March 12, 2018
Did you know something as simple as landscaping can add value to your home? It’s true. An attractive home with a well-maintained yard is appealing to potential buyers.
Landscaping goes beyond just plants and shrubs to hardscaping, which includes water features, decks, patios and other man-made improvements to your outdoor space.
Not all hardscaping is worth the investment, but there are some to consider if you’d like to raise your home's resale value.
Outdoor lighting. Outdoor lighting doesn’t only add beauty to your yard, it also creates a sense of safety for homeowners and visitors. A well-lit outdoor area deters thieves and provides a safe walkway for friends and family.
It also creates a nice outdoor atmosphere for relaxing or having gatherings outdoors after dark. Choose the area you’d like to accentuate with lighting, whether it’s an outdoor patio, a garden or a walkway — or all three. Lighting projects are typically inexpensive and require little effort.
Look over your yard and decide what type of lighting would look good with the project you have in mind. Maybe string some decorative lighting along the patio, or use a spotlight to accentuate a certain area of the yard and deter intruders.
Outdoor living space. A casual space you make in your backyard can vary based on your tastes and budget. You could create a patio with pavers or set up an entire outdoor room. Patios and decks are ideal for homebuyers in warmer climates, who can get more use out of the area throughout the year. Outdoor kitchens, complete with refrigerator, barbecue, sink and seating, are also increasingly popular.
Buyers who plan to do a lot of al fresco entertaining and dining will love having an outdoor space for brunches, parties and even intimate dining. A full outdoor kitchen makes a nice change of pace from traditional dining room options.
Fire pits. Who doesn’t enjoy sitting around a fire at night roasting hot dogs, or just enjoying a crackling fire and good company? A lot of people do, so consider a fire pit on your patio, deck or further out in the backyard to raise the value of your home.
If a full-scale outdoor room isn’t in your budget, a fire pit is a good alternative. While fire pits don’t bring in the large return on investment of an entire outdoor room, they can considerably boost it.
The pit can be gas- or wood-fueled, and you can choose the best and safest location to place it – or choose a portable fire pit. For about $100, you can build a basic fire pit in your backyard.
Garden paths. Garden paths add color and form to your landscape. And there are so many different designs and materials to choose from, so you can be creative and still stay on a budget.
Garden walkways are inexpensive, and you can complete the project in one weekend. Depending on where you live, it may be a good idea to compact the soil in your backyard to ensure an even pathway. If you’d like to take on the task as a do-it-yourself project, compactors that are rated GS or SC (Granular Soil or Sand and Clay) will work for backyard applications.
Well-done paths are an aesthetic and functional addition to the home that can really increase its value to potential buyers. It adds a welcoming touch to the home, making it more inviting.
Water features. Ponds and fountains create a tranquil outdoor area that gives your home curb appeal while boosting the resale value. Unlike swimming pools that are expensive to maintain and are often seen as a safety hazard, water features don’t require much maintenance and offer soothing sounds.
The trickling water from a fountain appeals to people wanting a soothing outdoor experience. So, if you’re thinking water, skip the pool and go for a pond or fountain as an attractive addition to your yard.
Fences. Fences may make good neighbors, but they can also add to your home’s value. Installing a fence around your home, or even just the backyard, is a relatively inexpensive way to ensure privacy and make the space look complete.
A variety of fencing options are available, so choose one that works for your needs – be it purely for looks or to keep pets and young children on the property. If you’ve got a green thumb, you may even consider a living fence, made up of shrubs, bushes or even small trees.
When deciding what type of hardscaping project to do, consider your budget and your limitations. Planning is a necessary part of adding a hardscaping feature, and if you need help, find a contractor who can help you create the addition you envision.
By Megan Wild, Contributor US News
February 12, 2020