Get More Value Out of Your Backyard

We love our lawns. But the beauty of a backyard is so much more than just lush green grass. Not only will creating a better outdoor space improve your outdoor life, it can also raise your property’s value. Here are seven of our favorite ways to grow the value of your yard. 

7 Outdoor Projects that Raise the Value of Your Yard

  1. Start a Perennial Garden
  2. Plant Trees
  3. Design Outdoor Lighting
  4. Create Moveable Planters
  5. Add a Small Greenhouses
  6. Lay a Patio
  7. Build an Outdoor Kitchen

#1 Raise a Garden that Works for You 

Perennial flowers are beautiful, easy to grow and they return, on their own, every year. With little to no upkeep, perennial flowers will increase pollinator habitat and attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Plus, the garden can supply fresh cut flowers for your kitchen table – season after season.

A perennial garden requires very little effort and even less investment. Seed packs are available for just a couple dollars and flower starts are available for $10-$20. A well-maintained, low-upkeep garden can help raise curb appeal and property value by as much as 5%.


#2 Plant a Tree for the Earth and Your Property 

Trees provide variety and privacy to your landscape, much needed shade covering, they increase important wildlife habitats and add lots of curb appeal. To get started, plant fledgling trees in the spring, just after the ground thaws, and watch your investment grow every year.

One mature tree in the front yard can increase your property value by as much as $7,000, and when part of a well-landscaped yard can see increases up to 10% of your property’s overall value. Fledglings can cost anywhere from $75 to a few hundred dollars, so there is a lot of room for growing value. Make sure all of your trees are healthy, trimmed and well-maintained. Unfortunately, neglected or damaged trees can have the opposite effect on your property value.


#3 Light Up Your Yard’s Potential  

There are many ways to illuminate new value in your backyard. Whether you are getting ready for a dinner party, looking for some added security or longing for that timeless feeling of coming home to a warm lit house, there are as many styles of lighting as there are ideas for where to place them. And the best part? The benefits are as easy to enjoy as screwing in a light bulb.

Landscape lighting comes in a variety of types and price ranges. Pre-packaged lighting kits can start as low as $40, with individual solar ground lights and accent lights starting at $25 per pack, or more. Hardwired installations can cost up to $5000 depending on the fixtures and finishes used. Whether you use low wattage landscape lights, light strings or more permanent fixtures, the secret to raising your property’s value is creating a cohesive, inviting, and together look. On average, outdoor lighting will return 50% on your investment while shining some light on your home’s real value.


#4 Make an Impression with Moveable Planters

Just a few well-placed planters are all you need to raise curb appeal. Moveable planters are a perfect (and easy) way to explore plant arrangements and you can even bring warm weather plants indoors during the cold season. Whether in window sills or in the yard, planters are perfect for filling your space with air cleaning, mood boosting plants that can move with you from season to season.

There is no question that creating botanical points of interest will elevate your space and raise your property’s value. Like with gardens, elaborate landscaping can be a deterrent for potential buyers. Planters are a great alternative since they are moveable, and ultimately easier to maintain. It will take more than a single planter to change your property’s value, but with just a few hundred dollars you can start creating customizable focal points that add curb appeal and recoup 100% of your investment. As part of a larger landscaping effort.  homeowners can increase their property’s value by 5% or even 10% in some instances.


#5 Grow a Garden that’s 4 Seasons Long

Greenhouses are a great way to stretch out the gardening season and get a little extra value out of your yard. Small cold frame greenhouses are one of the easiest ways to get in the growing game. As a specialized item, greenhouses aren’t guaranteed to raise your property value, but the real value of a greenhouse is what you grow inside of it. The investment can be recouped in just one season of growing delicious and healthy produce.

There are affordable pre-built and ready-to-build kits that start around $100. Or if you are an avid DIY-er, you can build your own using an old window or a roll of sheet plastic. Regardless of which type is the best fit for your property, the benefits are sure to be delicious.


#6 Pave the Way for Outdoor Entertainment 

One of the best ways to enhance your outdoor living is with a patio. They are perfect for entertaining, outdoor dining, and creating a functional focal point. With the flexibility of size and shape, pavers, bricks, stone and concrete are all perfect ways to create the ideal custom space for your yard. For experienced DIY-ers, it is a project that you can tackle yourself. But for everyone else, partnering with a professional is probably best.

Concrete patios start at $3-$20 per square foot. Size shape, design and color are all factors, but a typical 100 sq ft concrete patio will cost around $1000. Pavers, brick and stone are slightly more expensive at $8-$25 sq ft but also require more labor to install. With the variety of options and materials available, patios can start at $2000 or $3000 with the average cost of $6000. But as a “must have” for many buyers, homeowners can expect 100% return on your investment and years of outdoor memories with your family and friends.


#7 Heat Up Your Home Appeal with an Outdoor Kitchen 

Food always tastes a little better outdoors. Adding an outdoor kitchen is a great way to expand your culinary capabilities right in your own backyard. Whether you’re an aspiring grill master or just want to cook some of your family favorites under the open sky, outdoor kitchens promise to heat up the outdoor fun, and your property value.

Keeping things simple and building on an existing patio will keep costs lower and returns higher. A built-in oven, gas range, refrigeration, and other secondary appliances will enhance your space, and stretch your budget. A simple grill and counter-style kitchen can start as low as $3000 with the average outdoor kitchen costing $11,000 – $16,000. Regardless of how you slice it, an outdoor kitchen can cook up a lot of good times and a 60%- 100% or more return on your investment. In general, warmer climate homes have a higher return.


Bonus Tip: Lawncare

A well-kept lawn is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to boost your property value up to 15%.  Plus, it can make your space feel bigger as your yard becomes a functional extension of your home. By following these Lawn Care Basics, you can have a beautiful lawn that is easy to enjoy, and is growing in value.