It’s easy to get carried away when designing the backyard of your dreams.

A pool? Yes! Sunroom? Of course! A new fence? Why not?? But the truth is that not all of these backyard features will be a selling point once it’s time to sell your home. 

We’ll explore the backyard features that offer the best return on investment, the nuances of a deck vs a patio, and how to stretch your money for the best backyard – on a budget.  

Do Decks Add Value To A Home? 

Short answer – yes. Long answer: decks are a practical way to add livability (i.e. square footage) to your home in a cost-effective way. Research shows that homeowners recoup at least 76% of their investment which is one the highest returns of any home improvement project. On average, the cost of a wooden deck is about $13,000 with a resale value of about $11,000. So it’s a safe bet for increasing your home value! 

Not only does it add monetary value, but if you enjoy the outdoors – it adds enormous value to your quality of life. Outdoor spaces that are conducive to cooking, eating together, hanging out, or watching the stars will create opportunities for family memories that you didn’t have before.  

Decks vs. Patios 

After you’ve decided to move forward with a deck (great choice BTW) it’s time to get into the details. Do you want to build a deck – and if so, made of which material? Or is a patio a better choice for you? 

Wooden decks are the best choice because they’re affordable to build and desirable to buyers. Composite decking is pricier and doesn’t provide the same resale value – but it does offer higher durability than wood decks.  

Now to patios: typically, patios are built on a concrete slab. They’re commonly set with flagship stone, or a sand and pebble base. They are also built on ground-level, whereas decks are built above-ground. Patios are a great choice if you have a level area off your home and you’re interested in a small space for seating or a patio table. Decks are a better choice if you have a large space you’d like to convert and you don’t have a level backyard. 

Note the amount of direct sun your backyard gets as well. While building, this is a great time to decide on whether or not a covered area is right for your deck or patio. If you have brutal summers or not enough tree coverage, opt for at least partial shade. If you live somewhere temperate or with great foliage, you can probably leave the coverage out. 

Backyard Features That Add Value 

In addition to your deck, there are other profit-driving (and quality-of-life enhancing) outdoor features you can add to your dream backyard. Our 5 favorite backyard features that add value to your home include: 

Privacy Features 

Bushes, fences, and bamboo add depth and detail to the lines of your backyard – but they also serve an important function. Depending on your proximity to other neighbors, you might have total visibility into your backyard which is less than ideal. Instead of sharing your memories with the nosy family next door, consider bush installations that add both beauty and privacy. 

Shade Features 

On the same note, and a great suggestion to consider if your backyard lacks mature trees, is the concept of shade features. Pergolas, fruit trees, vines, and other larger growth is a great way to add vibrancy and life to your backyard, while also granting you some necessary relief. These are inexpensive options that continue to grow in both size and value over time – the larger they are, the more shade they provide. 

A Swimming Pool 

Swimming pools are a polarizing feature. For some, they’re a must-have. For others, they’re high-maintenance and high-overhead. Think through the potential buyer of your home: do many people in the area want/have pools? Then it’s likely a good choice for your area. If you install an expensive pool though, don’t expect a high return. In-ground pools can cost between $30,000 and $100,000 to install, and recouping that investment depends greatly on who is buying. However, if it’s not about resale value, and it’s just about enjoyment – there’s nothing better than floating in your personal pool on a hot summer day. 

A Fire Pit 

Fire pits vary greatly in size, scope, and materials. Some people want them purely for function: a place to warm up and toast marshmallows on cool nights. Others create architectural statements that are luxurious and stylish. These obviously come with heftier installation costs. Think through your use of a fire pit and your objectives for your home value. Heavier investments will yield higher returns, but it’s not worth it if you don’t see the opportunity for consistent use. 

An Outdoor Kitchen 

Outdoor kitchens are a luxury, but they’re quickly becoming a backyard status symbol in certain climates. If outdoor livability is high in your area, an outdoor kitchen will pay for itself in a matter of months. Although they can cost anywhere from $15,000 to upwards of $100,000 – it’s best to keep it simple. NAR reports state that an inset grill, stainless steel drawers, a sink and 60 square feet of counter space is plenty for an adequate and functional cooking space. Plus, it makes sense financially! For a simpler install, homeowners can expect about a 71% return on investment. Who’s ready for dining al fresco? 

Knowing which outdoor features offer the best returns and drive the most value is an important step in designing your dream backyard. Even if a home sale isn’t in your immediate future, it’s best to make updates with your home’s worth in mind. If you’re thinking about selling – but don’t want to undergo the hassle and cost of updating your outdoor space, call Curbio! You don’t pay a dollar until your home sells, and with homeowners pocketing an average of $50,000 more in profit, every dollar counts.

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If there is a home that you would like more information about, if you are considering selling a property, or if you have questions about the housing market in your neighborhood, please reach out. We’re here to help.