If the warmer temperatures of summer make you longingly envision the ideal outdoor living area, it’s time to think about a backyard renovation!

If the warmer temperatures of summer make you longingly look outside and envision the ideal backyard living area in place of your existing yard, you are not alone. Qualified Remodeler magazine recently looked at outdoor living trends seen by its subscribers (professional remodelers from across the United States) and discovered that a whopping 82% of remodeling companies had completed at least one outdoor remodeling project in the past year. Some of the statistics on what ideas their clients have been germinating are similar to those we are seeing blossom here in Charlotte home renovations.

First, spending for outdoor living spaces is growing. For most folks, a summer revamp is far more complex than a trip to the local home improvement store for some flowering annuals and pavers. A solid 22.7% of homeowners budgeted $5,000 to $15,000 for their project; 18.2% planned on spending $15,000 to $25,000; while an equal 18.2% budgeted $25,000 to $50,000. Perhaps surprisingly, almost a third of folks planned on spending more than $50,000 to bring their projects to fruition.

Why are folks willing to invest so much in their homes? A near majority of 42.2% wanted to add more entertaining space, followed by 20.2% who wanted to create more living space for their families. Upgrading existing features and making outdoor areas more functional were right behind. Perhaps surprisingly, only 0.6% were looking at their outdoor home renovation project as a way of increasing their home’s value.

What key pieces are homeowners spending their budgets on? The most popular options included in more than half of projects – 56% – were decks, railings and post caps. Nearly half – 42.5% – of exterior home renovation projects included hardscape elements, such as patios, pavers and poured concrete structures. Tied at appearing in 37.5% of projects each were firepits/fireplaces and shade structures such as gazebos, pergolas and trellises. (You can read more about how Charlotte homeowners are seeking shade in our previous blog.) Rounding out the top items in popularity were outdoor kitchen elements and outdoor lighting fixtures.

What can you take away from this national poll and what does it mean for Charlotte homeowners. We believe it means that more folks are willing to strategically invest in complex exterior renovation projects that increase the enjoyment and functionality of their homes. As more people choose to remodel over moving, they are turning to outdoor living areas to “find” space that their families can enjoy. Since exterior renovations can be complex projects with many moving parts and large budgets, we always encourage homeowners to talk to a qualified professional remodeler who is experienced in outdoor projects (like us!) to ensure that the pieces come together beautifully – on time and on budget.