Are you optimizing your outdoor space?

On August 1, 2016 in Home Improvement

Are you optimizing your outdoor space?

Your house is not really a home until you take ownership of your outdoor living space. That means setting it up so you can relax and spend time with friends and family in your own backyard. Many homeowners are investing in home remodel loans to make those outdoor spaces even better.

Outdoor renovation plans seem to favor the “bigger is better” approach. The 2016 Houzz Landscaping & Garden Trends Study found 88 percent of respondents planned to or had already done a substantial renovation or complete overhaul.

Afterwards, 75 percent of homeowners said they enjoyed their yards more after a renovation, and 55 percent reported entertaining more often.

If you’re interested in creating an ideal outdoor space for you and your family, read on for ideas around some of the projects that offer long-lasting value.

A little landscaping can have a big impact

One of the simplest (not to mention cheapest) outdoor home improvements is good landscaping. Sprucing up the grounds with flowers or small trees and shrubs goes a long way both aesthetically and in terms of return on investment. According to, landscaping can improve a home’s value by up to 28 percent.

“When it comes to houses, they are often read by their cover,” Realtor Helaine Newman told the site. “Homeowners should make sure their home is nicely landscaped so buyers want to come in.”

Many homeowners prefer to do the work themselves. Others, hire a landscaper to give the lawn and garden that professional touch. Contractors can open up a world of possibilities for your lawn space. Consider contacting one for guidance and new ideas.

Replace or repaint the front door

It may not be the first remodel that comes to mind, but replacing or repainting a front door can make a big impression on visitors and potential buyers. Actually, a new front door fetches one of the highest ROI of any home remodel: up to 75 percent at resale, according to the National Association of Realtors 2015 Remodeling Impact Report.

Even if you’re not planning on selling, getting rid of a dated or worn front door can lift your spirits and improve your home’s curb appeal. Old exterior doors also have a bad habit of contributing to energy loss, so a replacement will improve energy efficiency.

Build a deck or patio

There’s some basic arithmetic to home selling: More space equals bigger payday. A deck or patio may not show up in the listing as square footage, but once prospective buyers visit, they’ll remember that extra outdoor living space in the backyard. Of course, a deck or patio is perfect for your family’s enjoyment as well.

If your home already has a deck, use the warm weather months to clean or repair it. A pressure washer is fine for removing dirt yourself, though enlisting the support of a professional may be the better choice, especially if the wood or stone needs refurbishing. You might also consider improving your deck/patio with a fireplace or outdoor kitchen area.