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Survey shows homeowners are making the most of their renovated backyards
Jill Odom | April 11, 2018
Photo of Rooftop Landscaping

Photo: Rikki Snyder/Houzz

There’s always a concern before a major purchase if you will actually use the item in question, but for outdoor renovations, survey says a majority of homeowners do spend more time outside afterward.

Houzz surveyed more than 750 U.S. homeowners who are in the middle of, are planning or recently completed a landscaping project from February to March 2018.

A total of 67 percent said they spend more time outside after completing a landscaping project and their investment in various elements allows 62 percent to now enjoy their outdoor living space by relaxing.

The most popular aspect added to the landscape was seating from lounge furniture (43 percent) to dining furniture (34 percent) and benches (27 percent). Homeowners also listed fire pits, ceiling fans and patio heaters as elements they included in order to get the most out of their spaces, despite the temperature.

The study says 38 percent of consumers added fire pits, while 35 percent added lights for extended use and ambiance.

Technology was another aspect that was a big focus of many projects, with almost one in five homeowners adding or upgrading their outdoor entertainment systems. According to Houzz, 59 percent selected a new TV, while 48 and 42 percent focused on wired and solar speakers, respectively.

Photo of a Renovated Backyard with a Fireplace and Seating

Photo: Glover Photography/Houzz

A smaller portion even added wired and solar charging stations (14 percent and 11 percent, respectively).

Principal economist for Houzz Nino Sitchinava says this addition of technology is due to more homeowners seeing their backyard as an extension of their home. According to the landscaping survey, 27 percent said their usable outdoor area is significantly larger than their home.

“Our Small Homes Study showed that 54 percent of homeowners who say they live in a small home report that their homes are easily accessible to the outdoors, again helping to extend the living space of the home,” Sitchinava said.

While 70 percent of outdoor renovations take place in the backyard, another 39 percent said they were updating their front yard, while 30 percent gave their side yards some love.

Forty-one percent of homeowners renovating their front yards said that beds and borders were the most important features for curb appeal and, as such, focused on installing them along with shrubs and perennials.

It might be assumed that these front yard facelifts are done in order to help sell the house, but the opposite is the case, according to Sitchinava.

“For the majority of projects, investment in the yard is for the homeowner’s own use, with only 6 percent reporting that they started a landscaping project because they plan to sell their home and need to improve the resale value, according to our 2017 Landscaping Trends Study findings,” she said.

The study reports that the main reason consumers decided to upgrade their outdoors spaces was due to elements being deteriorated or broken down (29 percent). One in 10 homeowners said their projects addressed damage from natural disasters such as hurricanes, rainstorms and drought.

Some of the other main reasons for the outdoor improvements include a desire to personalize the home, wanting to do it all along and finally having the time and wanting to do it all along and finally having the financial means.

More than half of the homeowners (56 percent) said they spent more than $10,000 on their outdoor living space, while 32 percent said they spent less than $5,000.

As for the usage of the outdoor space, Sitchinava says the entertainment features installed are for both parties and families. Yet 51 percent of respondents say they are spending more time entertaining outside and 26 percent said it was for spending family time.

No matter the motivation or the budget, it seems clear that the outdoor living spaces are a prime spot to host if your client wants to be the life of the party.

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