Where To Spend Your Money For The Best Return On Outdoor Improvements

Don’t be like me.  I put off doing large home improvements.  Not the basic maintenance things that everyone should do, but rather those improvements that will make you happier in your home.  That new kitchen backsplash, upgrading the bathroom fixtures, updating the deck or adding the paver patio that I always wanted.  It wasn’t until I put my house on the market that I started working on things. I spent a lot of money to improve the house for sale but didn’t get to enjoy them for more than the month or so it took to sell the home.

However, not all outdoor home improvements are equal.  Even if you are not moving anytime soon, it is still a good idea to consider which outdoor projects will increase your home’s value.  Not only do you get to enjoy it while living there, but you’ll know your money and efforts are a sound investment.  It’s important to consider where to spend your money for the best return on your outdoor improvement investment. We talked to two professional Realtors® for their opinions on what outdoor projects are worth the time and money, and which ones to avoid. 

Choose Wisely

According to Remodeling Magazine, some of the top outdoor improvements you can do include decks, outdoor kitchens, patios and garage doors.  Conversely, some of the worst returns on investment (ROI) include pools, hot tubs and landscaping. 

Hardscapes and Landscapes seem to be the first thing that many people consider doing to their outdoor space.  It can create a whole new look and add curb appeal to any home.  On average, though, only about 25% of the cost will be realized when it’s time to sell.  Why? Much of it comes down to opinion (Will the next buyer like it?  Are they allergic to the type of trees you just planted?) and difficulty in maintaining the look.  If you are hard set on improving your landscape, consider including an in-ground sprinkler system to sweeten the deal.

Add To Your Home Value

Pool installation is definitely a polarizing project.  Most owners either definitely want a pool or definitely do NOT want a pool, simply because of the upkeep involved.  They tend to be expensive investments, both at the time of installation as well as annual maintenance, and tend to only increase home values by about 7% of their cost. 

To get your money’s worth, invest in low maintenance, high impact projects.  A new deck is a great investment, recouping about 73% of its cost at selling time.  With proper maintenance, a wood deck can last decades, and with the increasing popularity of composite decking, the cost of maintenance can be minimized. 

Paver patios are also favorable.  Home values with well-kept patios increase on average 70-75% of the cost to build one.  So you not only get to enjoy the patio while you live there, but you can be happy to know that if you sell the house eventually, those dollars will have been well spent.

A surprise item that made the list are installing new entry and garage doors, especially automated garage doors.  Return on investment for these averages 80 to 100% of their cost and make a big impact on the look of a home. 

For most of us, money is a finite resource.  It’s important to consider how and where to invest in our home.  But possibly just as important is when to spend the money, and that time is now, while you can enjoy your new improvements instead of building things for the next owners to enjoy.

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