The last year saw an incredible rise in DIY projects focused on home and property improvement. It turns out that there were a lot of little things, or big ones, that homeowners had wanted to do for so many years but didn't have time. When furlough came about, and the COVID-19 pandemic shut down many workplaces, all of a sudden, time is all people had.
Not everyone got to cross off every item on their list or perhaps thought about starting another project but didn't want to commit. If you thought that creating a backyard living space would be interesting but wouldn't give enough back, think again. This article looks at the benefits of creating a backyard living space and how your investment can pay off both short-term and in the long term. Here is a list of ways that backyard improvements can add value to your home and your life.
1. Backyard Features Add Property Value
More emotional or familial reasons make it worth it to redefine your backyard with an outdoor living space, but let's first look at the financial reason. There are hundreds of hardscapes and structures you can put in your backyard to make it more "livable."
Backyard features that have value can include kitchens, outdoor living rooms, a fire pit with patio furniture, and so much more. It can be as big or as small as you like depending on the space you have to fit it and how much of your backyard you want it to use.
Your ROI (Return on Investment) changes depending on what kind of hardscape you install. For example, both a patio and a deck are features that will increase your property value. A patio is generally cheaper to install than a deck, yet the ROI is higher on a new deck than it will typically be for a patio.
If it is all about the eventual ROI you will see, it might take a little bit of research on your area and what new buyers seem to want. An outdoor kitchen is one of the more popular types of backyard living spaces. Most experts believe that you will at least break even on the investment with the sale of your home. You normally see the ROI on this kind of build range from 100% to 200%. The final percentage depends on the quality and extent of the build, to name a few things.
Whatever you decide to build, if the ROI is important to you, you should speak with an assessor to find the best compromise between what you want and what will be best for your property value.
2. An Outdoor Space for Entertaining
Many of us who have spent time and effort on our homes enjoy having people over to enjoy them with us. You might host parties, have family over for the holidays, get your neighborhood together for a party, or have your child's birthday party in your home.
Whatever the case might be, an outdoor space is generally a great place to entertain. If you plan on having quite a few events hosted at your home and using the outdoor space, you should consider a couple of your design characteristics.
Think about the functionality of the space. What is it meant to do? How can you maximize its potential?
For example, if you build a beautiful outdoor kitchen but don't have any space for people to congregate or sit, the only person that will generally be in it will be whoever cooks. Consider how you can make it as usable as possible.
Another facet of this is the weather. When you picture an outdoor living space, you probably think of it as a typical living room spread out around a fire or a landscape display. The sun is shining, or the stars are out. However, that isn't always true in most parts of the world.
If you live in an area like Seattle, where it frequently rains, you might want to consider covering your backyard living space. You can top it with a gazebo. Living in areas like Texas, California, Florida, or Arizona could mean a lot of heat and sunshine. It can make it hot enough to render the living space only useful early in the morning or at dusk. In this case, you could add some shade with a pergola or a sun shade.
Not only does a backyard living space give you an attractive setting for entertainment, but it also increases the essential square footage of your functional property. That is particularly true if you have any part of it under a shelter or covering. If you plan on having quite a few people in a small home or just need more room for your family to spread out, the outdoor living space maximizes the opportunities to do so.
3. More Focused Family Time
Spreading out and having more space for each member of your family isn't always what you need. A backyard living space gives you and your family an area to come together away from screens and interior distractions. This gathering together is another chance for you to consider the functionality of the space. Are there certain things that you all enjoy doing together that you could include in part of the design, such as planting, roasting marshmallows, or backyard games?
Making it usable and exciting for your kids can inspire them to spend more time outdoors than they might in a standard lawn yard. Functional backyard features will add value to your day-to-day life.
4. Improved Mental Health
There have been endless studies on how getting outside can boost your health. As we have transitioned into the age of technology, it is easy to get stuck inside for hours at a time, sometimes even entire days. We can see so many things by looking at our laptop screens or our phones. It has become so easy to forget about nature just outside your door.
An outdoor living space makes it easier for you to harness the power of the outdoors, even to the point of enhancing your mental health. Although it is still unclear to scientists exactly why being outside has a positive mental effect, there is no doubt that it does. Taking some time to be outside relieves symptoms of stress by decreasing your body's cortisol levels. If you spend consistent time outside each day, you can even see a decrease in symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Going outside doesn't have to be an entire afternoon spent driving to the countryside and hiking around. It can be taking a book or some work outside with you, or even just sitting in your living space and enjoying the good weather. Scientists have found evidence that even simple interactions with natural spaces, something like hearing calming nature sounds or breathing fresh air, can decrease your blood pressure, cortisol levels and calm down both the body and the mind.
5. Endless Opportunities for Design
The popularity of DIY projects doesn't only come down to having extra time on your hands. Backyard improvements that add value to your property also have the added benefit of being a creative outlet. There are so many things that you can do by creating an outdoor living space that will suit almost everybody's tastes. You get the chance to come outside of the confines of your home's walls and design something new and unrestricted.
Try to go out to your backyard and look around. What can you picture doing out here? Is your home missing something that you have always wanted? Perhaps an outdoor living space could accommodate that wish.
If you want to do something with it but don't know what the solution is, hop on Pinterest. There are hundreds of thousands of ideas for ways that you can add hardscaping into your backyard. There are thousands of ideas for ways to design an outdoor kitchen alone! If you feel lost, the internet is one of the best places to turn to.
As you go through the design ideas, try to jumpstart your brain's creative side by writing down and brainstorming ideas. Get out a notebook or a sketchpad if that will help you to visualize it better.
Choose Backyard Features That Add Value to Your Home
Adding a backyard living space to your property has the chance to increase your property value, especially if it is a high-quality build. You also get so much more out of it than the initial investment when it comes to entertaining, spending time with your loved ones and the mental benefits that come from being outside.