If you’re looking in your backyard and dreaming about its potential, it may be hard to imagine how it can go from blank canvas to completed look. But that’s the science and the art of good design. A talented landscape designer or Registered Landscape Architect will create the plan that is essentially the blueprint of a total transformation.
If you’re serious about having a project done, you’ve probably already done your research and narrowed down the best landscape contractors in Lancaster, PA or nearby areas. You have some basic project specifics in mind, and now you’re probably asking the big question: How much does a landscape design cost?
Like any service, the costs are going to vary. In order to truly understand the value of what you’re receiving through any given company’s design offering, you must first understand what goes into that company’s process. It may be like comparing apples to oranges and what might be included in one company’s “design fee” could be totally different from another.
Why Pay for Landscape Design?
In most cases, there is no cost for a landscape design consultation, as this is typically a brief initial meeting to discuss general ideas and a ballpark price range for the desired project elements. You’ll likely then utilize this information to begin weighing your options and narrowing down your choices.
But when you decide you want to move forward with the project and a landscaping company, that’s when you’ll move into the design phase, and should expect to likely pay something for high-quality design work.
A landscape design cost can differ tremendously even within the same marketplace. Landscape design in Lancaster, PA, can range anywhere from being free to costing several thousands of dollars. A good design can take many hours, days, or even weeks of professional work. By paying for this service, you’re receiving professional work, meticulous planning, and expert insight, all of which will ensure that your project is a unique success.
Paying for a good design is worth the expense. It could save you thousands of dollars and headaches down the road when it comes time to actually construct the project.
When Things Go Wrong
Of course, not everyone charges for design work. While “Free,” might sound good at the onset, you must consider the value of what you’re receiving with a free landscape design. Be wary of companies that say they do design work for free.
You must ask yourself: What am I really getting? More often than not, the truth is that the company is not working from any design at all, and that can be troublesome. Agreeing to major construction without having seen any sort of professional design is a gamble on your part. What will you really get in the end?
You wouldn’t build a house without a detailed set of blueprints. Likewise, don’t recreate your backyard and spend tens of thousands of a dollars without a professional to properly set you up for success with a detailed plan. Elevations are also key for a correct drainage plan to keep water away from the house. If a landscaping contractor doesn’t do this as part of their process, it’s a sure sign they don’t know what they are doing and are asking for major problems.
In other cases, a landscape company may outsource their design work. While this is better than working from no design at all, it can still raise problems if the concept doesn’t end up to become a practical possibility. There is tremendous value in a company that can offer both a design and it’s construction in-house. It means a seamless transition from the design phase to the building phase instead of your project having to change hands.
How much Does a Landscape Designer Charge?
As mentioned, the cost of design fees can really run the gamut. But for a professional company with an in-house professional Registered Landscape Architect, you know that your money is going toward the time and expertise of a highly experienced professional.
In terms of what you can expect to pay, nationally, the numbers can climb pretty high. In looking at national averages, we found:
- The national average cost for a landscape design ranges from $2,600 to $4,600
- Some Registered Landscape Architects charge upwards of $11,000 for larger residential projects.
The cost charged by landscape designers in Lancaster, PA can vary as well. A simple design of a few planting beds could only cost a couple hundred dollars, whereas an elaborate, five-star residential backyard design can reach design fees up to $3,000. The cost is largely dependent upon the size of the project and the amount of work that must go into the design. Laying out a few planting beds requires much less time than designing a project with multiple facets such as hardscaping, pavilions, fire features, an outdoor kitchen and more.
When you’re ready to pay for an expert design, it means that you’re serious about your project. That also provides value as it gives your project priority over other homeowners that might not yet be ready to proceed. Your Registered Landscape Architect will dedicate their time to your design over prospective clients that may never move forward. Instead of your landscaping company being spread too thin over dozens of prospective projects, they can give you the serious attention you deserve.
What You Get with a Landscape Design
Paying for a landscape design with Earth Turf & Wood gives you great value both in the originality and the thoroughness that goes into the designs we create. In all of our years of doing this, no two designs have ever been exactly alike.
In this cookie-cutter world where so many houses look like exact replicas of the others around them, the ability to have a backyard project that is truly one-of-a-kind will give you a great return on investment.
In considering landscape design cost, you must weigh the level of professionalism and experience you can expect to receive. At Earth Turf & Wood, we have an in-house Registered Landscape Architect (RLA) with nearly four decades of experience. Beginning the design process with us means a detailed meeting with our RLA that will result in an original, professional design. We also can offer an optional 3D rendering that will allow you to see what your project will look like when it’s complete.
It’s important to realize that when you have design work completed through Earth, Turf, & Wood, you’re not getting an afternoon sketch or something that was thrown together hastily. Like any investment, you get what you pay for.
During the design phase, our RLA will analyze your site to collect measurements, grade variations, and other pertinent factors that will drastically impact your project. This data will allow them to spend the many hours designing a detailed plan that will not only look amazing but will be practically functional.
Because of how much value we see in an expert design, we will not quote a competitor’s design. That’s both out of respect for the other company (after all, we know how much time goes into good design!) and because we want the opportunity to create our best possible design for your property.
We’ve been creating unique designs for decades. The process is truly dynamic and we sometimes meet with homeowners that have had a design created prior, that has missed important elements to meet their needs.
Our landscape design process is very comprehensive and covers all the factors that leads to a successful outdoor space. That can only be accomplished by starting from scratch with a plan that utilizes our unique expertise and meticulously incorporates your desires with practical, yet beautiful solutions.
Let’s Get Started!
If you’ve researched landscaping contractors in Lancaster, Reading, Hershey, York and the surrounding areas and are finally ready to meet, your first step will be a free consultation to discuss general costs and ideas.
From there, if you’d like to move forward with the design phase, we have a detailed landscape design process to uncover all the information we will need. Whether it’s a simple re-design of your plantings or an entire transformation of your outdoor space, we want to help you make your landscape design dreams come true. With the ability to tackle your project from start to finish, we cater to your needs every step of the way and create a stunning design in the process.