Styled, Staged & Sold

Bringing you the latest home design and staging trends. From REALTOR® Magazine.

Top 5 Outdoor Living Trends to Attract Buyers

Find out the most popular exterior features and designs so far this year.

By Adam Graham,

Homeowners have become much more aware of the importance of having comfortable and usable living spaces outdoors as well as indoors. As many of us reevaluate the priorities we have for our homes, owners are seeking to unlock more potential for their outdoor spaces. recently surveyed real estate professionals to gain insight into the most popular designs and features this year. For the website’s 2021 Outdoor Living Spaces Trends report, professionals revealed what homeowners can do to increase curb appeal, attract buyers, and add value to their outdoor space.

Here are some highlights from the report’s findings.

Outdoor Kitchens Are the Most In-Demand Feature

Which are the most popular outdoor living additions in 2021?

Experts were asked to choose one or more features that they believe will prove popular this year. Sixty-one percent of respondents opted for outdoor kitchens, highlighting their growing appeal.

Outdoor kitchens have been popular for several years but especially during pandemic-related restrictions that kept people from enjoying restaurants or meeting up with friends and family at indoor public spaces. Outdoor kitchens have many different styles and types, from standalone to U-shapes.

Depending on the size and materials, the average cost for a 300-square-foot outdoor kitchen is $13,000. However, many extra features, such as ice machines and pizza ovens, can increase costs. The average cost for a fire pit is $850.

Best Design Combination: Porch and Patio

Which is the most popular outdoor space in single family homes in 2021?

When it comes to outdoor design, homeowners have a few options to consider. Forty-eight percent of experts reveal that the combination of a porch and patio is what most people desire in a home. It makes sense that this combo is most popular because a porch can add to a home’s curb appeal while the patio offers a more private living space.

If your home lacks one or both of these features and you are considering installing one, a porch has an average cost of $20,000 whereas a patio averages just under $5,000.

Folding, Sliding Doors Provide Seamless Transition

Seventy-four percent of real estate pros say folding and sliding doors and windows are growing in popularity as a method to blend indoor and outdoor living. The flexibility of this design feature allows the relaxing vibes to flow from space to space. It also lets the outside in during times of the year when weather conditions are problematic. In addition, the openness and brightness makes rooms feel larger—an added bonus when it comes to selling.

The costs associated with installing a sliding door depend on the size and type of glass panes. The average cost for installing a 72” x 80” aluminum single-glazed sliding door is $2,760.

Outdoor Heaters, Fireplaces Have Year-Round Appeal

Which is the most popular way to adapt outdoor spaces for year-round use?

Outdoor living spaces are no longer only for summer enjoyment. Home buyers want to make the most of their entire property all year long. The growth of outdoor heaters, fireplaces, and fire pits are helping homeowners extend their enjoyment of the outdoors.

Overcoming the issue of being uncomfortably cold allows for using areas like patios. In addition, 27% of respondents also said a hard patio cover like that of a pergola will become commonplace, helping to shield others from weather elements like the rain. Further, outdoor heaters can be used to heat up spaces on cooler days or nights and repositioned for wherever you want them to be.

The average outdoor heater costs between $200 and $300, whereas an outdoor fireplace ranges from $2,000 to $3,000.

A Place to Gather With Friends and Family

When asked about the most common uses homeowners have for outdoor spaces, 80% of respondents agreed that gathering with friends and family is priority number one. So when it comes to preparing a home for sale, keep in mind that home buyers are seeking an area where they can achieve this. So, no matter the size of the outdoor space, you should highlight it as a spot for gatherings. This can be done by placing greater focus on the patio or porch, adding furniture for seating, or creating an open area for children to play.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Adam Graham is a construction industry analyst at, a website that offers home remodeling cost guides and connects homeowners with service professionals. Graham analyzes and writes about the home construction industry, interior design trends, and real estate.

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