Given Australia’s slowing property market, homeowners are more likely to stay put in their houses for more than 20 years preferring to carry out backyard renovations to suit their lifestyle changes, but they are concerned about the cost, according to the 2019 Adbri Masonry Great Australian Backyard Survey.
The survey, with over 1000 respondents from across the country, found 32.4 per cent intended to live in their home for more than 20 years, while 20.5 per cent expected to stay between 10 and 20 years. When asked if they were likely to sell, rent or stay considering the current housing market conditions, 76.8 per cent said they would remain in their home, with 68.3 per cent planning to make improvements or undertake new projects in their front or back yards in 2019.
“It’s clear the current market conditions are encouraging people to look to renovations to improve and enjoy their homes, rather than sell the property, and the backyard is a great place to start with an upgrade – it doesn’t have to cost the earth and can be done in increments,” says Karl Wood, Adbri Marketing manager.
“Interestingly cost is a barrier for people when it comes to backyard renovations, with more than half of those surveyed saying it was a major concern. The majority of people said they preferred to manage a backyard budget by renovating bit by bit over a period of time.”
As the survey shows, people need backyard improvement options that can last for 10 to 20 plus years and adapt their backyard space as required. Concrete pavers are still the number one choice for paved outdoor areas. They are not only practical but create a durable, long-lasting foundation for entertaining and relaxing areas, the top two choices from the Great Backyard Survey when it came to how homeowners prefer to use their outdoor space.
Adbri Euro Stone paver was recently used by landscaping expert and Adbri Masonry Ambassador Jason Hodges to transform a backyard at a home in Narrabeen, NSW.
“By adding in paved zones that can be used for entertaining, relaxing and gardening, as well as safe play areas for children, we’ve created permanence in the yard that can also be updated and transformed as the homeowners’ needs change,” explains Jason Hodges.
“These pavers come in a range of neutral tones, including the popular Zurich Steel colour with its exposed aggregate texture providing both aesthetic and slip resistance properties, and are the perfect starting point for a backyard design.
“If you’ve just purchased your own home you may not have a lot of spare cash to tackle the backyard renovation, however, it can be surprising cost effective to make-over your outdoor living area to enjoy all year round,” says Jason. He has these top tips for cost-effective renovations.
Have a game plan. You can have the overall picture of what you would like to achieve but then break it down into manageable chunks of your time and budget. For example, you could start by planting a small hedge for a courtyard and then by the time you pave the area the hedge will grow and be the perfect size.
Invest smart. While you can get creative and save with budget landscaping ideas, choosing one element to invest in will help you create a yard you’ll love and enjoy for years to come. Consider spending a little extra on a great piece of furniture like a build-in paver bench.
DIY inspiration. Having a bank of inspiration will ensure you don’t need to hire an architect or professional landscaper to get some interesting backyard designs. With a little research – I have a shoebox full of inspirational photos from magazines – you can get ideas and recreate them to fit your own specifications. For example, you can cut out shapes in planters, and sidewalk areas can offer an interesting yard focal point or even add to an already existing design.
“In our Narrabeen renovation we basically built a structural area, a paved courtyard with some planter boxes and chic breezeblock shade screen feature, and then dressed it differently to suit various needs,” says Jason. “Here’s some advice on how to think ahead when planning your backyard reno.”
Prepare for the future. Try to accommodate the fact your ideas and needs will change for your outdoor area over time. So, for example, don’t block access to parts of the yard you may need later, perhaps you will want a pool or a BBQ area. It’s much more economical to think ahead rather than having to build and rip out elements out at a later stage.
Transitional thinking. An example of this is building a sand pit for the kids while they are little and then converting it into a vegie patch as they grow. The perimeter and foundation is already there, just fill it with soil and your favourite veg and watch the miracle of growing your own organic produce.
In regards to children, 92.7 per cent of those surveyed said they felt it was “very important” for children to play outside for their development and well-being, yet 34.1 per cent admitted their children only played outdoors for one to three hours per week and 44.9 per cent said their child spent six to 14 hours per week on screens such as phones, TVs and computers.
“Cost was again the biggest hurdle when respondents were asked about creating the perfect kid-friendly backyard,” says Mr Wood. “However, at the top of their wish lists for kid-friendly options were a garden or veggie patch, sand pit and just a safe place for them to play.” Creating a place to disconnect, unwind and spend time with family and friends is a valuable investment for both your home and well-being.
If you’re looking to plan a backyard renovation, check out our resource centre for tips and ideas on home DIY projects, find out about our selection of pavers, retaining walls, bricks and blocks, or locate your nearest landscaping yard to get started today.
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