How Much Will It Cost To Landscape A Newly Built House

Black Forrest bark garden landscape
Black Forrest bark garden landscape

How Much Will It Cost To Landscape A Newly Built House

So you have built your new house, have moved in and you look out your window and feel you need something more. Instead of piles of dirt and clay, how about a beautiful outdoor space to compliment your new home.

 

From the Start

Most people want to know what this will cost, and who can blame them. Usually after a new build funds are getting pretty low and a few plants won’t cost that much, will they?

 

Every landscape job is different, so it is hard to put an exact price on what it will cost to landscape your section. It depends on whether you are going to do the bulk of work yourself or employ someone to do the job for you. Most landscapers will come and give you a quote depending on the work you want done and according to www.careers.govt.nz Landscape gardeners usually earn between $19-$30 per hour. This does not include extra business expenses.

 

Gardeners and landscapers with a high reputation and wide experienced skillset are expected to cost between $25 per hour (entry level gardener) right through to $70 per hour for experienced and qualified hard landscapers, landscape architects and consultants. The overall skillset needed will depend on your project and it is important to ensure the right level of knowledge and experience is applied to each part of the project to ensure it is finished correctly but also to budget.

 

Sloped Sections: opportunities but extra costs

Is your section flat or have you built on the side of a hill? Retaining walls can cost around $1500 for an average-sized wall using concrete blocks according to Zones landscaping specialists. This does not include walls that need council consent (higher than 1.5m and walls near buildings and drives).

 

There is also the option of using Gabion baskets for retaining walls. These can be purchased as a kit set from as little as $20 for one basket or you can make your own. They are easily filled with stones, bricks and even wood.

 

Usually, your drive is already in as part of the build process and you hope that the topsoil scraped off the house site has been kept to one side for you to reuse in your gardens, but this is not always the case. To fill areas that have hollows or to build up behind retaining walls you can get an unprocessed soil. It is great for drainage as it still retains rocks and lumps. It is a cheaper than the finer screened soils that can be used later in select garden areas.

 

Our Love for a Lush Lawn

When it comes to lawns there are a couple of options. You can use Ready lawn that will give you an instant grass area. The cost is approx $10.00 per square metre, not including labour or getting your area ready. If you are happy to wait you can self-seed the area, this is best done in autumn after the dry and heat of summer has gone. Ground preparation is the key to a great lawn. The third option is spraying a new lawn via hydroseeding. The costs of this is about $5 per square metre.

 

The Plants

One of the most important and perhaps the most costly aspect of landscaping is the plants. Depending on the size of the plant you can spend from $5 upwards. Smaller plants will take longer to fill in a gap but if you are prepared to wait a couple of years it will be hard to distinguish between a smaller cheaper plant to a larger more expensive one of the same variety. Hedging plants can be quite expensive if you have to buy great quantities so it is more cost-effective to get a smaller grade.


Fruit trees can be purchased as bare-root from July for about $30 up to approx $60 for a tree-like an Avocado. It is always wise to find out what grows well in your area and place your plants in a position they will thrive. There is nothing worse than spending hundreds of dollars on plantings only to have them die because they don’t like the sun or are frost tender.

 

The Costs

Landscaping can cost from $5000 to over $100 000 depending on your budget. It will add value to your property and will make your outdoor space an enjoyable experience. The Landscaping network suggests you spend a total of 10% of the value of your home. Personally, we have spent hundreds of dollars on landscaping and plants for no other reason than we love creating beautiful spaces to enjoy at home.

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Recommended depths

Typically you need a finishing layer of screened soil of 100mm when working with an uneven surface. 100mm of soil will allow to even out any hollows and give enough depth to create a flat surface

A general rule for compost is to allow for the depth of the current root structure of your plants with an additional 30-50% to mix in with the base. If you’re planting into holes or filling up a vege garden  you will need to accommodate for this prior to filling up

We recommend 100mm (10cm) deep for new bark gardens and planting into bare areas. For existing gardens with some cover, we recommend 75mm-100mm (7.5cm-10cm)

Note: Barked areas for playground impact protection need to meet NZS5828:2015 standards and is calculated on the fall areas and the height of the playground. Please contact us to discuss your barked playground areas

For paths and driveways which are often exposed to car and foot traffic, we recommend 100mm-125mm (10cm-12.5cm) on newly prepared areas due to settling of product.

This excludes preparation, compaction or drainage gravel underneath. For existing areas 75mm thickness is recommended for areas needing a small top-up.