"How much will my project cost?"
This is, understandably, one of the very first questions we'll get when it comes to starting a landscape project.
And while we can usually come up with a good general estimation after asking some initial questions about your project and seeing some photos, the real numbers begin to surface when we unearth details about the state and condition of your property currently, what kinds of materials and designs you're thinking, and what, ultimately, your dream is.
To clarify this a bit more, let's break out some considerations that might affect the price of your project.
Size of Project
Seems obvious, right? But buyer beware: when comparing prices between two contractors (or three), be sure to compare the size of the waterscape, hardscape, or softscape feature they're proposing. One contractor might believe that your space calls for a patio of certain dimensions while another contractor has a different vision. Both of these proposals can be great — but be sure that when you're comparing apples to apples, you're understanding the size of those apples.
And size affects price.
The larger your patio, for example, the more area that needs to be cleared from debris, the more grading or topsoil that needs to be brought in, the more materials that need to be purchased, the more cuts that need to be made, the more disposal there might be, the more labor in general, just to name a few of the extra costs that will have to be brought into consideration.
The state of your current property will affect the scope of the project and, ultimately, the price. What does "state" mean? Well, if there are grading issues (meaning that your property's heights or grades need to leveled off or made even), that will require machinery, labor, and materials. If your property has drainage issues, we'll want to be sure to address that appropriately to help protect your plants, your yard, and the integrity of any hardscape installations.
Ease of Access
As you can imagine, if the materials for your project need to be hand-carted into your back yard or up a long path because there is not enough access for a machine to fit through, the time and labor it will take to complete your project will increase; with that, the price of the project will increase accordingly.
There are a multitude of materials that you can choose for your landscape project, and that's true across waterscape, hardscape, and softscape projects.
For waterscapes, the size of your water feature can make a big difference in price because there can be more or less labor, more or less construction, and more or less materials.
For hardscapes, the brand of the stone product you ultimately choose or the features you want included in your outdoor kitchen or the number of hand cuts required to build the design in your paver patio or walkway all can affect the price.
And for softscapes, not all plants are created equal: some plants are less expensive or easier to get from the nurseries and so their cost is lower, while other plants, like ornamental trees, are pricier because of their uniqueness and the care required to grow them.
Where possible, we encourage our clients to save money on 2-D CAD designs or 3D renderings and, instead, put that money towards the materials and installation of the project instead. We'll then walk our clients through the property and use paint and conversation to "draw" out the intended design. However, we understand that sometimes, depending on the scope of the project, our clients may need a formal landscape design in order to conceptualize the transformation.
During your consultation, if it is discovered that a formal design will serve you best, our landscape designer will talk to you about the cost of that design, timeline of its execution, and timeline of expected payment. Depending on what kind of design you choose (2-D CAD design, 3-D photo rendering, or 3-D animated computer rendering), a significant price could be added to your overall project.
Whatever the factors may be that affect the cost of your project, during your consultation phase and throughout the project installation itself, we will answer any and all questions you may have.