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5 Outdoor Upgrades to Increase Your Home’s Value

Thursday Jun 18th, 2020


As most of us continue to remain at home due to COVID-19, many homeowners are using this as an opportunity to get their outdoor spaces in shape. With travel restrictions, closed borders, and social distancing still in place, “Puerto Backyarda” has quickly become the top destination!

Upgrading your outdoor spaces will not only help you beat cabin fever and make the best of the stay-home order, but it’s also a great way to increase your home’s value. But before you put a hefty deposit on a new pool – which may not give you the best return on investment – this list of five outdoor improvements can help you turn your backyard into a restful escape that positively impacts your home’s value too.

1. Create an Outdoor Living Space
With our long winters in Ontario, it’s nice to enjoy the warmer seasons in the comfort of the great outdoors. Having an open-air room will expand your living space and act as another area to relax or spend time with those within your social bubble. An outdoor room can be as simple as surrounding an outdoor sectional or dining table with colourful plants. A gazebo or pergola can add visual interest, as well as respite from the hot summer sun. If your budget is generous, consider adding an outdoor kitchen for alfresco cooking. Whatever your desire, your outdoor living area should serve a specific function, whether its dining, games, relaxation, entertaining, or all of the above.

2. Define Your Space with a Deck or Patio
Adding a deck or patio gives you a dedicated area to define your outdoor living space. Depending on your home, you may opt for a wood or composite deck that’s built off the ground to enjoy a better vantage of your yard, or there are several hardscape patio options to choose from as well. This can include slabs, interlocking pavers, or poured concrete. These types of hardscapes can be used to create winding shapes and walkways through your garden, which are functional and add visual interest. 

3. Invest in Landscaping 
Landscaping with trees, perennials, and shrubs adds life to your outdoor spaces and can provide privacy, shade, colour, and year-round appeal. For the most return on your investment, choose low-maintenance plants that are easy to care for and accent them with structural elements, like a water feature or seasonal decor. If you’re not sure which plants to incorporate in your landscaping, speak with a local greenhouse or focus on native varieties. Pots brimming with annuals also add a splash of vibrancy to your outdoor room and are the finishing touch to any space. 

4. Incorporate Outdoor Lighting
To enjoy your backyard well after the sun sets, it’s important to include lighting for both atmosphere and function. For outdoor kitchens, this includes good task lighting over and inside the grill and workspaces, while dining and conversation areas can be accentuated with wall-mount downlights or dimmable electric lamps for a relaxed mood. Solar-powered or low-voltage accent lights add drama to surrounding landscapes, patios, decks, stairs, and walkways. Don’t forget to include string lights for a touch of whimsy.

5. Add Ambiance with an Outdoor Fireplace 
There is no better way to add ambiance than the warmth of a fire. Grand stand-alone fireplaces are a growing trend and can define an outdoor room by acting as a focal point. Poolside fire bowls, lanterns, and fire tables can also enhance any open-air design. Just be sure you research your local fire bylaws to see what’s allowed in your municipality.

Final Thoughts
Not every outdoor improvement will yield the best return, but in these unique times, we all need a place to relax and enjoy our time at home. Before you call in the landscaping crew or add in an expensive feature to your backyard, consult with a realtor first to see what your return on investment may be. 

To learn more, please contact me, Deborah Clerk, Real Estate Sales Representative, ASA at Keller Williams Real Estate Associates, Brokerage, in Mississauga, Ontario, for a free home evaluation.

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