Published on February 26, 2020

Look out your back window—what do you see? If you’re anything like 47 percent of homeowners in Lightstream’s new survey, the answer is likely a work in progress. The report dives into the most popular renovation projects taking place this year, and the number-one answer is outdoor spaces.

Bathrooms (42 percent) and kitchens (38 percent) were next on the list, but given that the next few months are prime time for making exterior changes—we’re about to head into alfresco entertaining season, after all—we’re most focused on what’s outside. Curb appeal aside, these remodels have a secondary benefit: If you make the right updates, you could end up with more money in your pocket down the line. Per the report, recycled, eco-friendly materials like limestone, gravel, and bamboo increase resale value. Plus they’re low-maintenance, so it’s a win all around. 

Ready to take the plunge with your own space? These three outdoor areas are the most popular to upgrade, and we’ve got ideas for how we’d handle each. 

If Your Deck Needs Help

Forty-five percent of respondents want to focus their attention on this part of their yards. Skip the expected wood in favor of a colorful tile à la Emily Henderson. Or if you’re dealing with a concrete surface, don’t despair—all you need is a coat of paint to give it a whole new look. 

If You’re All About the Garden

Building your own greenhouse—35 percent of homeowners cited one as their priority—doesn’t have to be a daunting endeavor. In fact, Kristin Guy zhuzhed up a prefab kit to create an oasis for all her plants and veggies.

If Your Patio Is the Main Concern

Go grassless! Thirty-four percent had this project at the top of their wish list, and if ROI is important to you, might we suggest opting for gravel? Ryan Prange, founder of Falling Waters Landscape, recommends the easygoing material: “A crushed-rock patio is the perfect flex space. Throw a firepit in the middle, play cornhole, and rake it when you want to pretend you’re a Japanese monk.” We could all do with a bit more zen in our lives anyway.

See more outdoor design ideas that inspire:
This Feature Is Being Phased Out in Eco-Friendly Yards
This Might Be the New Rattan Chair
How I Turned My Tiny Backyard Into an Outdoor Oasis

Discussion