The outdoor remodeling projects that produce the highest resale value

by Lauren Brocato

An outdoor remodeling project is one way homeowners can increase the value of their property, but the return on those projects can vary, according to the National Association of Realtors and National Association of Landscape Professionals’ 2018 Remodeling Report: Outdoor Features.

The report by NAR outlines 13 outdoor projects that would benefit homeowners substantially for years to come.

“Realtors understand that a home’s first impression is its curb appeal, so when it comes time to sell, a well-manicured yard can be just as important as any indoor remodel,” said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall. “Even homeowners with no immediate plans to sell can gain more enjoyment and satisfaction from their home by taking on a project to revive their outdoor spaces.”

Landscape maintenance was ranked by Realtors as the outdoor project that added the greatest value to a home on the market. The cost for this is about $3,000, but returns 100 percent of the cost. Tree care was also found to return 100 percent of the average $2,000 spent on the project.

Overall landscape upgrade came up next in the ranking. The landscape reboot returned just 83 percent of the initial coat. Among all of these outdoor projects, the most substantial return was seen from standard lawn care service with an impressive 267 percent return. A project like this cost roughly $375 initially and recovers about $1,000.

“This report validates that landscaping is an investment worth making, offering the immediate benefits of increased enjoyment of your property, as well as desirable long-term value that holds if or when it comes time to sell,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president, public affairs, NALP. “From lawn and tree care to installing a new fire or water feature or landscape lighting, there’s no shortage of opportunities to enhance your landscape and to reap the benefits these upgrades provide.”

Landscape Professionals’ cost estimate REALTORS estimated cost recovered Percent of value recovered from the project
Landscape Maintenance $3,000 $3,000 100%
Overall Landscape Upgrade $6,000 $5,000 83%
New Wood Deck $10,000 $8,000 80%
Tree Care $2,000 $2,000 100%
Landscape Lighting $5,000 $2,500 50%
Irrigation System Landscape $3,500 $3,000 86%
Outdoor Kitchen $14,000 $10,000 71%
Fire Feature $6,000 $4,000 67%
New Pool $57,500 $25,000 43%
Standard Lawn Care Service $375 $1,000 267%