We want to talk about the cost of landscaping in NZ. Functional and aesthetic outdoor areas are a staple for every kiwi home in summer. Whether it’s a bbq or reading a book, most hobbies belong in a backyard. If you’re starting from scratch you can truly create something tailored to your needs however there is still plenty of opportunity with existing properties for anyone with a creative mindset.
The problem we see when people have a landscaping idea is that they don’t really know where to start. They want to know how much they can undertake within their budget, but they need to know what costs to expect before planning how much to undertake.
We break down some estimates below with some indicative prices* of Kiwis most popular landscaping features below.
How much does it cost to plant a garden or landscape product?
There are too many variables to really tell, however, the most appropriate way if you’re trying to budget is to fit the plant size and species to the scope of the project. If you have a small section, you may be able to splash out on exotic and mature aged plants because there’s not a lot of space. Whereas a bare land lifestyle block owner may look for something more cost-effective such as natives because of the low maintenance aspect for such a large area. Generally, plants make up between 20-40% of the landscaping cost however this depends on themes, size and soil types. Small natives can be as cheap at $8 each with exotic trees costing in excess of $5,000
Some considerations are:
- Looking at younger plants if you can wait for them the grow to save costs.
- Add compost to ensure your money spent on plant’s don’t go to waste by plants dying in NZs harsh conditions
- Look at your soil type and climate to ensure they will survive and flourish. See guide here.
How much does it cost to build a lawn?
Let’s break it down into 4 parts:
- Conventional seeding
- Ready-made lawn.
Foundation and lawn preparation costs
The preparation of your soil is what will keep your lawn lasting years rather than just a season or two. Use a quality screened soil with a finishing product such as lawn soil to ensure your finishing is flat and provides the nutrients the grass needs to survive in the dry summer months, especially if there are water restrictions in place.
We recommend topdressing between 25-40mm in depth with lawn soil to promote healthy lawn growth. Depending on your section, the cost of preparation may cost more than the actual lawn it’s self but it is essential the preparation is done so you’re not wasting your money putting in new lawns only to see it fail to grow. Total costs for preparation range from $2-$30 per square metre.
Conventional seeding costs
This is the most cost-effective lawn finish but does require a bit more hands-on work. You can seed a lawn for as little as $2-$5 per square meter. Be sure to choose the right seed for your needs. A blend will provide a more durable lawn.
Once your lawn is prepared, lawn hydroseeding is approximately $5-6 per square meter depending on size and access. It provides a happy medium between seeding and a ready-made lawn for homeowners in terms of cost. Hydroseeding will leave you with a consistent lawn and grow quicker than a seed. Talk to your nearest hydroseed service provider about fertiliser and the type of seed involved.
A ready made-lawn
Everyone wants their landscaping completed all at once but grass takes time to grow. Ready-made lawn, which often comes in 1m rolls has been a popular lawn solution in New Zealand however it does come at a cost of approx. $10-$13 per square meter of lawn after preparation. Anyone can lay a roll of ready lawn but there’s an art to ensure you’re not spending your landscaping budget on a bumpy lawn in three months time.
How much does a deck cost to build in New Zealand?
Decks are in Kiwis DNA. Whether it’s for relaxing, entertaining or enjoying an outdoor BBQ on, a deck can be the finishing touch to creating a great outdoor area for your home. There are a few unwritten rules to building a quality deck including timber quality, timber type and costs.
When it comes to a long-lasting deck, high-quality timber is a must. It can be very easy to save a few cents on each lineal meter of timber but it will cost you in maintenance and at very worse, your whole deck. We suggest either reviewing the size of the deck if budget is an issue or taking away some features.
Wila has been very popular in New Zealand due to its colour and most importantly durability. Pine has been common as a decking timber however the longevity of the deck will be compromised with a lower grade wood which may warm and bend when sitting under the sun for countless summers.
The cost of building a deck in New Zealand will range depending on the height, features and size.
A larger deck will be more in total, but less per square meter because of efficiencies. Keeping it low to the ground will also keep costs down by not having to get a council consent (check your local regulations for specific heights)
Adding in steps, rails and garden beds all cost more. An average-sized Kwila deck of approx 25m2 will cost between $8,000-$10,00 excluding GST. This includes the piles concreted and a stain finish.
More basic deck configurations can be built from as little as $350 per square meter.
How much does a patio cost to build in New Zealand?
Patios can be made two ways, concrete cut or by pavers.
Concrete is an excellent and cost-effective solution to a hard outdoor surface but it needs to be done properly. Generally, the concrete is poured and then cut to cater to weak spots and where you want the concrete to crack. The most basic concrete patio could cost as little as $50 per square meter right up to $130 for a coloured concrete with designed cuts and a sealant applied.
Pavers are the other option for a stylish patio. Expect to pay $130-$150 per square meter for a patio of average size made from brick or pavers. The costs will highly depend on the type of brick or paver you choose.
How much does a retaining wall cost in New Zealand?
This depends on the height, length, material and the structural integrity needed by the wall. Retaining walls less than 1 meter high and 5-6 meters long may cost as little as $1,500 to complete. Some considerations for the retaining wall costs are:
- Height: higher retaining walls require consent from your local council which adds cost – visit your local council for rules and regulations for this
- Material: There are a few options when it comes to materials but it will often depend on space and drainage. Wood and gabions (rocks in cage-like structures) can be cost-effective options and are between $120-$150 per lineal meter for shallow walls. Concrete walls of a similar size would cost approximately double.
How much does a fence in New Zealand cost to build?
For a generic flat section with the traditional post and paling design, you can pay between $150 and $200 per lineal meter. When dealing with steeper slopes, expect to pay another 20-30% on top. And for an architecture designed fence, the sky is really the limit in terms of cost and upwards of $500 per lineal meter.
When building a fence, ensure no shortcuts are taken which may impact the robustness and longevity. Keep post gaps narrow, post holes concreted and use treated timber for a long-lasting fence. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to ask your neighbour to contribute to fencing costs on shared boundaries.
How much does it cost to mulch in New Zealand?
So you’ve finished all your planting and it’s time to put a nice finishing mulch over the garden to keep the weeds out.
Budget for $5 per square meter for value-range mulch and $10 per square metre for a decorative bark. Stone is of similar pricing however won’t feed the soil or contribute to the plants nutrient source. See our range here.
DIY vs landscaper professional
So you’ve decided to tidy up the back yard but you’re not sure if you should outsource it or do it yourself. The main considerations we would ask:
- Do you have the budget to outsource it to a landscaper?
- Can you undertake the work competently?
- Do you understand any consent related works?
- Do you have to hire any equipment to complete the job easily?
- Do you have time to complete it?
- Do you enjoy landscaping?
- Would doing it yourself save costs?
Only you can answer these questions but with a quality landscaper who has a proven track record at a fair price, it’s hard to lose and likewise if you’ve done it before and have all the tools to complete the job.
Wholesale Landscapes provide bark-based landscaping supplies to bulk-buying customers. If you need 3m3 of bark, we can help you get your project underway.
If you would like to save money by buying direct and in bulk for landscaping products then contact us. We provide discounts on volumes 10m3 or over so you can get more out of your landscaping project.
*indicative pricing derived from industry knowledge and are subject to change with market conditions and project scale. We recommend contacting your local service provider for an accurate quotation for your next landscaping project.