It can be fun to dream big when it comes to your yard, but the price tag of adding hardscape features may be holding you back. If you knew the cost of the project would increase the value of your home, giving you equity while helping you recoup the costs upon resell, would that change anything for you?

Luckily, there are many hardscape features that fit the bill, and implementing them will add value to your home. Here’s a list of features will give help boost your home’s value:

● Outdoor Kitchen. Creating an outdoor area designated for preparing and enjoying food is desirable for many homeowners. A grill, refrigerator, pizza oven, sink, counter space, and seating for eating can all combine into an oasis that can be enjoyed with those in your household or while you host friends and family. Outdoor kitchens can help you feel like the square footage of your home has increased, but without the added cost of renovating your home.

● Patio. An area dedicated to gathering and enjoying the fresh air can add value to your home and can be a beautiful statement piece in your yard as well. Many people think of concrete when they hear the word patio, but patios are not limited to just cement. In fact, too much cement can give your yard an industrial and stagnant feel. Pavers give your area some character and come in many different colors, textures, and shapes to help you personalize your space.

● Deck. A large deck that can accommodate a summer barbecue can increase the value of your home. Like a patio, a deck is another option for an outdoor gathering or grilling area. Decks can be made from different materials, and each comes with pros and cons.

Wood. Pressure-treated lumber is a very popular deck material choice because it is not as expensive as composite or vinyl materials, but it does need to be stained and maintained regularly.

Vinyl. Decking made from vinyl is more expensive, but it does not require regular maintenance. It can, however, get a lot hotter than wood in the summertime and could be uncomfortable to bare feet.

Regardless of what material you choose, a deck will bring value to your home.

● Walkway. If there is an area in your yard that is tread more often than others, upgrading it from worn grass to a grand walkway can really elevate the aesthetic of your yard. It will give your home more curb appeal and increase the value of your home.

● Fireplace or Fire Pit. A space designated to spending evenings gathered around flickering flames is a cost that will be recouped because of the value it adds. It is also a nice selling feature because it makes your yard a comfortable place to be even on cool spring and fall evenings.

● Pergola or Awning. An outdoor seating area is no good to you if it’s always too sunny and hot to be enjoyed. Well-placed shade structures can enhance an outdoor seating area.

Seating areas may have natural shade from trees, vegetation, or the orientation of the house, but a covered awning may create the atmosphere you want. Temporary or cheap structures may not necessarily add value to the home, but permanent and quality structures will.

Pergolas do not necessarily add shade to an area (their archways are more for looks than protection from the elements), but they can add to the overall appeal of a yard. If maintained and placed well, it will still add value to the home.

● Lighting. An often overlooked way to increase the value and the appeal of your home is through well-placed landscape lighting. A well-manicured yard does not have to stop showing off once the sun goes down.

Realizing the Return on Your Investment

Not all projects are created equal. While many hardscape projects will increase your home’s value, there are some key points to understand if you want to get the most out of your investment. Here are three things you will want to avoid when hardscaping:

1. Hardscape Items in Disrepair. If you spent a lot to add a deck but did not stay up on the upkeep of staining and sealing it annually, the damaged deck could work against you when you try to sell your home. Make sure all fences, walls, and walkways are in good condition before you list your home.

Along with features that are not well maintained, any features that require extensive maintenance (such as large koi ponds) could make buyers wary as they may not have the time, resources, or desire to stay on top of the necessary upkeep.

2. Specific Design. There is nothing wrong with having an eclectic design taste. Putting your specific, eclectic design taste into permanent features of your home may decrease its appeal to buyers. Bold and bright colors or very striking patterns in features may make some buyers hesitate.

If you have bright and bold taste, consider how long you plan to be in the home. If you do not have long term plans for the home and are hoping to earn equity in the sale, consider incorporating your bright and bold colors through accent pieces instead of permanent pieces. Keep the permanent pieces more neutral to appeal to a wider variety of buyers.

3. Disjointed design. If the different zones of your yard look like they were added haphazardly and do not flow together, this could hurt the value of your home. You will want to have a yard that looks well thought out and not thrown together.

Having professional hardscape contractors help you tie in different elements of your yard can be worth every cent. Our team works with customers to design and install unique hardscaping and landscaping designs that add value and functionality to their outdoor spaces.

If you have plans for adding hardscape to your property, reach out to us. Our Richmond area backyard designers would love to help you add more value to your home.