2020 has been an unprecedented year in many ways. One of the most drastic shifts from the normal hustle and bustle of life was the stay at home mandate in place in many states, including Pennsylvania. Beginning in March, people remained home for long periods of time- giving them plenty of opportunities to see their home in a new way. The impact of the stay at home order on home improvement, landscaping and other residential-serving businesses and homeowners has been substantial.
While, at first, the economic downturn may seem to be a challenging time for the landscaping industry, it has actually brought a significant increase in the number of people seeking professional outdoor services, including landscaping, hardscaping, gardening, and lawn maintenance. Why might this be the case? For the customers who we polled (informally), they spoke about being home more, noticing new things that they had never taken the time to see, and needing additional space in their home due to all the time spent in close quarters with (beloved) family.
As the stay at home order coincided with the beginning of warmer spring weather, people were even more likely to spend time outside in their gardens, working on their outdoor living spaces, and even working IN their outdoor living spaces. One of our customers asked us to create a patio for her so that she would have an outdoor office.
Another family needed space to sit and gather as a family and spend quality time, so we created a backyard patio oasis complete with a fire pit.
Occasionally, homeowners realized that their neighbors were, in fact, a little too close for comfort, and they needed some privacy fencing or privacy landscaping in order to provide some separation. Most often, homeowners who spent time at home were able to take a close look at their landscape, and they realized that they wanted an outdoor space that was better, cleaner, newer, more colorful, more relaxing, or more practical.
Many who work from home also reported having fewer costs associated with their commute and saved gas money, mileage, wear and tear on their vehicle, parking, and even saving money on lunch, snacks, and eating out. After a few months of working from home, that added up to enough for one customer to contact us to mow and maintain her property, and she noted that the cost in doing so equated to about one week of spending on gas to and from her workplace.
The increase in demand for outdoor services has continued through the summer and into the fall- and there is no indication that it will fall off anytime soon.