The patio is open—How COVID-19 spurred patio redesigns

After six months stuck in their houses, homeowners are eager to make changes
Homeowners are spending more time at home and making the most of it. (Photo: Bluebird Design & Landscape)

Lazy Sundays sipping craft brews on a sunny patio are a thing of the past. Even when some patios reopened, getting out and enjoying a meal or a drink with friends was quite a different experience.

Some homeowners are using their time at home to turn their backyards into the patio of their dreams.

[Related: The great outdoors—How to design for living well]

An April survey by Houzz found outdoor projects top wish lists for homeowners stuck at home in quarantine. Subsequent data from the home services site show that around the country, home remodelers and designers saw a 58% increase in project leads. In Denver, leads increased 33%, with most project requests coming in for outdoor upgrades.

“Professionals working on outdoor spaces have seen the greatest increase in demand,” Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing at Houzz, told Colorado Builder in an email. “People are coming to Houzz to find professionals for everything from modest outdoor improvements like tree planting and fencing to major projects like new swimming pools and decks.”

Hausman added that “other major outdoor projects include hardscaping and pergola construction, which are both up three times compared with last year. Landscape and garden design both increased by 50%, as well.”

Sky Moede, senior designer and owner of Bluebird Design & Landscape in Highlands Ranch, has also seen an increase in requests for pools.

“We’re out there giving bids for them, which is good for business, as well as with outdoor kitchens. It seems like those go hand in hand the type of clients that are trying to request a pool or area to spend their days out there,” he said.

‘Going gangbusters’

Moede said that his firm started 2020 with a full project pipeline. The pandemic kicked off a mild slowdown at first.

“We had a lot of projects lined up at the beginning of the year, right when everything started,” he said. At first, some clients were willing to move forward with their projects, but others were concerned and wanted to put them on hold until they knew their jobs were secure.

Danielle Andrus

Danielle Andrus is the managing editor of Colorado Builder. She can be reached at [email protected].

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