Survey Shows Homeowners Investing in Outdoor Living Spaces
Aug 5, 2004
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A new study, "Designing Out: Laneventure's Home Lifestyle Report," polled more than 200 realtors, interior designers, and landscape architects across the U.S. about the home-design industry, focusing on decks, patios, courtyards, barbecue areas, pools, gardens, and other outdoor areas used for relaxing or entertaining.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed say the design and features of a home's outdoor space can represent as much as 30 percent to the total value of the property.

"Homeowners are just beginning to realize the potential of their outdoor spaces--and are designing them accordingly," says Gary McCray, vice president of Marketing for Laneventure, a North Carolina, U.S.-based manufacturer of outdoor furnishings, which commissioned the study with Garden Design Magazine<.i>. "We're starting to see the added emphasis of style and function when it comes to designing outdoors."

The report's findings bolster recent industry forecasts that Americans will spend more than $40 billion this year to create the ultimate retreats in their home's outdoor spaces, outfitting them with everything from outdoor furniture collections and ornamental water features to built-in fireplaces and gazebos.

And while most remodeling projects reap a fraction of their original cost at re-sale, recent industry findings show that designed outdoor spaces--including the addition of porches and patios--return more than 100 percent of their cost. Upgraded kitchens, once the leader in remodeling payback, now return just 79 percent of their original cost, according to trade reports.

The majority of industry professionals surveyed for "Designing Out" emphasized the ease of designing outdoor living space, but noted that quality, design, and function are the most important factors homeowners consider when purchasing outdoor room products.

Other key findings in the report include:

  • nine in ten industry professionals agree that homeowners are looking to improve outdoor living spaces to give them more entertainment options;
  • eight in 10 industry professionals say homeowners want their outdoor living spaces to reflect the design, personality, and quality of the interior home;
  • eight in 10 professionals say that outdoor living spaces, d├ęcor, and furniture are more sophisticated and innovative than ever before;
  • three quarters of industry professionals agree that during the warmer months outdoor living spaces replace the living room for relaxation and entertainment;
  • a majority of industry professionals say homeowners are developing outdoor living spaces to extend the home's living space, to spend more time entertaining family and friends so they can better enjoy their time spent at home.

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