Outdoor Landscaping and Design

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How much does landscaping cost per square foot?

The cost of landscaping can vary widely based on the type of plants you wish to have, the amount of grading required, the condition of the land before work begins, and other factors. Adding in designer or high-end landscaping, as well as hardscaping such as sidewalks, walls, or patios will add to the cost. To find out how much your landscaping will cost, contact landscapers near you.

Is hiring a landscaper worth it?

A landscaper is worth it if you don't want to invest a significant amount of time and effort into planting, trimming, raking, weeding and performing other operations on your garden or yard. Hiring a landscaper to perform regular maintenance in your yards and complete bigger projects is valuable if you’re looking to sell your house. A professional landscaper can make your house more appealing to potential buyers. 

Some landscapers may perform maintenance duties — remove leaves, mow lawns, trim trees and shrubs, etc. —  but they can also help you bring bigger projects to life. This may include adding a misting system, an outdoor fireplace, water features, artificial turf, a patio and much more.

Start contacting landscapers near you to get free estimates and start planning your project today.

How much does landscaping cost?

The price of landscaping varies widely due to the range of choices that can be made, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $320 and $20,000 for your landscaping work. The national average cost for a landscaping project is $2,600. 

Factors like the choice of plants, the amount and type of hardscaping, the square footage of your landscaped area, and the region you live in will have a significant effect on your landscaping cost.

Where can you buy landscaping rocks?

You can shop for landscaping rocks from a variety of different sources. The first option is large chain retail stores specializing in home improvement and gardening. Often, landscaping rocks like slate and other slabs arrive on pallets and are sold in bulk, giving you a great deal. Your local landscaping store also carries rocks, and you may even have a stone or quarry seller nearby who can sell you the rocks you need. When in doubt, contact landscaping companies near you to see if they have rocks you can purchase.

What is landscaping?

Landscaping is the intentional placement and maintenance of living plants on an area of land or in your yard. This can include trees, lawn, flowers, bushes and other plant life and often incorporates mulch and other organic matter. The primary purpose of landscaping is to provide beauty to the house or building it surrounds. 

Many landscaping companies also offer design, architecture and construction services. For example, they can help you design a yard that incorporates a patio, deck, pool, fire pit, lighting, walkways, retaining walls and more.

How much does landscaping improve home value?

Landscaping your property can boost the value of your home between 5% and 15%, according to Better Homes & Gardens. They specify that this is the amount of value added when you upgrade the condition of your landscaping from poor to good, though these terms are subjective. 

What is landscape design?

Landscaping design refers to the art of analyzing an existing landscape, planning how to transform it through flora and fauna design and working with a client to ensure goals are met. Landscape designers may completely transform an outdoor space or make minor modifications to enhance it. They may also call for grading and the construction of hardscaping surfaces like walkways or patios to add to the enjoyment of the space.

What does a landscape contractor do?

Landscape contractors work from outdoor architectural or design plans to build and install hardscaping or softscaping for the client, much as a general contractor uses architectural designs to build a house. Landscape contractors are experts in soil drainage, grading, hardscaping (installing concrete paths and retaining wall, building ponds, etc.), and planting. They have heavy equipment such as excavators and tractors to prepare the land as needed.

Some landscape contractors are also landscape architects or landscape designers. The titles can be compared with those in home construction: A building or landscape architect must earn a specialized architecture degree and pass an exam to have a license. A designer — whether an interior designer or a landscape designer — does not usually require a license to work. Landscape contractors are not required by law to work from plans designed by a landscape architect, so you may work directly with the landscape contractor to specify the work you’d like done. The national average cost for large-scale landscaping projects is $10,160. Pricing can vary greatly depending on the project scope, materials and design.

What should you look for when hiring a landscaper?

Landscaping can be costly — though it usually pays off in curb appeal and home resale value — so finding a landscaper who is worth the investment is important. When hiring a landscaper, look for proven success with the type of results you want. For example, if you know you want a drought-tolerant yard, research websites, reviews and portfolios that showcase beautiful drought-tolerant yards that the landscaper has installed. In addition to relevant experience, you’ll want to find a landscape contractor who has good client reviews. Good communication skills are another important quality in a landscape contractor, since everything from plant selection to hardscape installation needs to be discussed and agreed upon. A landscape contractor who is reliable, easy to understand and able to listen to what you want will help make the process seamless and enjoyable.

How do you find a good landscape architect?

Hiring a landscape architect is an investment in your home. Landscaping can reduce water bills, improve your home resale value, add to your daily living experience and significantly boost curb appeal. A landscape architect will draw the designs for your new landscape; you’ll want to hire a landscape contractor to carry out the plans. Many companies provide design-build landscaping services, with a company architect creating plans for your vision and the landscape contractor executing the vision. With the proper academic background and licensing, a person can be both landscape architect and landscape contractor. Here are a few tips for finding a great landscape architect:

  • Research online portfolios and find several landscape architects whose work interests you.
  • Read online reviews of client experiences.
  • Research whether the landscape architects you are interested in are currently licensed and in good standing with the licensing board, and check whether any complaints have been issued against them. Each state will have their own searchable database. For example, you can search for California landscape architects via the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs.
  • Request bids from your selected landscape architects.
  • Hire the one you like the most, taking care to have a clearly written contract outlining scope of work.

For more, check out our tips for smart hiring on Thumbtack.

Reviews for Ashburn landscapers
Kimberley M.
Marvin’s Landscaping Services is the best as far as his teams quality, professionalism and responsiveness. I will have him continue working on my lawn weekly. I am so thankful for his landscaping services. Top notch for sure!!!!!
Marvin’s  Landscaping ServicesMarvin’s Landscaping Services
Thumbtack Customer
Jose did excellent gardening work and our landscaping looks amazing now. We will use him again!
New horizon landscaping LLCNew horizon landscaping LLC
Sam B.
Excellent quality, great communication, attention to detail. Smart and gives great advice. I highly recommend and plan to use Marvin’s Landscaping for all my landscaping going forward. Photos show the mulching, trimming, removed multiple bushes, planted them in new places. More pictures to come when Sod and new plants come
Marvin’s  Landscaping ServicesMarvin’s Landscaping Services
Thumbtack Customer
I used them for some landscaping needs and they did a very good job, more than I asked and for a very fair price. Very professional and I will be using them again. Thank you
JLP Cleaning Services, LLCJLP Cleaning Services, LLC
Usman Z.
Very friendly and professional. Got the job done promptly and in very reasonable price. Easy to work with. Did not cut corners and did exactly what was quoted. I would recommend him to anyone looking for landscaping.
A&J Landscaping Service LLCA&J Landscaping Service LLC
Michelle F.
I needed a one time landscape service without much notice and Decked Out was on the ball. Super easy to communicate with, came quickly and on time and did the job well. I would happily use them again.
Anthony H.
I had reached out to some landscapers to have some work done and no one responded to my inquiry until I heard from Evan. He was amazingly responsive and setup a time to stop by and see my property. I told him what work I wanted done and he provided ideas and options. Once we decided on a plan, he gave me a very reasonable quote and then completed the work very quickly, even on a rainy day. A great experience overall and I would highly recommend Evan for any landscaping job you have.
Mapleton Outdoor SolutionsMapleton Outdoor Solutions
Chintan A.
Edgar and his crew did a great job in planting 7 trees about 5-6 ft tall, he even help me pick those trees and put due diligence to get nice healthy trees, all in all it was a pleasant experience and he is already getting hired for 2nd job to do mulching and landscaping
King Tree Services, LLCKing Tree Services, LLC
Lauren Y.
I would absolutely hire them again! My experience with JP Landscaping was exceptional. I reached out with interest and began speaking with Carlos. The next day they were at my home for an estimate appointment and the following day they started the work. Carlos knew how eager I was to get our lawn cleaned up and I was very grateful he worked hard to get a crew to our house as quickly as he could! Extremely responsive and professional and our yard looks so good 😄
JP Landscaping ServiceJP Landscaping Service
Ira G.
Update 5/7/20: I'm updating my review for now. After finishing the fence install I've been waiting a few weeks for Jose and his team to start the rest of the project (retaining wall install, lay sod, and plant install). Status has been harder to come by and promised dates come and go. It's very frustrating to look out on a bright sunny day in which you were promised a crew would be on site and not to see them. If the team can somehow turn around the project and complete it in the next week (many weeks beyond originally stated) I will reinstate my previous 5 star work because the ideas and pricing are good....but at some point the actual work has to get done! Previous review: Jose and his Green Wish crew have been great to work with. I initially had them install 400’ of fence for me that involved uneven terrain, rocky ground and underbrush. They gave me a great price for the labor and were perfectionists about making sure everything was level and sturdy. They are also about to start a big landscaping project for me. The process has been very collaborative. Jose listens to my input while providing suggestions and pictures on his vision and his ideas are usually great. I love that he offers cheaper solutions where possible and isn’t just looking to up sell me. Can’t say enough good things about this company or recommend them highly enough.
Green Wish LLCGreen Wish LLC
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Why you should hire a landscaper

Landscapers can give your home a whole new look with all kinds of projects. Many contractors offer lawn, garden and design services, including planting trees, adding flowers and shrubbery, and lawn mowing. Landscapers can also install outdoor water and lighting features, concrete patios and more. Read reviews of local landscaping companies, request a few price quotes and hire a professional today.

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