You may not realize it, but the outdoor areas around your home contribute a great deal to its value. Enhancing them is not only very affordable, it is likely to even pay for itself in the long-run. Also, wherever you live, there should be plenty of opportunities to enjoy the improvements yourself. Excluding swimming pools and hot tubs, improving your outdoor spaces is rather cheap because you are working with relatively cheap materials like soils, grasses, plants, stone and wood. Most of your improvement costs will actually be in the form of time and labor. As far as your material costs go, the majority of those will likely be returned to you in the form of a higher home value.
Some of the most desirable outdoor upgrades are patios and decks. These can be used as places to entertain family and friends, barbecue or just to lounge around and enjoy your time outside of work. Add a hammock and/or some planters filled with colorful flowers to improve your deck or patio. Install some lighting to extend your outdoor fun into the night. This can allow you to go outside at more ideal times, like when the noisy neighborhood children are sleeping or when it gets cooler after the Sun goes down.
Reduce maintenance costs and efforts by using only plants native to your region and weather-resistant materials. In outdoor areas prone to weeds, use a lot of stones to smother them out and slow their growth. When you only use native plants, there’s no real special care required because they are naturally designed for your region. Non-native plants may need to be covered or brought indoors during certain seasons or given certain nutrients and/or additional water. It might be nearly impossible to keep some of them alive at all. Use weather-resistant composite materials for you decks to extend their life and reduce maintenance costs.
Although it may sound ludicrous, there are some recent surveys from Gallup Poll and Smart Money showing that outdoor improvements more than pay for themselves. So, doing these improvements actually makes you money in the long-run. It is estimated that good landscaping work could raise your overall home value anywhere from five-to-fifteen percent.
Considering the remarkably low cost of most outdoor area improvements and the substantial increased home values they lead to, it seems like a no-brainer to do them. Laying down some new turf, creatively planting some colorful flowers around your yard or planting a couple of ornamental trees might be an easy first step. Depending on the size of your property, you could even design some nice nature trails around you yard. As you get more advanced, you could build a fancy deck or patio, where you can enjoy summertime barbecues with family and friends. If you reach the top level of outdoor upgrades, you might even build a giant tetra pond and fill it with brightly-colored koi carp. The options are limitless and entirely up to you.