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.

  1. Build an Outdoor Fire Pit

    ROI for 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 78 percent return on investment. Fire pits cost an average of $4,500 to construct, and you'll recoup about $3,500 when you sell your home, according to CBS News.

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


  2. Reseed Your Lawn

    How to Reseed Your Lawn

    CBS News notes that freshly seeded grass instantly boosts curb appeal, and it’s also likely to raise your “overall happiness with your outdoor spaces.” What’s more, although reseeding a lawn costs only $120 on average, it will increase your home’s value by $500—resulting in a major 417 percent ROI.

    Related: 10 Low-Cost Solutions for an Ugly Lawn


  3. Create a Lawn with Sod

    How to Create a Lawn with Sod

    If your lawn needs more TLC than a simple reseeding, or if you don’t have time to water and nurture tender new grass seedlings, consider laying sod. The project will turn your drab yard into a luscious grassy lawn overnight. According to CBS News, the cost to install sod on a 1,000-square-foot yard is about $700, but it boosts your home’s resale value by $1,000. That’s a healthy 143 percent return on investment.

    Related: The Best Ways to Improve Your Home's Value in 2018


  4. Implement a Lawn-Care Program

    Best Lawn Care Program

    If you want a good-looking lawn, you need to supply sufficient nutrients and take steps to reduce weeds. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recommends an average of six applications of lawn fertilizer and a weed-control product annually, which will cost around $330 for a 5,000-square-foot lawn. Your efforts can boost your home’s value by $1,000, which equals a 303 percent return on investment.

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


  5. Pave a Gravel Driveway

    ROI for Paved Driveway

    While a gravel driveway may be acceptable in a rural setting, some buyers will balk at the maintenance demands. For example, bits of gravel tend to travel to the grass, gardens beds, and sidewalks, and the driveway itself requires an occasional new layer of gravel. The cost of paving a gravel driveway ranges from $4,000 to $20,000, but according to real estate brokerage firm The Pimental Group, the project results in as much as a 75 percent return on your investment.

    Related: Ready to Sell? 17 Things to Do First


  6. Refresh Your Landscape

    ROI for Landscaping

    Luscious landscaping increases the chance of a home sale. Plus, according to the National Association of Realtors, an outdoor makeover could net you a healthy 105 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 $4,750.

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


  7. Add a Wooden Deck

    ROI for Wooden Deck

    Do you enjoy spending time outdoors? Then consider installing an attached or detached wooden deck, which will give you the perfect spot for grilling, sunbathing, and entertaining. Wooden decks are also a major selling point. According to Remodeling Magazine, a 16' x 20' wood deck with stairs and railings runs an average of $17,600, but you’ll recoup nearly $11,000 of that when it's time to sell. That’s a return of almost 83 percent!

    Related: 18 Design Ideas to Make Your Deck a Destination


  8. Install a Backyard Patio

    ROI for Backyard Patio

    Installing a patio is another project that expands and enhances your outside living area while increasing the value of your home. The cost of a 16' x 20' patio ranges from $4,500 to $17,000, depending on the material used. For instance, a concrete patio costs less than a brick or flagstone patio. According to HouseLogic.com, homeowners who put in a new patio can see a 60 percent return on investment.

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


  9. Invest in an Outdoor Kitchen

    ROI for Outdoor Kitchen

    Outdoor kitchens can be costly renovation projects. Amenities like masonry cabinets, cooktops, grills, wet bars, and fireplaces don't come cheap; an outdoor kitchen can set a homeowner back between $12,000 and $25,000. On the bright side, however, real estate management firm Green Residential predicts a 100 to 200 percent ROI, depending on the housing market in your area. For the best return, they suggest not going overboard with extravagant features, unless they're for your own  enjoyment.

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


  10. Add Outdoor Lighting

    ROI for 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 anywhere from $250 to $1,500, but according to Inman.com, you could see, on average, a 50 percent return on your investment.

    Related: 8 New Ideas for DIY Outdoor Lighting


  11. Plant Trees

    ROI of Planting Trees

    Some renovation projects decrease in value over time, but trees actually appreciate as they age. While it’s hard to put an exact ROI on new trees, Realtor.com suggests that they could boost the market value of your home by $1,000 to $10,000. The cost of planting new trees varies from around $100 for a small sapling to several hundred dollars for a larger tree.

    Related: 10 of the Best Trees for Any Backyard


  12. Install a Lawn Sprinkler System

    ROI for 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 between $3,000 and $4,000, you should also consider the amount you'll probably save on water. According to Turf Magazine, this could be as much as 40 percent over a two-year period.

    Related: 12 Confessions of a First-Time Home Seller


  13. Valuable Landscaping

    Valuable Landscaping

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


  14. See the House of the Week


    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!