Why is Landscaping So Expensive in the Inland Empire?
If you are considering landscaping your home or commercial property, you may be asking yourself, why is landscaping so expensive? Landscaping can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 depending on what you want to achieve. This can seem like a lot, especially when you don’t understand how prices are determined. Here are the top 5 price influencers on landscaping in the Inland Empire.
1. Living Wages Paid to Employees
Labor makes up about 80% of landscaping costs. Living wages for landscape workers in California can range anywhere from $14.00 to $25.00 an hour. Also keep in mind that irrigation techs are as experienced as plumbers and will be paid on the higher end of that scale. The size of the property along with the design you’ve chosen will determine the number of crew members needed to complete the job. Even for what may seem like a small project, 2-3 people may be working at one time in order to complete tasks more efficiently.
2. Cost of Materials
The cost of materials can be a factor of taste, but also necessity. Selecting quality materials can be the difference between a landscape design that lasts years to come, or one that needs to be replaced one year later. When you are discussing price, it is important to also consider the materials you won’t see when the project is complete. This includes pipe infrastructure, hardscape, soil, nutrients, fertilizer and weed fabric. If you’ve selected a design that also includes a pool, outdoor kitchen, a patio or gas fire pit you are looking at a landscaping project that costs within the $15,000 and up range.
3. Protection of Liability, Workmen’s Compensation, Auto Insurance and Bonding
No matter what type of service you are contracting, all of your vendors should have the proper business insurances. Insurance can protect you as the customer in the event of property damage or an on the job injury. While insurance is a necessity, it can be expensive and companies will often account for this in the cost of their services.
4. Expertise of a State of California Landscape Contractor
In order to bid on any landscaping job over $500.00, it is required by law to have a California C-27 Landscape Contractor’s License. Customers benefit from working with a licensed contractor because they have the experience to make informed decisions about your landscaping. In fact, to qualify for a license a landscaper must show proof of four years of full-time journey level landscaping experience. The landscaper must also pass a C-27 license exam. This is a two part exam with 115 questions on contractor law and 115 questions about general landscaping.
5. Built in Organizational Costs
Don’t forget about equipment and supplies along with other overhead costs. Equipment can be extremely expensive not only to purchase, but maintain. Fuel is a necessity not only to keep equipment running, but also to get to any job site. Also keep in mind that each company is different and organizational costs will look different across the board.
There are five factors that make landscaping so expensive:
- Living wages paid to workers
- The cost of materials
- Business Insurances
- The Expertise of a State of California Landscape Contractor
- Built in organizational costs
While landscaping can be expensive, it is important to consider the benefits to your home or commercial property. In the long run, a design that that is well thought out and done right, will cost you less than one that will soon need major maintenance or replacing.