kansas city landscaping guide

A Guide to Planning and Budgeting for Your Outdoor Project

How do you budget when you’re not sure what things cost? Why does a budget matter?

At High Prairie Landscape Group, we work diligently to bring valuable information to our clients because we feel that an educated client can make sound decisions. With any project, it’s important to establish goals and parameters before a design or bid is created. Why? As you’ll see below, projects have wide ranges of investment levels and if a designer has no idea of your goals and budget, they can’t customize a design to fit YOUR needs. It wastes your valuable time and the designer’s time making revisions because their plans don’t meet your financial needs.

The best way to ensure a client gets exactly what they need is to set budget goals. Nobody wins when a designer arrives with a $50,000 proposal and the client had a $10,000 budget. The following information is provided based on industry averages for high-quality work. The low-ball businesses that go out of business every few years are not considered in these pricing averages. (For good reason!)

Please note this information is intended to be an educational tool to help you understand how to align your dreams with realistic goals. This is no way constitutes a formal bid since every site is unique.

This useful guide will allow you to plan phases if needed as well as understand that contractors and clients work better together when we can help you maximize your budget.

Driveways

What you won’t see in the pricing guide for driveways:

  • Paver drives on an aggregate/gravel base: These driveways do NOT last with vehicular traffic and are not considered a wise investment if not installed on concrete.
  • Driveways with natural stone such as flagstone: The natural stone is not engineered, so isn’t as likely to handle traffic. It also doesn’t tolerate salt on tires like a high-grade paver would.

Things that will increase your investment beyond the average price per foot are: demolition of existing elements, building up a sloped area, walls to level area, and extra excavation.

DRIVEWAY TYPEAVG. PRICETIP TO SAVETIP TO CUSTOMIZE
Gravel$0.70-$2/sq. ft.Keep the design simple and straightAdd a border or apron with a paver or brick
Concrete$8-$10/sq. ftDon't add coloring to the concrete, keep it grey and simpleConsider decorative concrete
Decorative Concrete$12-$19/sq. ft.Opt for one color and a simple pattern/textureAdd multiple colors and antique top coats. Consider borders or other embellishments. (Add $2-$7/sq. ft.)
Paver (on concrete)$17-$25/sq. ft.Choose straight lines in the design and use simple paverAdd a different paver for the border, add curves or designer details
Premium Paver (on concrete)$23-$35/sq. ft.use a single stone for the body of the drive and another for the border. Don't mix too many pavers, sizes, or texturesAdd character with differing pavers, patterns, or a mix of color in complementary tones

Patios and Walkways

Things that will increase your investment beyond the average price per foot are: demolition of existing elements, building up a sloped area, walls to level area, drainage work, poor access to use machinery.

PATIO TYPEAVG. PRICETIP TO SAVETIP TO CUSTOMIZE
Concrete$6-$16/sq. ft.Keep the design straight edges and don't colorAdd curves or contrasting borders/bands
Colored/Stamped Concrete $15-$19/sq. ftAvoid complex shapes, and use one colorAdd additional colors, top coats, and contrasting details
Paver Patio on Aggregate$15-$25/sq. ft.Save money by using a more affordable paver for the body and use a higher-end paver for the bordersAdd designer details, unique patterns, and multi-size stone options
Premium Paver $25-$32/sq. ft.Use a simple design in a simple, classic patternAdd designer details, unique patterns, and multi-size stone options. Consider using larger scale slabs.
Natural Flagstone$28-$32/sq. ft.Allow for larger joints for mortar instead of cutting every edge for labor savings. (No more than 2"joints) Use square cut stone or have random flagstone cut on every edge for tiny joints.

Retaining Walls

If demolition of existing elements or rough grading are needed, additional investments should be planned depending upon the scope. This would be in addition to the average construction price listed above. This level of investment is unique to each property.

Walls over 3’ or terraced walls require reverse engineering with a geo-textile product that reinforces the walls to prevent future failing. This additional investment can be $2-5 more per square foot.

RETAINING WALL TYPEAVG. PRICETIP TO SAVETIP TO CUSTOMIZE
Split-face Block $15-$30/sq. ft.Opt for simple designs and keep walls below 3’ tallAdd an interesting cap or some curves
Premium Block$28-$36/sq. ftOpt for simple designs and keep walls below 3’ tallUse a contrasting block as a designer ribbon in the wall or use an interesting cap.
Retaining Wall with Veneer $25-$35/sq. ft.Use stucco instead of veneer, or use simple designsChoose a natural stone veneer, an interesting cap, or use a colored mortar
Stone$25-$45/sq. ft.Use larger ledge stone to save on laborUse an exotic stone or frost-resistant stone.
Poured Concrete$30-$40/sq. ft.Use a simple, straight design below 3’ tallAdd coloring, textures, or caps
Stone Veneer on existing surface $10-$20/sq. ft.Use a manmade productUse a natural stone

Fire Features

Some cities require permits for fire features and also have design standards about proximity to lot lines and structures. Ensure you know your codes before investing. Permits can be expensive.

Ensure the fire feature is installed where prevailing winds won’t blow out the fire or blow smoke towards your usable space.

TYPEAVG. PRICETIP TO SAVETIP TO CUSTOMIZE
Portable Outdoor Firepit$200-$1500Choose a small, wood burning modelChoose an antique sugar kettle, or a pre-fabricated option
Block Fire Pit Kit Built on site$1500-$4000Choose wood burning, simple caps, and simple blockAdd natural gas, accent fire-glass, or a cooking grate. Also consider a unique cap.
Custom Fire Pit$5000-$7000+Stick to common sizes and shapes and if using gas, locate close to the lines. Customize with seating, walls, fire/water features, or unique materials.
Pre-Fabricated Fireplace$5000-$12,000Select a basic model with minimal sections to install and choose wood burningChoose more ornate materials and details. If gas is desired, the additional investment is between $2000 and $2500 more.
Pre-fabricated structure with Custom Veneer$8000-$20,000Choose a simple veneer and add embellishments with a different stone.Add fire boxes, a mantle, a stone hearth, or custom details that match your architecture. If gas is desired, the additional investment is between $2000 and $2500 more.
Custom Fireplace$20,000+Choose standard shapes and sizesChoose high-end materials, add water features, planters, wood boxes, and custom details. If gas is desired, the additional investment is between $2000 and $2500 more.

Outdoor Kitchens

TYPEAVG. PRICETIP TO SAVETIP TO CUSTOMIZE
Prefab Outdoor Kitchen $2000-$8000Choose simple appliances in a linear shaped bar. Choose a stucco model to save. Upgrade to stone veneer, more/better appliances, and lighting
Simple Outdoor Kitchen (Veneered)$10,000-$20,000Buy a smaller grill and include only our must-have accessories. Upgrade counters, finishes, change to an L-shape, or add a tiered bar
Large Outdoor Kitchen$25,00-$65,000Choose simple finishing materials in an easy to build shape. (Square is easier than curved). Keep accessories simpleUpgrade counters, finishes, change to an L-shape, or add a tiered bar. Consider a beer or rootbeer tap.
Luxury Outdoor Kitchen$55,000+Choose simple finishing materials in an easy to build shape. (Square is easier than curved). Keep accessories simpleAdd a TV, sound system, multi-bar, heaters, and any luxury you can add to you indoor kitchen.
Pre-fab Pizza Oven $2500-$13,000Choose a counter-top version to save. Choose a stone veneered, independent piece to add to your kitchen
Mugnaini Italian Pizza Oven with Stone Veneer$15,000-$25,000Choose a smaller model and simple veneer Upgrade to a larger model, add designer details in the veneer, add an upgraded mantle.
High Prairie Custom - The Sous Chef$6,500-$9,500Choose the base price Granite with a 90 degree edge and a simple veneer.Upgrade to a limestone counter choosing between a 90 degree edge and hand chiseled edges. Choose a high end veneer, upgrade your appliances, or add more lights.
High Prairie Custom- The Chef (9’)$13,500-$17,000Choose the base price Granite with a 90 degree edge and a simple veneer. Upgrade to a limestone counter choosing between a 90 degree edge and hand chiseled edges. Choose a high end veneer, upgrade your appliances, or add more lights.
High Prairie Custom-The Entertainer (8.5’ X 8.5’)$19,000-$25,000Choose the base price Granite with a 90 degree edge and a simple veneer. Upgrade to a limestone counter choosing between a 90 degree edge and hand chiseled edges. Choose a high end veneer, upgrade your appliances, or add more lights.

Pools

Pools almost always require a permit and must meet zoning rules. Check with your city before investing.

TYPEAVG. PRICETIP TO SAVETIP TO CUSTOMIZE
Vinyl Pool$3000-$18,000Choose a smaller shape in a rectangle or square.Upgrade vinyl, add custom coping, or a nice pool deck
Fiberglass Pool (Fiberglass performs well in our Kansas City clay)$15,000-$45,000Smaller is always a savings. Forgo the heaters and water features to save more.Add custom coping, a permeable paver pool deck for no visible drains, and water features.
Gunite Pool $35,000-$75,000Choose one custom color, and limit the extra features like spas and waterfalls. Add a sun-ledge, infinity edge, boulders, glass tiles, and custom coping. Include a permeable paver pool deck for no visible drains.
Resort Style Gunite/Concrete Pool$50,000-$175,000Consider simple colors for the pool interior. Keep the patterns simple.Upgrades are unlimited: Sun decks, sound systems, light shows, water features, grottos, automated pool covers, swim-up bar, glass tiles, and custom coping.

Lighting and Accessories

Ensure your electrical system will support your lighting system.

TYPEAVG. PRICETIP TO SAVETIP TO CUSTOMIZE
Per fixture (A transformer already onsite)$125-$200Choose Vista Lighting which is pro-grade, but more affordable. Choose Fx Luminaire with option like color-changing, and operable from your phone.
Simple Lighting System$4000-$6000Choose Vista Lighting which is pro-grade, but more affordable. Choose Fx Luminaire with option like color-changing, and operable from your phone.
Intricate Lighting System (More fixtures, and more effects)$7000-$30,000Choose Vista Lighting which is pro-grade, but more affordable. Choose Fx Luminaire with option like color-changing, and operable from your phone.
Holiday Lighting- Professional Grade LED $3000-$30,000Start with the roofline and build to your collection over timeWrap trees- this is the most expensive investment in both materials and labor in holiday lighting, but they’re amazing!
Tiered Concrete Fountain$1500-$4500Choose a two-tier option close to electrical sourcesSelect a larger fountain, and add an auto-fill so that you never have fill.
Wall Fountain $750-$4500Choose a smaller designSelect a larger fountain, and add an auto-fill so that you never have fill.
Large Fountain$4500-$8000Size is the price dictator. Always ensure a proper base on large fountains.Add lighting, timers, and autofillers.
Custom Mail Box $1200-$4000Keep it simpleAdd custom details, natural stone veneer, and lights.

Irrigation and Drainage

TYPEAVG. PRICETIP TO SAVETIP TO CUSTOMIZE
Surface Swale $0.05-$0.75 per sq/ft
Dry Stream Bed $10-$16 per sq/ftUse less boulders, pick a simple gravel, and keep the shape simpleAdd boulders to edges and through-out to make the stream appear natural. Always use 3 sizes of rock to prevent it looking like a gravel pad, make natural curves and islands.
Engineered French Drain (EZ-Flo)$30-$45 per linear footUse a single-wide drain and seed the disturbed areas.Add a double-wide drain and sod disturbed areas.
Trench drains in hardscapes $70-$80 per linear footChoose a simple grateAdd a custom metal grate with decorative details, OR permeable pavement.
Irrigation (Sprays and Rotars)$1000-$2200 per zone
Irrigation (Drip Zone)$500-$800 per zone
Full System (Average Site)$4500-$8000Keep the system and clock simpleUpgrade to a smart clock that can be operated from your phone, add a rain sensor, and consider moisture meters.

Lawns

TYPEAVG. PRICETIP TO SAVETIP TO CUSTOMIZE
Seeded Lawn $0.50-$0.65 per sq. ft.
Sodded Lawn $3.50-$4.00per sq. ft.Sod priority areas, and seed low priority areas

Planting

The following pricing includes the selection of plan, soil amending, fertilizing, edging, and mulching.

Removal of existing landscape elements, stripping of sod, downspout burying, and irrigation adjustments are extra investment that must be considered when planning your project.

TYPEAVG. PRICETIP TO SAVETIP TO CUSTOMIZE
Front Landscape Small $4500-$7000Choose smaller plants, space further apart, and consider doing any removals yourself Upgrade the accent plants to a larger size, add seasonal color or pots
Front Landscape Average$8000-$19,000Choose smaller plants, spaced further apart, and consider doing any removals yourselfUpgrade the accent plants to a larger size, add seasonal color or pots. Consider styles such as English Garden, Italian, or French.
Front Landscape Large $15,000-$45,000Focus on the priority areas for upgrading size. Bring in specimen features, upgrade size for immediate impact, introduce English or French pottery, custom art, and seasonal color displays
Back Landscape Small$4500-$8000Choose smaller plants, space further apart, and consider doing any removals yourself Upgrade the accent plants to a larger size, add seasonal color or pots
Back Landscape Average$10,000-$25,000Choose smaller plants, spaced further apart, and consider doing any removals yourselfUpgrade the accent plants to a larger size, add seasonal color or pots. Consider styles such as English Garden, Italian, or French.
Back Landscape Large$26,000-$45,000Focus on the priority areas for upgrading size.Bring in specimen features, upgrade size for immediate impact, introduce English or French pottery, custom art, and seasonal color displays
2.5-3 Tree$550-$900Choose common cultivars. Quick growers are also more affordableOrder a specimen quality plants and upgrade to an in-ground watering tube system.
6’ Evergreen Green (Includes compost, fertilizer, mulch, and tree stake system.) $300-$400Select a readily available cultivar
9’ Evergreen Tree (Includes compost, fertilizer, mulch, and tree stake system.)$600-$900Select a readily available cultivar

Edging

TYPEAVG. PRICETIP TO SAVETIP TO CUSTOMIZE
Natural Cut Edge $3 per linear foot
Steel Edge $8-$10 per linear foot
Stone Edge (Set in concrete) $16-$20 per linear foot
Paver Edge with Mow Strip (Set in concrete)$18-$22 per linear foot

Fencing

Some cities require permits for fences and don’t allow certain heights on certain lots. Check with your local codes before investing.

Alternately, fences are often required around pools.

TYPEAVG. PRICETIP TO SAVETIP TO CUSTOMIZE
Chain Link Fence $6-$8 per linear footChoose a smaller gauge of wire
Wood Fence$8-$12 per linear footUse a simple design and affordable treated lumberUpgrade the design, add a different topper, and consider cedar or staining
Vinyl Fence $18-$22 per linear footUse an affordable white vinyl, but keep away from discount quality vinyl as it will crack in our weather extremes.Choose a custom color, wood-look, and pro-grade vinyl with designer details.
Wrought Iron Fence$20-$30 per linear footThe shorter the fence, the more affordable. Choose a simple designAdd custom details, locks, etc.
Ipe or Tempered Glass Panels $30-$50 per linear footCustomize design in any matter of styles.

Decks, Pergola’s and Arbors

Please note that second and third story decks and steps are typically more of an investment per square foot. This is dependent upon size, access, and scale.

Also note, that every municipality is unique in relation to permits and zoning. Ensure your project is legal before investing.

TYPEAVG. PRICETIP TO SAVETIP TO CUSTOMIZE
Prefab Vinyl Arbor $600-$1000Choose a basic design Use pro-grade vinyl
Prefab Iron Arbor $600-$1000Choose a basic design Upgrade to a custom design
Basic Custom Wood Arbor$2000-$5000 Choose a basic design Upgrade to teak, ipe, and add special columns
Custom Arbor $5000-$15,000 Choose a common wood and simple designAdd any detail you can imagine: benches, swings, planters, tropical wood
Pressure Treated Deck$16-$19 per sq ftUse a square shape, simple rail, and seal the wood. Maintenance costs are high.Upgrade wood and railings
Cedar or Redwood Deck$18-$25 per sq ftUse a square shape, simple rail, and seal the wood.Upgrade wood and railings
Composite Deck$23-$44 per sq ftUse a simple design. No sealing needed. Avoid low end composite since it doesn’t age gracefully or retain coloringAdd designer details like benches, tree boxes, planters, and cut-outs
Ipe Deck $25-$32 per sq ftUse only where prominent. Use simple designs.Add designer details like benches, tree boxes, planters, and cut-outs
Open-Roof Wood Pergola$4000-$10,000 for a 10X10’Space the beams further apart and keep it as small as neededAdd columns, rain-proofing canvases, lighting, fans, and decorative beams
Aluminum Pergola $6000-$9000 for 10X10’Use basic posts, attach to house to limit posts, and choose a simple design Add columns, rain-proofing canvases, lighting, fans, and decorative beams
Solid Roof Pavilion$18,000-$30,000 for a 12X12’Choose simple materials and build only as bid as you need. Choose a level spot if possible Upgrade to stone column bases, lighting, fans, heaters, outdoor TV’s, and fire features.