Outdoor living spaces are expanding, with larger decks and more attention to the entire yard. This trend gives homeowners ways to extend their entertaining spaces. As projects expand their scope, contractors can suggest amenities that add value while making their proposal more attractive.
This is especially true for customers who show a preference for sustainable products. These customers have interests in products that may not be a priority for other homeowners—and other contractors may not be aware of them. The customer often begins by asking about alternative deck boards, recycled content, and similar topics. For instance, NyloDeck is the only deck board made with recycled carpet fiber. Knowing such details about product composition can help a contractor stand out.
The 2014 Residential Landscape Architecture survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects found a number of sustainable-design products in which some homeowners have an interest, once they’re made aware of the products and their benefits.
The highest rated products, with the percentage of respondents who were aware of them and interested in their use were:
1. Native/adapted drought-tolerant plants (88.0%)
2. Drip/water-efficient irrigation (84.5%)
3. Permeable paving (78.9%)
4. Reduced lawn (72.6%)
5. Recycled materials (65.1%)
6. Rainwater/graywater harvesting (60.6%)
7. Compost bins (51.2%)
8. Solar-powered lights (42.7%)
9. Geothermal-heated pools (27.2%)
Many of these can be incorporated into a deck project or a project that expands off the deck surface into the backyard. Some customers won’t have an interest in these concepts. But if the homeowner is asking about composites, alternative deck boards, and other sustainable-design concepts, these products might spur their interest.