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Backyard Features That Increase Your Home’s Value

When you’re renovating your home, you can often forget about the opportunities in the backyard. Even though we might spend most of our time enjoying our yards, other concerns like updating the kitchen and bathrooms are the priority during home upgrades. However, adding features to your backyard can up your property’s value when it comes time to resell your home. Just be careful, as some elements can decrease a potential buyer’s interest.

Here are the backyard features that increase your home’s value and the ones that won’t give you a return on your investment.


Landscaping can positively affect the perceived value of your property. But some landscaping elements are more valuable than others. Here are a few landscaping details that are worthy investments:

  • Year-Round Yard — Planting foliage that blooms year-round is attractive for prospective homebuyers. Plants and shrubbery that provide pops of color during dull winter months will make your outdoor space look more inviting.
  • Maintained Lawn — Having a manicured lawn provides a few benefits when showing your home: it offers a play area for children, gives people a sense of relaxation, and enhances your home’s appearance. Lawn services always provide a return on investment and are among the most recommended tasks real estate agents advise their clients to tend to before listing their homes.
  • Trees — Mature trees improve a neighborhood’s property values by several percentage points. Younger is usually better when planting trees, but they might take a few years to mature.
  • Well-Kept Garden — No garden is better than one filled with weeds. If you have a garden, be sure it is maintained and clear of dead plants and weeds. For easier gardening, consider planting perennials —they don’t require planting every year and are another incentive for potential buyers. An untidy garden can signal to buyers the possibility that other parts of your home are falling into disarray.
  • Mulch – Something as simple as adding mulch to gardens and flower beds can be advantageous. Mulch helps to prevent erosion, prohibit weeds from growing, and encourage water retention in the soil.
  • Pathways — Repair any cracks or broken pavers in paths on your property. If you don’t have any charming stone pathways, consider adding one to a flower garden for a whimsical feel, or create a more practical one from the backdoor to a patio.
  • Lighting — Lighting is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also offers the added benefits of preventing falls at night and deterring potential prowlers. There are many types of lighting to add to your backyard that are inexpensive and easy to install, including solar power.
  • Sprinkler System — An automatic sprinkler system is incredibly enticing to homebuyers. They may love the look of an expansive green lawn, but they’re not interested in taking the time and effort to maintain it.

Water Features

While a swimming pool can devalue your property, more manageable water features can help to increase the value. Items like a fountain or a koi pond can help turn your backyard into an oasis; keep in mind that more extensive and more permanent water features can downgrade your outdoor area. The key is to keep it simple:

  • Smaller fountains are ideal since they aren’t permanent.
  • Wall-mounted features can add a modern vibe.
  • Use a pond as a focal point in a garden.
  • Incorporate stones and plants into the design to give it a more earthy and less statuesque feel.


Fencing can provide solitude and privacy for homeowners to increase their comfort. Depending on your budget, you can install fencing or opt for tall plants and trellises to provide isolation. Both will provide some privacy, but a fence will be appealing to pet owners and parents of small children.


Pergolas are another excellent addition for adding solitude and relaxation to your backyard. The size varies depending on the size of the property: smaller yards need a smaller structure, or space will look imbalanced.

The open-top allows sunlight and air circulation but also provides some protection from the elements.

Outdoor Kitchen

If you have the finances, an outdoor kitchen provides a huge ROI—but it needs to be functional most of the year. A fully functioning outdoor kitchen includes heating for winter months, like a firepit, and cooling like a ceiling fan to beat the heat in the summer. Be sure there is plenty of counter space, a sink, and refrigeration for preparing and storing items, as well as electrical outlets for sound systems and a flat-screen.


Adding a deck to your backyard is a no-brainer for homeowners. Having a designated space to relax with friends and family outside will increase your living area during the warmer months. There are a few different deck styles to choose from:

  • Multi-tier — A multi-tier decks work well with more significant properties that have sloped or rocky terrain. Connected by stairs and even pathways, a multi-tier deck is an impressive addition to a yard.
  • Wraparound — Wraparound decks are essentially wraparound porch. They are typically elevated and can be asymmetrical in some parts, unlike patios.
  • Attached — An attached deck is essentially a patio made from natural wood or composite. They are slightly raised and look best with an L-shaped or U-shaped home.
  • Detached — A detached deck can be placed anywhere on your property with access through stairs or pathways. You can also get creative and accent the patio with landscaping.
  • Rooftop — Rooftop decks are perfect for condos or other urban homes. The roof needs to be flat and inspected by an engineer to be sure it is stable before building.


Installing a patio into your yard will also provide space to entertain and relax while adding value to your home. Patios are suited for homes with level grounds and are typically easier to maintain than decks, but decks do offer a higher ROI. Since they are detached from the house, patios provide more versatility for placement in your yard: off the backdoor or next to a flower garden are always options.

Features to Avoid

Some outdoor features will decrease the value of your property. Here are a few installations you might be better off skipping:

  • Swimming pools can add value, but the cost and time involved in maintaining a pool can scare off new homeowners.
  • Tennis and basketball courts can be a deterrent because many families prefer yards over courts.
  • Fruit trees can scare away buyers due to the harvesting needed to collect fruit that can rot and attract pests.
  • Outdated or damaged lawn furniture can reduce your home’s listing price.

You don’t have to incorporate all of the backyard features that increase your home’s value. Pick a few that would suit your lifestyle best and spread the projects out over months or years.

When you’re ready to upgrade your home with a deck, patio, or pergola, contact Kona Contractors and talk to an outdoor living contractor to decide which updates work best for your home!

Backyard Features That Increase Your Home’s Value

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