Hope you’re reading this on your patio, under new lights, by a crackling fire, with snacks close by on the counter. If so, you’re surfing the wave of the top must-have outdoor living amenities, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects’ 2011 Residential Trends Survey.
Whether you are selling or staying (for the time being!), here are the top six features that you (and buyers!) want (not including things that you take when you move, like comfy lounge chairs).
- Lighting – 96.2% Go for lights hard-wired to the grid. Solar-powered lights aren’t that popular, according to the survey.
- Fire pits/fireplace - 94.2% - Even a small fire pit can center a conversation area. Be sure it has a tightly fitting, sturdy guard.
- Seating/dining areas – 94.1% – The minimum is a table that seats four. Six is better. Eight is great.
- Installed seating – 89.5% — Built-ins frame your space and ensure that you’ve got plenty of party seating.
- Counter space – 74.2% — No space for a full-blown outdoor kitchen? Consider a drop-down counter attached to a wall. You can fold it up for winter storage.
- Utility storage – 61.3% – Back to the built-ins: hinged tops let you stow cushions and accessories safely out of the wind and weather.
Image courtesy of Morguefile contributor jdurham