Updated 21 December 2022
- Landscaping design covers gardens, lawns, trees, shrubs, and other plants, as well as any hardscapes (such as patios, walkways, and retaining walls). Landscaping design can be used to improve the aesthetic appeal of a property, create outdoor living spaces, and increase the value of a home.
- Landscapers aren’t required to have professional qualifications, but it’s to your advantage to use one who does to avoid costly mistakes.
- The best approach to communicating your design plans is to share pictures with your landscaper. Find pictures similar to what you want and ensure the landscaper understands your vision before starting.
- To help you get familiar with everything that landscaping involves, our guide covers the different options for landscaping, what drives the pricing, how to get the best price, DIY options and frequently asked questions.
- We also list twenty trusted and reliable landscapers experts with a track record of delivering high-quality results to hundreds of Brisbane homes.
How Much Does Landscaping Cost?
If you want to have your home professionally landscaped from scratch, expect to pay 5% to 10% of your home’s value. If you’re looking for something less extensive, the average cost for labour is $65 an hour and $1,000 – $6,000 for garden designs and materials. However, the total costs for landscaping services range significantly:
- Minor work vs complexity: For minor jobs, you might be able to find labour for around $25 – $40 an hour, but anything extensive will be on the higher end.
- Landscaper vs architect: The cost also depends on who you need to work on your landscaping. For example, if you need an architect, it can add $120 – $150 an hour for the planning. On the other hand, if your job isn’t as extensive, you might get away with a landscape designer versus an architect, which runs $50 – $125 an hour, and then there’s the contractor, which costs $50 – $65 an hour.
- Use of hardscapes: If you’re looking for hardscapes, such as a deck or retaining wall, the prices average around $5,000 – $6,500 for decks and $200 per square meter for retaining walls.
Questions to Ask Before Getting a Landscaping Quote
- What services do you offer? Do you offer ongoing maintenance? Most homeowners want a full service – design and installation. However, you may also want to retain the landscaper for ongoing maintenance and consistency.
- Do you have a portfolio of previous work? The landscaper’s website is a good place to start. It will give you an idea of their style, experience, and level of quality.
- What is your process for creating a landscaping plan? It’s important to understand how the landscaper will approach the design process and, depending on your plans or ideas, how much input you will have.
- What is your pricing structure? Ensure you understand the costs associated with the landscaping services you are considering, including any upfront fees, hourly rates, and material costs. GST must be added, as do all permits (if needed) and removal costs.
- What are your cancellation and refund policies? If you need to cancel or change your landscaping plans, it’s important to understand the contract terms and whether you will be entitled to a refund.
- Do you offer a warranty or guarantee? Find out what kind of warranty or guarantee the landscaper offers for their work and check what it covers and how long you’re protected.
Does the soil need testing? Unfortunately, not all soils work well with landscaping. If you have a new construction home or haven’t had anything planted in your garden for many years, the landscapers may need to test your soil, which can increase the cost, but given bad soils kill plants, it’s a small cost to determine what you can plant.
Does the quote include materials? Depending on the landscaping project you’re having done, the quote may or may not include materials. Hardscape materials such as decks, paving, or retaining walls are typically included, but gardening materials aren’t always included. Ask for a breakdown before agreeing to a price, and make sure it covers the entire project.
Is softscaping required? If your ground isn’t level, the soil needs removing, or the soil prepped, it could add to your cost. Ask for an itemised contract so you can see the full cost of the job.
Do you have licensing and insurance? If there are plans to do construction (patios, decking ad retaining walls), a licence may be required depending on the scope of work. Licensing ensures they are qualified to do the job and insurance protects you should anything happen while they’re on your premises or they do damage to your house.
Do you handle the permits and planning? Not all landscapers do – ensure you understand their service level so you aren’t left with landscaping materials and problems with the Brisbane City Council. They’ll also need to know about regulations, with the Brisbane, such as this example of minimum land for subtropical trees.
By asking these questions, you can better understand the landscaper’s services, experience, and pricing and make an informed decision about whether they are the right fit for your project.
Can I DIY Landscaping?
Yes, it is possible to do DIY landscaping, and many people enjoy designing and creating their own outdoor spaces. However, it’s not without its downsides – landscaping can be time-consuming and physically demanding. You also may require some specialized knowledge and tools. If you’re considering a DIY approach, we suggest the following steps:
- Start with a plan: What do you want to achieve? You’ll need to consider the size and shape of your property, the location and orientation of your home, the Brisbane-specific climate and soil conditions, and your style and preferences. Sketch out a rough plan of your property, noting the location of any existing structures or features, and identify areas for different plants and hardscapes.
- Research and choose plants wisely: Choose plants that are suitable for your climate and the specific conditions of your property, and consider the mature size, maintenance requirements, and purpose of each plant. You may also want to consider the availability and cost of plants, as well as the impact on your local ecosystem. The Brisbane City Council has an extensive guide to the best plants for Brisbane’s subtropical climate.
- Get the right tools and materials: Depending on the scope of your project, you may need things like shovels, rakes, pruning shears, a wheelbarrow, gloves, and a hose. You may also need to purchase soil, mulch, and other supplies.
- Take your time and be patient: Landscaping is, arguably, a labour of love, and it takes time for plants to grow and mature. Be patient, and don’t be afraid to make adjustments as you go along.
Important: If you’re uncomfortable with doing your landscaping or don’t have the time or resources to take on the project, you may want to consider hiring a professional landscaper. Their expertise in suitable plants, positioning and design can future-proof your home, which are considerations absent in many attempts.
How can I Get the Best Price for Landscaping?
1. DIY as much as you can: Save professional landscaping for the hard stuff, and do what you can. Do it if you can get out there and level the dirt, replace the soil, or plant some flowers and trees. Leave the more extensive stuff to the professionals.
2. Keep your soil: If your soil is conducive to the type of landscaping you want to plant, keep it. However, getting new soil can greatly increase the cost; if it’s unnecessary, don’t do it.
3. Limit the number of trees and shrubs: Get a professional opinion on the key areas to plant trees and shrubs to minimise the number you buy. Overbuying trees and shrubs increases the cost of planting plus the maintenance costs.
4. Get quotes from at least three landscapers: Don’t take the first quote you receive. Instead, call around and get quotes from professionals who see your property. Ask for a written estimate and then compare your options.
5. Buy the materials yourself: You aren’t obligated to buy the materials from the landscaper. If you know where to get quality trees, shrubs, and flowers and can grab a deal, buy them yourself and avoid the landscaper’s markup.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does landscaping add value to a house?
Yes, landscaping can add value to a house. A well-designed and maintained landscape can enhance the appearance and curb appeal of a property, making it more attractive to potential buyers or renters. While the ABS confirms that Brisbane home sizes are being built smaller, well-designed landscaping can create functional outdoor living spaces, such as patios and decks, which can increase the value of a property by providing additional living and entertaining areas.
Know This: Certain types of landscaping, such as drought-resistant plants and water-saving features, can make a property more attractive to environmentally conscious buyers and may also help to reduce water bills and maintenance costs. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the value added by landscaping can vary depending on the specific features and characteristics of the property and the local market.
How do you maintain landscaping?
Proper care of your landscaping includes watering, fertilizing, pruning, and mulching plants, as well as maintaining hardscapes and addressing any pests or diseases that may arise. The Brisbane City Council has useful guidance on sustainable gardening. Specifically:
- Watering is usually the most important aspect of plant care, as plants need a regular supply of moisture to grow and thrive. Brisbane may be subtropical but regular watering is essential.
- Fertilizing provides the nutrients that plants need, but it’s important to use the right type and amount of fertilizer for your plants.
- Pruning removes dead or damaged branches, as well as to shape and control the growth of plants.
- Mulching can help to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and improve the appearance of your landscape.
- Monitor your plants for pests and diseases and take appropriate action if necessary.
What type of landscaping adds value?
Trees add the most value to a home. They provide privacy and shade and can have many benefits besides adding value. For example, they can keep your home cooler in the summer, allowing you to use your air conditioning less and providing an extra layer of security and privacy.
What plants are best for Brisbane gardens?
When choosing plants for your landscaping, the Brisbane City Council has an extensive guide to the best plants for Brisbane’s subtropical climate. Before making any decision, consider the following factors:
- Climate: Choose plants that are suitable for the Brisbane climate and the specific conditions of your property (such as sun exposure, soil type, and moisture levels).
- Size: Consider the mature size of a plant and whether it will fit in the space you have available.
- Maintenance: Choose plants that are suitable for the amount of care and maintenance you are willing to give.
- Purpose: Select plants that will meet your goals for your outdoor space, whether it’s for privacy, shade or aesthetics.
What are some common types of plants used in Brisbane landscaping?
Some common types of plants that are favoured by Brisbane landscape gardeners include annuals (which only last for one growing season), perennials (which return year after year), trees, shrubs, and groundcovers. Other types of plants that may be used in landscaping include herbs, vegetables, and fruit trees. Not all plants and trees grow well together – an experienced Brisbane landscaper will be able to guide you on what’s suitable for your property type.