Droughts Spur Landscape Remodels

July 2, 2015

Recent home purchases are triggering major landscape projects, according to the 2015 Houzz Landscaping & Garden Trends report. This survey analyzed 1,600 home owners who completed an outdoor project in the past 12 months, or are currently working on one, or are planning a project in the future.

More than half of home owners who are updating their yards say they're doing it to solve drought or flooding issues. Thirty-six percent of home owners surveyed say they're reducing their existing lawn, while 16 percent are removing them altogether. In drought-ravaged California, 46 percent of home owners there said they are substituting their existing lawn for a synthetic one -- twice as likely as anywhere else, according to the survey. 

"In light of water-related challenges across much of the country, home owners are embarking on projects to tackle a lack of or excess water in the long-term," says Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. "This includes installing rainwater harvesting systems, adding drought-resistant and native plants, and others."

Low maintenance spaces are a top priority, according to the survey. Seventy-one percent of home owners upgrading their outdoor space say the space needs to be easy to maintain and functional, followed by perfect for entertaining and ready for the family to enjoy. 

Half of home owners are budgeting less than $5,000 on their current or upcoming outdoor project (52%), but slightly under half already spent this amount on recent projects. One in four home owners surveyed say they are budgeting more than $20,000 compared to more than a third of home owners who actually spent over $20,000 on recent projects -- implying that budgets and spending don’t always align, the survey notes.

Home owners show high usage of their outdoor spaces. More than half of the home owners surveyed said they spend six or more hours in their outdoor space per week, mostly relaxing (65%); gardening (48%); and entertaining (47%). 

Source: 2015 Houzz Landscaping & Garden Trends Survey (July 2015)