It’s more than changing climate affecting development choices in landscaping for new home builds in California.
If you’ve been hunting for a brand new home, you might have noticed that most share a particular first look. While the back yard may feature traditional rolled sod grass lawn, in-ground sprinklers and all the usual green plants in borders, the front yard probably has rock or gravel and areas of naturalized low-water plants – a Xeriscape look.
More than climate change is having an effect on how new-home developers choose to landscape around brand new properties. Recent droughts in California created water shortages that helped to shape consumer consciousness about landscaping styles and water requirements, water utility costs, and what is simply practical. Recent California wildfires drastically affected the way homeowners want their properties landscaped to help keep homes fire safe. Drought, fire, and water conservation trends all work to shape what new home buyers want when seeking a new home, and developers are responding at record rates.
Recent stats indicate that around 75% of new home developments in California opted for low-water landscaping last year. Surveys also show that more homeowners than ever are removing traditional grass lawns and opting for some mixture of gravel, rock, and naturalized planting to reduce their water use and overall maintenance costs.
Traditional lawns are notoriously thirsty – requiring daily watering if not more to keep them lush and green. Lawns also require frequent mowing, either by homeowners themselves or a hired landscaping service – the former is time consuming and laborious, the latter can be costly depending on the part of the state in which you reside. Many homeowners now don’t have the time in their weekly schedule to get out and mow, and many face financial challenges that make it harder and harder to hire a service. A one-time investment in a new Xeriscaped landscape creates immediate dividends in time spent with the family, rather than mowing, and the financial benefit of no longer requiring a landscape maintenance service.
If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve considered modernizing your landscaping to improve curb appeal and overall property values at your home accounting for current trends and styles. If you’re conscious of environmental hazards like drought and fire, or conscious of your water usage, rethinking your grass lawn may have been on your mind for a while.