How Much Do Landscape Designers Charge for a Design: 5 Ways to Determine Your Fee

A good landscape design consists of more than just a sketch or a printout. You pour your blood, sweat, and tears into crafting the ideal custom plan for your clients—bringing to life their pool and garden desires.

Although it may sometimes appear simple to homeowners, creating landscaping design ideas that sell requires significant time and effort. And you must ensure that you are earning the value of a custom landscape design.

To assist you in determining the optimal way to calculate your landscape design fee, we have provided five ways:

  • Hourly rate
  • Flat rate
  • By percentage of the budget
  • By acre or square foot
  • By minimum project size

Determining Your Hourly Rate

By charging by the hour, you ensure that you will be compensated for all of the time you work.

It’s been reported that landscape designers charge anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour, with the majority charging between $50 and $75. When determining your rate, consider all of your experience, including training, certifications, and years of landscape design work.

For instance, if you are not a licensed landscape architect but you have decades of experience in the landscape design and installation industry. You may charge $150 per hour for your professional services.

However, there are clients who are not as comfortable with this method because they may not know the total cost. Once you’ve completed more projects, you’ll be able to provide clients with a more accurate estimate of the number of hours required.

You can use an hourly rate to calculate the fee, and you can begin charging as soon as you get in your truck to visit a client. Consider using time management software to keep track of your hours when switching between clients, which can make it difficult to keep track of the time.

Offering a Flat Rate

Utilize your hourly rate and landscape design costs to create a flat rate if you wish to provide clients with an exact fee. Typically, you may include six to eight hours of design time in the price. You may employ this strategy when designing for a landscape contractor.

You can also divide each component of the task into separate tasks. For instance, you would charge for the initial consultation and site evaluation. Then, you would charge a flat fee for a concept plan, and so on—until the final design is completed.

Clients can cancel at any point if they don’t like your service or your ideas, and you get paid for your work.

Using Percentage of the Budget

Landscape design fees based on a percentage of the client’s budget can result in a win-or-lose situation.

The landscape designer may receive a windfall because the project is costly but requires little of their time. In all likelihood, however, it will be the other way around because the landscape designer spends so much time on-site ensuring that the contractor is performing all required tasks.

If you choose this path, it is recommended that you charge 10% to 20% of the total budget. Therefore, if the client pays $60,000 and your fee is 10%, you would earn $6,000.

Contracts can include site visits, but they must be specific, does a site visit take five minutes or six hours?

Charging by Acre or Square Foot

Similar to how taxi drivers determine fares, you can base your fee on an acreage rate. You may use the same amount per acre regardless of the property type or location—demonstrating to high-end clients that you do not mark up prices.

You must use past experiences to determine the time and effort required for each project size.

Another approach is by the square foot. This can be advantageous because it allows you to inform the client of the cost immediately, as opposed to returning to the office to crunch the numbers and potentially lose the client’s interest.

You can check Zillow or another real estate website to determine a property’s acreage or square footage.

Implementing by Minimum Project Size

Occasionally, a client will request that you design either the front of the outdoor space separately, rather than creating a comprehensive master plan for the entire property. It is recommended to charge 75% of the total landscape design fee if this is the case.

You could initially charge between $300 and $400 for the backyard and $250 for the front.

If you take this approach, you should consider the homeowner’s potential future landscape plans. You wouldn’t want to install a paver driveway in the front, only to have to rip it up later if a client wants a pool in the back.

Your Landscape Design Needs to Back Up Your Fee

Regardless of the method you use to calculate your fees, you must be able to create a landscape design that will impress and convert customers.

Your landscape and pool clients are interested in imagining what their yards would look like, even if it’s just an online landscape design. That said, create a design that justifies your fee, as this enables you to charge more for your services.

You can even share videos of your designs, giving you an advantage over your competitors.

If you’re looking for professional landscape designers, you can check our website or email us at info@westhillsmasonry.com. Learn more about our landscape design and installation services, contact us at West Hills Masonry today!