Hardscape contractors cost guide

Many people crave for changes annually. And there is no better way to transform and renovate your home than to improve your backyard. And while replanting might be too complicated and not obvious for most homeowners, hardscape design is something that anyone has the strength to perform at any time and with any budget. Statistically, houses with neatly hardscapes add up about 10-15% in market value; and this is another reason to put your hardscape in order.

Here you will learn about:

The landscape consists of softscape and hardscape elements. Softscape elements include all plants, trees, grass, and shrubs; basically anything one can grow in the backyard. Hardscape elements of the landscape design are the man-built pieces, such as swimming pools, patios, driveways, fountains, benches, gates, and any other stone- and metal-made objects.

Average cost of of hardscape contractors

Hardscape contractors on average cost between $1,400 and $5,200. Lowest price for this service equals about $300 and is charged for minor hardscape repair works. The major building and installation projects, like patio or pool building, may cost as much as $20,000 and even higher. The final cost of any hardscape project significantly depends on the project scope, amount of work required and the materials chosen for its completion.

Cost-related questions

How do hardscape contractors charge?

Most often, hardscape contractors will estimate you the cost of the project in total and then give you the total cost for everything, including labor, materials, and supplies. The costs for the most common hardscape projects are described below.

Besides the per-project rates, some hardscape services are charged per square foot or per hour of work. For example, services related to the installation of fences or paths can be charged per square foot (concrete patio costs about $6-$15/square foot, chain link fences cost $6-$8/square foot, redwood deck costs $18-$22/square foot). Most repair services are charged on the per-hour basis. You can expect to pay about $30-$45/hour for a deck, gazebo, and fence repair projects.

Can we help you find a hardscape contractor?

What are the most common hardscape projects and how much do they cost?

  • Deck building $7,200
  • Deck repair $1,600
  • Build a gazebo $6,450
  • Repair a gazebo $950
  • Build a patio $16,200
  • Install awning $2,450
  • Repair awning $600
  • Build a swimming pool $21,500 (please find more info in our pool building cost guide)
  • Install water fountain or water pond $2,500-$3,000
  • Seal the deck $850
  • Driveway repair $1,500
  • Remove tree stump $300
  • Install drainage $3,400
  • Install stamped concrete $4,500
  • Install landscape curbing $1,150
  • Install pathway $3,700
  • Install a retaining wall $5,300

Can I hire one contractor to perform any hardscape service?

Generally, you will have to cooperate with several different contractors to make a facelift for your backyard. Swimming pool experts rarely know how to build a gazebo, and driveway repair specialists are seldom proficient in fountain building. Hardscape contractor is an umbrella term that unites a wide number of professionals. If you want everything to be performed at the highest level, then it’s better to hire particular experts for particular services.

Do I need to hire a landscape designer for hardscape projects?

Yes and no. Most single-standing projects, like the installation of a fence or creation of a fireplace, don’t require any professional designer’s help. This is justified by the fact that you are in need of a professional who will create one more thing in your backyard to match the whole existing ensemble of plants and home exterior. However, in case you are planning to renovate the whole backyard, then cooperation with a professional landscape designer can be of a great use for you. On average, you can expect to pay about $2,200-$5,100 for landscape designer services. A designer can unify all your ideas into a single project and then monitor that your hardscape contractors perform their duties properly. You can learn more about landscape design experts in our landscape designer cost guide.

Can we help you find a hardscape contractor?

How to avoid unreliable hardscape contractors

Having a quality service is always the main aim of any homeowner hiring a hardscape contractor. Here are several red flags that will help you pass over the unreliable companies.

  1. No pictures of the past projects
  2. Hardscaping is the kind of contracting job that has a visible result. A new gazebo or fixed driveways are both objects that can be photographed in the before/after format. Always cooperate with contractors who can show you the completed projects.

  3. Large deposit
  4. Yes, deposits are common in the construction world since contractors need to purchase materials and sometimes rent supplies. However, they will never ask for more than 25% deposit upfront. This is a sum which is enough to book supplies and negotiate the materials deal in the beginning. The rest of the sum is always paid after the project is finished and the client is satisfied with the result.

  5. No license and insurance
  6. Even though the special contracting license is required not in all the US states, there is the notion of a general business license. The latter is obligatory for all service providers, hardscape contractors included. Besides that always verify what insurance plan a contractor has. The absence of a license is a direct sign that the business is not flourishing and so that the service is not that great. Moreover, if you hire a contractor without insurance and something happens to their health on your property, you will have to cover the medical bills. Avoid such misfortunes and always hire experts with both license and insurance.

  7. Lack of communication skills

Yes, this is a red flag as well. Hardscape contractors will have to negotiate all minor details with you and sometimes insist on the better tactics or materials. In case your prospective professional is unable to compromise or can’t advise, you risk getting everything ruined or receiving a different project from what you had imagined.

Other frequently asked questions

Do I have to be home during the project construction?

No, most hardscape contractors don’t require the client’s presence during their work. However, if you would like to be, it is always possible. You shouldn’t worry, however, that something will be done without consulting with you. Usually, contractors make early appointments or discuss project details after your working hours to ensure that the project goes in the right direction.

Once the agreement is finalized, how long does it take for the project to be finished?

The length of the hardscape project heavily depends on its specific. For instance, smaller projects, like repairs or lighting installation, may last only a couple of days, while patio installation will take up to 1.5 weeks. Swimming pool planning and building may take up to a month as well as retaining walls building. Generally, the project length is estimated right after all the details are agreed upon by the sides.

Will there be damage to my yard?

In case heavy traffic is expected in your backyard, you can always consult with your contractor about this issue. However, most hardscape experts cover the yards with plywood to protect the yard during any installation or repairs.

Bottom line

Most hardscape contracting projects cost about $1,400-$5,200 on average. Lard-scope projects may cost as much as $20,000 and higher, while minor repairs of the fence or garden doors will cost as little as $300. The final cost of hardscape contractor services heavily depends on the materials and amount of work required for its completion.

Do you need a hardscape contractor?