Q:

How do you use a landscaping cost estimator?

A:

Quick Answer

To use a landscaping cost estimator, first determine the size of the project by measuring the entire lot to be designed in square feet and sketching to scale the layout for the design. Decide on the materials needed, as well as the amount of square footage each material occupies. Make of list of the materials, including the foundational materials, such as sand and gravel.

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Full Answer

Account for any tools you need that you do not already own, such as special saws for pavers or wiring for any lighting. Research whether any of the work you want to do requires a permit, and factor the cost of the permit into the budget. For any projects that require a professional, find a business or contractor that you trust, and ask for an estimate.

Take the list of materials and price the various styles of each at home improvement stores or garden supply stores. For example, flagstone is more expensive per square foot than pavers, so choose the type that fits your budget and design style. Document the prices of each material you choose, the name of the brand and whether it is a bulk package or per square foot.

Once you have all of the relevant information, begin adding up all the categories. Multiply the cost of the materials by the square footage or area needed. Add together all the various aspects of the project. Make any adjustments necessary to fit your budget. Be prepared to spend a certain percentage more than the estimate in case unforeseen problems occur.

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