How To Do An Expensive Landscape Design Project More Inexpensively

cobblestone driveway

cobblestone driveway

My project is too expensive! How can I do it more cheaply??


I just renovated a home which I am now living in and am about to move on to the landscape/hardscape phase. It is a fairly large project which I'm anticipating will require about 3200 sq. ft. of pavers along with fencing, lighting, driveway, plantings and drainage. I did have a landscape architect produce a plan for me and I am in the beginning stages of getting bids on the project. My fear is my taste in hardscape
(I love travertine) will far outweigh my budget. Any ideas on how I can have my cake and eat it too. My budget is $50,000, the first estimate came in at $108,000. Help!!!Know anyone who wants to feature the project for a TV show and pick up some of the costs????

ANSWER

There are a few ways to cut costs on a project. I love travertine pavers too, but there are other materials that can still have a nice look. And remember, it's the "total landscape picture" that as more important than some of the hardscape materials.

1. Change hardscape materials. In order of costs for patios and walkways....travertine, bluestone, brick, pavers, concrete. See my page on Paving Costs

2. Reduce specified plant sizes. You can go with smaller plants. This will cut down on both the plant costs and the labor. If you go one plant size down, they will probably be at the same size the next year...or sooner!

3. Phase the project. Consider doing the project in sections. Start with logical areas first. For example, hardscape should be done before
plantings. If you decide to work in your backyard first, for example, do the patio first with any other structures and then the plantings. Then move onto the front yard landscaping.

4. Simplify the design (if possible). Are there unnecessary features where if you removed them the design is still so attractive that it
wouldn't matter that much? Seatwalls, pergolas, ponds, etc. come to
mind.

I don't know where you have hardscape and what types of hardscape areas, ie., patios, driveway, walkways, etc. Dry laid bluestone is close in price to travertine pavers. However, there are creative ways of doing walkways with stone that are casual and less expensive.
Stone Walkways

The next choice would be brick or pavers, which are less expensive. Also if the total square
footage includes a driveway, you can certainly use a less costly material (if a more expensive material is in the estimate) there and dress it up with borders, such as pavers or brick.
Paver Driveway
You can even do a cobblestone driveway apron, as in the photo above and have the balance of the driveway as asphalt.

I don't know what your design entails, but there are always ways of cutting costs.

If I can be of further help, please let me know!

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"Susan,  what a pleasure it was to work with you.  You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly!  Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant.  You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes.  Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"
Helen, Ontario-Canada 

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