Most of us spend a lot of time indoors, so naturally, our design and home improvement efforts are focused there!
However, when it comes to adding value to your home, it’s time to step outside and see what your house has to offer—or is missing. From small and budget-friendly additions like fresh paint on the front door to more expansive and costly projects like building a new deck, outdoor home improvements that can add value to your home range in both project size and cost. Here are 7 value-boosting outdoor home improvements you should consider.
1. Adding a Deck
Decks are a place to entertain, unwind, and enjoy the fresh air. And beyond the endless enjoyment they offer while you’re living in your home, they also have a decent return on investment (ROI). According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report 2021, you can expect to recoup approximately 66% of your wood deck building costs upon resale. However, to protect your investment, it is essential to consider weatherproofing to increase the longevity of your new outdoor addition. Weatherproofing should include protecting the wood against rot by using butyl tape to waterproof the tops of deck beams and joists. In addition, if you build a wood deck, you may need a stain to protect against UV and a sealant for moisture protection.
What about composite decking? It is also a good choice with a 63% ROI. A composite deck is a pricier option, but unlike wood, a composite deck resists fading, scratches, and stains, requiring little maintenance. Plus, composite decking, such as Trex, is made from 95% recycled materials making it an eco-friendly choice.
A Stone Veneer Facelift
With its texture, warmth, and timeless style, real stone has been a popular material to beautify homes for centuries. Unfortunately, the cost and weight are a drawback that is prohibitive for many modern homeowners. Instead, cut stone veneer is a lightweight simulated stone-facing material that is durable, affordable, and easy to maintain. Plus, you can expect to recoup a whopping 92% ROI.
You can give your home a facelift by using stone veneer to frame your front door. You can also add a grandeur aesthetic to the porch columns and reface an outdoor fireplace or firepit.
An Outdoor Firepit or Fireplace
There is nothing quite like a cozy crackling fire with the sweet smell of roasted marshmallows wafting through the night air. And with the desire for outdoor living space steadily on the rise, there has never been a better time to install a firepit or outdoor fireplace. According to the American Institute of Architects 2021 Trend Survey, 70 % of homeowners reported that outdoor living space was an important feature for a home—increasing from the previous year’s 61%.
You will need to consider whether you prefer a firepit or fireplace. Firepits come in various shapes and sizes and tend to be more budget-friendly, but the spark and open flame are a hazard for wood-burning fires. On the other hand, fireplaces take up more space and are more costly. But they direct heat better, and their elegance and size can beautifully anchor an outdoor living space.
Replacement windows may not always dramatically change the exterior of your home, but they are well worth the investment. Installing new windows can improve your home’s energy efficiency, upgrade security, and reduce outside noise. Plus, their ROI certainly isn’t anything to turn your nose up at—both vinyl and wood window replacements have an approximate 68% ROI.
Is one type of window better than the other? It all depends on your budget and needs. Wood windows can be painted any color and are highly energy-efficient, but they are more costly and need to be maintained. Vinyl windows are cheaper and low maintenance, but they don’t insulate as well. Plus, anything beyond white and beige usually comes at a premium.
Everyone wants their home to look and feel its best, and landscaping plays a large role when it comes to the exterior. Of course, you can hire professionals to revamp your landscaping, but this is also very doable for DIYers.
Start with the grass, ensuring it is trimmed and free of weeds. You’ll want to seed any bare spots and possibly apply fertilizer to create a more uniform and lush appearance. If your grass is in terrible shape due to drought, then you may want to consider replacing it with a drought-resistant clover lawn. Next, look to any existing plant beds. Trim anything overgrown and go from there. You can pull existing plants for low-maintenance ones. What you can use will depend on your climate zone, so ask your gardening center for advice if you are unsure. Or check out our landscaping tips for more ideas.
Front Door Makeover
Your front door is the first impression of your home, so naturally, you want to make it look great. For those on a tight budget, a fresh coat of paint can do wonders. However, a steal door replacement can not only save you on energy costs and improve home security, but it has an ROI of 65% as of 2021.
On top of updating the door itself, you may also want to swap out the hardware if it is outdated. Finally, a new welcome mat and a couple of potted plants go a long way for staging the area and infusing it with an inviting aesthetic.
A New Garage Door
Since a garage door covers such a large surface area, it plays a significant role in your home’s curb appeal. Luckily, replacing it also has a phenomenal ROI—approximately 94% as of 2021. In addition, much like replacing the front door, a new garage door can reduce your home’s heating and cooling costs and improve your home security. A new garage door, on average, costs about $3,900. If this isn’t in your renovation budget, then you may at least want to consider filling in any cracks on your existing door and giving it a fresh coat of paint.
Plenty of outdoor improvements can make your home more enjoyable and efficient while adding a ton of value. Remember that the best investments aren’t just about a high ROI in the future, but the enjoyment and benefits they will offer you and your family today.