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  1. #1
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    Default Paying for landscaping - how expensive is it?

    Has anyone paid a landscaper to do work on their yard?

    If so, what did you have done and (if you don't mind) how much did you spend?

    We have a very blank and almost flat yard and want to get some garden action going, but we're thinking rather than DIY'ing, we'll get a landscaper in. One of DH's mates has his own landscaping business and has agreed to pay us a visit and quote us. He said he can tailor options to suit our budget and will give us 'mates rates', but I honestly have no clue what things cost!

    I think we'll source plants ourselves - we'd mainly be looking to have a nicely edged garden bed installed. We are possibly wanting a bit of decking done as well.

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    we got a quote for front and back yards (and neither is large, we are in a townhouse) and it came to $70k. i just about died. there was a bit involved but i thought $70k was a bit steep. we were planning on thinking about starting to try for dd anyway so decided the financial commitment at that point wasn’t a priority. i felt it was over capitalization for the place we are in anyway. this isn’t our forever home and i doubt we’d realize the cost of the landscaping in terms of an increase in sale price so we left it. i’d love to do something, to the back mainly, but we have so many other priorities indoors that we’ve done nothing so far. once i’m back to work 3 days a week at least, and life is a bit more normal, perhaps we will revisit this.

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    @turquoisecoast OMG

    I'm sure the design must have been something special, but that's a hell of a lot of money.

    I'm thinking DH and I will need to agree on a maximum figure and maybe run it by the guy first, just in case our budget is far too small for his trouble! I don't want to waste his time, nor do I want to spend all our savings. I'm certainly not willing to go into debt for it.

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    Adjustments.jpg
    that was the 3D render for the front

    Adjustments.jpg
    and back

    like yeah it would’ve looked cool, but it was just way more than what we expected, or felt comfortable paying. we thought maybe $30-$40k, which would’ve still been a lot but more reasonable for both front and back. but $70k?? jesus. i just about died.

    we paid $500 or so for the designs, which is fine as it involved his time and effort and i get he probably gets cases who request designs from him then go find someone else to do it cheaper, or diy. so that vit was fine, but the rest was just too much for that point in time for us.

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    I know a lot about this industry. Budget is really how long is a piece of string. It is better that you set the budget and they work within that budget. 70k for front and back with a lot of "hard landscaping" (paving, decking, retaining walls, edging, water features, etc), watering systems etc, is not unexpected. My mum had a modest landscape of her small back yard (what I'd define as a townhouse size) including deck (almost at ground level - no handrails stairs etc) 4mx6m, a non-structural retaining wall about 10m and two sleepers high, timber edging to garden beds, stepping pavers down one side and turf laid. Just a smidge over 10k mates rates.

    By being upfront about your budget, they can quickly say "not a chance" if your dreams are exceeding that. Or, maybe you can't decide between 2 things and they would know option b will add 7k to the build. It takes a lot of work to design and quote and, as you said, you don't want to waste their time if you're being unrealistic about what you can afford.

    Also, be aware that there are gardeners/maintenance people that call themselves landscapers, qualified landscapers and MBA registered landscapers. You generally do get what you pay for and I've seen some very shoddy work by gardeners doing work that they have not been taught to do properly (even simple garden edging). As a rule, a larger company will probably charge more too, whereas a sole trader (with maybe a worker or apprentice) can be good value - however you really want them to come recommended.

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    Default Paying for landscaping - how expensive is it?

    Perhaps chat to the guy about budget and see what parts of it you can DYI to save costs.

    I DIY-ed a large deck (6x6m) and it was about $5k for the materials (albeit 10 years ago). It was tricky getting the stumps in all level and straight but once the frame was done laying the timber decking boards is super easy (just time consuming). If you’re doing garden edging you probably want a professional to do it but you could put the dirt in, plant the plants and do the mulch yourself.

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    Default Paying for landscaping - how expensive is it?

    Landscaping is farken expensive. We got quoted $28k for a retaining wall and a few plants in front of it.

    We ended up doing our own landscaping and putting in large sandstone blocks using my husband’s excavator.

    My husband bought his 5t excavator for about $14k when we first bought our land to build our house and that thing has paid for itself at least 10 times over. I’m not even joking. It has been a hard slog, though with my husband working on the yard almost every weekend since we bought this land.

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    Quote Originally Posted by turquoisecoast View Post
    Attachment 104895
    that was the 3D render for the front

    Attachment 104896
    and back

    like yeah it would’ve looked cool, but it was just way more than what we expected, or felt comfortable paying. we thought maybe $30-$40k, which would’ve still been a lot but more reasonable for both front and back. but $70k?? jesus. i just about died.

    we paid $500 or so for the designs, which is fine as it involved his time and effort and i get he probably gets cases who request designs from him then go find someone else to do it cheaper, or diy. so that vit was fine, but the rest was just too much for that point in time for us.
    Honestly, if they did a good job, 70k in Melb seems about right looking at those renderings.

    Shows like house rules, selling houses Australia etc have a lot to answer for as far as giving people unrealistic expectations of what things cost. They hardly ever talk about the labour costs! The contestant shows always have atrocious DIY workmanship as well and would all be falling apart in 3 months of weather.

    Even fully qualified landscapers earn a lot less than most other trades. I think it's partially due to lack of perceived value and the other part is the lack of regulation means there are a lot of people handy with a shovel and mower undercutting on price. It is becoming more regulated/monitored though, especially large jobs.

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    I’ve just had mine finished today! It was different than what you’re doing - starting from clean slate.
    For me it was using existing garden beds, and lawn, but replacing plants, mulch, new sprinkler system, installing a play area, installing lights in the ground below trees, and using some pretty established trees - so I didn’t scrimp on plants. It will look bare-ish for a few months.
    I had three quotes:
    1. $17,500
    2. $14,500
    3. $10,500
    Regional Vic area.
    Huge difference in quote for the same thing.
    It doesn’t look much right now but they’ve only just packed up tools this afternoon. Coming back to do a wash down and a few more pebbles. And obviously the lawn has to grow back.

    IMG_3406.jpgIMG_3405.jpgIMG_3402.jpg

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  18. #10
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    Thanks ladies for your input

    DH and I had a chat last night and agreed that our priority is getting a nicely-edged/prepared garden bed along the back of our fence so we can start growing some privacy trees. DH is keen to choose and source all the plants himself, so that won't factor in to our landscaping budget.

    I'm hoping this can be done for 5K maximum. Is this realistic?!

    We're not going to rush into installing the decking. We've only lived in the house for 7 weeks and we don't have an outdoor setting yet anyway. Apparently our area is rife with mosquitos in summer, so chances are we'll be more comfortable spending time inside with the air con on! It would add value to the property though, so we'll build up some savings for it and maybe do it next winter.

    ETA: The landscaper we're getting is a professional and MBA award winner with over 20 years experience.
    Last edited by Mod-Degrassi; 22-09-2020 at 09:20.


 

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