Homeowners are saying no to cookie cutter curb appeal and instead saying yes to landscapes that set them apart from their neighbors, according to findings from the 2017 U.S. Landscaping Trends Survey recently released by Houzz. Thirty-three percent—the majority—of those surveyed reported personalization as their motivation for completing an outdoor improvement.
“Home renovation activity is benefiting from the significant increase in home sales in 2015 and 2016, which is reflected in our findings on motivations for starting a landscape project,” said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz, in a release about the survey.
Forty-one percent of those surveyed are aiming for a landscape that is “extremely” or “very” different. A sheer 6 percent of those surveyed who are completing or have completed outdoor improvements have landscapes that are “identical” to those of their neighbors—36 percent had landscapes similar to those of their neighbors before completing their improvements.
A distinct landscape, oddly, can make its owner more likely to interact with his or her neighbors, despite their differing tastes. Eighteen percent of those surveyed interacted more with their neighbors following completion of an outdoor improvement.
How are homeowners making their landscapes stand out? “Attractant” plants, low maintenance plants and native plants are all popular add-ons, in the form of beds or borders, perennials and/or shrubs, according to the survey.
“Since housing inventory has remained low, recent homebuyers likely consider their homes less than ideal, leading them to prioritize upgrades like outdoor projects more than ever, with emphasis on low maintenance,” Sitchinava said.
Some homeowners are dead set on separating their landscapes from those of their neighbors—in some cases with no lawn at all. Twenty-six percent of those surveyed are removing or have removed their front lawn, and 5 percent are replacing or have replaced it with a synthetic alternative.
What goes into differentiating your landscape? According to the survey, an outdoor improvement can take three to six months to plan and three to five-and-a-half months to execute—and 63 percent of those surveyed are planning to hire a professional to help make the improvement.