Outdoor living room on patio with pergola and fire pit

6 Outdoor Living Space Features That Boost Home Value

Looking for ways to improve the resale value of your home? Consider designing an outdoor living space! With additions like patios and decks, fire pits and outdoor kitchens, and even swimming pools, you can improve the chances of selling your home for more and (in some cases) quicker.

Below are a six additions to an outdoor living space that provide better returns for homeowners!

1. Patio

Sunny back patio with umbrellas

Patios are a sought-after amenity for most homes, making them a valuable addition when trying to sell a home quickly. On average, the cost of building a patio can be as high as $6,400, depending on size and materials used. That said, it’s estimated that patios can recover up to $6,525 of the cost to build, which is an ROI of just over 100%.

A better option for most homeowners, however, would be to refinish or repair an existing patio, as repair estimates average around $1,300. This can provide an ROI of nearly 500%.

Get the best return on your outdoor patio with these tips:

  • DO: Add lighting to enjoy your outdoor living room in the evening and add patio furniture for more comfort.
  • DON’T: Take up too much backyard space. Many families covet big backyards, so leave enough space for kids and animals.

2. Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor covered kitchen living space

Outdoor kitchens are popular additions, and most experts estimate that homeowners with kitchens in their outdoor living spaces will break even on the investment when selling their homes.

According to Absolute Outdoor Kitchens, homes with outdoor kitchens can potentially see an ROI ranging between 100% and 200%. Keep in mind that higher returns are more likely for homes in the Southwest and Southeast compared to those in the Midwest, Northwest, or Northeast.

Get the best return on your outdoor kitchen with these tips:

  • DO: Build enough counter space to make cooking a little easier. Design your outdoor kitchen around your grill.
  • DON’T: Add unnecessary items, such as a full wood-burning pizza oven. If the next buyer doesn’t think they’ll get use out of it, it may go undervalued.

3. Wooden Deck

Covered wooden deck in backyard

Remodeling Magazine estimated in their 2018 cost vs. value report that, on average, homeowners spend just under $11,000 to add new wooden decks, but only see the resale value of their homes increase by $9,000, which is about 82% in recouped costs.

Though, if a home already has a wooden deck, choosing to repair or refinish the deck is a smart investment. Typical repair costs for wooden decks can average around $1,500, providing homeowners with the chance to see more than 600% of their costs recovered compared to the average resale increase.

Get the best return on your wooden deck with these tips:

  • DO: Add outdoor lighting and seal your deck to ensure a longer life for the wood.
  • DON’T: Take up too much space on the deck or overtake the backyard. You want space to move around with family and friends while also providing enough backyard for potential buyers.

4. Fire Pit

Luxury home landscaping with fire pit

An easy win in terms of home resale value is adding a fire pit. Most estimates see homeowners recouping 78% of the costs associated with building a fire pit, especially one that has natural gas running to it.

Depending on the materials used, DIY fire pits can be an inexpensive option. By choosing a less costly way to build and design a fire pit, homeowners may be able to increase the ROI of a fire pit to more than 80%.

Get the best return on your backyard fire pit with these tips:

  • DO: Build a fire pit out in the open and away from structures. Also, be sure you have permission from the city if you use natural gas.
  • DON’T: Create a pit. Even though the name “fire pit” sounds like it suggests a structure isn’t necessary, take the safety precautions serious and create a sturdy structure around it.

5. Pergola or Extended Roof Overhang

Patio covered by pergola

Adding a covering to a backyard with a pergola or an extended roof can boost resale; however, it’s not as popular as it once was. As of 2017, estimates put the ROI of adding a pergola to a patio or extended roof around 50%.

While the addition of a pergola or extended roof seems worthwhile, sometimes the high price just doesn’t sit well. Fortunately, you can find great looking pre-fabricated pergolas that are less expensive but still able to boost home value.

Get the best return on your pergola or extended roof with these tips:

  • DO: Use a covering tall enough and wide enough so everyone can easily move around outside.
  • DON’T: Build without adhering to building codes, especially if you’re extending your roof.

6. Swimming Pools

Modern home with outdoor swimming pool

Putting a swimming pool in a backyard can be a good addition to an existing outdoor living space, but it should be approached with caution. For homes that don’t currently have a swimming pool installed, the average cost for building a new swimming pool is just over $22,500—and that cost doesn’t include regular maintenance needed throughout the year, which can vary drastically depending on where you live.

When it comes to earning money back, a swimming pool isn’t as valuable as the other options. At best, most estimates see homeowners recouping 50% of the costs when they go to sell, but the low end sees some homeowners only recouping 7% of the costs. A lot of that is due to the upkeep pools require. Many potential buyers will cross homes with pools off their lists when they learn about the associated costs.

Get the best return on your backyard swimming pool with these tips:

  • DO: Add underwater lighting to make night swimming more enjoyable.
  • DON’T: Leave issues unattended. Small cracks or filtration issues should be addressed immediately to ensure potential buyers don’t back out because of minor problems.

Remember, Other Factors Can Affect Resale Value

It’s important to be aware of other factors that come into play with the ROI of an outdoor living space. One major factor is where you live, as previously mentioned. Homeowners on the coast or in southern regions can see better value since outdoor living spaces can be enjoyed, for the most part, year-round.

Homeowners should also take into account the current value of the home, as it will help determine how much value can be added. For example, if you live in a $200,000 home and you add $50,000 worth of outdoor living room projects to your backyard, it’s not a sure thing that you’ll be able to sell for $250,000+. Keep an eye on the real estate market trends before investing in major outdoor remodels.

Also, don’t forget about your HOA and city ordinances. Depending on your neighborhood or suburb, you might not be able to build certain structures or add specific features to your home without permits and explicit permissions.

Before starting any project, always do research! Knowing what you’re allowed to do, the values of the homes around you, and what’s available for your budget will be the best way for you to truly maximize the ROI of your outdoor living space and improve your home’s value for years to come!

6 outdoor living space features to boost your home's value