Remodeling Impact Focus Shifts to Outdoor Features

Jan Stapleton - 2023 NETAR President

The weather’s not exactly on board yet, but spring is here. And with spring comes a surge of optimism and energy that leads to doing more than thinking about that do-it-yourself and professional home improvement project. 

2023 NETAR President Association Spokesperson

 After several years of double-digit gains, remodeling – both pro and DYI – spending is expected to grow modestly this year. The remodeling market prospered from homeowners whose income wasn’t hurt by the pandemic. But inflation has and continues to take a toll on projects. Many homeowners have tightened their spending on DYI improvements where prices have increased. Those price hikes have also pushed consumers to choose lower-quality finishes to keep pro projects on budget.  

Much of this year’s focus is an extension of breaking free of the shut-in pandemic era. It’s about getting outside. 

Here’s what’s hot in this year’s National Association of Realtors® (NAR) outdoor remodeling report. Most Realtors® suggest that sellers improve their home’s curb appeal before listing this year. They also suggest owners finish landscaping-related features for going to market.  

Those were among the top projects that landscaping pros report higher demand over last year.  

The 2023 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features examine why homeowners complete outdoor remodeling projects, the value of undertaking these enhancements, and homeowners’ increased happiness after completing an upgrade. Specifically, the report covers the following: 

Project projects ranked by cost recovery. 

  • Standard Lawn Care Service – 217% 
  • Landscape Maintenance – 104% 
  • Overall Landscape Upgrade – 100% 
  • Outdoor Kitchen – 100% 
  • New Patio – 95% 
  • New Wood Deck – 89% 
  • Tree Care – 87% 
  • Irrigation System Installation – 83% 
  • Landscape Lighting – 59% 
  • Fire Feature – 56% (This project is described as dry stacked natural stone kits, gas burner with 10-foot diameter flagstone patio) 
  • In-Ground Pool Addition – 56% 

The Joy Score for owners on the projects are (ranked 1-10): 

  • In-Ground Pool Addition – 10 
  • Landscape Lighting – 10 
  • New Patio – 9.9 
  • New Wood Deck – 9.7 
  • Fire Feature – 9.7 
  • Overall landscape Upgrade – 9.6 
  • Irrigation System Installation – 9.4 
  • Standard Lawn Care Service 9.4 
  • Tree Care – 9.3 
  • Outdoor Kitchen 9 

Here’s how NAR and its partners conducted the study: 

In February 2023, the homeownership site surveyed consumers about the last remodeling project they undertook. A total of 48,342 NAR members were surveyed to ask if they had completed remodeling projects. A total of 2,620 respondents took the online survey. 

 The Joy Score was calculated by combining the share who were happy and those who were satisfied when seeing their completed project and dividing the share by 10 to create a ranking between 1 and 10. Higher Joy Scores indicate greater joy from the project. 

 National Association of Landscape Professionals Survey: In January 2023, NALP emailed a cost survey to its 1,670 member companies. A total of 160 responses were received. The survey had an adjusted response rate of 9.6%. Respondents were asked to take the following into consideration: “For each project, please assume the house is in good condition. There are no surprises that will affect the cost. Generally, assume a 2,500- square-foot house with a 14,000-square-foot lot—the average size according to U.S. Census data. The house is a post-1978-built home with no hidden issues. To ensure the most applicability, projects and materials represent standard or typical quality; a few projects feature “better-quality” materials. But there are no top-of-the-line projects. 

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It is the largest trade association in the Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region, representing over 1,800+ members and 100+ business partners involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Weekly market reports and information for both consumers and members are available on the NETAR website at