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Wishing for Spring? Dream Up Your Next Outdoor Remodeling Project Now

While you’re waiting for the snow to thaw this winter, now is the time to start planning how to reinvest that homeowners tax refund back into your property. Envision a quaintly tiled walk-way leading up to an outdoor fire place, children laughing by the pool on lazy summer days, and a multi-colored flowerbed in the front lawn. Can’t wait for spring and summer? Let NAR help guide you to the perfect outdoor remodeling project. With virtually every project, investing money into your home will not only increase your enjoyment, but reap returns down the road if you decide to sell.

This past fall, NAR asked its members how much curb appeal 10 outdoor remodeling projects would have for potential buyers, as well as the cost estimate that sellers can recover from investing in outdoor remodeling. In partnership with the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), we also asked landscape professionals to estimate the actual cost of the 10 projects. We released a joint report detailing the reasons why homeowners completed outdoor remodeling, the value of taking on such projects, and the increased happiness experienced by homeowners once a project was finished in our 2016 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features. Here’s a short recap of some of the findings to help you in your winter planning.

New Patio or Wood Deck

Installing a new patio or a new wood deck can be the perfect fix for your home. These projects can improve livability and upgrade worn-out spaces. According to the report, installing a new patio received a Joy Score of 9.6 out of 10 and a new wood deck received a Joy Score of 9.7. The Joy Score is calculated by the share of those who were happy and satisfied upon seeing the completion of their project. According to REALTORS®, a patio recovers 102 percent of the costs and a wood deck recovers 106 percent.

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Landscape Upgrade

You may envision a new landscape project for your summer gatherings as it improves livability, provides a much needed change, and adds more personality to the home. An overall landscape upgrade received a Joy Score of 9.8 and REALTORS® estimated that landscaping received a cost recovery of 105 percent. If you are leaning towards selling your home, investing in a seed lawn upgrade rendered a cost recovery of 417 percent, a standard lawn care program recovered 303 percent of costs, sod lawn recovered 143 percent, and a softscape upgrade rendered a cost recovery of 100 percent.

New Pool

One of the most enjoyable outdoor projects you can undertake this spring is investing in a new backyard pool. When we surveyed consumers, this project received the highest Joy Score of 10 above all other projects. Ninety-five percent of consumers said they have a greater desire to be home since installing a pool, 80 have an increased sense of enjoyment, and 90 percent feel a major sense of accomplishment. On the flip side, REALTORS® estimate that having a pool on the property only recovers 50 percent of the project’s cost.

Outdoor Fireplace and Firepit

If you’re ready to do a project now, such as an outdoor firepit and fireplace, these projects are likely to increase your personal enjoyment if you live in your forever home. However, REALTORS® estimated the cost recovery for both of these projects to be 78 and 60 percent respectively upon sale.

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