COVID-19 Has Expanded Our Outdoor Living Spaces
The past couple of years have brought chaos, suffering, and uncertainty into the lives of many hardworking people. But if there is one positive to come out of the madness, it is an appreciation for things that truly matter in life. For instance, though spending time outdoors has been an indicator and promoter of good health and mental well-being, it simply has not been at the forefront of people’s minds—until now. During the pandemic, people realized the true value of outdoor living and accommodations. A survey polling 2,000 American homeowners found that 67 percent believe COVID-19 has made them more thankful for outdoor spaces.
Trend reports reveal that an astounding 90 percent of American homeowners agree that their outdoor living space is more valuable than ever before. To match such habitual adjustments, people throughout the country have embraced exterior home improvement projects. While it is difficult to predict just how many COVID-19 changes are here to stay, it is safe to say that our newfound appreciation for outdoor living can have a long-term impact.
Bringing Us Closer To Nature
Compared to pre-pandemic, people spend an average of three hours longer outside every week. Why might this be? Well, there are numerous reasons why outdoor living is considered more valuable. For one, increased stress from pandemic-related complications tends to drive people toward relaxing and stress-free environments, and there is nothing more rehabilitating than spending time in nature. In fact, studies show that outdoor recreation is integral for coping during times of crisis or disaster. Thus, outdoor spaces are no longer a luxury; they are a necessity. As a result, our increased connection to nature leads homeowners to implement environmentally friendly features by installing solar panels, starting compost heaps, and using more sustainable building materials.
If you take a look at the most popular home improvement projects, garden landscaping stands out amongst the crowd. Many industries suffered losses during the pandemic; however, gardening-related businesses experienced massive growth. For example, GrowIt’s daily active users jumped 10-fold in the short span of March to May 2020. In addition, a Porch survey found that 26 percent of homeowners worked on their gardens during the pandemic, and the demand for vegetable plants increased by almost 1,200 percent year over year. Such a growth spurt can be compared to the Victory Gardens that sprouted during World War I and II due to food shortages. Not only do gardens provide homeowners with fresh produce without having to take a trip to the store, but they also serve as a rewarding outdoor hobby that can benefit your mental and physical health.
Multi-Purpose Outdoor Spaces
Perhaps the most drastic change is the altered perspective of homeowners looking to make use of their outdoor spaces. Post-pandemic, people value functional features over design or style elements driven purely by aesthetics. Whereas landscaping used to merely boost curb appeal, it is now utilized to make outdoor spaces more functional. More and more people are requesting outdoor kitchens, offices, gyms, and playgrounds that they can use for both work and entertainment. Thanks to the pandemic, the line between indoor and outdoor has become blurred. Activities that formerly took place almost exclusively inside are being brought outside.
Outdoor spaces are also technically beneficial (sometimes even life-saving) in regard to social distancing policies. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) officially champions the outdoors for people looking to spend time with friends and family members who do not live with them. Even without masks, disease transmission is much less likely outside. Accordingly, many new seating features accommodate social distancing to promote safety during social gatherings at home. Additionally, three times as many homeowners are building decks and erecting fences. Other increasingly favored elements include privacy, integrating natural features, high-quality lighting, Wi-Fi capability, and minimizing maintenance.
Expert Landscaping in Oakland County, MI
Of course, just because homeowners want to enjoy outdoor living does not mean they want to invest their time into maintaining landscaping spaces. For that reason, most homeowners choose to partner with a professional landscaping service that can take care of the upkeep for them. Furthermore, expert landscapers like the team at Kenny Landscaping can provide additional benefits, such as reduced soil erosion and improved energy savings. As a family-owned business, we understand the nuanced struggles suffered at the hands of COVID and vow to help the people of our beautiful community build outdoor spaces and reconnect to nature. Contact us today to learn about our landscaping services and how we can help you take advantage of outdoor living.