More than three-quarters of Americans who have a yard say the family yard space is one of the most important parts of their home, according to a poll of 1,700 consumers by the TurfMutt Foundation. Since the pandemic began, homeowners are showing more appreciation for their yards and spending more time in them, the poll found.

What’s more, 72% of consumers say a spacious yard would be at the top of their wish list if they were searching for a new home. Homeowners are more willing to invest in their yards and are using them for everyday activities, including work-from-home office space, according to the survey.

“What we are seeing with Americans is greater reliance on the backyard as an extension of the home,” says Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the TurfMutt Foundation. “It’s not just a place that looks pretty—it’s a place to live and do daily activities such as working, dining, and relaxing. They’ve discovered that ‘backyarding’ is a better way to live and there’s no turning back. They are also willing to hire professionals and invest money into yard improvements.”

A group of six people sit in a yard at a barbecue enjoying a meal together.

Eighty-four percent of respondents say they plan to invest more in their yard in 2022, including by purchasing plants, trees, flowers, vegetables to plant; purchasing items to maintain or improve their grassy areas; and installing or updating hardscaping themselves, the survey shows. Other popular projects include interest in installing a fence (19%) or a shed (15%) or adding a swimming pool (10%).

Besides refocusing the yard space for entertaining, relaxing, or doing hobbies, a yard also has become a place to work from. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they’ve spent time performing job-related functions in their yard during the pandemic, with men doing so more often than women.

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