While a commercial landscape renovation can provide many benefits to your property, cost can play a major factor in getting the project done. However, it’s usually worth it. Renovating and updating your existing landscape has the obvious benefit of improving curb appeal. But here are a few more facts you probably didn’t know about the benefits of commercial landscaping:
- Commercial properties with high-quality landscaping can increase rental revenue by 7% (University of Washington).
- Customers are willing to spend 12% more for goods purchased in retail environments with quality landscaping (University of Washington).
- Landscaping can increase the resale value of a property by 14% (Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association)
So what can you expect to pay for a landscape renovation? There are many variables that go into calculating the cost of a landscape renovation, which make it nearly impossible to come up with a straightforward cost. But if you understand what the variables are, you can get an idea of whether your project will be on the higher or lower end of the spectrum.
What affects the cost of a commercial landscape renovation?
Goals for the Property
Your goals for your property are important in determining the cost of a commercial landscape renovation. Do you want to create a lush, inviting outdoor space for your tenants or residents? Then having mature, shady trees and dense plantings might be a cost you’re willing to pay for. Or do you simply need to update the landscaping to improve curb appeal? If so, you might be more focused on using less mature and lower-priced plants for your property. It’s important to determine what you want to spend money on and what you don’t before you get started on a project.
Existing Conditions of the Landscaping
The current state of your landscaping is one of the biggest variables that determines the cost of a renovation. Roots, especially, can cause your budget to take a hit. Because they’re not visible, a landscape designer will have to make an educated guess to determine how complex root removal will be. But sometimes once the digging has started, it may turn out that the roots will require much more work and labor than previously thought. At this point, the cost of your project can increase.
Soil health and profile/type is another variable of your property that can affect cost. Before shrubs and trees are planted, the soil must be prepped and amended to ensure the soil is optimal for establishment and long-term growth. A simple way to determine soil profile is to request a soil test through a lab that specializes in soil reports. The report will have an extensive overview of the existing nutrients (or lack thereof) and provide recommendation for fertilization/amendments for the proposed plantings.
The third common landscape feature that impacts the cost of a renovation is slopes. When a landscape renovation takes place on a slope, a few things need to be taken into consideration. The first is the angle of the slope. If the hillside is steep, then it will require more hand labor creating an increase in time and effort to renovate the area. Additionally, slopes tend to become overgrown and densely vegetated. Removing all the material from a slope can be incredibly time consuming and cumbersome. In addition to labor and equipment, dumping has also become a very expensive line item for the construction industry. Disposing of green waste will be an additional cost.
Irrigation Retrofit Requirements
When your property undergoes a landscape renovation, the current irrigation system should be audited and upgraded. This will make your irrigation as efficient as possible, which will save money on watering costs. An upgraded system can also incorporate smart technology to more accurately manage the irrigation schedule and help alert the management team of any breaks or leaks in the system.
To get the most accurate estimate, it’s best to provide your project manager with an irrigation map. This critical document illustrates where every irrigation valve and controller is located. It’s especially helpful if the landscaping is overgrown and valves aren’t readily visible. This map should indicate the exact number of valves that will need to be retrofitted and their location on the property. This makes it much easier to estimate the cost of the retrofit. An irrigation map can end up saving you time and money.
Almost any material made of rock or concrete would fall under the category of hard materials. This can include boulders, pavers, gravel and decomposed granite (DG). It can also include bender board, concrete or metal edging and retaining walls.
Hard materials affect the price based on the amount and/or size of the materials needed, as well as how much effort is needed to install it. For example, large, heavy boulders are expensive to deliver and place. In addition, some hard materials like DG require the earth to be relatively flat before installation. A plate compactor would be necessary to level out and flatten the area before the DG is installed.
Size and Density of Plantings
While you may want your landscaped area to look lush immediately after installation, the reality is that it will take time for plants to mature and fill in the space. Some people don’t love the look of a newly planted but empty-looking landscape.
One way to make the landscaping look fuller is to plant larger plants and/or place more plants closer together. This gives the effect of lush landscaping even though the plants have not grown in. There’s no need to wait for plants to mature, because the landscape already looks leafy and verdant.
As you can imagine, when you purchase a higher quantity of plants or ones that are more mature, the cost of your landscaping project will be higher. You’ll need to consider if you would be happy waiting for your landscaping to fill in, or if you would prefer the immediate, lush look of higher-density landscape installation.
Commercial Landscape Renovation Costs: Case Studies
Case Study #1
Property type: Business Park
Size: 22,935 sq. ft.
Cost per sq. ft.: $
Included minor shrub and turf removal and root removal from old ficus trees. Also included installation of boulders, decorative pavers and concrete. Irrigation updates consisted of converting spray irrigation to drip irrigation. Small plant sizes at low density. Note that because this was a large-scale renovation, the price is less per square foot.
Case Study #2
Property type: Office
Size: 2,800 sq. ft.
Cost per sq. ft.: $$
Included minor groundcover removal in a flat location. Installed crushed rock and large boulders. Converted spray irrigation to MP rotators. Small plant sizes at medium density.
Case Study #3
Property type: Office
Size: 8,100 sq. ft.
Cost per sq. ft.: $$$
Included mature shrub and groundcover removal and root removal from old Melaleuca trees. Installed assorted decorative rock and boulders. Converted spray irrigation to MP rotators and drip irrigation. Mixed plant sizes at medium to high density.
If you want to update the look of your commercial property, we’re here to help. Let our expert landscape designers walk you through the process. They are knowledgeable, efficient, and can work within your budget so that you get the highest return on your investment. Contact us today at (760)598-7065 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.