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Brits spend £26 billion on pandemic ‘outdoor rooms’

  • 47% of households1 invested in garden improvements during pandemic.
  • Outdoor lighting, garden furniture, canopies, pizza ovens and hot tubs top list.   
  • The average household pandemic spend on gardens is £1,976.
  • GoCompare Home Insurance share tips on garden security.

New research2 reveals that since the pandemic began, UK households have spent £25.9 billion kitting out and improving their outdoor spaces.

Gardens have been a sanctuary for many people during the pandemic as they followed Government guidance to stay at home to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, 47% of households have invested in their gardens in the last 14 months.

A quarter of households surveyed said they have spent more time in their garden than they did before Covid, with 28% saying their garden has been a ‘life saver’ in the last 14 months.  As a consequence of the pandemic, a fifth of respondents experienced new-found appreciation of their garden.  Many (35%) said their outdoor space has played an essential part in their wellbeing.     

The research, commissioned by GoCompare Home Insurance, found that on average, UK adults spent £1,976 on items for or updates to their gardens.  The top garden items people spent money on during the pandemic were:

Item% UK households making pandemic purchase
Outdoor lighting15%
New garden furniture13%
A new BBQ8%
A garden shed8%
New decking or patio area6%
A firepit6%
A garden canopy5%
Creating a dedicated BBQ area5%
A garden shelter or roof5%
Installed mains or solar power4%
An outdoor pizza oven4%
A hot tub, garden tub or jacuzzi4%

The research also revealed that only a third (34%) of people who has spent £1,000 or more had informed their insurer of their garden improvements.  Typically, sheds and other outbuildings, and landscaping are usually covered under buildings insurance.   Moveable items such as patio furniture, BBQs, garden planters and ornaments are covered by home contents under ‘contents in the open’.  This provides cover for loss or damage to contents left outside but within the boundaries of your home.

Ryan Fulthorpe, from GoCompare Home Insurance commented, “Many more people are now seeing their gardens as an extension of their living space, investing a lot of time and money in their ‘outdoor rooms’.  During the pandemic, gardens have taken on an increased significance, helping people’s wellbeing and, as lockdown rules allowed, providing meeting places for friends and family who were unable to meet indoors.

“But many of us don’t think about the value and security of our garden contents in the same way as we do about our homes. When you start adding up the cost of garden structures, furniture, BBQs, lighting, and ornaments – even the average garden can house several thousands of pounds worth of items.    

“While many home buildings and contents insurance policies include a degree of cover for gardens, the amount and level of cover varies hugely between policies.  So, people need to think carefully about the value of their outdoor possessions and make sure that they have the insurance cover they need.  If the contents of your garden are particularly valuable you may find that you need to top-up your insurance or buy additional garden cover.” 

For more information on garden and shed insurance visit: https://www.gocompare.com/home-insurance/shed-and-garden-insurance/

Five tips from GoCompare Home Insurance to help secure your garden and its contents from unwanted visitors:

  1. Keep boundary hedges and fences in good order to keep them secure – this will help deter opportunistic thieves. Consider defensive planting of prickly shrubs or hedges.
  2. Where practical, keep outdoor possessions in a locked shed or garage. 
  3. Consider installing security lighting or CCTV.
  4. Secure expensive plants with wire pegs dug into the ground around the root ball.
  5. Use a security pen to mark valuable items that are left in the open with your postcode (e.g. garden furniture, ornaments and trampolines). 


For further information please contact:

Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845

Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare

Notes to editors

1Source: UK households = 27.8m according to ONS population and household data.   

According to research commissioned by GoCompare Home Insurance, 47% of UK households spent an average of £1,976 on their garden in the last 14 months.  47% of 27.8 = 13.1.  13.1m households multiplied by the average spend of £1,976 is £25.8bn.

2On 21 May 2021, an online survey of 2,024 randomly selected Great British adults was executed by Maru/Blue. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.1%. The results have been weighted by age, gender, region and social grade to match the population, according to Census data. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Great Britain. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About GoCompare

GoCompare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.

It does not charge people to use its services and does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. GoCompare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.

When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. It is this approach to comparing products that secured the company an invitation to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) in 2008, and it is still the only comparison site to be a member of this organisation.

GoCompare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest and works with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.

GoCompare is part of Future Plc and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

More information can be found here www.gocompare.com or here https://www.futureplc.com/brands/.