Outdoor improvements that add value to your home

Outdoor renovations to your home can make it look more aesthetically pleasing and can even be a source of entertainment. But not every project translates to a return on investment, and some might even make your house less attractive to potential buyers. Check out our guide below on which projects will be sure to give your home a boost in the property market.

Build an outdoor fire pit

A summer night outside isn’t complete without roasting marshmallows over a blazing fire. Your friends and family will thank you when you decide to add your own fire pit to the backyard. You’ll also enjoy a return on your investment of about 67 percent. According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and National Association of Landscape Professionals’ (NALP) 2018 Remodeling Report: Outdoor Features, a fire pit with a gas burner and patio area that costs around $6,000 for construction will recoup $4,000 when you sell your home.

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Build a deck

Building a deck is at the top of the list to get the most enjoyment from the outdoors. It will give you the perfect space to experience all the best summer activities, including sunbathing, grilling, or entertaining guests. A nicely constructed wooden deck is also a great selling point for buyers. Remodeling Magazine’s Cost v. Value report finds that a homeowner’s average recoupment for a newly constructed deck is about 80%. If you were to spend $10,050 on professional construction of a 16×20 foot wood deck, you could expect to recoup about $8,090 when it’s time to sell.

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A deck also opens the door to some other interesting possibilities. For example, if built on the second floor of your home, you can convert the space underneath the deck into various uses: a sunroom, screened-in porch, or even storage. Trex has a great guide on some under-deck ceiling ideas that’ll also teach you how to waterproof the space underneath!

Tidy up the lawn

One relatively minor change that goes a long way is to clean up your landscaping. Curb appeal plays a huge part in selling your home, and you can only make one first impression with your lawn. Remember that this doesn’t mean you have to go all out, but taking care of those dead spots and weeds to give it a uniform look is essential. The return on investment in this category varies greatly because landscaping includes many things, but experts list it as a top priority when placing your home on the market.

Virginia Tech study on how landscaping affected people’s perception of a home’s value came down to three factors, in this order of importance: how sophisticated the design was, the size of the plants, and having a diverse range of plants. Those surveyed preferred larger greenery with deciduous, evergreen, and annual colored plants. The study shows that taking your lawn from an average plain of grass to colorfully layered could add up to 10 to 12 percent to your home’s value.

Build an outdoor kitchen

On the higher end of home improvement projects is the outdoor kitchen, typically more sought after among those buyers with larger budgets. A survey of 1,250 real estate agents found that nearly half recommended this project to boost your home’s attractiveness to potential buyers. Like improving your lawn for curb appeal, this project has a way of grabbing their eye if done right. And it’s one of the more expensive projects to do, so ensure you get the full enjoyment before you list it on the market.

Replacing doors, siding, and roofing

While not as popular as other outdoor improvements, replacing your doors, siding and roofing are great subtle ways to add value to your home. These small but noticeable changes like touching up the lawn make your home stand out among the crowd. They’re also great in terms of their return on investment, which varies depending on your home and what replacements you choose to make.

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Add outdoor lighting

If you’re going through with adding a patio or deck or another outdoor space to your backyard, go all the way and add some permanent outdoor lighting fixtures as well. An outdoor space can easily feel unfinished or incomplete without proper lighting, especially if it’s further away from your house.

There are many options, so pick the one that works best for your yard. If you aren’t sure what will look good, you can always consult with a professional to get the best result possible. The goal is to make your outdoor living space as livable as possible, so brightening up the night with good lighting installation is key!

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Add a pergola or extended roof overhang

If you’ve got the space for it, building out the overhang of your home is another terrific way to expand your home’s outdoor space. A pergola can also work to this effect and can be detached from your home if that’s what you’d prefer. In addition, protection from the sun and rain can make your patio or deck even more enjoyable year-round and give your backyard a fuller feel.

Pergolas look best when well-decorated! Hang plants, lights, and flowing drapes from the beams to make it into a beautiful summery retreat. Adding an extension to your home’s outdoor space is a surefire way to increase your property’s resale value!

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When considering which projects to add to your home, always choose what will work best for your home. Just because something is popular and tends to add value to those on the market doesn’t necessarily mean it will or won’t work for your house. Before starting any projects, you can always ask local realtors what improvements tend to sell more than others in your area.