A new Houzz study examines the many motivations behind landscaping projects in 2014, and they range from the purely practical to the pleasure-seeking.
Among the findings were that 56% are improving their yard for entertaining purposes, and 55% are seeking to problem-solve (that's 41% to protect against flooding, 25% to protect against sun exposure, and 23% to create more privacy). Additionally, 30% of homeowners in the West are attempting to find drought-related solutions.
“Smart landscape design can solve real problems that affect a yard or home, from privacy and shade to water use and nighttime safety,” said Liza Hausman, VP community for Houzz. “A professional landscape designer or contractor can often provide the best solutions to these problems and turn your yard into a space you can enjoy for years.”
Backyards are also being used in a variety of ways -- most popularly as enteratining spaces (83%), followed by outdoor eating spaces (73%) and outdoor living rooms (53%).
Among the features homeowners are incorporating are patios and decks (83%), BBQs (48%), fire pits (48%), sound systems (19%) and outdoor kitchens (14%).
Green features are also a hit, with 58% adding LED lighting outside, and 56% adding solar-powered lights. Native plants are a preference for 92% of homeowners, though more for maintenance reduction (67%) than eco-friendliness (49%). A good chunk (64%) are planning to grow their own edibles, with approximately 70% of those growing edibles for the first time. "Edibles," in this case, typically means herbs (73%), but vegetables (70%) and fruit trees (51%) are close behind.
The Spring Houzz Landscaping Survey took the pulse of more than 4,500 Houzz users who are currently landscaping (or planning to).