Each April for more than a decade, Qualified Remodeler has undertaken this Outdoor Living Planning Guide. It is a combination of beautiful projects, more than 100 new products listed by category, and original outdoor living research. The latter, presented here, is designed to elicit trends from hundreds of remodelers around the country. This year we repeated several questions from the survey in April 2022. The goal was to detect any subtle shifts in client preferences for project types or product solutions. Here are the most notable shifts.

Outdoor living remains a strong segment for remodelers. More than 70 percent of survey respondents said they had completed an outdoor living project for a client in the previous 12 months. This is a big percentage, and while it affirms that outdoor living as a category of remodeling projects is thriving, the number is 9 percentage points lower than it was one year ago. Digging deeper, the survey results found that only 8.1 percent of remodelers avoid outdoor projects, a smaller percentage than the 9.6 percent one year ago.

Covered dining areas and lanais were the No. 1 project type for a second year in a row. More remarkable was that among all nine project types suggested, the rank order of preference remained the same year-over-year. The anecdotal information from respondents who wrote their own answers clarified the broad range of project types and suggested an emerging trend toward specialized solutions such as motorized louvered pergolas, while others spoke of their success in shifting their company’s entire focus to outdoor living.

“Most of our outdoor living spaces have multiple areas, often on multiple levels, often a combination of decks and patios,” noted one respondent who answered anonymously. “Normally there will be a large TV, a cooking area with several appliances, often built-in icemakers or ice storage and outside food storage. We install many louvered-roof pergolas and lighted ceiling fans. I used to be a builder and remodeler, but now I only focus on the exterior. Budgets often are as high as large-scale addition/renovation projects.”

Decorative lighting as well as lighting of all types has emerged as critical “must-have” elements in backyard solutions. Decorative lighting emerged as the product type that scored highest this year. It took a spot occupied by composite decking one year ago. Pathway lighting and safety lighting both ranked in the top-five highest-scoring products. 

In general, there was a more muted response to all categories of project types and products. The interest level scores were slightly lower across the board. But there were several exceptions you can spot in this report, which should make those with higher scores even more significant. QR


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