Are Backyard Renovations Worth It?

Backyard renovations can be a hassle but the result is something your whole family can enjoy. The idea is to provide a place for the family to spend outside time together and a great backyard can be that place. 

Are backyard renovations worth it? They are worth it in two ways. Good planning and space use can provide a wonderful place for you, your family, and your friends for years. Backyard renovations can also raise your home’s value, giving you an 83 percent return on investment. 

Read the article below to find out which renovations give you the biggest return on investment and how you can save money. 

Start Small

Before you head into a big renovation project, it’s best to take care of what you got. Real estate agents and landscapers state the first thing anyone should do is clean up your yard. Many times, homeowners feel their yard is ugly and want to have a redo when all they need is a clean-up. 

Cleaning up your yard gives you a real look at both positives and negatives and helps you plan for any renovations. It also just makes your backyard look better and makes it more usable, which is the ultimate goal. 

Trim overgrown bushes and trees, do some edging, sweep the patio, and de-thatching the lawn. Put out some new grass seed and fertilizer. Add some mulch or stone to flower beds and pathways. 

All of that takes just a few dollars and some time to do and could help you realize you don’t need that much more. Plus, real estate agents and landscape professionals agree that just six fertilizer treatments for a total of $375 will boost the value of your property by $1,000.

Read: How To Make A Dance Floor On The Backyard?

Go For Value, Not Expense

Home appraisers state they look at the condition of the property rather than the expensive amenities added. It does no good to have an expensive pool if concrete walkways are busted. Nor does it improve your home’s value to have an outdoor kitchen that’s falling apart. 

Rather than going for every high-dollar item in the backyard, consider what the maintenance cost is first. Scale the project back to get the best use out of it, along with a good return on investment. 

One key point to remember is you don’t want to overdo your renovation project when it doesn’t fit your house, your property, or your neighborhood. A starter home with a pool won’t raise the value much because the home is smaller and in a neighborhood of similar homes. 

A hardscape that is too extreme for a small space doesn’t raise the value either, even if it’s expensive. You can overspend on a backyard renovation where it doesn’t add solid value to your home. 

Read: Are Backyard Fire Pits Safe?

Consider Your Neighbors

Part of your home’s value is related to recent sales in your neighborhood. Look at other homes to understand what’s a good amount to spend on backyard renovations that will bring you a good value for your property. 

If every home has a pool, your property would face a serious devaluation if it doesn’t. Yet, you probably won’t see a return on your investment if you become the most exclusive designer home in the neighborhood because your neighbor’s values will be a lot lower, which devalues your home even with fancy things.

Read: Does A Backyard Increase Property Value?

The Best Backyard Values

Landscapers are consistent about what adds the best value to the backyard. Surprisingly, it’s the least expensive things that offer the most return on investment.

Trees are always at the top of the list. Trees are the only item that increases with value as the years move on. A good tree can add 10 percent value to your property. 

More manicured lawns are also consistently on real estate agents’ lists for home values. That means borders and defined edging for flower beds, no weeds in garden areas, maintained grass, an irrigation system, good drainage, and low-maintenance plants. 

An irrigation system will cost around $3,500 to install but will add $3,000 in home value so you will recover 86 percent of the cost.

Outdoor lighting, which includes low-voltage landscape lighting and motion detector lights, can bump up your home’s value. You may pay as much as $5,000 for it but could see a 50 percent ROI in your home’s value.

Features that are highly ranked by landscapers and real estate agents are decks, patios, water features, fire pits, and outside kitchens. 

None of those need to be super fancy but do need to be clean and maintained. Decks can mean recouping nearly 76 percent of your investment in your home’s value, and adding a patio can result in an ROI of 69 percent. 

Fire pits are one of the most expensive backyard features and can cost $6,000 on average to build. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) as well as the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) state you will recoup around $4,000 of the investment when you sell your home. 

Outdoor kitchens are also trending in today’s market. It could cost around $14,000 to create one but you can get $10,000 of the cost back in raising your home’s value. 

However, real estate agents state you should keep the outdoor kitchen simple and in line with your home space to maintain a good ROI. All you need is a grill, some stainless steel drawers, a sink, an ice chest, and some concrete countertops. 

Adding a water feature can be tricky because some, like a koi pond, are expensive and don’t add a lot of value. Water features add more aesthetic value than dollars so you can put in a simple, affordable one like a fountain and get the same value. 

Read: How Can I Make My Backyard Attractive?


Do water fountains cost much to run?

No, most water fountains are inexpensive to run and only cost around $50 a month in electricity. It could cost more if you have a high-end pump. 

Do backyard ponds add much to a home’s value?

A pond can increase a property’s value from 5 to 15 percent but it depends on how well-maintained the pond is. A pond that isn’t kept up doesn’t add much value. 

What kind of trees adds the most value?

Any kind of tree can add good value to your property but the best are those that grow quickly, provide shade, and are easy to maintain. Real estate agents state potential homeowners love the idea of fruit trees but then are deterred by the idea of having to pick the fruit and manage the trees. 

Do vegetable gardens in a backyard add value?

Vegetable gardens make a home more marketable but are specific to a niche. It is one of those things people shopping for a home love initially. However, they start thinking about the work involved and it becomes a deal-breaker.

Vegetables in container pots can provide the same marketability without the negative aspects. 

Does it matter in value if your patio is concrete, tile, or brick?

The substance used to build the patio doesn’t affect the overall value of the home. What does affect the value is the maintenance of the patio. It should look well-maintained even if it’s a cheaper product and that will add the same value as using an expensive product. 

Read: How To Build A RC Track In My Backyard?