How People Upgrade Their Yards and What They Spend


The 2017 U.S. Houzz Landscape Trends Study reveals what homeowners care about in their outdoor projects.

If you’re thinking about upgrading your outdoor spaces and would like to get a sense of cost and timelines, we’ve got some data for you.

The 2017 U.S. Houzz Landscape Trends Study, fielded in February and March 2017, reflects the responses of 977 registered U.S. Houzz users who own homes and completed an outdoor project in the past 12 months, were working on one or plan to start one in the next three months.

It reveals how homeowners are currently updating their yards, how much they are spending and what upgrades are popular.



Read on to learn what’s trending now in American outdoor spaces.

How much people spend. As with all renovations and home projects, costs can range quite widely, depending on the work done and the labor costs in the location where the project takes place. That said, the results of the survey reveal some interesting price trends. The most common level of spending for an outdoor project is between $1,001 and $5,000, the survey found. A total spend of $1,000 or less is the second most common price level.

Before you get too overjoyed at these price tags, it’s worth noting that many of the lowest price tags are, not surprisingly, for smaller projects. A total of 73 percent of minor outdoor projects came in at $5,000 or less. Projects categorized as minor involve smaller-scale work such as mulching, minor planting and painting. In comparison, only 23 percent of projects categorized as complete overhauls — involving work like regrading, terracing and relandscaping — fall into that price range.

Fifteen percent of people spent more than $50,000 on their outdoor projects, and many of those projects were complete overhauls.

What people care about most. When it comes to investing in their outdoor spaces, the majority of homeowners (69 percent) with outdoor projects are tackling their backyards. But a sizable percentage — 44 percent — are focusing on their front yards. (Some are doing multiple projects.)

Cultivating curb appeal. Of those addressing the front of their homes as part of their outdoor projects, nearly half (47 percent) consider updated beds or borders as most important to their home’s curb appeal. Twenty-nine percent are employing shrubs, and nearly as many are including perennials.

Standing out is on trend. When people do address their street-facing outdoor spaces, they’re unlikely to want to blend in with the rest of the neighborhood. Thirty-six percent of owners renovating outdoor spaces report that before their projects, their front yards were nearly identical to those of their neighbors. After the outdoor project, only 6 percent of front yards remained nearly identical to others in the neighborhood. Forty-one percent, by contrast, are very or extremely different from those of the neighbors.

Chatting more with the neighbors. While the majority of homeowners are enjoying a similar amount of interactions with their next-door neighbors after the outdoor project as before, a significant slice — 18 percent — say they are interacting more with their neighbors since their outdoor projects were completed.