The Outdoor Feature Homeowners Want To Add To Their Backyard - House Digest Survey

A backyard can be a blank canvas where you get to truly let the imagination soar. No matter what the size, there are always incredible features that you can pop in to make your outdoor space unique and perfect just for you. Whether you want to add niche additions like an outdoor sauna, cold water immersion tub, intricate koi pond, or even an elaborate axe-throwing target, the sky's the limit when it comes to your backyard wants and needs. Other trendy outdoor features can boost the value of your home. Constructing a well-crafted wooden pergola with plenty of seating and shade for long summer days, having a screened-in porch to protect you from the elements but also allow you to enjoy the gentle breeze, and even an inground swimming pool can all add worth to your investment, according to Real Homes.

As well as boosting the income potential of your home, certain types of outdoor amenities can also be good for your mental and physical health. Having a backyard garden to tend to can be great exercise, help to reduce stress, and even get you to focus on the here and now, allowing you to be more present, as per Psychology Today. We at House Digest wanted to know what you would want to highlight in your outside space if you had the opportunity. In an exclusive survey, we asked 627 people, "Which outdoor feature would you love to add to your backyard?" Here are the results.

The top backyard features according to our survey

When it comes to backyard amenities, there was no doubt what the number one voted feature was. Of the 627 people who participated in a House Digest exclusive survey, 179 — or 28.55% of the total vote — said that a pool would be something they would want in their outdoor space. Especially if you live in land-locked states where an ocean can be too far away to enjoy, having the convenience of a backyard pool can be a huge social boost and encourage many fun, entertaining days and nights with family and friends. Also, in some cases, an inground pool can increase the value of your home by up to 8%, according to HGTV. So it's no wonder that having a pool in your backyard is a popular choice among homeowners.

Hand-in-hand with outside enjoyment is having a good space to relax and entertain. The second most-voted outdoor feature that 158 people — about 25.20% of those surveyed — wanted to include in their own backyard is a patio with plenty of seating. Incorporating a dedicated area to lounge in the yard, enjoy the surrounding views of your neighborhood, and have room for guests to kick back and converse can bring the elements of a comfortable living room to your outdoor space. Whether it is a simple stone-laden area with cozy patio furniture or a hand-crafted stained wood pergola with built-in seating, a patio space is always a good idea.

Plenty of people wanted a space to garden

The third most popular outdoor feature that homeowners wanted to add to their space was a vegetable garden, which received 102 votes or 16.27% of the total survey. Having a vegetable plot is usually inexpensive and provides an enjoyable and rewarding hobby. Depending on the climate of the area you live in, you can have a successful harvest of many types of fruits or vegetables. Among some of the easiest to plant are lettuce, green beans, peas, carrots, and cucumber, according to Almanac. All of these can be easily grown in a towed plot in the backyard or in a raised garden bed which is great for keeping away unwanted critters from your homegrown produce.

For the outdoor cooking aficionado, having a space for a grill station was a popular selection, receiving 12.60% of the votes. A dedicated grilling area can make for some fun afternoon barbeques where you get to indulge in your backyard culinary delights. Paired with the perfect patio, a grilling space can consist of a basic preparation area with sturdy materials. For elaborate setups, think about adding a fridge and proper shelving units so that you can save yourself the constant back-and-forth trips to the kitchen.

Other popular outdoor features that rounded out our survey

There is nothing more cozy and outdoorsy than gathering around a blazing fire. That is probably why 73 people — or 11.64% of those who participated in our survey — chose a fire pit as an outdoor feature they would love to have in their backyard. You can purchase a solid fire pit at most home improvement stores, with selections that incorporate real wood logs, fire rocks, or even natural gas. If you want to add your own personal touches, you can also do the work yourself and build your own DIY fire pit using fire bricks, lava rocks, retaining wall blocks, and some construction adhesive, according to Lowe's. In the end, you could have the perfect place to warm up under the stars.

Finally, 36 folks — about 5.74% of those who voted — wanted to indulge their green thumb and would enjoy having a flower bed featured in their backyard. A garden bed is an ideal environment to showcase stunning annual flowers and add some colorful contrast to your outdoor space. With endless possibilities, you choose from any number of budding beauties to fill the area, making it an ongoing and rewarding hobby to indulge in. Plus, flowers can help to entice important pollinators such as butterflies and bees to come and enjoy your garden patch.