One of the biggest competitors landscape professionals face is the do-it-yourself movement. Any time a homeowner chooses to install their own patio or create their own landscape bed, a landscape professional, essentially, loses that potential job.
Unfortunately, there is a renewed interest in the DIY movement, sparking trends in the home improvement arena. Websites like Pinterest that share creative ideas along with helpful how-to steps don’t help.
So while the industry can’t fight the DIY movement, we can pay attention to the trends to find out where consumers are choosing to do it themselves and where they still might favor do-it-for-me options. Here are the latest trends the National Hardware Show and the North American Retail Hardware Association are reporting.
1. Home automation.
Tech-savvy homeowners are increasingly demanding products to make their homes more secure, efficient and comfortable. The newest products on the market are plug-and-play, with little to no installation needed and simple-to-connect software applications that allow users to access home systems and appliances via their smartphones, turning on and off landscape lighting, for instance. These systems give homeowners the ability to customize their homes to fit their lifestyles, as well as control utility usage, which can help save money.
2. Back to the land movement.
Conservation and reclamation, along with the modern back-to-the-land movement, sprang from the larger environmentalism trends that have been gaining strength over the past decade. As more consumers are concerned about food sourcing, some are taking it further by installing gardens, raising small livestock like chickens in backyards and taking up canning to preserve their harvests.
Landscape professionals have multiple opportunities to increase sales in services such as fencing, edibles/raised garden installation, fertilization, garden maintenance and plant and seed sales.
3. Conservation, reclamation and alternative energy.
Many environmentally conscious consumers, as well as many who desire to save money on utilities, have driven sales in products geared toward conserving natural and limited resources. These include using graywater systems for irrigation, as well as using cisterns and rain barrels to collect water for irrigation. Also, LED landscape lighting continues to grow in popularity because it saves energy.
4. Outdoor living.
Once summer hits, many homeowners prefer to slow down DIY projects in order to enjoy outdoor living. The popularity of outdoor rooms has made fire pits, fireplaces, grills and pizza ovens must-have items for the backyard.
Because building these items requires a certain level of skill, despite DIY retailers’ best efforts to offer step-by-step guidance, landscape pros should still be in high demand for these project installs.