Exterior Curb Appeal

12 Outdoor Upgrades That Make Your Home More Valuable

Exterior upgrades enhance the look of your property and can offer recreational benefits. Not every renovation, however, produces a return on investment, and some upgrades (like swimming pools) make your home less attractive to potential buyers. If you want to refresh your yard and build equity at the same time, consider one of these 12 outdoor projects guaranteed to boost property value.
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Build an Outdoor Fire Pit


During the summer months, nothing beats roasting marshmallows and sharing stories around a roaring fire. Homeowners who install an outdoor fire pit will not only create delightful memories, but will also realize a 67 percent return on investment. Fire features that have a gas burner and patio area cost an average of $6,000 to construct, and you’ll recoup about $4,000 when you sell your home, according to the National Association of Realtors®’ (NAR) and National Association of Landscape Professionals’ (NALP) 2018 Remodeling Report: Outdoor Features

Related: No Money to Burn? 9 Fire Pits You Can Afford

Replace Your Garage Door


You might think your current garage doors are good enough, but upgrading them will give your give your curb appeal and home value a major boost. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2019 Cost vs Value Report a garage door replacement will cost you upwards to $3,600, but you’ll recoup almost 98 percent of that. When prospective buyers pull up, your home will already be making a great impression. 

Related: Instant Curb Appeal: 15 Fast Facade Fix-Ups

Replace Your Front Door


While making cosmetic changes to the front of your house, upgrade your front door. Swapping your drab door for a steel unit with window panels, casing, and new hardware is around $1,800, but the Remodeling Magazine report estimates that you’ll make almost 75 percent of that back. An impressive entryway sets the tone for the rest of the house tour.

Related: 14 Home Improvement Projects You Can Tackle with Your Tax Refund

Implement a Lawn-Care Program


If you want a good-looking lawn, you need to supply sufficient nutrients and take steps to reduce weeds. The NAR and NALP recommend an average of six applications of lawn fertilizer and weed-control annually, which will cost around $375 for a 2,835-square-foot lawn. Your efforts can boost your home’s value by $1,000, which equals a 267 percent ROI.

Related: 13 Mistakes Not to Make If You Ever Want to Sell Your Home

Fix the Facade


Replacing the exterior siding sounds like an expensive and immense project, but it is actually one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your home’s value according to Remodeling Magazine—it’s just about doing it right. The report suggests focusing efforts solely on the front of the home and using manufactured stone veneer. The expected cost is close to $9,000, but you’re projected to earn back 95 percent!

Related: The Best Things You Can Do for the Value of Your Home

Refresh Your Landscape


Luscious landscaping increases the chance of a home sale. Plus, according to the NAR and NALP, an outdoor makeover could net you a healthy 83 percent return on investment. The association defines a “landscape upgrade” as installing a natural flagstone walkway, adding stone planters, mulching, and planting a handful of flowering shrubs and a sizable tree—all of which will set you back, on average, roughly $6,000.

Related: 9 Clever Landscaping Hacks for Your Best-Ever Yard

Add a Deck


Do you enjoy spending time outdoors? Then consider installing an attached or detached wood deck, which will give you the perfect spot for grilling, sunbathing, and entertaining. Wooden decks also a major selling point. According to Remodeling Magazine, a 16′ x 20′ wood deck with stairs and railings runs an average of $13,333, but you’ll recoup $10,083 of that when it’s time to sell. That’s a return of almost 76 percent!

Related: 18 Design Ideas to Make Your Deck a Destination

Install a Backyard Patio


Installing a patio is another project that expands and enhances your outside living area while increasing the value of your home. According to the NAR and NALP, an 18′ x 20′ concrete paver patio costs about $7,200 and you’ll earn around 69 percent.

Related: 8 DIY Pick-Me-Ups for a Plain Patio

Invest in an Outdoor Kitchen


An outdoor kitchen might not be on most homebuyer’s must-have lists, but it is a feature that could seal the deal for the sale. The NAR and NALP claim an outdoor kitchen project will set you back about $14,000 but you’ll recover an estimated $10,000. To guarantee the best ROI keep the project simple: an inset grill, stainless steel drawers, ice chest, sink, 60 square feet of concrete counter top is plenty.

Related: 8 Best Buys for an Outdoor Kitchen You Can Afford

Add Outdoor Lighting


Outdoor lighting deters burglars and creates magical ambience in your yard. What’s more, stylish, effective exterior lighting (think motion lights or low-voltage landscape options) can really amp up your home’s curb appeal. You can expect to pay up to $5,000, but according to the NAR and NALP, you could see, on average, a 50 percent return on your investment.

Related: 8 New Ideas for DIY Outdoor Lighting

Plant Trees


Tree maintenance might not be the most exciting project, but it certainly pays off. In the joint NAR and NALP report tree care ranks in the top five of projects’ appeal to buyers. This includes three applications of tree fertilizer, regular spraying, trimming and pruning, as well as the possible removal of a tree. This can cost up to $2,000, but you’re expected to recover it all back.

Related: 10 of the Best Trees for Any Backyard

Install a Lawn Sprinkler System


One of the best investments for a great-looking lawn is a buried sprinkler system. When calculating the ROI of installing a sprinkler system, which runs around $3,500, you should also consider the amount you’ll probably save on water. According to the NAR and NALP report, you’ll recover $3,000 or 86 percent from the project.

Related: 12 Confessions of a First-Time Home Seller

Valuable Landscaping


Even just doing one of these outdoor projects can positively impact your home’s worth!