The Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) announced the findings of a recently completed survey, ALCA’s Report on Landscape Industry Growth: Trends and Buying Practices in the Consumer Market, 2004, that was conducted that tracked consumer spending in 2003 on contracted lawn and landscape services. ALCA reports a 31-percent growth rate on consumer spending on lawn care, landscaping and tree care services since 2002. In 2003, consumers spent a total of $37.9 billion on these services as opposed to the $28.9 billion in 2002. The survey also predicted that by the end of this year consumers will have spent around $42 billion.
Although the majority of homeowners spent money on lawn care services, the greatest growth in dollar expenditure was in the design/build area. This is a relatively new and growing area for landscape contractors and includes the design and installation of hardscapes such as pools, gazebos, patios, decks and water features. Outdoor living spaces is another growing area and includes design and installation of outdoor kitchens, barbeque pits and outdoor living rooms.
The following are some other interesting highlights of the survey:
- Referrals are the top resource that Americans use to hire landscape contractors.
- One in three Americans paid for professional lawn, landscape or tree services in 2003.
- Cost is the most important factor for Americans when hiring a professional landscape contractor.
- More than one in four Americans plan to purchase professional landscaping services in 2004.
- Landscape construction (design/build) accounted for the largest dollar volume of green industry home improvements in 2003, with $13.4 billion spent on these services — an increase of $2.2 billion from 2002.
Despite a sluggish economy, spending on lawn, landscape and tree care remains very strong and growing. Although the industry has experienced steady growth during the past five years, growth has taken off within the last three years. This growth is attributed to continued low interest rates as well as the growing recognition of the value and return of investment of landscape expenditures.