Outdoor improvements

Outdoor improvements that can add value to your home

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Get Smarter On Architecture and Design

Get the 3-minute weekly newsletter keeping 5K+ designers in the loop.

Enter your Email to Sign up


Spending time and money-making improvements to your home can be frightening, especially if you’re unsure how they’ll affect the future of your home on the market. And while you might be ready to take on a new backyard DIY project for the weekend, it’s good first to know which ones score the best return on investment in the long run. 

Aside from checking reputable websites such as PureModern for your design inspirations, here are some tips to enhance your outdoor space and add some extra value to your home down the road!

1. Deck or Patio

One of the best investments you can make is one that increases your livable space. By constructing an outdoor deck or patio, you’ve expanded your outdoor living area to give you more room for various outdoor activities. It’s also a great way to ensure you have designated space for entertaining guests outdoors, whether grilling or just enjoying the company.

There are also many unique ways you can use space to get the most use out of your new addition. By constructing a second-story deck, you’ve now got the extra covered area underneath to use as you choose. Check out this guide on some various under-deck patio ideas.

Once you’ve built the deck, the job isn’t quite over! How you decorate and set up your deck will determine its value and how potential buyers perceive it. It’s essential to set up your deck with the same approach you might take towards your living room. A large part of enchanting a potential home buyer is how your home makes them feel.

2. Outdoor Fire Pit

Fire pits are another traditional staple of a well-kept backyard. These are great because they’re useful all year round, even more so when the temperature goes down, but you still want to enjoy the outdoors! Your best chances in terms of ROI will be from a gas-powered fire pit installation, from which you could expect to recoup around 60-70 percent of what you put down!

However, if you’re not sure that you’ll get as much use out of it as an installation might warrant, investing in a portable fire pit could be a great alternative! Even just having a fire pit that can be set up in the backyard when you want to use it or having a house showing can be a massive boost in selling power! If you are a smoking person, you can consider adding a stand ashtray, to enhance your smoking experience. 

3. Privacy Fencing/Landscaping

For homeowners looking to finally get out of an apartment and/or condo living, the seclusion of real estate might be one of the most attractive features! And privacy done right can be a great way to add extra value to your home and seal the deal with a little piece of mind.

Tall climbing plants, trimmed box hedges, or other foliage can work great with some perimeter fencing or dividers to create a comfortable feeling of seclusion. Planting trees a certain distance from your home can also be a great addition to your backyard’s privacy. These features can also be great for providing shade, another backyard attribute that scores highly on potential buyers’ preferences. 

When choosing plants, make sure to consider the climate and the amount of sunlight the area receives. You'll also want to choose plants that are low-maintenance, since you'll likely be busy enough with your regular landscaping duties. If you are wondering how much everything will cost, check out Cost Shed guides and see where you need to cut some budget.

4. Outdoor Kitchens are a Luxury

One home improvement project that has recently surged in popularity is the outdoor kitchen. It’s worth knowing that having an outdoor kitchen will typically boost your home’s value for potential buyers with higher budgets who are looking for luxury amenities already. Therefore, the outdoor kitchen can be a terrific way to boost your home’s price if you’re looking to meet a specific budget, and you can customize an outdoor kitchen for even more value.

If you’re looking to keep the project relatively simple, keep the essential pieces such as an inset grill, stainless steel drawers, ice chest, sink, and 60 square feet of concrete counter space. However, you can always choose to go big with specialty appliances, such as a wine fridge or pizza oven or custom countertops and cabinets.

5. Lawn Maintenance

One of the most significant factors of “curb appeal” is your lawn, even when it comes to the backyard. It’s the first thing that pops when someone comes to view the house and impacts their impression of the property.

However, this doesn’t mean you have to go overboard with it, but keeping your lawn well-maintained is key to finding the right buyer. As a rule of thumb, your lawn should be at least as nice as the other neighboring properties.

The National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Landscape Professionals estimate that applying mulch annually, mowing about 2,800 square feet of lawn, pruning shrubs, and planting approximately 60 annuals or perennials costs about $3,000—but has a 100% return on investment.

5. Outdoor Lighting

Proper outdoor lighting is another important feature you might not consider when looking at your home. Not only does this increase your home’s overall attractiveness, but it’s a great safety feature to have which will boost its value. 

Stylish lights appropriately installed can have about 50 to 60 percent ROI. For example, a typical installation of a standard 600w transformer and 20 LED lights cost approximately $5,000 and have a 50% recovered value during your home sale. Meanwhile, a low cost with low-voltage lighting would cost you around $49.51 on an average per fixture.

6. Simplify Your Color Palette

You’ll have the liberty of doing whatever you want when you choose to create a modern outdoor space in your home. Since you own the property, you can incorporate any element in the area and even use the space to showcase your personality. But regardless of how tempting it might be, remember to keep your exterior color palettes simple. Adding too many colors outdoors can make the area feel and look unpolished and stressed.

As much as possible, keep your color palette in one to two shades. If your outdoor space is filled with different types of bushes and shrubs, consider using outdoor furniture and hardscape materials in shades of green. Sticking to simple color palettes can make your outdoor space feel and look more relaxed.

7. Incorporate Outdoor Planters

For you to create a modern outdoor space for your home, use plants, but this time, pair them with outdoor planters. Planters will make it very easy for you to incorporate different types of plants in your property and make the area look more appealing.

You’ll have a wide variety of options to choose from when it comes to buying planters for your outdoor space. Although ceramic is a common material, it’s not the only option you have. You can also choose to use planters made from glass, stone, metal, and wood. When picking a material for your planter, just make sure that you can meet its maintenance requirement to ensure that your planter will look good for the longest time possible. You should also consider how its texture complements your home’s current theme or structure.

8. Add A Water Feature

Spending time outdoors can be more relaxing if a water feature is present nearby. Depending on your available space and budget, you can consider adding a pool, Jacuzzi, or fountain in your outdoor space. Hearing water flowing from any of these elements will create a spa-like environment, making the area more laidback and stress-free.

Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be sure to find a project that works well for your home and your budget, and good luck home improving!

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Related Articles
A Positive And Productive Hybrid Work Environment

How To Create A Positive And Productive Hybrid Work Environment 

In recent years, hybrid working styles have become prevalent for many organizations and businesses worldwide. Company owners have seen the ...

Best Tips for Choosing the Perfect Restaurant Tables

Did you know that the table design in your restaurant can significantly affect the dining experience of your guests? After ...

kid friendly room

Creating a Kid-Friendly Living Room

Toddlers are known to be very curious. They tend to touch everything that’s in their hand’s reach as well as ...