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Upgrade Your Backyard for Better Home Value

Written by Ben Mix

Last weekend I was visiting my dad and marveling at some of the improvements he’s made in his backyard over the past five years. Currently, he’s building a sort of terrace-like staircase out of sand, pea gravel, and lumber to make functional sense out of an otherwise unusable slope in the backyard. While it already has an aesthetic appeal all its own, it looks even better running parallel to the koi pond and flower bed he constructed several years ago. Along with these additions, he’s also screened-in and weather-proofed the large patio under the back deck (complete with attractive outdoor furnishings); extended the patio beyond the screen, paved it with brick, put in a firepit, shaded porch swing, and sunbathing area, and enclosed the space with a retaining wall that borders a flower garden; and constructed an additional pond out of granite along the seawall, over which the entire backyard overlooks a quiet neighborhood lake. Although that sounds like a mouthful, I assure you it all integrates beautifully. Honestly, I probably haven’t done it justice, and I likely missed some key projects he’s completed.

So, what’s the point, you might ask? Well, after complimenting my dad on all his work, he told me that beyond creating an outdoor space he can enjoy, his improvements should contribute a sizable chunk toward his retirement. I asked him how much he’d say his house is worth given the projects he’s completed up until now (he’ll have more on the way), and he estimated he’s likely added another third or so of the home’s original value. Of course, he’s made some interior improvements as well, but the bulk of the value increase has come from his work outside. What does this mean for you?

If you have a green thumb, put it to work! If you like lounging outdoors, figure out a way to make your favorite nap spot look both cozy and sophisticated! Functional and attractive should be any homeowner’s goal when it comes to quality landscaping, and the great thing is, you can do a little bit at a time. My dad has been staggering projects every few months for the past five years to save money and backaches, and he’ll continue to do so until he’s completely satisfied with the look of the place. Do you swell with pride when you look out your back window? Chase that feeling, and you can add significant value to your home.

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