Budgeting for a Landscaping Project: 5 Tips to Help You Plan

Man and Woman with Notebook and Calculator Working on Budget

Every homeowner has a vision for what they want their property to look like. Unfortunately, our financial realities don’t always line up exactly with our landscape fantasies. That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t bring your dream yard to life though! Landscaping is a very valuable investment to make in your property, both for your own enjoyment and for resale value later on—and accomplishing your landscape goals on a budget is not as impossible as it sounds.

Use these tips below to come up with a landscaping plan that will give your property the transformation you’re looking for without breaking the bank!

1) Start with an analysis of your existing landscape.

Before you get too far ahead of yourself daydreaming of sprawling stone patios and luxurious backyard spas, you first need to determine what work needs to be done. Do a thorough inspection of your property to evaluate any existing issues that need to be resolved before you can move forward with other work.

Write down problems you see that pose a danger to you or your property, such as fallen or broken tree branches, erosion or drainage issues, overgrown or toxic plants, insufficient lighting, broken fences, etc. Anything that could damage your property or cause injury should be considered a top priority. As you’re inspecting your landscape, make note of any materials and features that you already have to work with or could potentially be repurposed.

2) Once you’ve determined your needs, make a list of your wants.

Now that you’ve identified what work needs to be done first, your next step is to create a wish list for your landscape. Include any and all features and work you envision—think of it as a dream list. You never know what projects might be more financially feasible than you think.

As you’re figuring out the specifics of your vision, think about how you currently use your property and how you would like to use it in the future. Are you always the one hosting the family barbecues? An outdoor kitchen might be a reasonable place to splurge! Or do you like to use your backyard more to relax and unwind? Then your money might be better spent on a full patio with a calming waterfall feature. There’s a lot you can do with a landscape, so you need to decide what your goals are before you can determine where your money will be best put to use.

3) Figure out exactly how much you’re able and willing to spend.

To prevent yourself from overspending, you need to set a realistic financial limit that you can’t exceed. Once you have an approximate number or range to work with, take a look at your list of needs and wants and start prioritizing. Obviously, you’ll need to cover your needs first. From there, allocate what you have left based on which projects are the most important to you and worthwhile for your lifestyle. Be sure to get estimates from several different contractors, both to compare for best value and get a realistic idea of what the work will cost.

In addition to personal value to you, consider the return on investment of each project on your list. If you plan on selling within the next five years or so, it might make more sense to spend more on grounds work and long-term upkeep that boosts your curb appeal than an inground pool with high regular maintenance costs you’ll only use for a limited time period.

4) Be open to phasing out your landscape plan.

It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of creating your perfect landscape, but keep in mind that you don’t have to do everything all at once. You can still make your dream yard a reality, even if it takes time. If you can’t afford every aspect of your ideal landscape right away, projects can be divided into phases over a period of several months or even years.

Consider what you want and need the most and what can wait until later. If you’re trying to turn your backyard into a beach oasis, for example, you can start with inground pool installation now and add on features as you save money. Those jump rocks and the waterfall can always be added later, and you’ll still get plenty of use out of what you have in the meantime.

5) Be upfront about your budget and work closely with your landscaper at every step.

Your landscaping professional is your number one resource for figuring out a realistic budget, sticking to it, and determining the best way to achieve your goals within that budget. When you work with a landscaper, they’ll draw up a master plan based on your needs, wants, and budget. This will allow you to see exactly where your money is going and what it will take to bring everything to life according to your specifications.

The landscaper you work with can also offer suggestions for what needs to be prioritized on your property, lower-cost alternatives for project design or materials, and what will offer you the best function and aesthetic after all is said and done.

For homeowners in the Annapolis area, VistaPro Landscape & Design is the premier, full-service landscaping company that can make your dreams a reality! We have the tools, experience, and expertise to customize every aspect of your landscape to your needs, vision, and budget. From grounds management and water features, to outdoor living areas, pools, and more, we can do it all.

Contact us today to start discussing the details of your project!