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May 24, 2018  |  Login
Affording the Landscape You Want
By Bill Marken & The National Gardening Association

Divide your landscaping project into logical sections according to your list of priorities, and start your tally:

  1. List the plants you want to use in each section of the project, and either collect your own prices by shopping nurseries and garden centers or ask a nursery to give you a quote on the whole shebang.
  2. Use your plan to measure the areas where you want to install brick, pavers, concrete, or other hardscape materials, and take your measurements to a supplier to get estimates on materials.
  3. Make a checklist of the costs of each section of the project, including hardscape items and the plants.
  4. Consider what, if any, new tools you need to buy.

Visit a building supply store, taking your lists of figures along with you. There, you can find an expert who can calculate exactly what each part of your project will cost. Be sure to find out the delivery charge, and get an estimate on installation, too.

Although you may want to do all the work yourself, having the installed price isn’t a bad idea — just in case you run out of steam. Fill out a checklist like the one shown in the table below for each section of your landscape and then tally up a grand total.

The advantage to having separate price tags attached to the various sections of your plan is that you then have an idea of how big a bite each new step is going to take out of your budget. Keep in mind, though, that the estimates you start with may change — go up, that is — by the time you actually begin the next phase.



Pricing Checklist
Element Price Delivery Charge Installation Charge
Outdoor furniture
Irrigation system


Landscape One Clod Of Dirt At A Time

Renovating your entire yard in one fell swoop can overwhelm even the most dedicated gardener, unless you have an unlimited budget or a staff of helpers on hand.

  • Establish your priorities. Plan to work on the areas that you’ll use — and enjoy — the most.
  • Have a long-term plan. Redo your yard on a two-to-five-year plan. Weigh the plan against your budget to see which projects you can do this year.
  • Do a little at a time. Rarely does one weekend of hard labor a landscape make. Avoid a disheveled yard by focusing on one small area at a time, and completing it before you move on to the next.

7 Ways to Practice Conservation – Of Your Wallet!

You can shave hundreds off of your landscaping price tag with a few cost-cutting tricks:

  • Buy from the source. Look for brickyards, paving makers, stone and slate quarries, gravel yards, and other nearby sources of raw materials. Such suppliers are probably listed in your phone book. Do some comparison shopping and know how much you need — before you ask for a price.
  • Find a friend with a pickup truck. Don’t strain the springs of your own or a friend’s truck with stone or other ultra-heavy materials, but do haul your own lumber and anything else that you can safely carry. You save big on delivery charges.
  • Combine brick with concrete. Instead of installing costly all-brick walks, combine brick with concrete. Use the brick as decorative strips in the walk. more


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