Kelly Leighton

Last Updated: April 18, 2017 | View all posts by Kelly Leighton

What is the most important feature of a home’s curb appeal?

According to the 2017 U.S. Houzz Landscaping Trends Survey, of nearly half of homeowners who are updating their front yards, beds or borders are the top choice, followed by shrubs at 29 percent and perennials at 28 percent. Lights and pathways are also popular additions to update a home’s outdoor features. Forty-five percent updated their lighting, with 73 percent choosing LEDs, and 20 percent updating their lighting to be smart, controlled from their phone. Homeowners are also tackling some pretty large projects. Eighty-five percent said they were doing a major renovation or a complete overhaul. More than half of homeowners who completed an overall haul reported spending more than $15,000 on the project.

But some homeowners are striving to set their homes apart from their neighbor’s. Forty-one percent reported that after changing their landscapes, their front yards are either very or extremely different from others in their neighborhood. Updating their landscapes lead 18 percent to have more interactions with their next door neighbors after the project.

“Home renovation activity is benefiting from the significant increase in home sales in 2015 and 2016, which is reflected in our findings on motivations for starting a landscape project,” says Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. “Since housing inventory has remained low, recent home buyers likely consider their homes less than ideal, leading them to prioritize upgrades like outdoor projects more than ever, with emphasis on low maintenance.”

Outdoor spaces go beyond curb appeal as well. More then two-thirds of respondents reported that they use their outdoor spaces to relax, with 56 percent enjoying gardening, 40 percent using the space to entertain, and 35 percent using the space for family time. In warm weather, homeowners reported spending an average of nearly seven hours a week outside, and in the colder weather, they still spent an average of 2.4 hours outside a week.

New homeowners are also inclined to spruce up their yards, with one-third of respondents reported their home purchase is what lead them to change their landscapes. Other homeowners, 32 percent, reported that elements of the outdoor space finally needed replaced, which led them to renovate.

Interestingly, some homeowners are electing to remove their front lawn altogether, citing environmental concerns.