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Hardscape Education Center

Home Builders – Expand Your Business with Hardscape

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As a home builder, you are in a unique and opportunistic position to expand your business in the hardscape industry. Increasing saleable square footage with hardscapes can boost your bottom line and provide numerous benefits. And Unilock can help you with the process.

Connect With More Opportunities

Increasing demand for outdoor living spaces is driving more people to incorporate hardscape and softscape elements into their patios, porches, and backyards. Homeowners are using these elements to bring an extra dose of luxury and beauty to their lives and properties. This opens up opportunities for home builders who don’t usually cross over into this market. The industry has seen major growth over the course of the last few years.

Responding to a post-Covid way of life has people rethinking where they are going to spend the majority of their time. Renovating and upgrading homes, pool houses, backyards, and outdoor living areas is increasingly being seen as a safer and more worthwhile use of resources. And home builders can tap into this mentality and seize opportunities for their companies.

Increase Saleable Square Footage

Utilizing hardscapes increases the usable square footage and developable acreage of the property. For example, in this case study home in Ohio, builders constructed a Unilock SienaStone retaining wall, creating an expansive outdoor living space along the waterfront. Expanding the usable acreage of the property was one benefit. Protecting the backyard from seasonal flooding, and ensuring that the space above the wall remained dry, was another.

This is an example of how hardscapes can work for you to increase the appeal of the property, and in so doing, boost your bottom line as well.

Sell Homes Faster

Adapting to customer needs is all part of the game. As home builders in the industry already know, creativity lies close to the heart of the success or failure of any project. Nowadays, homebuyers are looking for homes with flair. Sizzle sells homes, and incorporating hardscape elements into your projects will give you a better opportunity to increase usable acreage, and turn empty ground into price-boosting equity.

Build a Complete Space

Delivering interior and exterior designs that meet and exceed expectations is the modus operandi of high-end home building companies. Delving into the hardscape industry, however, gives home builders the power to expand the reach of their craftsmanship.

For example, if current plans call for pouring a concrete walkway, you know that at some point it’s going to become a headache for the purchaser and will need to be ripped out. Including an upgrade from the start gives you more power over the finished end-product and increases your bottom line. The implications of such opportunities are far-reaching, opening up the potential for larger contracts and increased repeat business.

Gain a Foothold in an Expanding Market

The U.S. landscaping market is worth $81 billion. 13% of that falls under the category of “landscape construction.” Leading up to 2020 from 2015, the industry experienced 3.3% growth per year. According to trends, it has grown faster than the economy overall, and shows no signs of slowing down.

On the flipside, however, the industry is also facing a labor shortage. This increases wait times for hardscape projects, and presents home builders with a greater opportunity to jump into the market. Being willing to take on these additional skill sets could fill a much-needed professional void in the local community.

Many communities are seeing hardscape design and build companies scheduled out six months or more. Even if they aren’t scheduled out nearly this long in your locale, your company can still take over some of that extra market share with minimal marketing effort—especially when you take into account the connections and credibility you already possess in the homebuilding space.

Increase Revenue and Expand Your Projects

As a home builder, you already offer services that go hand-in-hand with outdoor living projects. Adding hardscape services to your portfolio can boost your revenue. Landscape companies operate with a profit margin of 15% to 25%. As a high-end builder, you can tap into this powerful market to grow your company.

Including the homebuilding and hardscape elements into your bid proposals for projects also streamlines the process for customers. According to statistics, 77% of people are considered brand loyal—which means that if you’re already building or renovating a home for this type of homeowner, getting a foothold in that hardscape market will be easier. Other considerations to take into account are your company’s current assets that could make the expansion simpler. For example, if you already have a mason on staff, that talent can be leveraged outdoors for natural stone projects.

Even if you don’t want to learn the hardscape ropes and build paver driveways or patios yourself, you can still work together with Unilock Authorized Contractors. This partnership would give you the power to broaden your company’s business potential even if delving into hardscape construction, yourself, isn’t the ideal scenario.

Take More Direct Control Over the End Results of Your Work

Building sprawling outdoor patios with products like Brussels Dimensional Stone and Barcelona prebuilt fireplaces, and pristine driveways with beautiful pavers, such as those offered in the Holland Premier line, leads to greater control over how your project appears and is received by homeowners.

Start Out With Permeable Pavers

Permeable driveway pavers like Treo Permeable also offer a way to overcome permeability limitations on properties where water runoff is an issue. Building driveways from such materials also opens up huge opportunities for additional business.

In some municipalities, non-permeable lot coverage is restricted. Low Impact Design (LID) methods are increasing in demand. Permeable pavers look almost exactly like traditional pavers, except they have space between them to allow rainwater to flow back into the ground.

As a builder, you’ve likely encountered impervious surface requirements on many projects. This area of construction overlap often provides home builders with their first foray into hardscapes. Expanding your company to meet this ever-escalating building need can help you increase your profit margins and greatly broaden the size and scope of your contracts.

Use Premier Materials

Unilock offers a range of high-end materials to help home builders with material needs for outdoor living designs. Taking one look at the Unilock product line will show you how far concrete paver and wall technology has come. For example, building high-quality walls, planters, fire features, grill islands, and more has never been easier, thanks to the new U-Cara Multi-Face Wall System from Unilock. Plot your designs using Uvision 3D Landscape Creator. Use these designs to go in-depth with your own hardscape projects, or share them when you work with a Unilock Authorized Contractor to maximize communication and cooperation.

The Unilock Training & Education Center also provides an opportunity for hardscape contractors to receive certification in a vast swath of different outdoor living/design applications, making it seamless to get the training you need or to find reputable Unilock Authorized Contractors to partner with.

Unilock also offers boots-in-the-field support from Territory Managers on projects utilizing Unilock products. A wealth of training materials are also available on the Unilock YouTube channel and blog.

Offering a Transferable Lifetime Guarantee is another measure we follow to ensure that our products stand as the most premier-level offering in the hardscape marketplace. With over 10 billion pavers installed, and each one guaranteed for life, Unilock takes our commitment to quality and excellence as seriously as possible. We are deeply committed to helping home builders succeed, and want to provide the tools necessary to make this happen.

Work With Talented Installers

Unilock Authorized Contractors are an elite group of hardscape experts you can trust. If you don’t plan on training your own employees in the landscape industry, or maybe this isn’t the right next step for your company just yet, then the next best move is networking with professionals in the space who can help you expand your company through partnership and cooperation.

Here are just a few of the reasons to seek out and trust Unilock Authorized Contractors:

  • They must automatically have a minimum of five years of experience in the hardscape industry and one year of business operations experience to even qualify. These are extremely qualified companies that will help minimize customer call backs to you.
  • Unilock performs a number of reference checks before authorizing any contractor, ensuring that the company’s standards are up-to-par and that it possesses a true commitment to quality.
  • Unilock Authorized Contractors must guarantee their projects for two years after construction, bringing additional peace of mind to you and the homeowner.
  • Unilock Authorized Contractors are well-versed in obtaining the proper permits, ensuring that the project will be completed safely and up to code.
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