The UK’s love affair with their gardens continues, according to new research by online home renovation and design platform, Houzz.

Houzz revealed that 9 in 10 homeowners go big on their landscaping projects and are making substantial updates or complete overhauls, with over half (59%) prioritising outdoor living as the key influence in their overall outdoor project design

The 2016 UK Houzz Landscaping Trends Survey includes insights from nearly 1,000 UK homeowners using Houzz who are in the midst of, planning or who have recently completed an outdoor project.  The annual study found that the majority are updating structural elements (90%), outdoor systems and equipment (82%), and beds and borders (80%).  Due to the significance of these projects, over a third of outdoor upgraders are enlisting the help of a landscape contractor or gardener and/or landscape architect/designer for their projects (34%)

Garden makeovers are having a significant impact on British outdoor living, with 81% reporting that they spend more time outside as a result of the upgrades.  Homeowners are also relaxing (78%), eating (70%) and entertaining (67%) more in their new outdoor spaces.  Gardening is no longer the top use of outdoor space, however Brits now prefer to relax in their outdoor spaces (70%) ahead of tending to their gardens (65%) and enjoying family time (36%).

While having a garden that is easy to maintain is the top key functional consideration amongst UK upgraders (67%), outdoor living is the biggest design priority (59%), followed by having a stylish and beautiful space (51%).  As such, homeowners are buying comfort-enhancing outdoor products such as outdoor furniture (58%), BBQ’s (40%), fire pits (28%), patio heaters (13%) and pizza ovens (8%).  Of those who incorporate lighting, 80% say they do so to illuminate features and create a better ambience, whereas 71% say they want to create a more enjoyable and relaxing space.

“More than half of outdoor renovators spend five or more hours a week in their gardens, motivating them to invest in major features that transform the outdoors into additional living spaces” said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz.  “Flowering plants, LED or solar lighting and hard landscaping in place of lawns are some of the popular choices that all help to support outdoor living”

Additional findings include:

New Home, New Garden – A recent home purchase is the top trigger of outdoor projects (41%), whilst many are responding to a deteriorated space (25%).  Others wait until the right moment, by either having the finances (24%) or the time on their hands (25%), before embarking on a desired project.

Projects Span all Budgets – When it comes to minor projects, the majority of homeowners budget or spend less than £2,500 (93%).  More substantial projects require higher budgets and 39% plan to spend or have spent above £2,500.

Paw Perfect ­- Outdoor updates which take pets into consideration are important, with 32% making pet-related upgrades.  Creating space for animals to run and play (27%) and planting toxin-free plants are most popular (21%).

Child Friendly – about two out of five outdoor renovators are making child-related updates (41%).  Practicalities such as space to run and play (44%), edible plants (25%) and fencing around the garden (24%) are prioritised.

Spring into Action – March and April are the most popular months for UK homeowners to embark on an outdoor project (22% and 16% respectively).  Planning begins 4 months or more ahead for the majority of outdoor renovators (67%)

A Plethora of Plants – UK homeowners are prioritising flowering plants during their upgrades, with flowering (71%), low maintenance (59%) and plants that attract wildlife, such as bees and butterflies (58%) being the top plant characteristics.

Lawn of the Dead – Homeowners with an existing lawn are making big changes to their green spaces, with 22% reducing their lawn size and 12% removing it altogether in favour of garden beds (54%), hard landscaping (48%) and outdoor structures (43%).

The full report can be downloaded at

The study was conducted online via the Houzz platform in March 2016.  n=923

Source:  Houzz UK



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