With the housing market slowly recovering, some family-owned landscaping companies are seeing a boost in business as homeowners look to give their abodes a makeover.
Tom Hoff, a landscape designer for Modern Landscape, said business has more than doubled since the housing market collapsed.
“Back in 2008 to 2009, I was getting 50 jobs a year,” he said. “And now, I’m getting closer to 130 to 140.”
He checks in on his latest project: converting 5,800 square feet of dead grass into a resort-style backyard paradise.
Hoff’s subcontractors from ArtCon Inc., roll out a sparkling green carpet of artificial grass. Other backyard features include oleander and iceberg rose shrubs framing the lot, a small vineyard for homemade winemaking, fresh concrete work around the pool, a wrought iron gate and a fire pit.
But Hoff said this particular job was unusual. Most homeowners were spending more modestly.
“They’re not going all-out like before the burst,” Hoff said. “In 2004 to 2005, people were doing outdoor kitchens, pools, spas and a lot of upgrades. This time around, a lot of people are just getting the basics like lawns and patios.”
Hoff also said some homeowners were taking home improvement into their own hands.
Levi Lambson, manager at Moon Nursery, said business has improved as more homeowners come in to pick up trees and shrubs for their yards.
“Things are slowly starting to come back around,” Lambson said. “I think people are definitely out spending a lot more money than before.”
According to the March Nevada taxable sales report, consumers are spending half of what they spent in 2005 on building materials and garden equipment.
But since 2010, home improvement sales have increased by 6 percent statewide and 19 percent in Clark County. And the county saw a 51 percent increase in specialty trade contracting — including plumbing and electrical work — than a year earlier.
“Every time I go out to a house to give a quote, I see a plumber, a painter, a contractor,” said supervisor Carlos Rosales of Rosales Landscaping and Maintenance. “They’re fixing everything.”
Jamel Taylor, owner of Taylormade Landscapes, attributes the growing popularity of home improvement and renovation to people looking for a “staycation.”
“It’s a much greater investment to invest in the home that they live in and make it nice and livable and a paradise in your backyard than to actually leave and go on vacation,” Taylor said.
And that’s good news for Taylor, who saw his revenue increase over the past two years by 10 percent to $1.1 million in 2012.
But for some landscaping companies, the change in revenue has been minimal despite low home prices.
“We’ve been in business for so long that we didn’t feel the crunch,” Evelyn Ronnow of Wet-tec, a landscape company of 30 years, said. “We’ve been one of the blessed ones.”
Contact reporter Melissah Yang at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0491. Follow @MelissahYang on Twitter.