Last week, the 2017 U.S. Houzz Landscaping Trends Study was released and revealed that landscaping projects are being driven by new home purchases. Some good news for landscape professionals: Nearly 75 percent of homeowners hired a professional for an outdoor project in 2016. Nineteen percent are hiring a pro to help with outdoor maintenance after the project completion.

1. Renovating front yards for curb appeal.

Customers are looking to update their front yards with new landscaping features. The top three updates are: beds/borders, shrubs and perennials. Although 69 percent of outdoor projects take place in the back yard, 44 percent of projects are now taking place in homeowner’s front yards. Nearly half of respondents credit helping the environment as their motivation for reducing or removing their front lawn.

2. Reasons for renovating.

Personalizing a new or recently purchased home is the top motivation for homeowners to update their landscaping for the first time, according to Houzz. The majority of homeowners report using their outdoor spaces for relaxing including gardening, entertaining and family time. The second reason for renovation was due to elements of the outdoor space deteriorating and 42 percent report that their last outdoor updates were more than 10 years ago.

3. Low maintenance plants.

Since only one in five homeowners plan to hire a professional for landscape maintenance, it’s not surprising that 95 percent report they are updating with new plants and mainly choosing low-maintenance plants. The trend toward native and insect- or bird-attracting plants has increased since 2014, whereas the popularity of edibles has decreased by 7 percent in the same time frame.

4. Outdoor lighting updates.

Almost half of homeowners making outdoor renovations are also updating lighting with 73 percent choosing LEDs. Outdoor lighting, followed by irrigation systems, is the most popular upgrade requested for projects. Smart lighting, which can be controlled from a mobile device or computer, is being chosen by homeowners. The most popular updated fixtures are path, post or bollard lights.

You can download the full 2017 U.S. Houzz Landscaping Trends Study online.