Last year, homeowners spent an average of $10,341 on home improvement projects. And that makes sense; homes are the single most valuable assets most Americans own, so they want to maintain and increase their home value. The catch is that not all home improvement ideas yield equal returns.

A backyard makeover is one underrated way to add value to your home. They’re often less expensive than interior renovations, so the value they can add often generates a greater return on investment.

For some ideas on how to add value to your home, check out these backyard makeover ideas.

1. Create an Outdoor Lounge

There are certainly some homebuyers who might favor having an open, vacant plot for a backyard. But as a rule, anything you can do to improve the land will add value to your home’s property. After all, even if the owners would like an open space for children and pets to play in, wouldn’t it be nice if the adults had a place to relax and watch over them?

That’s why almost every backyard could benefit from some form of deck or patio. Even if it’s only a modest one.

And it’s also a great place to start if you’re not sure what direction you want to take your makeover. Adding even a small sitting area will instantly add appeal to the space and may help spark your imagination. As you kick back on a lazy afternoon, you might find yourself thinking of other amendments that you’d like to make.

2. Create Shade for Those Long, Sunny Days

Once you have your deck or patio, it probably won’t take you long to realize that you need some shade. Especially after this past summer’s heatwave.

And there are plenty of ways that you can do this. A simple awning over your deck or patio is the simplest method. They’re inexpensive and usually, only take one person an hour or so to install.

If you already have ample trees or foliage — or are willing to devote the space to add some — that’s even better. Trees and greenery don’t only provide shade but cool the air around them. Adding benches, chairs, or swings under a tree is an easy way to beat the heat while enjoying the outdoors.

If that’s not an option, the next best thing is putting a pergola over your seating area. These structures resemble large trellises that can filter the sunlight that falls on your lounge. You can also install drapes or shades to give you the option of controlling the amount of sun.

For added effect, you can hang planters or grow vines through the ceiling tungs to provide extra shade and take advantage of the cooling effect plants provide. And as a more permanent structure, they add elegance and extra value to your yard that simpler awnings don’t

3. Light Up the Night

Why even have a backyard if you can only enjoy it during the daylight hours? For both ambiance and safety, ample lighting is a must.

A basic porchlight should be essential. However, they tend to be either glaring and unpleasant to sit under or leave too many dark corners in the yard. Solar-powered path lights or fence-mounted lights are great as either an alternative or replacement.

To add some mood lighting to your outdoor lounge, outdoor string lights are an excellent and cost-effective choice. Stringing them from a wooden trellis or your pergola adds instant ambiance on any night.

But one of the best solutions, especially for chilly winter nights, is a fire pit.

You can buy portable metal varieties at most big box stores for around a hundred dollars. But to add long-term value to your backyard, consider building a permanent stone firepit instead. Or, for those who want to go the extra mile, you can even add a hassle-free gas-fueled firepit instead.

4.  Landscape With Stone and Drought-Resistant Plants

As summers get drier, maintaining a backyard lawn is only going to get more difficult and more expensive. It’s why the xeriscaping movement became so popular in the last decade.

Xeriscaping is the practice of designing a landscape to use the minimal amount of water possible. It’s been popular in the southwest for years and is now spreading nationwide as summers get more intense.

Proponents of xeriscaping point out that it’s often the greenest option, as it requires none of the care and a fraction of the water as a traditional lawn. This also makes a xeriscaped lawn easy to install and affordable to maintain while mimicking the rugged beauty of the natural, arid landscape.

5. Design Your Dream Pool

The single biggest improvement you can make to your backyard space is to add a pool. A pool is an attractive feature for almost any home. And since 2020, demand for them has only gone up, increasing the value they can add to your property.

And modern pool design gives you more options than ever before.

Infinity pools, for example, are a popular choice. They offer the sense of endless swimming space and are ideal for homeowners with smaller backyard areas.

You also have a lot of latitude in the aesthetics of your pool. Morrocan or Spanish styles are always popular and tend to compliment the architecture you find in warm, sunny regions to begin with.

The only limits are your space and your imagination. Adding fountains, rock formations, grottos, and even water slides are all possibilities. And when combined with complimentary landscaping and a deck or patio, you can multiply the value your new pool adds.

And with modern tools, you can see how different pool design ideas would look in your backyard before you take the plunge. To get started, take a look at our custom 3D pool design process.

Pump Up Your Home Value With These Backyard Makeover Ideas

A backyard makeover can be one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to increase your home’s value. And since you’re not renovating key rooms like kitchens or bathrooms, it’s the least-intrusive choice you can make as well.

That said, it never hurts to bring in some professional guidance on any project. So if you’re ready to redesign your backyard, contact us today to learn more about our outdoor living solutions.