Industry Insight

2020 Franchise Industry Snapshot: Outdoor Home Improvement Franchises

Too Long; Didn’t Read

  • Average initial investment: $77,187 - $107,224
  • Average Franchise fee: $32,222
  • Average Royalty: 8.88%
The Oakscale franchise development team put together a summary of the top outdoor home improvement franchises in the U.S. for 2020.

The Home Improvement and Repair franchise category is huge. In fact, we were surprised to learn that more than 50 of the brands on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 cater to homeowners, and that does not include real estate services, home inspections, or cleaning companies. Now, many offer commercial services as well, but the majority of these brands are focused on helping homeowners improve or protect their investments. 

Given the size of the category, we decided to examine sub-categories, the first of which we’ve labeled as Outdoor Home Improvement. It includes any services, like lawn and pool care, that take place on your land, but not specifically to your house. 

Let’s take a look:

2020 Top Outdoor Home Improvement Franchises : Initial Investment


There’s not much variance in the initial investment range among Outdoor Home Improvement franchises. Generally speaking, if you have enough capital to fund the average investment range of $77,187 - $107,224, you can probably find a way to get into the brand of your choice in this category. This is not true of every category (see our analysis of pet franchises to see wide investment ranges from less than $100k to more than $1M). So that’s good news. If you’re smitten by Outdoor Home Improvement franchises, you won’t need to limit your search to just some of the brands. On the other hand, that does make your research that much harder. 

To better understand investment levels, you’ll want to read our Franchise Basics Guide to franchise costs

Average Investment Range

$77,187 - $107,224

Highest Investment Range

$108,250 - $148,150

Lowest Investment Range

$39,800 - $81,300

2020 Top Outdoor Home Improvement Franchises : Franchise Fees



Franchise Fees for Outdoor Home Improvement franchises range between $9,500 and $65,000. 5 out of the 9 franchises in this category have a range of franchise fees rather than one fixed fee amount. Typically when franchises have a range of fees, it is because they offer different types of models (i.e. a food truck or a restaurant for the same brand likely have different fees) or they offer different sized territories. A small town franchise would be on the low end while a major metropolitan area would require a much larger franchise fee. NaturalLawn of America has by far the lowest potential entry fee at $9,500. The low end range of the franchise fee for the other 3 lawn care franchises sit between $20,000 and $29,000 putting them all in the same general range and on the more inexpensive end of the average and median. The 3 mosquito focused franchises all have fees competitive with each other ranging between $35,000 and $40,000, while the two offerings that sit all alone in their respective offerings, America’s Swimming Pools and Conserva Irrigation, have the highest fees ranging from $42,000 to $65,000. 


To better understand these fees, you’ll want to read our Franchise Basics article that covers franchise fees, but in short, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting value out of your franchise fee. Just because a fee is significantly less expensive than another does not necessarily make it a better investment. 

Average Franchise Fee

$32,222 

Median Franchise Fee

$35,000

Highest Franchise Fee

$65,000

Lowest Franchise Fee 

$9,500

The average and median franchise fees are based on the low end of the franchise fee range for each franchise. 

2020 Top Outdoor Home Improvement Franchises : Royalty


Average Royalty (%)

8.88%

Highest Royalty (%)

10%

Lowest Royalty (%)

6%

The royalty range for Outdoor Home Improvement franchises spans anywhere from 6% to 10% (excluding Weed Man which does not have a percentage royalty structure and thus could not be included). 7 out of the 8 franchises included charge at least 8% and the majority (4) ask the maximum royalty of 10%. U.S. Lawns has the lowest fee at 6% while it’s lawn service competitors charge either 9 or 10% respectively. It is at least 33% less than Spring-Green Lawncare and NaturalLawn of America, but you also need to consider sales volume when doing a comparison.


For example: 

Franchise Brand A charges a royalty of 6%. Franchise Brand B charges a royalty of 10%.

The average revenue of franchise brand A is $100,000 and the average revenue of franchise brand B is $150,000.

Your royalty payment for franchise Brand is only $6,000 compared to $15,000 for franchise brand B, but you’re left with $94,000 in revenue for brand A and $135,000 for brand B. If the rest of your expenses and investment level are somewhat similar, you’d almost certainly opt for brand B despite the higher royalty.

Read up on royalties in our Franchise Basics article.

2020 Top Outdoor Home Improvement Franchises : Franchises Units


Average # of U.S. Franchises

189

Median # of U.S. Franchises

208

Largest U.S. Franchise System*

317 Franchises

Smallest U.S. Franchise System**

81 Franchises

The 3rd youngest franchise system included is also the largest franchise system. Pretty impressive! Mosquito Joe started in 2012 and already has more than 300 franchises! Raise your hand if you thought a business focused solely on mosquitos would grow to such a large footprint across America… I’ll wait. 

And Mosquito Joe’s isn’t the only major player. Mosquito Squad has 241 locations and Mosquito Hunters has 82. The loser in all this? Citronella candles. 

The size of a system can be a confidence booster for prospective franchisees because they know that many others have already bought in. But don’t sleep on a franchise just because it hasn’t boomed. There are some serious advantages to getting in early to a franchise that hasn’t experienced massive growth just yet. We detail those advantages here and here

2020 Top Outdoor Home Improvement Franchises : Training Hours


Average Training Hours Provided

64 hours

Median Training Hours Provided

54 hours

Most Training Hours Provided

120 hours

Least Training Hours Provided

32 hours

Training hours can be quantified but not qualified. After all, I think we’d all rather have one day of intense, valuable training than a full week of mediocre training. Since we haven’t been to each of (or any of) these franchises’ training programs for new franchisees, the only analysis we can really provide is that NaturalLawn of America offers a bit more training time than the other franchises, and it doesn’t take a whole lot of training to learn how to battle pesky mosquitos, with those 3 franchise brands at the bottom of the training hours chart.

So, that’s a quick snapshot of the Outdoor Home Improvement franchise category. As always, you’ll want to better understand why the franchise fees and royalties are what they are. Lower fees and royalties do not necessarily equal better opportunities. 

To fully understand each franchise opportunity, you’ll want to follow our guidelines for researching franchises. Good luck!

The 9 Franchises Included in this Analysis: America’s Swimming Pools, Mosquito Joe, Mosquito Hunters, Mosquito Squad, Conserva Irrigation, Weed Man, NaturalLawn of America, Spring-Green Lawn Care, U.S. Lawns.

*Disclaimer: The data published was aggregated from each brand’s page as seen on the Entrepreneur 500 Franchise list. The accuracy of this data is reliant on the accuracy of the Entrepreneur.com information collected. If you are interested in buying one of the brand’s mentioned in this post, you should verify all fees and data provided above directly with the franchisor during the course of your due diligence.