The 8 Best Outdoor Home Improvements to Add Value to Your Property
Whether you’re looking to sell your house, improve your quality of backyard living, or simply feel more proud of the spaces on your property, making some outdoor upgrades is a great way to increase the value of your home. Estate agents estimate that a nice outdoor space or garden can account for around 10-20% of your home’s overall value, so if you’ve asked the question “will adding a patio increase home values?”, the answer is a resounding yes - if done right.
We’ve put together this list of 8 of the best backyard improvement ideas, and even some touches you can make to your home’s outward-facing exterior, to give you some inspiration on where to start your outdoor renovations.
It’s worth noting most investments that you make into your outdoor spaces won’t earn you a profit, or often break even for you in isolation. However, in comparison to structural and interior renovations, outdoor improvements are relatively inexpensive and do a great job of selling the home as a whole, offering a return on investment in different ways.
Surrounding your backyard with a high-quality fence is a great way to add some value to your home. To some, the pinnacle of the backyard fence is the privacy fence, tall and opaque offering the inhabitants of the garden all the solitude they could ever ask for. If privacy fencing isn’t necessarily your style, you can still bring extra value to your home with a visually-pleasing picket fence, a decorative woven trellis fence, or any other fence with some good-quality capped posts.
People need a border around their space, and fences are the tried and tested way to provide that. Not only will it make your backyard feel more your own, like a little getaway, but it will also attract potential buyers who value their privacy.
When it comes to yard improvements, one of the first places you should start is with the landscaping. A nice green lawn is what many associates with the American dream of being a homeowner, and keeping it well maintained with some built-in features and pleasant plant-life is a great way to boost your home value. Make sure your lawn is luscious, then bring in a concrete walkway, some small to medium trees, and some perennial plants that will grow back year after year, and you’ll have some lovely landscaping to look at.
According to the NAR, NALP, and various other outdoor space experts, a full landscaping revamp can be achieved with around $6,000, and the return on investment can be as high as 80-85%. This is great news for those looking to sell their homes, as it’s a relatively small-scale renovation with a big positive impact.
Along with backyard improvements that add value, you can also increase the value of your home by working on the side of your house that everyone can see. How you present your home to neighbours and potential buyers starts with the front of the house, which is why replacing your front door and garage doors can be an effective way of increasing its value.
First impressions can mean a lot in life, and while someone will never make a decision on a home based on the front, a nice front door and good garage doors will create an early sense of quality and class. Curbside appeal is important, and while you may not see a ROI on a garage door replacement, it will increase your home’s overall value and likely recoup up to 98% of your investment directly.
Outdoor Fire Pit
Outdoor fire pits are stunning backyard features that add value in both a monetary and emotional sense, providing you with a space to create numerous memories. Whether you use it for roasting marshmallows with your family or as a centerpiece for nights in the yard drinking with your friends, the warm glow and comforting heat of fire is hard to match, and nearly impossible to beat.
When it comes to adding financial value to your home, outdoor fire pits generally earn back around 67% of their investment, which isn’t too shabby when you consider how much enjoyment you can get out of them when still occupying the residence. Whether you go for a piece including a gas burner or a more traditional wood burning pit, an outdoor fire pit is as versatile as it is inviting.
Herbs and Vegetables
Exercise your green thumb for your sake, and to sell your home with ease. With an active herb or vegetable garden running in your backyard, you’ve already done yourself a favor, providing yourself with access to fresh, organic green goods that you can enjoy. Along with the practical benefits, fresh herbs and veggies often look as beautiful as any flowers or shrubs, making a dedicated patch or two a great visual choice.
When it comes to attracting potential buyers, a herb/veggie garden will increase the value of your outdoor space in two potential ways. If you choose to leave the garden as is, with plenty of herbs and veggies ready to picked for buyers then you’ve set them up with an easy start. On the other hand, even if you choose to harvest the fruits of your labor prior to handing over the keys, you’ll still have demonstrated the potential of the space.
Does adding a deck add value to your home? Yes, it does indeed, and the same goes for a properly set up patio. Decking out (sorry) your outdoor space with a hard floored area for chairs, tables, outdoor sofas, and other furniture options is a surefire way to increase the value to you and to potential buyers. Say hello to warm summer evenings of dinners, drinks, board games, and anything else that may have been limited to indoor spaces with your decking or patio, either of which can be further improved upon with a pergola or shelter.
A raised wooden decking with some stunningly capped posts is a great choice, offering a nice vantage point to look over your backyard from, while stylish patio investments are nice for breaking up the textures and colors of the outdoor space. Either of these elements will likely earn you back around 70-75% of what you invest into them, along with offering you plenty of opportunities to build social and relaxation memories.
Now a swimming pool is a tricky one, as it won’t necessarily increase the value of your home at all, in fact being offputting to certain buyers, but in the right area with the right temperatures, it can be a real selling point. It’s also worth noting that since the pandemic, many people have been taking steps to improve their home options - we never know when we might have to reduce traveling and practice our “staycations” again, and in some areas that’s been reflected by the increasing popularity of pools.
There’s no way to calculate the exact return on investment that you’ll get from installing a swimming pool, but if you want one then why not have one installed? You’ll build memories with friends and family with your own swimming pool and if you wanted it, why wouldn’t someone else? Take the plunge!
If anyone’s still asking “do outdoor kitchens add value to homes?” then they could probably use a boot up the backside into the present. Everyone loves a barbecue, an outdoor kitchen is basically just the next natural step! While it may not top the list of most homebuyers priorities, a nice grill, some counter space, an ice chest, and a sink that you can use most of the year-round will make a home stand out to many prospective purchasers.
Build an outdoor kitchen with some extra features, such as a ceiling fan for the summer and a fire pit for the autumn to get the most possible use out of it, along with making it as attractive as possible to potential buyers. It can cost upwards of $14k to get built with a direct return of around $10k, but the standout value could prove priceless.
None of these outdoor home improvement ideas are going to make you rich, with most of them costing you a little money if you look at the ROIs in isolation, however, making your home stand out from the rest will prove more than valuable when trying to sell.