How Much Does Landscape Design Cost?

by Ben Bowen

How Much Does Landscape Design Cost In Portland

Sample Landscape Design

Sample Landscape Design

Updated 12/18 to reflect the current cost of landscape design.

When you hire a landscape designer you are paying them to develop a plan for your property. This usually involves drawings that show your landscape from above. You can see placement and relative sizes of proposed elements. Plants are placed, lighting fixtures are specified- the irrigation system layout may even be involved. This design, once in hand, can be given to licensed landscape contractors to bid and install.

But what does it  actually cost to get a landscape design completed?

In general, a full landscape design will cost $500 - $5000. (Ross NW Watergardens usually charges between $1500 and $3000.) Some landscape designers charge an initial consultation fee, ranging from $100 - $250. (We have no initial consultation fee.) What factors affect price?

Modern Landscape Design by Ben Bowen of Ross NW Watergardens

Modern Landscape Design by Ben Bowen of Ross NW Watergardens

  • The designer's credentials. Landscape designers can become accredited or certified through a number of organizations. These can be an indicator of experience and skill- they are definitely a cost, which probably gets reflected in their price. A landscape designer with a long career, good reputation, established network, and impressive portfolio is certainly going to cost more. And if your designer is actually a landscape architect, then expect to pay towards the high end of the range above.

  • Your property. Large properties require large amounts of time at the drafting table or computer and will cost more. Properties with a lot of slopes, existing mature landscapes, extra environmental concerns, or other challenges will push the price up.

  • Your desires. Sometimes clients call looking for a landscape design, but really just need a planting plan. Basic improvements can be easily worked out and are towards the lower end of the cost spectrum. If you want an outdoor kitchen, deck, water feature, lighting, shed, and whatever else? That's a lot of moving parts and the design fee will reflect that.

  • Landscape style. Purity is one of the most expensive things in design. An authentic English or Japanese garden takes a lot of knowledge, planning, and skill. A design that prioritizes modern lines, native plantings, wildlife, or low water use narrows options and challenges a designer. We enjoy these kinds of challenges- but they come at a cost.

There are obviously a lot of factors that effect what you pay for a landscape design. But, with the knowledge above you at least have an idea of what your design project could cost. The only way to find out for sure is to contact a local landscape designer and ask!