When homeowners think of renovating their home to improve its market value, most of their attention is usually on upgrading features on the side areas of the house. For many homeowners, this means restricting the project to the kitchen, living room, and bathroom.
But if you want to give your property an edge in the highly-competitive Canadian housing market, go further and offer buyers valuable features that they won’t easily find in other homes. In addition to improving the spaces inside your home, you may also want to look at your outdoor areas.
Renovation projects that focus on improving the outdoor features of the home present a more rewarding way to increase the property’s value, says Leenan Homes. That’s because the landscaping around the house is a vital part of the property’s curb appeal, and you will rarely go wrong with improving curb appeal.
That is true if you focus on upgrades that make the outdoor area beautiful and more functional while also expanding the effective living area of the home. In this regard, one of the best ways to improve the value of your property is to add an outdoor room to your backyard.
Why an outdoor room will improve your home’s value
The value of an outdoor room comes from:
- Increasing the amount of living space in the home. You can obtain this additional space at a lower cost than the average fee per square foot of a home.
- Increasing the range of ways you can use the home. You can use it as a place to entertain guests, a lounge for your family, or even a place to work.
But how much value does an outdoor room add to your home? What do you need to know about how to create an outdoor room?
How much value will an outdoor room add to your home?
When renovating a property, always keep estimates for the potential ROI from the project conservative. For the best results, the project’s cost should be the same or lower than the rate you expect your home to increase in value. You are sure of always coming out ahead by not spending beyond the projected home equity appreciation for the property.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Average home equity appreciation for the average family home has been 3% per year. The rate may be higher in some places and during some years, but 3% is a reasonable appreciation rate.
- The appraised value of your home determines how much the 3% equity appreciation will be. A property with a higher market value will let you spend more on the outdoor room.
- How long do you plan to live in the home after adding the outdoor room? The longer you stay in the home, the higher the property appreciation and potential ROI.
To determine the maximum amount you can spend on the outdoor room and still recover your investment, multiply 3% of the appraised value of your home by the number of years you intend to remain in the house. That is a reliable formula for ensuring a positive ROI on any home renovation.
How to create an outdoor room
Find level ground in the backyard. That could be a deck, patio, or you might have to prepare the site afresh. You want to position the outdoor room in an area of the backyard that’s not visible from the street. Your room should also be easy to access from the main house, particularly from the kitchen door.
2. Choose the right flooring
Gravel, stone pavers, and decomposed granite (DG) are flooring options that will help the floor of the outdoor room blend with the surrounding area. Decomposed granite is stable and affordable; it can also serve as the base for setting concrete pavers. Gravel is inexpensive but less stable than DG.
3. Add walls
This doesn’t necessarily mean solid walls, but something to make the room feel like an enclosed space. The sides of the room should serve as a boundary. Options for creating the walls of your room include a balcony railing, hedges, or some retractable material.
4. Install a ceiling
You want your outdoor room to stay usable even when it is hot. A solid ceiling will protect occupants from the sun, rain, or even bird droppings. At the same time, you don’t want to block their sky view. The ceiling option that offers both benefits is a retractable roof.
5. Add furnishing
The furniture can be simple or elaborate, depending on how much you want to spend on the room, how you want to use it, and the quality of the other features in the room. Whatever type of furnishing you choose, be sure that they can endure the outdoors.