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8 Ways to Maximize Your Outdoor Space

Published on Friday - September 26, 2014

Outdoor space has topped many lists as the most important and “fastest growing room in the home.” If you are staying put, it’s one of the best parts of your residence to makeover and enhance. For homeowners considering selling and investors flipping houses, it can provide one of the best spaces to invest in for high returns. Here are eight options for increasing the appeal of your outdoor space (and property), maximizing usability, and getting more out of your home than you ever thought you could:

Pergolas

Quite simply, a pergola is an incredibly versatile way to transform an outdoor space. Pergolas can be added to backyards, courtyards and front lawns. They even work for terraces and balconies for those in condos. Scoop up a ready-made option or build your own. Today pergolas range from rustic wood to strong and lightweight aluminum, but can be innovated with any number of materials and styles. They offer shade for kids playing outdoors, and parents watching them. They make great focal points, and romantic nooks in nature, and can add a lot more curb appeal than most realize.

Sun-Rooms

Glass enclosed sun-rooms are a superb choice for those planning to stay put for extended periods or that want to put in an addition that will increase square footage and rocket property value. They can deliver a superior return on investment. Most home additions and conversions lose money. Sun-rooms can provide a solid return thanks to lower build cost and avoiding opening up other issues. A glass sun-room blends the best of indoors and outdoors with endless uses. Use them for entertaining, adding a home office or as occasional guest quarters. The newest designs offer hurricane strength protection, and glass is considered a green material which can help increase energy efficiency in a building.

Screen Rooms

For those not ready to go all out with a sun-room, but who want many of the same benefits, a screen room may do. A screen room may not add to interior square footage, but it can make outdoor space and patios more usable. They keep the bugs out, and turn what may otherwise be under-utilized areas into very practical ones.

Covered Patios

At $8 a square foot or less, a covered patio could help add a lot of curb and outdoor appeal. Insulated patio roof covers are sturdy, can help reduce energy bills, and when coupled with premium style columns or screens and ceiling fans, can significantly push up the perceived value of a home. You’ll be able to break out the BBQ, enjoy your late morning coffee outdoors, do more work from home without the chaos going on inside, and let the kids run wild while you relax in the shade.

Pool Enclosures

Screened pool enclosures can offer many of the same benefits as above. While they also may not pump up your appraised value by much, they can certainly increase value for savvy home buyers and renters. Real estate magazines and Hollywood movies often sport imagery of infinity pools with glass railings and great views. However, a screened pool enclosure can also keep up water quality and reduce pool maintenance needs.

Sustainable Gardens

Sustainable gardens are in. Many home buyers and renters crave them, few ever get them started. Having one could make a huge difference in the decision process. Sustainable gardens can range from simple, low maintenance landscaping to smart water gardens, and range up to full on miniature farms. These gardens can also say a lot about the owners and create a better perception of the entire property.

Hot Tubs

Hot tubs are in. They may not deliver the value of an in ground swimming pool, but they take a tiny fraction of the time and cost to get put in. Hot tubs can really help seal the deal on the sale of a high end rental. They can also be used for staging and can be taken with you when you move.

Home Office

A large percentage of the population is on their way to working from home, with many more on their way. Backyards can be an ideal site for a home office. They offer inspirational surroundings, no travel expenses, and the peace that can’t be found inside. Basic DIY outfits can be put together with rent-to-own sheds, while more advanced solutions for micro-offices at home include Japanese themed eggs, designer shipping containers, and more. What will you do with your outdoor space?

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