Add value with these 7 outside home improvements

While an investment in a lovely garden has always paid off — financially, as well as emotionally and aesthetically — outdoor improvements are more important now than ever. We’ve all been holed up for months now as we’ve faced the challenges of a pandemic. Our gardens have provided an escape from the quarantines of COVID-19. Never has a bloom or a bird’s song felt more refreshing!

All of this time at home has made us increasingly aware of our garden’s gifts and shortcomings. Now more than ever, we’re ready to make a few enhancements to the outside of our homes. Whether big updates such as a new roof or small additions such as flashing tape, we want to add value to our homes and enjoyment to our time there.

As you consider how to increase the value of your home, consider these seven home improvements:

Make a good first impression

Paint your front door to give your home a fresh, new look. Go with an on-trend colour for your door. Add some flower pots around the door or some hanging baskets with seasonal blooms.

Inspect your drive leading to the house. Whether you have crumbling concrete or cracked asphalt, repair your existing materials. A brand new concrete drive can really make a difference to the exterior of your home. Or consider opting for different types of concrete to create a driveway that looks like cobblestones or pavers with imprinted concrete designs, or even coloured concrete to make a statement. Other popular driveway options are stones and block paving. According to Virgin Money, adding a drive can increase your home’s value by up to 10 per cent.

If you have a garage, it’s essential to keep the door looking good and working well. Touch up the paint or consider a replacement. A new door has a good return on investment.

Upgrade the garden

Speaking of home improvements that offer the most for your money, spiffing up the garden is a winner. According to Ideal Home Magazine, “gardens sell homes.” Tidy up your garden and see a hefty profit: £7,898 – based on an average cost of £7,650 and an estimated value increase of £15,548 (7.5 per cent).

Start by trimming back any unruly hedges. Add raised flower beds and a sitting area. Create little zones throughout the garden, so you have flexible spaces to eat al fresco, grow some herbs or allow the children to play. Add some structure with garden walls, a pergola or gazebo. Get more garden inspiration and dream big, but start small. Someday when you sell your home, buyers will prefer a low-maintenance garden.

Deck out your garden

As you’re tidying up the garden, add interest and practicality with a new deck. Decks provide flexible space with a wonderful return on investment.

Today’s garden deck can take almost any shape and size — the options are as open as your imagination. Take time to look at what is possible. Plan now and talk to a quality builder before the weather warms and it becomes more difficult to hire for outdoor projects.

As you’re planning, be sure to build a deck that will last with a quality flashing tape. Taking time up front to guard against wood rot, mould and fungus will lead to many more years in the garden.

Make outdoor repairs

Nothing detracts more quickly from a home than a broken window or gutter or shabby roof. Not only that, but you could be losing heat or even damaging your home if moisture is leaking in.

Talk to a trusted home improvement specialist to determine whether a repair will suffice or if you need to make a replacement.

Don’t neglect the lawn

While you don’t have to have golf greens, your lawn provides an external indication of the care and maintenance you give your home. Control weeds and keep the lawn mown. Water as needed or consider a drip irrigation system. Test your soil PH to make sure you’re using the right products on your lawn. It’s especially important to know your PH level before planting or designing a new green space.

Install a fire pit

A fire pit or chiminea can add instant warmth and charm to your garden. Buy one that will fit with your garden or go DIY. Keep any fire appliance at least 3 metres from combustible structures and consult any local fire ordinances. Choose furnishings without cushions that cinders might damage.

Brighten up

Adding light to your outdoor living space has never been easier, with a vast array of choices. Place solar lights along the path, string up some colourful party lights above your deck, install permanent lighting fixtures around the house. Be sure to illuminate any stairs or uneven walking surfaces. Lights add both beauty and safety.

In the weeks and months ahead, you may not plan to sell your home, but you can always enhance its value and beauty for the future. Plan now for warmer days and dream about how these seven enhancements might make your home more enjoyable.

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