Drought Tolerant and Fire Smart Landscaping Ideas

August 5, 2022
Climate-wise landscaping

Several studies have indicated that climate change will continue to increase wildfire season length and frequency. This is of particular concern to homeowners in states like California that are suffering from a megadrought, the worst the western U.S. has seen in over 1,000 years. As more cities implement water restrictions in response to the drought, dead lawns can contribute to the intensity and damage caused by wildfires.

Landscaping With Climate in Mind

Understanding that summers will continue to get hotter and dryer, many homeowners are looking for ways to conserve water and protect against wildfires.  Here are two common climate-wise landscaping styles to consider when planning the future of your yard:


The process of designing landscapes that need little or no water beyond what is provided naturally by the climate. By replacing traditional grass lawns with rocks, mulch, and drought tolerant vegetation, xeriscaping is a landscaping style that can help cut water use and the accumulation of flammable debris.  

Xeriscaping and Firescaping Your Yard


The process of designing landscapes to reduce wildfire risk by surrounding your home with fire resistant materials and vegetation. By carefully planning fire safe defensible spaces integrated with traditional landscape functions, firescaping can meet aesthetic desires while making a significant contribution toward wildfire survival.

Replacing Your Traditional Lawn

By replacing traditional water-guzzling grass lawns with drought tolerant materials, you can design a beautiful yard that requires minimal maintenance. Here are two fire smart ways to beautify your lawn and conserve water:


Also known as paving stones, pavers are easy to maintain and inexpensive to repair unlike concrete slabs. By installing outdoor flooring with shaped stones made of non-combustible materials like brick or cement, you can cut water use and help create a defensible space around your home to protect against the risk of wildfire. 

Artificial Grass Can Help You Cut Down Water Use

Artificial Grass

Homeowners looking to maintain the look of a traditional grass lawn with minimal water consumption or upkeep may consider installing artificial grass. When installed properly with a sand infill and non-flammable coating, artificial turf can help prevent the spread of fire along the exterior of your home.

Installing Water Conservation Systems

Here are a two common ways to conserve water used around the home and during the forecasted increase of rainfall during wet seasons:

Greywater Irrigation

One of the most eco-friendly yard projects, greywater irrigation takes gently used water from places like your washing machine or sinks for use in the garden. The water may look grey but is not contaminated and can prove useful as water restrictions continue.

Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater Harvesting

Also referred to as rainwater collection or catchment system, this method captures and stores rainwater from rooftops. Simpler rainwater catchment systems consist of a rain barrel set up to catch rain from your gutters to use for garden irrigation while advanced options can filter, disinfect, and treat water to potable standards.

Financing Climate-Wise Landscaping

The national average cost for hiring a landscape designer is $4,500 and depends on the scope of the features and systems installed to achieve your desired results. If recent water restrictions have left your yard a hazardous eyesore, you may be wondering how to finance these upgrades so you can get back to enjoying your home.

The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program, allows homeowners to cover the cost of home upgrades related to energy-efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, and safety and resiliency. Homeowners in eligible communities can finance 100% of their green landscaping projects, adding to the safety and efficiency of their yard and home with the following benefits:

  • Zero upfront payments
  • Low-interest rates
  • Terms of up to 30 years

Are you ready to transform your yard? Give our experts a call at 844.736.3934 to see if PACE financing is right for you! 

Important Disclosures

PACE financing is subject to approval. Underwriting requirements and restrictions apply. PACE financing is secured by a lien on the subject property and often required to be repaid upon refinance or sale. PACE financing is private financing that must be repaid in full. PACE financing is not a government subsidy. Renew Financial Group LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (Renew Financial), is a private company and not a government entity. The installation or construction of property improvements financed with a PACE assessment is provided through an independent third-party home improvement contractor or other third-party provider, and not by Renew Financial or a government entity. Homeowners should perform due diligence before selecting a home improvement contractor or source of financing. Financing provided in California through Department of Financial Innovation and Protection License No. 60DBO-90653.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. Renew Financial makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information found by following any link on this site. Renew Financial is not a financial or home improvement advisor and information contained in this post should not be viewed as legal or financial advice.