Propane Appliances Lead the Way for Outdoor Living Trends Among American Homeowners

National Survey Shows that Creating Space to “Relax” is the Largest Motivator in Building Outdoor Rooms


Washington, D.C. (June 7, 2005) — The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) today announced the results of a national consumer survey on the outdoor living trend in the United States. Consumers across the country are spending more time at home and are showing an increasing interest in outdoor rooms, energizing an already strong market for outdoor room appliances.

“Home improvement projects tend to be driven by an underlying emotional need,” said Martha Baker, well-known outdoor living expert as well as the best-selling author of The Outdoor Living Room: Stylish Ideas for Porches, Patios, and Pools. “Building or renovating outdoor rooms illustrates our need to relax and reconnect with family and friends. Outdoor rooms increase our quality of life while also increasing a home’s value.”

According to the survey released today, creating a space to relax and entertain is among the top reasons homeowners decide to add or remodel an outdoor room. Other survey results include:

  • Half of all American homeowners (50 percent) say that they are spending more time at home than they were five years ago.
  • When it comes to spending time at home, four in five (80 percent) also say that it is important to have an outdoor living space where they can relax and entertain.
  • More than one in three homeowners (35 percent) has a finished outdoor room, and 34 percent say they are planning to design one in the next one to two years.
  • The most important reason homeowners decide to add or remodel an outdoor room is to create a space to relax (89 percent), followed by spending more time outside (87 percent), adding value to a home (79 percent), extending a home’s living space (78 percent) and creating a space to entertain (74 percent).
  • When it comes to outfitting an outdoor room, most homeowners say they are likely to include outdoor lighting units (94 percent) and a gas grill (86 percent). Many would be likely to include mosquito eliminators (79 percent), an outdoor fireplace or pit (67 percent), and just over half (53 percent) are likely to include patio heaters.
  • According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), “the outdoor lifestyle” is expanding. Recent industry findings show that well-designed outdoor spaces return more than 100 percent of their cost, demonstrating a strong return on investment. As a result, many homeowners are reacting.

For example, according to HPBA, U.S. homeowners spent approximately $200 billion on remodeling and renovation in 2004, a third of which was allocated to outdoor amenities. “Many of the most popular outdoor appliances available today are fueled by propane,” continued Baker. “Beyond the grill, propane is an easy way for homeowners to power everything needed for their outdoor living rooms, from heaters to bug zappers.”

PERC’s top five product recommendations for creating the ideal outdoor room are:

  • Commercial-style grills – Approximately 65 percent of grill owners own a propane grill. Propane grills heat up and cool down quickly, making grilling safe and efficient. Using propane also eliminates dirty ash and dust.
  • Hearths – A gas hearth offers a cozy touch to an outdoor room and is very easy to install. Hearths for the outdoor room include a range of fireplaces, gas logs and gas campfires.
  • Patio heaters – Propane patio heaters extend the use of an outdoor room into the cooler months. Most models include adjustable temperature controls and safety features, and many are equipped with lights to further extend outdoor time.
  • Outdoor lighting units – Propane outdoor lighting fixtures and lamps are available in portable, wall-mounted and post-mounted styles. They are easy to use in remote locations, such as outdoor rooms.
  • Mosquito eliminators – A mosquito eliminator will help ensure that outdoor activities are mosquito free. Mosquito eliminators protect up to an acre of land from these insects.

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