Study Finds Outdoor Living and Environmentally Friendly Features a Focus for Spring Landscape Projects

Houzz survey reveals homeowners are going green with landscape lighting, native plants and lawn alternatives.

Creating entertaining space and fixing problems are equally important to homeowners when it comes to landscaping projects, according to the Spring Houzz Landscaping Survey of more than 4,500 Houzz users who are in the midst of, or are planning, a landscape update. Houzz, a platform for home remodeling and design, found that 56% of homeowners are making updates to improve their yards for entertaining and 55% to solve issues including flooding (41%), sun exposure (25%) and privacy (23%). After a dry winter in the West, nearly one third of homeowners in that region are looking for solutions to water shortage (30%).

“Smart landscape design can solve real problems that affect a yard or home, from privacy and shade to water use and nighttime safety,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of community for Houzz. “A professional landscape designer or contractor can often provide the best solutions to these problems and turn your yard into a space you can enjoy for years.”

Outdoor living

With temperatures heating up, so is outdoor living (read Top Elements of Outdoor Living Spaces). Backyards are turning into entertaining spaces (83%), outdoor eating spaces (73%) and outdoor living rooms (53%). To make this possible, homeowners are incorporating features like patios and decks (83%), BBQs (48%), fire pits (48%), sound systems (19%) and outdoor kitchens (14%). For evening entertaining, seven in ten homeowners are installing lights to illuminate their hardscape.

Eco-friendly choices

The survey also found that a majority of homeowners are making eco-friendly choices for their yard, which not only benefit the environment but also save time, including:

  • Green lighting: Of the two thirds of homeowners who are updating the lighting in their yard (65%), a majority is going green with LED (58%) and solar powered lights (56%). Homeowners in rural neighborhoods are most likely to choose solar powered lighting.
  • Native plant choices: Overwhelmingly, homeowners are choosing plants that are native to their region (92%). While many are motivated by benefiting the environment (49%), nearly seven in ten are looking to reduce maintenance (67%).
  • Lawn alternatives: Traditional lawn remains popular, but is significantly less so in the West (69%) versus the Midwest (88%), East (87%) and South (86%). Alternatives to traditional lawn are appearing throughout the country, with homeowners in the South choosing mondo grass (20%), and those in the West saving on water bills and upkeep with artificial lawn (16%).
  • Edible plantings: Many homeowners are joining the local food movement with nearly two thirds planning to grow edibles in their yard (64%). Seven in ten are growing edibles for the first time. Herbs are most popular (73%), followed by vegetables (70%) and fruit trees (51%).