1 Size of Project
Seems obvious, right? But buyer beware: when comparing prices between two contractors, be sure to compare the size of the job they're proposing. One contractor might believe that your space calls for a 10' pond while another contractor might be thinking 5'. Both of these proposals can be great - but when making your decision, remember to compare apples to apples.
The larger your pond, for example, a larger area has to be cleared from debris; more grading or topsoil may have to be brought in; more build materials have to be purchased; larger pumps may be required; possibly more disposal; more labor; etc. etc.
2 Scope of Project
Depending on you're Vision, cost can change greatly. For example, a 20' pondless stream with 10 waterfall drops will not cost the same as a 20' pondless stream with 4 waterfall drops.
In the same manner an 7'x10' KOI pond will not cost the same as a 7'x10' wetland system pond.
3 Current Property State
The state of your property will affect the scope of the project and ultimately, the price. What does "state" mean? Well, if there are grading issues (meaning that your property's heights or grades need to leveled off or made even), that will require machinery, labor, and materials. If your property has drainage issues, we'll want to address that appropriately to help protect your landscape and the integrity of any installations.
4 Ease of Access
As you can imagine, if the materials for your project need to be hand-carted into your back yard or up a long path because there is not enough access for a machine to fit through, the time and labor it will take to complete your project will increase; with that, the price of the project will increase accordingly.
There are a multitude of materials that you can choose for your landscape project, and that's true for waterscapes too.
For waterscapes, the size of your water feature can make a big difference in price because there can be more or less labor; more or less construction; and more or less materials.
For landscapes, not all plants are created equal: some plants are less expensive or easier to get from the nurseries and so their cost is lower, while other plants, like ornamental trees, are pricier because of their uniqueness and the care required to grow them. Additionally, "size does matters" (example: A 15' birch may be 4x's more than a 6' birch).
Where possible, we encourage our clients to save money on 2D designs or 3D renderings and, instead, put that money towards the materials and installation of the project instead. We'll then walk our clients through the property and use paint and conversation to "draw" out the intended design. However, we understand that sometimes, depending on the scope of the project, our clients may need a formal landscape design in order to conceptualize the transformation.
During your consultation, if it is discovered that a formal design will serve you best, we can offer you either a one-time 2D design starting at $200 or a 3D animated computer rendering starting at $1,500.