By SWNS Staff // SWNS
Three-quarters of American homeowners said their outdoor space was indispensable during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research.
The study polled 2,000 American homeowners with an outdoor space to analyze how they’ve been finding solace during the pandemic, and the results found respondents are spending 14 hours a week outside – an increase of three hours a week in the pre-pandemic days.
One in five (19%) respondents might as well classify spending time outside as a part-time job, citing they spend upwards of 20 hours a week soaking up the sun.
Seventy-three percent of respondents said spending more time outdoors has been therapeutic for them – and 70% also said improving their spaces has become a new hobby of theirs.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of lawn care company TruGreen , the survey found that half of those polled have invested in new plants and garden updates as well as new outdoor seating over the past year.
Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed also agreed that the exterior of a home has become more important due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
From these items to lawn maintenance products, equipment and professional maintenance – respondents spent an average of $1,910.99 on their outdoor spaces this past year.
The average respondent spent $414.67 on new outdoor furniture over the past year and $377.49 on outdoor entertaining equipment like grills and fire pits.
Four in 10 have also purchased a fire pit or outdoor fireplace, and new lawn care products. Twenty-eight percent of respondents even purchased a playground for their little ones and 19% have invested in a pool.
Just over six in 10 respondents said they’ve been keeping up with the Joneses by using their neighbor’s outdoor space as inspiration for their own.
The survey also found that 61% of respondents said the pandemic has brought their neighbors closer together.
All of these updates seem to have paid off for over half of pollsters, as 55% said they feel like they have the best space on the block.
“After a year indoors, there appears to be newfound appreciation for what the outdoors can offer, with 67% of respondents agreeing that they used to take their outdoor space for granted,” said Marc Mayer, TruGreen’s Director of Technical Operations. “But this past year has also challenged Americans to creatively utilize their outdoor spaces as a little reprieve from the indoors, while also staying safe through proper social distancing measures.”
Half of the respondents shared they’ve hosted socially distanced get-togethers with friends and family and 47% said their kids have maintained a sense of normalcy by still having recess time while remote learning.
Forty-six percent of those surveyed have also frequently stepped outside to find some peace and quiet for themselves.
Respondents have also used the great outdoors as a home gym (43%), an office (31%) and even a pop-up movie theater (20%).
One respondent shared they hosted a small wedding ceremony for their neighbor, and another has turned their yard into a driving range to work on their golf swing.
Other respondents shared they’ve been sitting outdoors in a rocking chair to decompress after a long day, read a good book and even take time to watch deer and other wildlife.
With these new memories and activities, it’s no wonder 57% of respondents agreed they plan to use their outdoor space even more once the pandemic subsides.
“Though the pandemic is still at play, Americans plan to make even more use of their outdoor space as temperatures continue to warm, and summer right around the corner – with 69% of respondents in agreement,” continued Mayer. “But with summer fun and warm weather come pests. Ants and mosquitoes ranked as some of the top pain points that respondents anticipate facing this year. Instead of stressing over annoying pests, using a professional, like TruGreen, can help take things off your plate so that you can truly enjoy your outdoor space to the fullest.”
TOP OUTDOOR UPDATES OVER PAST YEAR
- New plants/garden updates – 52%
- New outdoor seating – 50%
- New lawn care services – 42%
- Fire pit/outdoor fireplace – 39%
- New lawn care products – 39%
- String lights/fairy lights – 37%
- Playground – 28%
- Pool – 19%
- Grill/barbecue pit – 13%
TOP WAYS AMERICANS HAVE USED THEIR OUTDOOR SPACE
- Host a socially distanced get-together with family/friends – 50%
- To allow my child/children to have recess time while learning remotely – 47%
- To find quiet or alone time – 46%
- Spend quality time with my family – 44%
- To get exercise/act as a home gym – 43%
- To take a phone call for work – 31%
- Make a DIY movie theater – 20%
- An outdoor wedding – 9%