Americans spend an average of 7 hours a week improving yards to host summer parties – and over half pick the same method

IS your yard ready for summer entertaining? 

A new survey polling 2,000 US adults with backyards found that 81% would look forward to hosting parties in their backyard, but 14% admitted that they would need some time to prepare given the current state of their space.

Summer calls for spending more time in your backyard

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Summer calls for spending more time in your backyardCredit: Getty
Decking your backyard with stylish furniture adds an inviting touch

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Decking your backyard with stylish furniture adds an inviting touchCredit: Getty

According to respondents, 34% would have to improve their backyards before hosting, spending seven hours weekly and up to $1,400 to get their yards guest-ready.  

The survey, commissioned by Big Lots and conducted by Talker Research, revealed just how many Americans are looking forward to hosting a backyard soiree this year and what many feel they need to do to be best prepared. 

Proper patio furniture (57%) was respondents’ most sought-after improvement, followed by sprucing up their existing patio furniture (39%), setting up bug repellants (37%), and installing lights (36%).

Hosting these get-togethers can add up though, so budget is important to keep in mind.

The average person felt they could host a party for as low as $190, with four in five (82%) saying it’s important to them that they stick to their budget if they plan on getting any new patio furniture or other improvements ahead of an event.

“Sprucing up the backyard is more than a simple task, it’s an investment in creating memories with loved ones that will last a lifetime,” said Shelly Trosclair, SVP of Merchandising at Big Lots.

“And that investment doesn’t have to carry a heavy price tag – with a little creativity and the right plan, you can curate a vibrant, inviting space on a budget where friends and family can gather to relax, unwind, and enjoy each other’s company for seasons to come.”

To curate these memorable moments, respondents said they expect to host eight guests, need a proper place to cook (77%), good patio furniture (75%), and plenty of shading (53%). 

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Three in four (76%) plan to host an average of three outdoor dinner parties or cookouts this year, with 11% planning to host for the first time.

In fact, 57% said they “always” or “often” eat all their meals outside if the weather is nice.

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That nice weather is preferred for big occasions.

The best occasions for these parties were holidays (54%), birthdays (51%), simple gatherings (50%), and when family and friends were visiting (45%).

The preferred favorite foods among those attending include grilled meats (89%), potato salad (64%), grilled veggies (58%), melon fruits (58%) and salads (51%).

The results also found the best months for outdoor gatherings are July (26%), June (25%), and May (20%), however, a quarter (24%) said they’d host people over as early as April — confirming that outdoor season is already here. 

The key to a quality backyard refresh is to dream big but start small because small updates can make a big difference

“To start, consider shopping for accents like new cushions and pillows, some string lights, or an umbrella, and see where your patio refresh journey takes you from there!

Shelly TrosclairSVP of Merchandising at Big Lots

“The key to a quality backyard refresh is to dream big but start small because small updates can make a big difference,” Shelly added.

“To start, consider shopping for accents like new cushions and pillows, some string lights, or an umbrella, and see where your patio refresh journey takes you from there!”

IMPROVISING PLAN-T

There may be a way you can fund your new backyard makeover, right from your backyard.

A couple who gardens shared how they created a small business by selling leftover shoots from overgrown flowers.

Husband and Redditor Tccoope shared how he grows hostas in his backyard garden.

He and his wife have a large number of them – leaving them with plenty to give away.

TOP 7 WAYS TO PREP YOUR YARD

  • Getting proper patio/yard furniture – 57%
  • Sprucing up existing patio furniture/décor – 39%
  • Setting up bug repellants – 37%
  • Installing lights – 36%
  • Planting more plants – 34%
  • Installing a new place to cook (a grill, smoker, etc.) – 27%
  • Setting up shading – 26%

Selling the flower shoots proved to be a good way to make a profit for them.

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“My wife and I sell shoots off of our hostas every spring for $3 a shoot, or four for $10,” he said.

“We moved last fall so our stock wasn’t super great this season but we still made $1,000 – last year we made almost $4,000.”

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