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Jun 2024

Outdoor Upgrades That Increase Property Value




Trending outdoor upgrades for your home


How to enhance outdoor living spaces


Boosting property value with landscaping




Trending outdoor upgrades for your home


How to enhance outdoor living spaces


Boosting property value with landscaping

Upgrading your outdoor space is a fantastic way to boost your home's value. Whether you’re looking to sell in the coming months or simply want to start getting the most out of your property, investing in outdoor improvements can offer significant returns.

Let’s explore some of the bigger and smaller projects you could tackle that not only elevate your living experience but also increase your home’s worth. 

Outdoor Kitchen

As more homeowners expand their living areas beyond the confines of their homes, outdoor kitchens have surged in popularity in the past few years. The logical progression from indoor to outdoor dining offers quite a versatile space for entertaining guests and makes your backyard more appealing to potential buyers down the road.

When designing your outdoor kitchen, functionality should always come first. Ensure the space is well-equipped and suitable for use in all types of weather conditions. A roof for shelter, a ceiling fan, or a set-up that promotes natural ventilation can make the biggest difference in those blistering summer months. 

Insulated pipes raise water temperature 2°F–4°F hotter than their uninsulated counterparts, letting you lower your water temperature setting this summer. 

To make your outdoor kitchen the talk of the block, consider adding the following features:  

  • Built-in grill or smoker 

  • Refrigerator 

  • Sink and faucet 

  • Ample storage cabinets 

And don’t forget about comfortable countertop room for all the food prep and a seating area, like a raised bar or dining table, if the space permits. 

Outdoor Living Space 

If you already have a patio or deck, why not transform it into an extension of your home’s indoor living area? Start by adding furniture that’s homey and matches your taste. Next, roll out a nylon or wool rug that can withstand the weather. You might even accessorize your new outdoor living room with container plants like begonias or coral bells to create the welcoming ambiance you’re searching for. 

For those with even more space and even more budget, consider adding a barbecue area, dining table, lounge seating, or even that aforementioned outdoor kitchen. A fire pit or outdoor fireplace can also make the space usable year-round (more on that later).  

Patio vs. Deck 

What’s the difference between a deck and a patio? Well, a deck is a raised platform often made of wood or composite materials, while a patio is a ground-level space, usually made of concrete, stone, or pavers. As you might imagine, both have their advantages: 

If you're leaning towards building an attached, detached, or wraparound deck, you'll be pleased to know that the project typically offers a decent return on your investment. While generally, patios are the less expensive and more maintainable route but are only suitable for property on level ground. 

Deck or patio, prioritize your family’s safety with the use of non-slip and low-heat-absorbing materials.

Fire Pit  

Burn baby burn. Outdoor fire pits are a scorching hot addition to any backyard, providing warmth (obviously), ambiance, and a day-or-night gathering spot. 

For our money, there are four main types of fire pits to consider: fire bowls, fire tubs, built-in fire pits, and campfire rings. And regarding its material, ceramic and stone are known for their longevity and durability. Stainless steel and copper are excellent choices as well, as they’re resistant to rust and weathering. Cast iron could also be a viable option, but just know it’s best suited for permanent placement due to its weight. 

Speaking of which, if you don't have the space for a permanent fire pit, a portable option that you can easily set up and store away is a great solution. This allows you to showcase the backyard's potential as an outdoor living room during property viewings.  

Once you’re ready to burn, fire safety should be a top priority – indoors and outdoors. Always comply with local fire restrictions and ensure that your fire pit is placed in an open area, away from any structures or wooden decks. Additionally, it's wise to keep a fire extinguisher within reach, you know, just in case. 


Many experts say well-maintained, mature landscaping can improve a home’s value anywhere from 5-10%. Yep, curb appeal is a very real thing.

A solid lawn care program typically consists of weekly or bi-weekly mowing, annual aeration, fertilizing, and overseeding. These essential steps work together to maintain a healthy and vibrant lawn throughout the year. 

And once your grass is greener, strategically planted trees, blossoming flower beds, and a plentiful garden will instantly raise the aesthetics of your backyard.

Privacy Fence 

Privacy fences provide a much-needed sense of peace of mind and seclusion to homeowners. We love our neighbors, but they don’t need to be all up in our business 24/7, right? 

When it comes time to choose the right fence for your property, wood fences offer that classic and natural look we’re all familiar with, while vinyl options offer low maintenance and durability. The height of your fence should be determined by your specific needs and local laws and regulations, with a typical maximum height of six feet for optimal privacy. 

Expert Tip

An unfenced property could even be a dealbreaker for some buyers, particularly those with children or pets.

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Water Features 

Adding a water feature to your backyard can really make a splash. Whether it's a small pond, fountain, or water wall, these features bring a touch of sophistication and calm to your backyard. 

Who doesn’t enjoy the serene sound of trickling water? We can tell you future homebuyers do, too! Just like a fire pit can make your outdoor area a little cozier, adding a water feature can upgrade the allure and peacefulness of your space. 

Beyond their visual appeal, water features offer a soothing soundtrack that can drown out unwanted noise from nearby streets or neighbors.

Outdoor Lighting 

Spotlight the true beauty of your property at night with proper outdoor lighting. You can either opt for a few solar fixtures to avoid excess wiring or go all out with a professionally installed lighting system. If you choose professional installation, consider taking it a step further by incorporating energy-efficient bulbs that last longer and save you money on your utility bills.

Here are some of the popular outdoor lighting options: 

  • String Lights: Create a kind of offbeat canopy effect when strung along your patio's perimeter or hung overhead.  

  •  Pathway Lights: Provide visibility and safety by illuminating walkways, steps, and other areas that may be difficult to navigate in the dark.  

  •  Spotlights: Draw attention and depth to focal points like trees, garden beds, or water features.  

Let there be light! 

Eco-Friendly Upgrades 

Sustainability is a growing concern for many homebuyers. You can tap into this market segment and potentially increase the value of your property (while doing Mother Earth a solid). 

In addition to the solar-powered outdoor lighting we’ve already explored, rainwater harvesting systems are another eco-friendly addition that allows you to collect and reuse rainwater for irrigation purposes, reducing your water consumption and utility costs. 

And composting areas are a practical and environmentally friendly way to manage organic waste, providing nutrient-rich soil for your garden while minimizing your household's contribution to landfills. 

Outdoor Structures and Storage 

Maintaining an organized and clutter-free backyard is another way to boost the value of your property. Investing in functional storage solutions, such as sheds, cabinets, or hidden storage benches, allows you to keep outdoor equipment and tools neatly tucked away and out of the hands of young children. 

While sheds can be a cost-effective solution, with the national average ranging from $2,000-$10,000, remember to obtain the necessary local building permits before making any purchases at your local hardware store. 

In addition to those storage solutions, structures like gazebos, pergolas, and garden arbors add character to your backyard while increasing its functionality and value.

Sprinkler System 

Not only does a sprinkler system enhance your home's value, but it also develops a fuller, healthier landscape for you, your kids, and your pets to enjoy in the meantime. 

Different sprinklers cater to varying lawn sizes and shapes: oscillating sprinklers for even rectangular coverage, stationary sprinklers for small or irregular areas, and pulsating sprinklers for large lawns. As a general rule of (green) thumb, aim for one inch of water per week, adjusting based on your climate and location.  

Projects to Avoid? 

Not every project provides a good return on investment. Here are some projects to approach with extra caution: 

Overly Personalized Features 

Avoid overly personalized features that may not appeal to a wide range of buyers. While you may love a custom-built meditation hut or themed garden, just keep in mind that hyper-unique features might not mesh with future buyers’ visions.  

High-Maintenance Landscaping 

Steer clear of high-maintenance landscaping that requires almost daily upkeep. Intricate designs with exotic plants may look impressive initially but can deter buyers who don’t have the time to spend hours in the garden every week. 

Massive DIY Projects  

Bob the Builder might’ve said we can build it, but should we? While it's admirable to tackle home improvement tasks yourself, poorly executed projects can detract from your home's value and curb appeal. 

So, What’ve We Learned?  

The moral of the story: Investing in outdoor upgrades is another strategic way to enhance your home's value and appeal. 

From functional improvements like outdoor kitchens and storage solutions to aesthetic enhancements like water features and landscaping, these changes can make your property more attractive to potential buyers (and more enjoyable for you and your family in the meantime). 

So, whether you’re planning to sell or stay put, consider these upgrades to get the most out of your outdoor living space. And when you’re ready to buy, get pre-qualified with Atlantic Bay.