Pros And Cons: DIY Landscaping Versus Hiring A Professional

Posted on: 12 November 2014

Landscaping your yard is about both aesthetics and function. A well-landscaped yard can provide shade to your home, provide a healthy drainage system, and add value to your home by improving its appearance. As you take on a landscaping project, you'll face one major decision immediately: should you do it yourself, or hire a professional? There are pros and cons to both methods.

DIY Landscaping

Pros:

  • No Labor Costs—One of the most costly aspects of landscaping is the time involved. When you do your own landscaping, you don't have to pay for all of the time that goes into the work. This can make landscaping very affordable.  
  • Freedom to Have It Your Way—When you landscape yourself, you get to choose everything. From the exact plant you buy to where it is located in your yard, you get to make all of the decisions. 

Cons:

  • Rental Costs—If you don't own heavy equipment, then you will probably have to rent it for certain aspects of landscaping, like excavation, from a company like Burris Equipment Co. This can be quite costly. For example, tractor rentals tend to cost anywhere from $250 to $600. The cost of tractor rentals, as well as other equipment rentals, varies based on taxes, parts included, delivery, and the company you rent from. 
  • Lack of Expertise—Although you might research information about the plants, trees, and products you buy for your yard, you probably don't have expertise about landscaping. Without expertise, it is more likely that some of the items you choose will be incompatible with others, or will require unexpected amounts of maintenance.

Hiring a Professional Landscaper

Pros:

  • Landscaping Expertise—A professional landscaper understands which plants do best in what soils. Professionals know how to landscape a yard for all seasons. Having such expertise can make your yard more sustainable.
  • Access to Equipment—Generally, landscapers own the equipment that they need to complete the job. However, if a landscaping group needs, for instance, tractor rentals, then they usually set up a contract with a landscaping equipment rental company for a business lease. You won't have to pay for that rental.

Cons:

  • Labor Costs—Landscapers usually charge per hour. On average, you will pay between $25 and $60 per hour for their labor. Specialized projects may require a charge like $400 per hour though. Depending on the landscaper, you may also be charged for costs like time spent designing the yard. 
  • Inflexible Schedule—Like any professional, a landscaper has a set work schedule. Many landscapers balance multiple clients and projects at once. This can lead to an inflexible schedule, which may inconvenience you. 
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