When people talk about doing work with their home to add value to it, there’s a tendency to focus on internal areas – a new kitchen, convert the loft, add a conservatory. But sometimes, the best improvements can be made outdoors, and these can be very cost-effective in terms of what you spend and how the home’s value can increase. Here are five ideas for outdoor improvements to add value to the house.
1. Tackle the landscaping
Whether you are a keen gardener or not, having the garden landscaped and in smart condition can definitely add to the appeal of your home to buyers can even increase the value. Aim for plants that look great but don’t need too much work as the buyer might not want to spend hours in the garden and anything too high maintenance could put them off. Areas of turf are always popular and can work alongside other areas such as decking or patios.
2. Build a decking area or patio
One of the most popular ways to improve your garden is to build a decking area or a patio. Strangely, it often costs more for decking than a patio, but it is also more adaptable to uneven ground or if your garden has a slope. Patios cost around one third less than decking areas and can come in a range of ornate styles. Both of these areas are high on wish lists for homeowners – one study showed a huge 98% of people would want one. Installing paver patios can turn a piece of under utilized space in your yard into a beautiful sanctuary. It can turn a piece of mud pit into a wonderful social area for your family and friends. Best of all, it requires very little maintenance compared to any other landscaping feature.
3. Add a pergola
Even if you have a small garden, a pergola can be an ideal way to add a feature to the garden without need lots of space. It is also a very useful space that can be used for anything from sheltering a barbecue, having a solid roof to cover a patio set or to grow plants around and have a bench in.
The key is to choose the right wood – oak is the perfect wood as it will last for the longest time, will weather beautifully over time and you can get DIY kits than means you can add it yourself, keeping costs down.
4. Build a firepit
This is one of the newer items on the list of garden improvements but is proving popular across the UK. You can easily build a firepit from just a few hundred pounds and you can get styles that are transportable so you can move it around the garden if you want to. You can even add an outdoor fireplace to the garden depending on the layout.
In terms of buyer appeal, it is often in the top three or four outdoor features that people request when asked so there’s a clear benefit to adding one when you are selling.
5. Check that curbside appeal
Don’t focus all of your attention on the back of the property either – spend some time assessing the front of the property and what might be worth doing there. The top thing to consider is the driveway – if you have one, you might want to think about renovating it. If you don’t, you may want to consider adding one. A driveway is one of the most popular additions to a home, especially if parking outside the home can be tricky.
Finish things off well too – paint the fence, make sure the gate works property and ensure any trees or shrubs in the front garden are trimmed. You only get one first impression and you want this to be a positive one so spending some time on the front of the house might not increase the value but might make it more appealing to buyers.