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How Much Does A Landscape Architect Charge?

National Average Change Location | View National
$2,763
Typical Range
$1,005 - $4,604
Low End
$412
High End
$8,500

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Landscape Architect Costs

For the average project, it’ll cost you about $2,763 with a typical range of $1,005 and $4,604 to hire a landscape architect. On average, fees can range anywhere from $70 to $150 per hour or 5% to 15% of your total overall project cost. Each architect has a different fee structure so be sure to clarify costs with your professional, so you know exactly what you are getting. Different rate structures include pricing by project, area and hour.

Landscape architecture and design anchors a house to the site, connects it with the environment and creates a welcoming entrance to your home. Landscape architects work with architects, surveyors, and engineers to find the best place to put roads and buildings. They also work with environmental scientists to find the best way to conserve or restore natural resources.

Landscape architects and designers work with living plants as well as building materials. They design for present and future growth and maintenance. And because design is regional, it's important for your professional to be familiar with your climate and the plants that do well there.

On This Page:

  1. Costs Per Hour
  2. Consultation Rates for Analysis
  3. Implementation & Construction Management
  4. Architects vs. Designers vs. Landscapers
  5. FAQs

Landscape Architect Rates Per Hour

Hourly rates vary among landscape architects. Junior or intern rates are about $50 to $80 per hour. Rates for a firm partner or principal are between $150 to $225 per hour.

Though freelancers tend to charge by the project, their hourly rates usually match their experience and portfolios. If you don’t get an hourly rate, they will charge a percentage of the total construction bid. Occasionally, they charge based on acres or square feet, though this is less common and varies between firms and freelancers.

Scope of Services

Landscape architects offer design and project management services depending on the project. Firms tend to work in a variety of areas both in the private and public sectors. Costs usually remain similar regardless of the following project types:

  • Transportation corridors such as roads and highways
  • Waterfront and urban development
  • Residential construction
  • Parks, cemeteries and public spaces
  • Campuses and commercial centers
  • Resorts and corporate developments

Project Process

Firms offer a variety of services, but the entire design process usually follows these steps:

  • Inception & Initiation – This phase includes the initial consultation, site visit (inventory and analysis) and proposal or brief.
  • Concept Design – Includes the creation of documents for the client to understand the proposed design.
  • Development – Takes the concept design and creates detailed plans for the client.
  • Construction Documentation – Creates construction documents from the design for contractors and builders.
  • Procurement –The firm accepts bids from contractors based on the construction plans to price the project.
  • Installation – Supervises contractors during installation. Troubleshoots construction problems and manages the project.

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Typical Fee Schedule or Operating Cost Scale

A fee schedules is a document that design and architecture firms provide that lays out their exact fees for each type of service. This document defines the work they do and what the rates are for that work. They list hourly rates for principals and associates as well as travel, expenses, initial consultations and any projects that require special fees. Firms provide this up front at the initial consultation. They work to standardize firm rates across clients.

Architecture Fee Per Square Foot and Meter

Square foot costs tend to run from low-end work to extremely high-end. Low-end includes small and simple landscaping and yard design projects without much complexity or high-end materials. High-end work tends to include decks, patios, outdoor kitchens, in-ground pools and multilevel additions which can increase the square footage. This chart shows estimates on square foot costs determined by hourly and project rates divided by the area. They usually don’t charge per square foot.

Average Landscape Architect Fees
Type of ProjectSquare Meter CostSquare Foot CostAverage Project TotalConcept Fee
Low End< $300< $70< $50k0-$1,500
Mid-Range$300-600$70-140$50-$100k$1,500-$3,500
High End$600-$1,000$140-$230 $100k-$400k$3,500-$6,500
Extreme> $1,000> $230$400,000+$10,000+

Architecture Fee Percentage of Project Total

Landscape architecture firms working on commercial or government projects usually charge as a percentage of the total construction project. Rates of 5% to 15% are typical, although it can be as high as 25% depending on the type of project. This is usually only with new construction and additions. If a home costs $200,000 to build, you may be charged 10%, or $20,000, for the project.

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Average Consultation Rates for Initial Analysis

Initial landscape architect consultation rates can be up to $50 more per hour than the overall hourly rate. A first analysis includes a site visit and consultation.

Professionals first analyze the nature around the construction site. They see where sunlight falls at various times of the day and year. They think about the weather, the kind of soil, the hills, the water, and the plants that are at the work location. They will then draw what they want the landscape to look like.

Designing Site Plans

Landscape architect plans will include 40% to 75% of the total project cost. Most contractors draw their plans using computers and Computer-Aided Design (CAD) systems during the concept design and development phases. Many include future time projections in their designs, allowing the client to visualize the space in 5 to 10 years.

Once the design is complete, landscape architects write reports, make sketches, models, and photographs to explain their ideas. Many use video simulations to help clients see what the land will look like once construction is complete. They also need to estimate how much their ideas will cost.

Landscape Architect Proposal Price Estimate

The homeowner will receive an estimate after the initial consultation. The initial estimate or brief can be anywhere from 1 to 100 pages depending on the size and complexity of the project. Most residential projects are less than 5 pages.

The brief will lay out:

  • Project details – ideas, land use requirements, environmental concerns, materials, etc.
  • Scope of services
  • Who will be involved – engineers, landscapers, etc.
  • Architect’s fee

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Implementation & Construction Management

Next, landscape architects draw up a list of needed materials. Then, they tell other workers how to do the planting and construction shown in the design. In the implementation phase, the architect is now functioning as a project manager. Although the contractor completes the physical work, the architect is responsible for inspecting the site, supervising changes to the plans, and deals with any issues that arise. This is something that you should pay for in the cost of your initial bid unless you expressly ask for its removal.

The architect normally remains responsible for the project until the client has inspected and approved the finished product.

TIP: Keep the name of your professional on hand as you may want to have a follow-up consultation in three to five years’ time to ensure that the design is maturing as expected.

Architects vs. Designers vs. Landscapers

Despite their differences, the cost of hiring a landscape architect or designer are similar. Hourly rates for designers tend to fall in the $50 to $150 an hour range while architects charge only slightly more at $70 to $150 an hour with principal architects charging slightly higher at about $200 an hour. However, despite the similarity in hourly rates, designer projects can often run longer, resulting in higher rates. Consult with your professional prior to hiring his or her services for a specific rate and estimated timeframe for the project.

What is a Landscape Architect?

Landscape Architect is a legally protected title that requires a state license. They are also known as landscape engineers in some locations. All 50 states except the District of Columbia require them to have minimal schooling and pass the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE) for licensure. Much like a building architect, they provide construction drawings and work closely with other engineers and contractors. Because of this distinction, most work at the commercial and government levels. Most residential work they take on is new construction through commercial contracts – often apartments, condos and large scale residential work.

What’s a Landscape Designer?

Designers have no licensing requirements, provide no construction drawings and typically don’t work closely with contractors or engineers. Landscape designers cost about the same hourly range as an architect, though project costs tend to run in the $2,000 to $6,500 range. They do work closely with landscapers and only provide design plans. They work mostly with established residential homes and established commercial buildings.

What Does a Landscaper Do?

A landscaper is the actual contractor who physically executes the landscape design. A typical landscape project costs about $3,200 and range anywhere from $1,500 to $5,500. Firms work closely with both and sometimes employ designers.

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FAQs

What is the Typical Cost to Hire a Landscape Architect for a Park?

The cost to hire an architect for a park are the same as a residence or any other project at about $70 to $150 per hour, or 5% to 15% of the total project cost.

When Should I Hire an Architect for My Yard Design?

Homeowners typically hire an architect for yard design with the initial construction of your home or for very complex projects that involve installing pools or other structures in the yard.

Who is Responsible for Securing Permits Needed for Construction?

The landscaper or general contractor secures all needed construction permits.

Can I do the Architecture Design Myself?

No, designing construction plans requires both years of schooling and a state license. Contractors will only take construction plans from licensed architects.

What are the Benefits to Hiring an Architecture Company vs. a Freelancer?

Some benefits of hiring a company vs a freelancer include:

  • A team works on the project.
  • More combined experience.
  • Project management experience.

Should I Work with a Residential Architect in My Area?

If you’re making major renovations to your yard or building a new home that require construction plans, you’ll want to work with a local residential landscape architect.

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