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How to Add Value to Outdoor Living Spaces

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 26 February 2020 10:55

Outdoor spaces like porches and backyards can greatly improve a homeowner's quality of life. Being outside can offer a relaxing break from the office or the many hours spent inside behind closed doors.

However, outdoor living spaces can also add value to your home. Fire pits, decks, pools and more can offer recreational benefits and increase curb appeal. Curb appeal is, of course, essential when it comes time to sell your home.

1. Build a Fire Pit

Outdoor living spaces include many more features than they did a decade ago, and one such feature is the fire pit.

More homeowners are looking to incorporate warmth and light into their outdoor areas, and a fire pit is an eye-catching and natural way to accomplish this. Additionally, gathering around a fire can keep your family warm on cool summer and fall evenings. And if you live in a mild climate, you may even use the pit in wintertime.

2. Create Ambiance With Lighting

Add more value to your home by installing additional lights. Whether it be motion-sensor lights or low-voltage landscape lights to line a walkway or garden, outdoor lighting can help create ambiance. 

Homeowners often choose lights that illuminate their hardscapes and/or make evening entertaining a more viable option. Choose downward-facing lights to create a warm glow and upward-facing ones to create a more dramatic effect and accentuate architectural features. Either way, your outdoor space will better catch the eye and draw attention to the details that matter most to you.

Moreover, lighting can deter burglars and create a safer atmosphere for you, your family and future homebuyers. 

3. Add a Patio and Kitchen

Almost 60% of single-family homes also have patios, which make excellent areas for playing games, eating and simply soaking in some Vitamin D. Generally, you'll earn a 69% ROI from a patio installation. Plus, patios also lend themselves well to outdoor cooking areas.

If it's well-maintained, a patio — and its kitchen and dining area — can add incredible value to a home. Typically, you can expect a 71% return on investment from adding an outdoor kitchen. But you might earn even more in southern regions, where the climate is almost always warm.

4. Install Water Features

Much like the allure of fire, homeowners love the natural aesthetic of water. Whether it's a pond, a fountain or even a small waterfall, running or rippling water can create a calming environment in which people want to sit down, relax and enjoy.

In the city, residents especially appreciate the sound of running water, which drowns out the sounds of traffic. While water features may not provide as high an ROI as a fire pit or outdoor kitchen, it's a more affordable option that still adds value.

5. Add a Pool

Pools can also be a valuable addition to your home — albeit a bit larger than a fountain or pond. However, they tend to cost upwards of $100,000, if not more, and that doesn't include the cost of regular maintenance or privacy or safety fences. The ROI also isn't as high as with a patio or even lighting.

So, unless you plan to enjoy the pool yourself for a number of years before selling, the cost of adding one may not be worth the resale value, which often ends up being less than 7%.

6. Put In a Deck

If you favor wood over stone, a deck may be more your style. These make great outdoor dining and seating areas, just like patios. And you can even opt to install a kitchen on your deck as well.

Typically, a deck will run you $10,000 to $14,000 and generally offers a 71% ROI. However, if you already have a deck, refinishing or repairing it may be an equally smart investment. Just be sure to seal the wood to ensure a longer life and less costly upkeep in the future.

7. Plant Trees

Landscaping and plant selection can be an exciting project to take on. Plus, focusing on green space is a relatively affordable investment, and the added value to your home is more than worth it.

A small tree will cost a few hundred dollars. Yet, once it matures, it can add $1,000 to $10,000 to the value of your home. Plus, it blocks the wind and provides shade to your yard, which can save you money and time watering the lawn. Just be sure to allow enough time for them to grown before you sell your home.

Add Financial and Aesthetic Value to Your Outdoor Spaces

Have these ideas gotten the creative juices flowing? You'll be on your way to a feels-like-new outdoor living space in no time.

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Holly Welles

Holly Welles is a real estate writer with her thumb on the pulse of industry trends. She runs her own residential real estate blog, The Estate Update, where she shares advice for renters and homeowners alike.

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