Since we are spending more time at home these days, there’s a good chance you’re thinking of how best to set up your outside oasis. Why not set up your outside space to suit your needs by building a new deck, updating or expanding old decks, patios or porches? What about adding more privacy or security by installing a fence, trees or shrubs? Add a water feature, your favorite flowers, a rock garden, or turf grass. The ideas are endless!
If your yard is big or you are feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, pick just one project to start. Once your home starts looking all spruced-up, you’ll be motivated to keep going with your outdoor projects to increase your home’s curb appeal and resale value!
1. Fresh Paint
Fresh exterior paint is a must-do outdoor project for boosting resale value. Touch up the paint on the front door, front steps, front porch….you get the idea! This will remind potential buyers that the house has been well taken-care of and is ready for them to move in!
2. Feature Tree
A feature tree in the front yard is another worthwhile outdoor project to increase resale value of a home. Full size trees can be very expensive, but you can save on costs by simply planting the tree years earlier. Plant it now and later on – you’ll be glad you did! Popular landscaping tree options include sugar maples, honey locust, and oak trees.
3. Entertaining Patio/Deck
A patio or deck area creates an “outdoor room” for your home. In addition to adding on entertaining space, it also brings a sense of luxury to a home. Create an in-ground patio with brick or flagstone, or go for a cedar lumber deck.
4. Front Porch
A front porch can dramatically increase the curb appeal of a home. Like a backyard deck, it comes with an outdoor living area, but in the case of a front porch, it can make the house much more desirable as soon as prospective buyers see it. Open air front porches offer an opportunity for seasonal decorating and for creating that warm welcome that’s so important to curb appeal.
5. Back Utility Porch
A functional back porch can act as an extension of mud room. Having a dry, covered spot to put down bags of groceries while you unlock the door can really improve your day-to-day experience. And for households with kids and/or pets, an extra outdoor mat on the ground can reduce the amount of dirt that gets tracked into the house.
6. Foundation Planting
Foundation plants, especially around the front and visible sides of a home, can give a home a sense of establishment and anchor it visually in the landscape. Decks and porch structures allow for the foundation plants to be placed a distance away from the actual house foundation, widening the choice of available plants. For four-season interest, choose evergreens like cedar, juniper, or yew. They’ll add greenery all year round (and be quite festive during the Christmas season!).
Hedges can be both time-consuming and expensive to install, but they really do add to the value of a property. Whether its a privacy hedge along the sides or back of a property or a stately landscaped short hedge along the front walk, hedges give a sense of structure to the landscape. For four-season interest, choose evergreen landscaping shrubs such as cedar, yew, juniper, or boxwood.
8. New Front Door
A new front door will give the facade of the home an instant update. If the current door looks a bit dated or scuffed, replacing it is an inexpensive option to increase the resale value of the home. Be sure to mock up a few different choices on a photograph to help you choose!
9. New Garage Door
A new garage door, or a fresh coat of paint and fastenings, can also give a boost to resale. This is especially true in homes that feature the garage door from a prominent angle (such as the facade of the house or from indoor views like the kitchen or master bedroom). Make sure its looking great, inside and out!
10. Lush Lawn
A lush, green lawn is another sign of a well-kept home that’s desirable to potential buyers. A truly sad lawn can be replaced with a fresh layer of soil and some healthy sod, but most lawns can be revived without a total overhaul. Maintenance like core aeration, placing a 1″-thick topdressing of organic compost, using high-quality grass seed, and watering consistently can help turn an average lawn into a lush landscape!
11. Fresh Mulch
Fresh mulch on garden beds gives a cohesive and maintained look. Skip rubber mulches and landscaping fabric, which are less trendy than they used to be. Opt instead for an organic mulch such as screened compost or black wood mulch. Don’t place the mulch more than a few inches thick, and be sure not to push mulch up around the trunks of shrubs and trees. The bark needs to breathe!
12. Front Yard Fencing
Front yard fencing is an important resale amenity for households with kids and/or pets. While it can be fun to watch the comings-and-goings around the neighbourhood, there is the safety issue of the sidewalk and roadway to contend with. A fenced and gated front yard can help to make the yard safer for kids and pets on a day-to-day basis.
13. Privacy Fencing
In the backyard, high privacy fencing can also be a value-added feature. Whether it screens your property from adjacent neighbours or from a back lane, a good solid privacy fence make the property feel luxurious and truly “yours”. Stick to plain designs and consider high-quality materials like cedar fence panels and all-weather stain.
Landscape lighting can really make a home stand out, especially in the twilight and early evening. Consider that prospective home buyers may drive by your home at all hours of the day. Make sure it looks inviting, even when its dark out! Add a feature uplight on a mature tree, light the front path, or add some pretty patio lights. A light timer can automate them, turning them on and off daily during dark hours.
15. Fire Pit
A fire pit is an automatic outdoor gathering spot. You can make your own DIY fire pit with supplies from the hardware store or order a fire pit structure. Either way, add some seating and a path, and your yard will instantly feel like a place anyone would want to spend their time in!