Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Most Beloved Outdoor Remodeling Projects for 2018

The results are in! We have the latest on what outdoor remodeling projects give homeowners the greatest satisfaction, according to the new 2018 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features.

First, the top two projects that scored a perfect 10 on the Joy Score were adding a fire feature, such as a fire pit to the backyard, and installing an irrigation system, to make sure all those flowers and plants are watered and looking beautiful.

Next on the list for the highest Joy Scores were adding a new wood deck, a water feature, a statement landscape feature, and a new patio.

Fire Feature – Joy Score 10

  • A fire feature consists of installing a dry-stacked natural stone kit, gas burner, and flagstone patio. There’s no better way to roast marshmallows with the kids this summer.
  • Homeowners said they constructed a fire feature after they had recently moved in and wanted to customize to their personal tastes.

Irrigation System Installation – Joy Score 10

  • This project includes the installation of an irrigation system for the lawn. You can’t have plants and flowers blooming without the water.
  • Sixty-nine percent of consumers have a major sense of accomplishment when they think of their irrigation system.

New Wood Deck – Joy Score 9.8

  • The project consists of building a 14-foot by 18-foot wood deck out of cedar lumbar attached to the house. You can imagine sun bathing and cook outs, right?
  • Consumers have an increased sense of enjoyment when they are at home after building a new wood deck (74 percent).

Water Feature – Joy Score 9.8

  • These types of projects include constructing small ponds, water gardens, waterfalls, and fountains with running water. Perfect for a natural abode for Zen seekers away from the busy city.
  • Consumers added water features to improve livability (63 percent).

Statement Landscape Feature – Joy Score 9.7

  • A statement landscape enhancement includes unique features such as serenity gardens and created spaced for hobbies like yoga and bocce ball. They allow for play rather than work pursuits to balance one’s lifestyle.
  • Eighty-seven percent of homeowners said they have a greater desire to be in the home since adding a statement landscape enhancement.

New Patio – Joy Score 9.7

  • This entails installing a backyard 18-foot by 16-foot concrete paver patio. Carving out space in one’s home for enjoyable activities is never a bad idea!
  • Consumers built a new patio to improve livability (57 percent).