breakdown of average costs you will encounter during a professional paver installation. For a custom sized patio or driveway, check out our paver cost calculator.

Cost to Install Pavers

If you are installing pavers yourself, you can save on overhead, company and labor fees, but will still need to factor in necessary equipment rentals and delivery fees. Also plan on a longer project time when working by yourself or with a small group. For a flawless finish, watch our 2020 tutorial on how to install pavers like a professional.

Spring Landscaping

Spring in San Diego is a great time to enjoy the outdoors. As flowers bloom, the landscape is transformed into a celebration of color. At home, you’re likely feeling the gardening itch to bring some of that beauty to your own backyard. Before you bring home a small nursery to plant, make sure you show your lawn some love and look ahead to the projects you would like complete for the colder months to come.

Aerial view of person mowing a lawn

General Lawn Maintenance

Even the simplest of lawns require seasonal maintenance. Spring means faster growing lawns along with the emergence of pesky weeds. If you have a strict Homeowners Association, overgrown grass could land you with a fine.
[H4] Cost to Maintain Lawn

Professional Lawn Care
In San Diego, you’ll pay an average of $43 per visit from a lawn care company to mow and edge.

Total: $86 per month for bi-weekly mowing and edging

DIY Lawn Care
You can tackle the job yourself for as little as a one-time cost of $65 for a manual walk-behind reel mower. For mowing with less muscle required, quality self-propelled, walk-behind mowers can be purchased for between $300-$400. Then you can keep everything neat with your own trimmer/edger starting around $35.

Total: A one time cost of $100-$450

Outdoor patio with fire pit and fireplace

Fire Pit

With nicer weather rolling in, spring is a perfect time to address those elements that were missing from your winter landscaping. Were you daydreaming about a crackling fire to warm your outdoor space? Now is the time to install the fire pit you’ve always wanted. A spring installation means it will be ready to help you enjoy s’mores in the summer and keep you cozy in fall and winter.

Cost to Install a Fire Pit

Pre-Made Fire Pit
Pre-made fire pits are a great option for renters who want to bring their fire pit with them when they move. They are typically smaller and less durable than a built-in fire pit, so anticipate that you may have to replace it after a year or two. Depending on style, a pre-made fire pit can run anywhere from $65 to $1,000+.

Total: $65 to $1,000+

Built-In Fire Pit
On average, the cost of a professionally built permanent fire pit starts around $700 but can reach as high as $1,500 depending on size and materials.

Total: Between $700 and $1,500

Summer Landscaping

In the summer, many of us crave a water feature or new flower beds to add color to less than lush landscaping. Water features are visually appealing and create an ambient hum that is easy on the ears. Using pre-formed liners, well-built pumps and tubing, water features can be much easier to install than you think.

backyard pond with plants around it

Backyard Pond

There’s nothing like the sound of water running to help you relax on a summer day. A backyard pond may seem like a massive project to undertake on your own, but there are plenty of DIY options that produce beautiful results.

Cost to Install a Simple Pond

For a simple, DIY pond, look no further than your local home improvement store’s garden center. Assuming you have a shovel, you will only need a pre-formed pond liner, a pond pump and filter, and mulch or plants to go around it.

  • 57 in x 30 in Pond Liner: $50
  • 71 in x 58 in Pond Liner: $99
  • Pump and filter with light: $35
  • Bag of mulch: $3
  • 5-6 potted pond plants: $60

Total: Between $148 and $197

Tip: Make sure to consider outlet location when planning your pond. Pumps typically have to plug in to run.

Fall Landscaping

As the days get cooler, they also get shorter. Now is the time to prepare your yard and outdoor living areas for colder temperatures and less sunlight.

Person spreading fertilizer on a lawn

Fertilizer

As your lawn recovers from the heat of summer, you can give it a little boost with fertilizer. Fall is a great time to fertilize your lawn and help it flourish throughout the winter. When your grass’s growth has slowed, schedule time to treat your lawn to a little nourishment via a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.

Cost to Fertilize Lawn

32lbs of slow-release nitrogen lawn fertilizer should run between $19 and $27 and cover 2,500 square feet. A wheeled fertilizer spreader starts at around $36.

Total: $55-$63

Person installing artificial grass

Lawn Replacement

If you lack a green thumb and are struggling to keep your lawn alive, consider replacing it with artificial grass. This isn’t your grandfather’s turf. Today’s artificial grass is soft to the touch, pet friendly, and features color variations to look as natural as possible. Homeowners who opt for artificial grass save water and money on ongoing landscaping costs for their yard.

Artificial Grass Costs

For a 1,000 square foot area, installing artificial grass will cost between $7,300 and $10,855. Plan on spending $7 per square foot for basic turf and up to $11 per square foot for higher end turf. Below you’ll find the average costs broken out between materials, operations, labor, overhead and company costs.

artificial turf cost table

To learn more about what goes into each cost type, or to calculate the cost of a different sized yard, visit our artificial turf cost calculator.

Paved patios, built-in fire pits, water features, and green, healthy lawns are the most sought after landscaping elements. With proper planning, you can DIY these elements for your own home. Break your projects out by season to help you budget and prepare for each. If you would prefer a professional installation for the larger projects, don’t forget to ask about the affordable financing options available from your local outdoor living specialists.