The beginning of a new year presents the opportunity for new goals and plans.
So, if you’re dreaming of a spring or summer enjoying the outdoors, take time now to intentionally create a space where you, your family, and friends will spend time together. Not only can you add functionality and beauty to your home, but you may also increase its value.
Whether it’s a little project such as adding window boxes or a bigger upgrade such as a garden deck addition, careful planning makes all the difference. For instance, just adding flashing tape to your deck during construction can add years to its usefulness. Likewise, sealing your window boxes can keep them from rotting prematurely.
You might not be considering selling your home right now but thinking about the return on investment for your outdoor upgrade is a good idea. So, what might bring the best value? We have a few ideas.
1. Pay attention to the garden
While many homeowners focus on indoor upgrades, don’t neglect your garden. A well-kempt garden may increase property value by as much as 20 percent. This means you should trim back the hedges, clean the patio or deck, update your furniture and add some potted plants. Depending on the style of your home, window boxes may be the perfect addition to add colour. If you have a larger budget and can afford some “wow” factor, bring in a landscaper to add polish and edging.
A well-manicured lawn will be the first thing a guest notices about your home. To get a greener lawn all year, be sure not to cut your lawn too short and collect or rake in clumps of clippings. You’ll also want to water and feed your lawn, as needed, depending on your weather and climate.
2. Add a deck
While we’re talking about bigger upgrades, adding a garden deck is a wonderful way to increase your entertaining space. Host a part in the fresh air, hold an outdoor movie night, or invite a few friends over for a barbecue.
You’ll need to weigh the benefits of wood versus composite decking boards. Composite decking materials, comprised of a mixture of plastic and sawdust or wood fibres held together with synthetic resin, are resistant to insects, rot, mould, fire, and fading. On the other hand, if you’d like to achieve a more natural look with wood, select a variety that is more weather- and insect-resistant, such as cedar, redwood, ipe, or teak. Each of these will need to be sealed every couple of years to maintain their beauty and protect against rot.
If you can build a two-story deck, consider adding an under-deck drainage system and transforming the space beneath the deck, so it is dry and useable. By installing a ceiling and lighting under the deck you can easily enclose a sunroom or create your own personal spa area. Every homeowner needs a little more storage space, so you might convert your under-deck into an enclosed room full of shelving. According to 82 percent of property professionals, a decent-sized shed is the most cited feature to boost value when selling a home.
3. Upgrade your driveway
A driveway is a useful and potentially beautiful part of your outdoor space. To begin an upgrade, consider how you might maximise your driveway space to allow for more parking and to add to your home’s curb appeal.
Think about the shape of your drive and what will best complement your home. Next, consider the different materials that might be most appealing while not breaking your budget. For example, it may be a bit pricey to asphalt or concrete your driveway; yet, you’ll be able to forego the constant need to add gravel. For a classic look, consider slip-resistant cobblestone pavers.
Elevate your driveway with edging, walls, a gate and landscaping to make the most of your entryway. Many homeowners value sturdy fencing that adds to the safety and privacy of the home.
4. Create an inviting entryway
Welcome friends and family with a clean freshly painted front door. If you have a garage, keep it in good working condition with a clean and fresh look.
Add seasonal flowers in pots on either side of the door or in planters along the path to let guests know you’re glad they’ve come. Post your house number in a prominent spot — if your old numbers have become worn, it may be time to upgrade. Finally, install a smart doorbell to monitor incoming packages and guests; there are many options to choose from in style and function.
5. Light up the night
Homeowners can increase the value of their home, make it safe and appeal to potential home buyers by upgrading the lighting around their garden and entryway. About 66 percent of potential homebuyers say they are looking for adequate outdoor lighting.
Whether you install solar lights along the path to your front door, hang fairy lights in your trees, add wired lampposts or light fixtures or simply string up some bulbs over your deck, you’ll make your home more inviting and safer in the dark. If you have a deck, be sure to put lighting on stairs to prevent falls.
Now that you have a few ideas in mind do some research and planning. Get started now so you can enjoy all of your outdoor upgrades in the warmer months to come.