How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Landscape Architect in 2024?

The costs to hire a landscape architect range between $1,610 and $5,490, with most homeowners paying an average of $3,510.

A landscape architect can help reshape your garden or yard, providing plenty of ideas to add more value and personality to your home. The costs to hire a landscape architect range between $1,610 and $5,490, with most homeowners paying an average of $3,510.

The total costs will depend mainly on the complexity and size of the project—still, the hourly rates to hire a landscape architect range between $60 and $175.

In this guide:

Average costs to hire a landscape architect in 2024

National average cost$3,510
Typical price range$1,610 – $5,490
Extreme low-end cost$375
Extreme high-end cost$11,875

Landscape architects charge a flat rate based on the number of hours it takes them to complete a project, considering yard size, complexity, and many other factors. They can also charge between $60 and $175 per hour or a fee for the overall project costs (between 5% and 15% per project).

To keep costs low, look for landscape architects just beginning their careers and try reusing materials and existing structures on your project. More expensive projects will usually be due to one or more of the following reasons:

  • More complex designs
  • More elements, such as fire pits, patios, decks, and ponds 
  • Large yards
  • More experienced/established landscape architects
  • New and high-end materials

Landscape architect cost estimator by yard size

Landscape architects don’t usually charge by the square foot as other lawn care services do. However, the bigger the area, the more likely the cost estimates will increase since more elements and more time to complete the project are needed.

The table below shows estimates considering the overall costs for landscaping projects and the costs for hiring a landscape architect with a design fee of 5% – 15% of the total project.

Project size Average landscaping costs Average cost to hire a landscape architect
500 sq. ft.$5,375$270 – $805
1,000 sq. ft.$10,750$535 – $1,610
1,500 sq. ft.$16,125$805 – $2,420
2,000 sq. ft.$21,500$1,075 – $3,225
3,000 sq. ft.$32,250$1,610 – $4,835
5,000 sq. ft.$53,750$2,685 – $8,060

The estimates above don’t mean that a small to medium-sized yard can’t cost as much as a large one. For example, suppose you have a small yard and need retaining walls, a patio, a water feature, flower beds, etc. In that case, it will cost you more than if you had a large one that needs a walkway and some bushes.

Other factors that affect cost

If you’re hoping to have your yard designed by a landscape architect, it’s essential to know what to expect. Landscape architects usually give an initial consultation, develop the site plans, do revisions, and oversee the construction work. 

However, more than the size of your yard will impact prices. The scope of the service, the design’s complexity, and the designer’s expertise play a significant role.

Project complexity

Before the landscape architect designs the project for your home, you will have an initial consultation, where you (the client) will provide information about what you want, including location, size, ideas, budget, and timeline.

The more complex your project is, the more it will cost. For example, suppose you want a simple design with a few plants, some mulch, and a small firepit. In that case, it will be cheaper than if you need several elements linked together cohesively – like an outdoor fireplace, patio, water feature, and flower beds.

Scope of the service

Suppose you’re looking to hire a professional who can coordinate the various tasks and professionals involved in creating a garden or outdoor space, like a project manager. In that case, it will cost more than just needing someone to design some plants and structures for your backyard.

Landscape architects often charge an initial flat fee for the project and then shift to an hourly rate (between $60 and $175) to provide supervisory services. Make sure all of these costs are foreseen in the project.

Architect’s expertise 

All landscape architects are licensed professionals with a degree in landscape architecture. However, some have been working for longer and hence, have more experience. In contrast, others might have just passed the national exam. 

That doesn’t mean one landscape architect is better than another—it’s just that the more experienced and established landscape architects will charge more (usually above $115 per hour).


The more uneven the terrain is, the more complex it will be for a designer to create a layout that works with the natural shape of your property. 

That means that it will take more time for them to design and implement a plan with retaining walls and water drainage features, which means you’ll end up paying more for their services.

While prospecting for a new landscape architect can be challenging, knowing what decisions you need to make can help get you started down the right path. The prices listed below allow you to estimate the construction costs to install all the elements you want before hiring someone.

Landscaping elementsTypical price range
Drainage system installation$2,800 – $6,500
Sprinkler system$2,540 – $4,775
Grass/sod installationSeed: $0.10 – $0.19 per sq. ft.Sod: $0.90 to $1.80 per sq. ft.
Planting flower beds$650 to $3,000 per flower bed
Planting trees$150 – $1,850
Fencing$2,000 – $4,500
Retaining wall$3,565 – $9,645
Patio$2,600 – $7,300
Landscape lighting$2,100 – $4,900
Pergola$2,100 – $6,000
Pond$1,900 – $6,500
Fire pit$2,500 – $2,200

Drainage system installation

Drainage systems are designed to remove excess water from your property and prevent it from pooling in low-lying areas, which can cause water damage and mold.

An excellent option for drainage systems is french drains, which average between $2,800 and $6,500, with most homeowners paying an average of $5,000.

Sprinkler system

A sprinkler system can help save you time and water. It allows you to water your plants without being there and watching them all day. Using a timer is also a great way to reduce your water waste. 

A sprinkler system can cost between $2,400 and $4,200, with in-ground sprinklers being the most expensive.

Grass/sod installation

There are two ways in which you can install grass in your yard. The first is to lay down sod, which costs between $0.90 and $1.80 per square foot, and the second is to seed, costing between $0.10 and $0.19 per square foot.

Laying down sod is more expensive than seeding, but it will get you a lush green lawn faster, whereas seeding might take months.

Planting flower beds

No matter your yard size, you can make it look beautiful with a flower bed. A flower bed will add color and life to your backyard and give it an extra special touch, and it’s easy to find one that matches your style.

Most flower bed installations cost $650 to $3,000 per flower bed, and it will cost more if they are raised flower beds.

Planting trees 

Trees can block out the sun, providing shade for your yard. In addition, they can help reduce noise pollution from traffic and other sources, making you feel like you’re living in nature rather than on the outskirts of town.

The average cost of planting a tree ranges from $150 to $1,850.


Thinking of adding a fence around your property? The cost of materials and installation can vary depending on what fence type, height, difficulty of installation, and style of your home. On average, fence installation costs between $2,000 and $4,500 or between $12 and $35 per linear foot.

Retaining walls

Retaining walls can control water drainage, prevent soil erosion, and add decorative value. They cost an average of $6,000, but most homeowners nationwide pay between $3,565 and $9,645, with varying prices depending on the size and materials.


When it comes to outdoor living, grass is just the beginning. With a patio, you can create a seating zone, a place to eat and hang out, and even a custom fire pit. Patios can cost between $2,290 and $6,420.

Landscape lighting

Landscape lighting is a great way to make your yard stand out, even at night. Lights can be installed to illuminate trees, bushes, and even your driveway. The average cost to have lights installed in your yard can range from $2,100 to $4,900 or $100 to $250 per light fixture.


Pergolas are a beautiful addition to any yard. They’re perfect for adding a romantic touch, as you can use them as a place for sitting and relaxing. If you have a hot tub or spa, having a pergola on top is an excellent way to enjoy the space while getting some sun protection at the same time. 

The costs to build and professionally install a pergola range from $2,100 to $6,000, with most homeowners paying an average of $4,000.


If you’re a fan of water features, you might have been tempted to add a pond to your yard. They’re relaxing and can add peace and quiet to your yard, making it look beautiful. The costs to install a pond range between $1,900 and $6,500.

Fire pit

Fire pits are a great way to add ambiance and warmth to your backyard, especially if you love the smell of a campfire and the crackle and pop of the burning logs. Fire pits can cost between $250 to $2,200, depending on if they are above-ground or in-ground.

Pro cost vs. DIY cost

When it comes to your yard, you want the best results possible. You want to avoid being left with an eyesore of your own making, or worse, a project that costs more than hiring a professional would have in the first place.

Suppose you have a clear idea about how you want your yard to look. In that case, you can design a project and hire landscape contractors to execute it. Still, you will have different results than hiring a licensed landscape architect.

The table below shows the tools you’ll need to design a project for your yard with minimal professional consultation:

DIY equipment/servicesAverage cost
Graph paper$10
Open-reel measuring tape$20
Professional consultation$120 – $350 for a two-hour consultation
Total cost:$152 – $382

Hiring a landscape architect to do a project and oversee the work for you will cost between $1,610 and $5,490, while doing it yourself with just a little professional help can cost between $152 and $382

However, a pro has more experience with all the elements in landscaping, so doing it yourself is a risk that might only be worth taking if you only have a few renovations instead of complete yard remodeling.

Cost of hiring a landscape architect by location

The costs of hiring a landscape architect will also depend on where you’re located. For example, metropolitan areas have more competition for landscape architects, and the rates are higher than in other regions. 

Rural areas tend to have fewer landscape architects. Still, they may be willing to work with you more closely and at lower rates than their urban counterparts.


When should a landscape architect be used?

You should hire a landscape architect if you plan to remodel your backyard and install some hardscaping elements, such as retaining walls, a patio, walkways, or a swimming pool. That is especially true if you have steep slopes or other topography issues.

What is the difference between a landscape designer and a landscape architect?

The main difference between landscape designers and landscape architects is that architects hold a bachelor’s degree and a state license. That means they are more equipped to work on complex projects, including in public spaces. 

What are the main duties of a landscape architect?

Landscape architects work directly with clients to create plans, write reports, and produce contracts and estimated costs for a project. They also develop and supervise the construction to ensure the built space is functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Final thoughts 

Landscape architects aren’t just artists – they’re skilled professionals who use their expertise and knowledge to get the results you want, with a range of costs between $1,610 and $5,490 nationally. So, get in touch with a pro near you to start working on the yard of your dreams.

Note: Lawn Love may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.

Main Photo by: United States Mission Gen – Flickr – CC BY-ND 2.0

Maria Isabela Reis

Maria Isabela Reis is a writer, psychologist, and plant enthusiast. She is currently doing a PhD in Social Psychology; and can't help but play with every dog she sees walking down the street.