Trending features for the ultimate outdoor living area

Homeowners looking to spend more time living and entertaining in their backyards are actually outfitting them with decor pieces we’re used to seeing inside. For 43% of respondents, that means lounge furniture, while 34% bring in dining furniture. Other hot outdoor furnishings include string lights, at 35%; benches, at 27%; ceiling fans, at 15%; and rugs, at 14%—all of which make the space look like a cohesive room.

Heating sources such as fire pits are also popular, with nearly 40% of respondents saying they installed, or are thinking of installing, one. Outdoor heating overall is valuable as it can extend the season for outdoor entertaining.

Of course, tricking out your backyard in 2018 also means bringing in some shiny new devices such as TVs, chosen by 59% of respondents; wireless speakers, at 42%; and wired charging hubs, at 11%. Breyer also mentions that accessories such as fans and LED lighting have taken priority among clients.

“We have been working with a number of customers that have amazing lighting, full outdoor sound systems, and other outdoor amenities, all that work in conjunction with the indoor sound systems,” says Patrick Harders, a contractor in Northern Virginia specializing in outdoor lighting. “These allow people to entertain as if they are in their own private resort.”

Speaking of privacy, it’s also one of the biggest requests from homeowners undergoing a landscaping project.

“Due to the increase in time spent entertaining outdoors, people are realizing just how close the neighbors are. We do more construction with mini pergolas, decorative feature walls, outdoor blinds, and tiered landscaping to address these concerns,” says Breyer. Privacy fences and noise-canceling barriers are also popular choices for folks who don’t want to end the party at 10 p.m.

How much are people spending?

Outdoor renovations can be expensive, but it’s a cost that a majority of homeowners are willing to pay. According to the survey, 56% of homeowners spent more than $10,000 on their outdoor renovations. Almost a third, 32%, reportedly spent less than $5,000.

“In my experience, the average landscape (planting and beds only) is about $3,500 to $5,000, and the average project involving hardscaping (walls, patios, fire pits) as well is about $15,000,” Langston says. “This being said, we execute several jobs a year between $25,000 and $50,000, and usually one to three jobs a year that can be between $80,000 and $100,000. I truly believe an enjoyable landscape is achievable at any budget.”

Why homeowners are shifting their focus outdoors

The biggest reason for starting a landscaping project is to improve elements of the outdoor space that have deteriorated. But once those updates are made, 67% of homeowners said they spend more time outside once they completed a landscaping project, with 62% of those spending their time relaxing and 44% gardening. So when it comes down to it, people just want to have an outdoor place to unwind that’s as comfortable, accommodating, and private as their living or dining room, no matter if they live in Boca Raton, FL, or Buffalo.

“In Western New York we only have a few months of great weather that we can actually be outside,” says Langston. “People want to spend more money to create an amazing space outdoors so they can enjoy the nice weather as much as possible.”

Source: ~ By Natalie Way