Pine Hall Brick outdoor fireplace

Millennials seek sustainability and authenticity. Brick delivers both.

Millennials — what do they want and how can you sell to them?

They’re going to be younger, they’re going to have money and they’re going to be more open to buying products that are both sustainable and authentic.

Even given the fact that this is one of the most challenging economic climates in the past century, Millennials are expecting two things. A recent Nielsen global online study found that Millennials are willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings and Franklin Covey, a global consulting and training firm, found that Millennials want authenticity. Rather than being sold to, they want to be helped to make a good decision.

Millennials and landscaping

garden landscaping with pavers

Pavers as a garden feature.

Each year or so,  the American Society of Landscape Architects surveys it’s members to find out what people are asking for in their residential outdoor spaces because residential design is the largest market sector for landscape architects.

In 2018, the most recent period for which figures are available, the survey found a demand for designs and materials that work well with today’s Millennials, with authenticity and sustainability near the top of the list.

Millennials Trend Outdoor Kitchens

A garage converted to be an open-air kitchen and entertainment center.

Outdoor rooms are stronger than ever, with the top three most popular outdoor design elements being fire pits and fireplaces (for the second consecutive year), lighting, and seating and dining areas.

Pine Hall Brick Company has what you need to handle outdoor fire pits and fireplaces, along with clay pavers and PaverTiles for patios within seating areas – while our facebrick can act as the base for a seating wall, for example.

For those interested in sustainability, the hottest design elements include native or adapted drought-tolerant plants, permeable paving, and drip or water-efficient irrigation.

Pine Hall Brick Company is a pioneer in permeable clay pavers and the installation can be designed to either discharge stormwater into the ground or collect it for use as irrigation.

The survey says that the top landscape and garden elements are native plants, low maintenance landscapes, and rain gardens.

Of course, patios made of clay pavers require little maintenance – and rain gardens can be arranged around an outflow pipe from a permeable paver installation.

Further down the list

The full list gives landscaping companies an idea for what’s popular right now.

For outdoor design elements, the list in order of popularity includes:

  • Fire pits/fireplaces – 66 percent
  • Lighting – 65.4 percent
  • Seating/dining areas – 64 percent
  • Outdoor furniture – 59.1 percent
  • Outdoor kitchens – 58.8 percent
  • Decking, i.e. rooftop decking, etc. – 53.6 percent
  • Grills – 50 percent
  • Movie/TV/video theaters, wireless/internet, stereo systems – 48 percent
  • Outdoor heaters – 40.5 percent
  • Stereo systems – 36.9 percent
  • Pool and spa features (hot tubs, Jacuzzis, whirlpools, indoor/outdoor saunas) 36.9 percent
  • Utility storage – 32.3 percent
  • Hammocks – 29.2 percent
  • Outdoor cooling systems (including fans) 28.5 percent
  • Showers/baths – 22.9 percent

For sustainable design elements, the list in order of popularity is:

  • Native/adapted drought-tolerant plants – 83 percent
  • Permeable paving – 74 percent
  • Drip/water-efficient irrigation – 72.4 percent
  • Reduced lawn area – 70.8 percent
  • Rainwater/greywater harvesting – 68.7 percent
  • Recycled materials – 63.6 percent
  • Solar-powered lights – 60.4 percent
  • Compost bins – 47.2 percent
  • Geothermal heated pools – 21.3 percent

For landscape and garden elements, the list in order of popularity is:

  • Native plants – 83.3 percent
  • Low-maintenance landscapes – 80 percent
  • Rain gardens – 71.2 percent
  • Food/vegetable gardens – 70.6 percent
  • Water-saving xeriscaping or dry gardens – 65.9 percent
  • Organic gardens – 59.6 percent
  • Rooftop gardens – 53.3 percent
  • Plant walls/vertical gardens – 53.0 percent
  • Planters, sculptures, garden accessories – 48.4 percent
  • Decorative water elements (ornamental pools, fountains, splash pools, waterfalls, grottos, water runnels or bubblers) 42.6 percent
  • Ponds/streams – 28.6 percent
  • Formal gardens – 15.2 percent

The last word

Our research will give you some ideas as to who your customers are, what they expect and how you can deliver it.

One more suggestion: Adding in hardscapes – whether by taking on employees trained in installing patios and retaining walls, learning on your own or partnering with a reputable masonry firm – will enable you to take on more expensive projects with higher profit margins.

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