There is much more to landscaping than planting flowers: not only do landscaping contractors usually have advanced degrees in the science of improving and maintaining green outdoor spaces, but many are also able to advise business owners on the finer points of “hardscaping.”
Hardscaping, or the incorporation of unique wooden, concrete, glass, and metal structures into the outdoor spaces of an office building, is becoming increasingly popular among people who want to increase the resale values of their properties. Unique hardscapes could include a gazebo or outdoor picnic area for employees, water fountains and nature trails, or even an elegantly laid-out rock garden.
Of course, traditional “softscaping” options remain popular: the proper care and maintenance of outdoor gardens, trees, and shrubbery can actually help business owners save money. Experts say that proper softscaping can cut air conditioning bills in half, and that bushes and shrubs around buildings can actually prevent water damage to buildings’ foundations.
Front walkways should always be attractive; recent studies indicate that commercial buildings with attractive landscaping features tend to have lower vacancy rates. Outdoor walkways can be spruced up with flowers during warmer months, and lights during the cooler times of year. Water fountains and other opportunities for quiet, outdoor contemplation may help employees with high-stress jobs to relax and unwind.
Employees enjoy lingering in outdoor spaces during their lunch hours: some businesses connect their front walkways with green space in their buildings’ “backyards” where there is seating room available to meet with clients. Not only does proper landscaping save the business money and increase employee satisfaction, but it may also increase the value of the commercial building in the event of merger or resale.
The landscaping business is poised to surpass the $80 billion mark this year, and with over 300,000 contractors available across the United States, the idea that outdoor spaces can be made as livable and as profitable as indoor ones is starting to catch on with businesses across the country.