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How Much Homeowners Spent on Landscape Projects in 2018

If you’re renovating a home, there’s a good chance you’ll want to update the landscape too. Half of homeowners who renovated in 2018 also chose to improve an outdoor space in some capacity, according to the 2019 U.S. Houzz & Home report. Projects ranged from revamping planting beds and borders to adding a deck, patio or swimming pool.


The 2019 U.S. Houzz & Home report, fielded between Feb. 13 and April 16, 2019, collected responses from more than 128,000 U.S. homeowners on Houzz, including over 67,000 homeowners who renovated their primary homes in 2018. The 2019 U.S. Houzz Landscaping Trends Survey, fielded between Feb. 13 and March 25, 2019, reflects the responses of over 26,000 registered U.S. Houzz users who own homes and were in the midst of an outdoor project or had completed one in 2018.

This article includes information pulled from both national studies.

How Much Outdoor Projects Cost

The median spend amount, meaning the midpoint spending level, on outdoor renovations was $5,000 in 2018, according to the 2019 U.S. Landscaping Trends Survey. Half of homeowners spent more on their outdoor project, and half spent less. Economists consider the median a more useful measure than the average or mean because expensive one-off projects can skew average numbers upward in a misleading manner.

But renovating homeowners upgrading their outdoor spaces tackled various outdoor projects with a wide range of price tags. Prices ranged from $400 for the median spend on outdoor lighting to $14,250 to add an outdoor pool. These prices include design fees and costs for permits, materials and labor.



For garden beds and borders, the median spend amount was $750; for lawns improvements, it was $1,000. New irrigation systems had a median cost of $1,000, while homeowners upgrading their outdoor spaces who added outdoor security systems spent a median amount of $500.

Outdoor structures came with a higher price tag. The median spend amount for decks, patios and terraces was about $2,500 each. New fencing cost slightly less, with the median cost coming in at $2,000. Keep in mind that these projects can require permits and more extensive site prep and design work, so that contributes to the cost.

Renovating homeowners upgrading an outdoor space on average tackled two outdoor projects during the renovation.

Now let’s look at other outdoor renovation trends found in the two studies.


Most Outdoor Renovations Happened in the Backyard

Homeowners renovating their outdoor areas focused on backyards the most (77 percent), but more than half of renovating homeowners upgrading their outdoor spaces upgraded front yards, and nearly 40 percent updated side yards, according to the 2019 Landscaping Trends Survey.

Most Renovating Homeowners Hired a Professional

Nearly 9 out of 10 renovating homeowners who undertook an outdoor project in 2018 hired at least one professional, according to the 2019 U.S. Landscaping Trends survey. Almost a third of homeowners worked with a gardener or lawn-care specialist, the most commonly hired professionals.

Landscape contractors, who do everything from manage an outdoor project to construct and execute the plan of a landscape designer or architect, were the next most popular professionals hired. Seventeen percent of renovating homeowners hired a landscape contractor.


Makeovers Addressed Aesthetics

Renovating homeowners upgrading their outdoor spaces overwhelmingly prioritized the beauty of those spaces during upgrades, according to the 2019 U.S. Landscaping Trends Survey. More than a third reported that they wanted to address an outdated or undesirable design or style, and one quarter of homeowners said they wanted to update old or outdated finishes.

About 1 in 6 renovating homeowners upgrading their outdoor spaces (16 percent) undertook outdoor projects to address damage from storms, flooding, erosion and more.



Planting Improvements Topped Grounds Upgrades

This chart shows a breakdown of what improvements renovating homeowners made to the grounds surrounding their homes, according to the 2019 U.S. Houzz & Home study. More than a quarter improved garden beds and borders, while upgrades to lawns, fences and patios or terraces were also popular.

Not shown in this chart are some of the more expensive and substantial outdoor projects. Eight percent of renovating homeowners added a shed or workshop, while 5 percent added a swimming pool.



Lighting Capped Outdoor Systems Upgrades

This chart shows various outdoor systems that renovating homeowners upgraded last year, with 1 in 5 homeowners making updates to outdoor lighting, according to the 2019 U.S. Houzz & Home study. Meanwhile, thinking of the 28 percent of homeowners mentioned in the previous chart who updated outdoor plantings, it makes sense that irrigation was the second most popular outdoor system upgraded by renovating homeowners in 2018.


Outdoor Security’s Popularity Continued to Grow

The popularity of outdoor security improvements, which includes adding products like cameras and sensors, continued to grow. This chart shows that upgrading outdoor security as part of a home renovation has increased in the past three years, according to the 2019 U.S. Houzz & Home study.

Your turn: We’d love to hear about your landscape project and how much it cost. Please tell us what you did and share your pictures in the Comments.


Read more insights from the Houzz & Home study




Annie Thornton July 5, 2019

Houzz Editorial Staff

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