Whether you’re looking to make some outdoor upgrades for your own family’s enjoyment or preparing your home for sale, hardscaping features are a great way to get more usability out of even small backyard spaces while adding curbside appeal. If you are planning on putting a house on the market, some work can increase a home’s value by up to 20 percent. Here are four projects that tend to yield an especially good return on investment.
- Fencing: relatively inexpensive and straightforward to install, even a simple fence can add a lot to backyard livability. In addition to deterring intruders and adding privacy, fencing helps to clearly delineate property boundaries. Prospective buyers with pets or small children will also instantly appreciate the added security and peace of mind a fence provides.
- Outdoor lighting: a simple option that’s often overlooked, outdoor lighting can return up to 50 percent on your investment during resale. As well as being an important safety feature, well-placed lighting can help to showcase landscaping and make outdoor areas easier to use after sundown.
- Patios and Decks: two of the most obvious hardscaping features, patios and decks have a return on investment that ranges from 30 to 73 percent. Homebuyers in warmer climates tend to value decks more than those in colder weather regions. Using higher quality materials like wood and stone add greater curb appeal, but even a simple patio adds extra usable space (and can cut down on weed and lawn duties).
- Walkways: whether in addition to a patio or on its own meandering through a garden area, a walkway adds instant visual interest to the backyard while making it easier to enjoy a simple stroll outdoors.
While some homeowners enjoy the challenge of a DIY project, if you’re looking for maximum value it’s typically best to leave larger items to the professionals. In addition to having the experience needed to handle unique site concerns, a good contractor should be able to advise on materials options and design layout.