How Outdoor Living Spaces Can Improve Your Home’s Value

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This is the fourth part of Bob Vila’s Most Valuable Projects of 2022, a month-long series featuring high-return on-investment improvements in kitchens, curb appeal, bathrooms, and outdoor living spaces. Each week, we draw from our extensive library of informative content, vetted buying guides, and contacts with industry professionals to showcase the top projects to tackle this year.

Once considered an afterthought or bonus space, outdoor living spaces are now more common and a desirable feature for many homebuyers today. One driver of this trend is the pandemic-induced shift in priorities when it comes to the home. Updating your property with a patio or other outdoor room that is both fun and functional not only expands your usable living space now, but also adds value should you ever decide to put your home on the market.

According to 2022 remodeling cost/value ratiothe average cost to add a wood deck to a property is around $19,000, and homeowners can expect to recoup nearly 65% ​​of that cost when selling their home. This estimate is for a 16 foot by 20 foot deck with pressure treated joists and boards. Composite decking is slightly more expensive, but it also offers an excellent return on investment (ROI) of around 62%.

In addition to a deck, there are many other features to consider when updating your outdoor living space, from landscaping to sun protection to accessory buildings and more. We’ve put together a collection of articles that cover everything you need to know to spruce up your garden, whether you’re planning to sell your home in the near future or just looking to spruce it up for your own enjoyment. The following ideas, cost estimates, buying guides, tutorials and other important considerations will help you plan an outdoor living space update that suits your home and your budget.

bob vila most valuable projects 2022 outdoor living terrace

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Platform

Installing a new deck (or replacing an old one) is one of the most impactful projects homeowners can do to improve their backyard. When planning this addition, however, there are countless decisions to be made, from the type of materials used to the square footage and aesthetic design. It is important to consider how much money you want to invest as well as the maintenance the deck will require after it is built. Check out the guides below to learn more about the pros and cons of different decking materials, the average project cost, and how to design, build, and maintain a deck yourself.

Decking Material Considerations
All About Pressure Treated Lumber
All about composite decking
The average cost to build a terrace
The Best Deck Design Software of 2022
How to build a floating deck yourself
The Dos and Don’ts of Sealing a Bridge
Deck or Patio: Which is Best for Your Outdoor Space?

Patio

A patio is a popular alternative to a deck because it’s generally cheaper to build and easier to maintain over time. Like a terrace, a patio can function as an outdoor living room suitable for entertaining or simply as a place to relax outdoors when the weather is nice. If you are considering a patio for your garden, one of the most important decisions to make is the material. Pavers or a simple concrete slab are two popular choices today, and each has different costs and installation methods as well as a different aesthetic.

Popular Types of Patio Materials
All About Patio Pavers
The average cost of a paved patio
How to DIY a Paver Patio
The average cost of a concrete patio
7 things to know about concrete forms
How to pour concrete yourself

boo vila most valuable projects 2022 terrace shade pergola landscaping

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Shadow

Planning a covered outdoor living space is prudent in warmer climates where shade is needed on hot, sunny days. Adding cover to a deck or patio can be done in a variety of ways, from pergolas and gazebos to awnings and shade sails. For a more natural look, you can even consider planting fast-growing shade trees in strategic locations around the yard. The following articles offer outdoor living ideas that will inspire you to add sun protection to your landscape.

24 ideas for covered terraces
The best pergola kits of 2022
12 Pergola Plans for DIY Shade
The best gazebos you can buy in 2022
8 gazebo plans you can build yourself
The best shade sails of 2022
6 fast-growing shade trees to plant

Landscaping

When selling a home, it is important to make a good first impression. Good landscaping not only provides appeal to potential buyers, it also increases the value of a home. Planting trees and shrubs can improve air quality and privacy while making an outdoor living space more aesthetically pleasing. The articles below include landscaping ideas for different types of yards, cost estimates for various lawn and garden projects, and tips and tricks for planting and trimming outdoor greenery.

45 backyard landscaping ideas
The average cost of landscaping
The Best Landscape Design Software of 2022
15 Best Plants for Garden Privacy
The do’s and don’ts of pruning shrubs
20 Best Plants for Lawn and Garden Edging
The Dos and Don’ts of Planting Foundations
How to properly plant trees yourself

bob vila most valuable projects 2022 outdoor living spaces accessory building

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Accessory building

An accessory building can add storage space and functionality to a yard, and it can even be a source of revenue. If you are considering adding a shed, secondary suite (ADU) or any other outbuilding to your property, there are several practical factors to keep in mind. For example, many municipalities have setback and building permit requirements depending on the type of structure you plan to add. Learn about these important considerations and more before adding an accessory building to your property.

7 things to know about withdrawal requirements
All about secondary suites
All about lean-to sheds
The average cost of building a shed
The best storage sheds of 2022
Tips for Building a Solid Shed Base
19 shed plans you can build yourself
How to build a shed