Outdoor Improvements That Add Value to Your Home
Spring has finally arrived! Actually, it seems like we skipped Spring and went straight to Summer. Everyone seems to be OK with that after the Winter that we had! It sure seems like Spring has been a long-time coming in all areas of the U.S. this year!
It is the perfect time to bring to life the changes that you have been dreaming about all Winter. Patios and outdoor design consistently rank near the top of online searches for “most desired features in a home”. Making improvements in these areas gives you a great space to enjoy and can provide a fairly significant Return On Investment (ROI).
Gardening and Landscaping
For the biggest bang for your buck, choose plants that are native to the hardiness zone in which you live. If you are unsure of your zone, you can enter your zip code on the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map (here) or contact your local Extension Agent for more information. Here in Ohio, the majority of our state is Zone 6a.
Using native plants in your landscaping that are acclimated to conditions in your area require less maintenance. Bee Balm, Coneflower, Salvia, Daisy, Daylily, Coral Bells, and Hostas are some of the perennials that are native to Ohio. They help to feed and shelter wildlife, birds, and butterflies that inhabit our area. Less yard maintenance = more time to enjoy your outdoor space and the wildlife that shares the space with you!
A pergola is defined as an outdoor room with cross rafters and no walls that provides a light, airy and inviting space. Typically a free-standing design element, a pergola can also be attached to an existing structure to provide a “wall” to the space. The pergola creates visual interest and can be as simple or elaborate as you desire. They make a great backdrop for vines to climb and can be a wonderful shade structure depending upon how close together the rafters are. To create a more intimate environment, add light and airy fabrics and string lights.
Decks and Patios
According to Kiplinger.com, 87% of homeowners want a deck or patio. It can be as simple as an outdoor area to have dinner on the patio or it can be a full-blown outdoor kitchen with appliances, high-end countertops, and space to entertain while you cook for guests.
When considering the material for your deck, there are many options. From pressure-treated lumber to hardwoods to aluminum, the ROI for decks is fairly high. For a deck made of composite materials, the ROI is 74%. For a wood deck, the ROI is a little higher at 87%, but wood will also require more maintenance. Decks.com has a wealth of information for not only materials, but also how-to articles related to decks and maintenance.
Patios can be as simple or ornate as you like. Some common patio materials are concrete, stamped concrete, pavers, and bricks. Combining patio furniture and plantings can be a very inexpensive way to make an oasis in your backyard. Patios and decks have evolved to become an additional “room” of the home.
Freshen Curb Appeal
There are several inexpensive projects that you can do to freshen the curb appeal of your property while increasing the value of your home. Replacing exterior wood doors with steel doors not only beautifies your home, it also increases the safety of your home and has a ROI of 101%! Love the look of wood? There are several options on the market that incorporate wood appearance with the efficiency of a steel door.
Replacing a garage door typically runs between $700-$1500 and has a ROI of 88%. More modern, better-insulated doors increase the beauty and safety of your home. A new garage door increases the energy efficiency of your garage that is attached to your home. This will positively impact the overall energy efficiency of your home.
Another highly-desired outdoor improvement with huge ROI is an outdoor kitchen. You can “go big or go home” and invest in electricity, plumbing, appliances, and high-end finishes. Or you can go as simple as a built-in grill and a seating area. Depending on the climate where you live, the ROI on an outdoor kitchen is 100-200%! You have a great outdoor space to enjoy and can expect to recoup nearly all the money you invested in the project! A great local source in Southwest Ohio for outdoor kitchen and living spaces is Fire Pie Oven Company in Tipp City, Ohio. They can handle individual customized pieces or design and install an entire dream backyard for you!
It is time to take action on all the dreaming and planning you did during the long, dark days of Winter! Why not incorporate changes that will add value to your home while giving yourself an outdoor space where you can relax and socialize?! NOW is the time to get started on your projects so you have time to enjoy it before Old Man Winter rolls around again!