This time of year marks the end of winter and the fresh start of spring with beautifully landscaped gardens, hardscape projects and more. So, what’s the big trend?
“In the past 10 years, I have seen a huge rise in the demand for outdoor patios using many landscaping options available,” says Pat Kray, owner of Kray Landscaping Inc., based in Parma and Independence. “Twenty or 30 years ago, decks were very popular until homeowners realized how much ongoing maintenance was required. But now people want to spend more time at home with family and making memories.”
The generational gap shows in outdoor improvements as more boomer-age adults keep their residences or downsize for less maintenance.
“Adults age 50 and older look more toward unique and intricate landscapes that they have more time to enjoy,” says Rob Witsaman, landscape division manager and project director for Royal Victorian Gardens in North Royalton.
“They may also be bringing an idea to fruition that just was not a priority before. Most people under 50 are mostly focused on simple, modern, family-friendly designs or even creating a design plan to be developed in the years ahead.”
Painting, Sealing and Other Chores
Witsaman says maintenance is still a concern. “Older adults generally know their property more intimately after having oftentimes spent years living there and are now looking to make their yard more manageable and suitable to their needs.”
“While people want to spend time beautifying their homes, they do not want to be a slave to their landscape,” Kray says. “With the combination of low-maintenance materials and plants, and also the landscaping company’s landscape and lawn maintenance services that are offered, homeowners can achieve low-maintenance landscaping that they want.”
Hardscape projects are what pay off in the long-run. Professionally installed, high-quality stonework that is planned correctly will give any property additional resale value.
“We use a diversity of material as well as natural stone that greatly enhances the visual and functional points of an outdoor living environment,” Witsaman says. “Outdoor kitchens are any grill or barbecue enthusiast’s dream and worth the investment because it will be the center of attention for years to come. There is a very broad price range for stone veneer products on outdoor kitchens, which offer both beauty and durability. Not every project has to be the most expensive or the most elaborate either. There is a lot you can do with a little, and still accentuate a landscape.”
Landscaping companies maintain flexible price ranges while still customizing the design to fit the size (material used), location (structural concerns), complexity and budget.
“We work with plans that can be built over years or done all at once,” Witsaman says. “You could spend $100 for a fountain and label it a water feature, or spend anywhere from $1,000 to $18,000-plus, depending on the project. Deck pricing is entirely driven by the size and material location. Small patio pads can go for a few hundred dollars to $30,000 — depending on the material, intricacies, square footage and accents like pillars, sitting walls, plantings, etc.”
Margaret Briller is a freelance writer in Northeast Ohio who enjoys watching others do yard work.